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  • The Naming

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    This is the story of why the brilliant Queen of Sheba shaved her legs, how the stunning Vashti laid down the line for her drunken husband, and how a mysterious witch spoke King Saul’s doom and then served him a nice dinner. Dardashti's 2010 solo release and multimedia performance, The Naming, draws on the Persian music deep in her bones to transform the ghostly outlines of Biblical women into full-blown flesh-and-blood personalities, combing emotional Middle Eastern-inflected musical delivery with powerful storytelling.

    Dardashti unites the Persian classical music that made her grandfather an icon in Iran with her family's deep connection to Jewish poetry and song, creating electronica-edged Middle Eastern music that springs from where the midrash meets midwifery, where modal melody meets sleek modernity. For Dardashti, the stories of the women in her songs intertwine with her own Iranian family’s tales of women breaking the rules as well as those of women in the Middle East today fighting to have their voices heard. The stories also echo through Dardashti’s personal story, in her recent transition into motherhood. Concerts feature vivid video art and live dance.

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    Supported by a grant from the Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists, a partnership of Avoda Arts, JDub Records, and the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and made possible with major funding from UJA-Federation of New York.

Main photo by Brian Tamborello    Video still by Lustre.

Concert photos courtesy Washington Jewish Music Festival at the Washington DCJCC