Pharaoh's Daughter: Blending psychedelic sensibility and pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her New York band through Hasidic chants and Mizrahi and Sephardi folk-rock, filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica. In 2006, the group received awards in the categories of Best Middle Eastern Blend and Best World Music at the New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival.
Schechter's Hasidic music background and travel to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Greece and Kurdistan inspired a retuning of her guitar to sound like a cross between an Arabic oud and a Turkish saz. The result lends itself to the harmonic minor melodies and odd time signatures that create her unique sound. She has recorded four albums, three with Pharaoh's Daughter and one instrumental exploration with Persian santur player, Alan Kushan. The band also appears on three Tzadik label compilations: Voices in the Wilderness: the ten year anniversary of John Zorn's Masada compositions, a collection of Sasha Argov music, and the music of Brazilian Jewish composer Jacob Du Bandolim, one of the founders of Brazil's choro style.
Pharaoh's Daughter has toured extensively through America and Eastern and Western Europe. The current band had its debut at Central Park's Summer Stage series in August 2004 and has played such prestigious stages as Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. When she is not touring or performing, Basya plays darbuka, riq and frame drum as part of the B'nai Jeshurun music ensemble that accompanies Friday night services.
Basya has been the recipient of numerous compositional and project grants from NYSCA (New York State Council of the Arts) American Composers Forum (for Trance, and multilayered sound and video installation collaboration with filmmaker Pearl Gluck) and the American Music Center.
Thrust Stage / Berkeley Repertory Theatre
2025 Addison St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|