The 3,000 year-old Jewish community of Syria, one of the oldest and proudest Jewish communities in the world, was officially erased from history last November with an operation that extracted the last remaining Jewish family out of the war-torn country. Coincidentally, the family’s last name is “Halabi,” the term used broadly to refer to Syrian Jews around the world who trace their roots to Aleppo, Syria.
Andy Dushey, a Halabi, decided that he needed to keep the history and culture of Syrian Jewry alive through the passion of his life: music. “Halabeats: The Sephardic Remix Project,” is a modern interpretation of ancient Syrian and Sephardic chants and song melodies like those Andy grew up with. Andy Dushey writes, produces, and records his original tracks using a combination of live instrumentation (guitar, bass, keyboard), drum machines, vocal samples, and other effects. The result is a body of work that stays true to tradition while incorporating sounds and styles from the diaspora chapter of the Syrian Jewish story. “Halabeats” exudes thousands of years of Syrian Jewish pride, bringing a lesser-known Jewish cultural narrative to the forefront.
Here is a preview of a few tracks that will be on Halabeats:
Keep up with Andy Dushey on Facebook.
This story "Out of the Rubble, Syrian Jewish Music Reemerges — with an Electronic Flair" was written by Rachel DuShey.