I am a musician, a Native New Yorker; born, raised, and living in the heart of the city. I am a first generation American from an Egyptian Syrian family.
Many musical languages continuously inform my musical evolution: African, Cuban, Jazz, Caribbean, Bayaka Pygmy, Gnawan, Indian, Arabic music, and the music of Cape Verde, have all influenced me greatly.
Since 1978, I have been performing on flute, vocalizing, and composing for my own ensemble, as well as actively freelancing with other groups.
In the late seventies, when the N.Y. Jazz scene was thriving, I was on the staff at the “Village Vanguard” for 3 years, where night after night I experienced performances by great musical masters, many who inspired my daily practice.
Some of my concert performance highlights include playing with: Kenny Barron at India’s Jazz Yatra Festival (in New Delhi and Bombay in ’88 ), with Hubert Laws (at Opus 40, NY) in 1993, with Richard Bona at the St. Louis Festival (in Senegal ’95), with Youssou N’Dour (at Thiossane in Dakar, Senegal ’95) and with my own group at the United Nations, as well as for Heifer Project International events in 2002.
In 2008, I toured Cape Verde with Cape Verdian singer Toi Pinto. In Spring of 2010, I performed at the Cairo Jazz Club in Egypt, with Fathy Salama. I taught on the instrumental faculty at the New School Jazz & Contemporary Music Program from 1999-2002. From 2005 to 2007, I played flute in the group Charanga Soleil. From 2007 to date, (winter 2010), I perform with Nu’ Guajiro /Nu’ Dlux on a weekly basis.
Through the years, my love of music paralleled my interest in psychology, metaphysics, and divination. After years of concentrated study, I began practicing astrology professionally and led an active practice in NYC for 23 years.
In the late 90′s, I gave birth to my daughter. Being a mother has changed every aspect of my life and music for the better. I am grateful to have played and performed in a wide range of musical contexts in Sumatra, Bali, Thailand, Borneo, India, Senegal, Morocco, Cape Verde, Cuba, Curacao and many other Caribbean Islands.
My love of devotional music led me to study Yoruban Folklore in NYC, as well as sacred chants in both Burma and Indonesia.
Some of the teachers that I have learned the most from include John Stubblefield, Barry Harris, Frank Wess, Richard Egues, and Oriente Lopez . Some of the venues where I perform in New York include: SOB’s, BAM Cafe, Gonzalez y Gonzalez, Son Cubano, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Havana Central, and Oliva.
‘First Cause’, my first CD, was released January 2004. The material on this recording includes original compositions, Latin standards, jazz, cha-cha-cha, timba, son, contemporary guajiro, Yoruban folklore, calypso, and an adaptation of a classical orchestral piece.
My second CD ‘Querencia’, released in December 2010, includes Cuban son and Latin jazz with an Arabic flavor, with Colette Michaan (flute and vocals), Edgar Pantoja Aleman (Piano, keyboards), Yunior Terry (bass, violin), Jorge Bringas (bass), Hassan Hakmoun (sintir and vocals), Aaron Halva (tres), Jainardo Batista (vocals), Pedro Martinez (percussion).
What I wish to do through music, is to create beauty, to move people to feel, to enjoy, to reflect, and to dance.