Raquy and the Cavemen
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Raquy and the Cavemen

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band World Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival Review"

Raquy and the Cavemen give an electrifying, jaw dropping performance. As a promoter, I feel like a hero for presenting them to my audiences. They have the "Wow Factor" that you want to just blow the socks off of people. I hear more positive comments about Raquy and the Cavemen than any other group we bring in to our world music & arts festival; they are requested year after year and have gained lifelong fans here. They have also created a culture of doumbek enthusiasts and lovers of Middle Eastern music within our community. - Lori McKinney, Organizer, Culturefest World Music & Arts Festival

"Starwood Festival Review"

We brought Raquy and the Cavemen for the first time in 2006, for a Wednesday night concert. The crowd's reaction was so overwhelming, they practically became festival celebrities overnight. The following year we brought them for a headlining Saturday night slot, in which they, again, ripped the stage apart with their energy. The next year we couldn't get them, which caused riots on the festival grounds! So now we try to get them back every year that we can. Incredible music, incredible show, wonderful people to work with. They will make your festival!

- Regis Sedlock, Talent Buyer, Starwood Festival, NY / OH

"Triboriginal Festival"

Raquy and the Cavemen brought incredible energy, stage presence, and technical skill to my festival. Our crowds want to dance hard and long- the band gave them all that and more; the audience was wild with frenetic appreciation. And as Producer, I found them great to work with and easy to communicate with. I recommend them highly. - Onca O'Leary, Producer, Triboriginal Festival, NC

"Ingenuity Festival of Art and Technology"

After Raquy's virtuoso cameo in our "Symphony for 1000 Drums", we didn't hesitate to invite her and the Cavemen back the following year for a full performance. The crowd responded with awe and delight, and relished in the fusion of sound, rhythm and stage presence that has become the trademark of Raquy and the Cavemen here in Cleveland. - Grant Marquit, Program Manager, Ingenuity Festival of Art and Technology

"Seattle World Rhythm Festival Review"

The Seattle World Rhythm Festival has had the distinct pleasure to host Raquy and the Caveman as one of our highlighted performances. Due to the overwhelming crowd response of their performance we have made an effort to make sure they are a continued part of the celebration of music and dance at our annual event. Their high energy and well rehearsed act draws in the audience creating a dance party effect inspiring everyone in the room. From the entire festival team we are truly appreciative of Raquy and the Caveman's yearly participation. - Eric Wilson, Program Coordinator, Seattle World Rhythm Festival

"Robert Benaroya Review, Vancouver"

Raquy and the Cavemen have a cult following here in Vancouver. Their explosive and moving show and rock star stage presence have people talking about their show all year. I have rarely seen such an enthusiastic reaction to a stage act. - Robert Benaroya, Event Organizer and Promoter, Vancouver, BC, Canada (Ravi Shankar, Salif Keita, Zak

"FloydFest Review"

Some sets come on like a breath of fresh air, excitement and fire. Raquy and the Cavemen deliver. There is never a dull moment when they hit the stage; pounding rhythms, haunting melodies, exotic dance and a sensual aura that defies boundaries. The perfect addition to any Festival program. - Kris Hodges, Producer ~ FloydFest (Ani Difranco, Levon Helm)

"Earthdance Festival Review"

Raquy and the Cavemen are one of the best new world fusion acts I have seen over the last years. Their modern blend of middle eastern beats, acoustic guitar and persian strings takes the audience on a deep and mystical journey. They were definitely one of the most talked about new acts at Earthdance 2010. I highly recommend them as a great festival act. - Chris Deckker, Founder and Talent Buyer, Earthdance Festival (Matisyahu, Michael Franti and Spearhea

"Live Review from Toronto, Canada"

Raquy and the Cavemen’s "Dust", released at the beginning of the year, was one of the most notable fusions of Levantine riddims with hard rock and electronic touches. Most excitingly, this fusion is contained almost entirely in the songwriting and the playing; it doesn’t sound studio-bound in the least.
Touching down amid the heavily klezmerised Ashkenaz festival, Raquy may have been a little too intense for some of the bubbies and zaydes in the crowd, but their children and their children’s children were swept up in the grooves.

The Cavemen are composed of two multi-percussionists, a bassist, a woodwind player and husband Liron Peled, who played acoustic guitar and hand drums. Immediately the complexity of the music was apparent as bass lines chased percussion patterns against complex time signatures and microtonal harmonies. The opening tune’s strummed yet foreboding chords on guitar added to the distinctive percussive harmonies.
It was a remarkable demonstration of what Page and Plant have always wanted to do but have never succeeded at.

As Peled peeled off one Zeppelin III riff after another, the energy increased and Raquy entered with the kemeche, or Iranian violin. She sawed away at dark harmonies against the guitar, her playing becoming more powerful as the soundman got a handle on how to mix the instrument. The crowd was intrigued but not enraptured until the next few pieces, which were dedicated to traditional forms.
Accompanied by a quartet of hand drums, Raquy showed off her formidable command of the dumbek. She bent the pitch of notes, used a variety of striking techniques and even showed some choreographed moves with Liron — this performance was as much a clinic as a show.

The finale was a suitable climax, departing the Middle East for Bulgaria. Woodwind player Daphna Mor did Roland Kirk justice by jamming two recorders into her mouth and harmonising with the kemeche. Next time, I hope Liron will get into some of the thrashy guitars and menacing electronics that made Dust even more intense, but this was still a very satisfying afternoon - David Dacks at Exclaim Magazine


Imagine what would happen if you took the world’s expert on a Middle Eastern drum known as the dumbek and set her to work on forging a new form of rock. The result is an impressive and simply staggering exaggeration of percussion from the Middle Eastern version of “Dueling Banjos” on “Dueling Darbukas” to “Riq Samai” with its amazing ten beat cycle and 6/8 time signatures. Other instruments that are featured on “Jordan” include recorder, nai, zils, bendir, riq, dahula, oud, bassoon, Moog synthesizers, bass, guitar, drums, and kemenche. What’s most incredible is the very depth that Raquy and her fellow musicians can undertake without it coming across as this cerebral snobbish piece. Listen to the moods that permeate your soul on “Caravan”, originally written as an opening piece for belly dancer Jehan, and you’ll be instantly as hooked as I am.

- J-Sin - J-Sin

"Florida Entertainment Scene"

Raquy And The Cavemen …Rock!
NYC Based World Music Ensemble Stirs Up Powerful Blend of Blistering Rock And Exotic and Ancient Middle Eastern Vibes On New Indie Release, Jordan
Leader/percussionist Raquy Danziger is world’s foremost expert on dumbek, a classic Middle Eastern drum
Critical praise for the fiery, densely percussive hybrid music of Raquy and The Cavemen (pronounced räh-key)—who are currently riding high with Jordan, their new independent release on Meef Records—has been rumbling with an intensity worthy of the New York City based ensemble’s rock and roll meets Middle Eastern exotica. One reviewer exclaims, “You won’t really know the meaning of dynamic, joyous and percussive until you’ve experienced Raquy!
Others note the way leader Raquy Danziger plays “traditional tunes with the energy of a rocker” with “a blazing skill that shocks and amazes.” Rock fans might want to latch onto her burning ensemble via words from a live review by Exclaim Magazine in Toronto: “It was a remarkable demonstration of what Page and Plant have always wanted to do but have never succeeded at.”
The charismatic Raquy may have been born in Michigan and educated at Brandeis University in Boston, but she is a true citizen of the world. Globally renowned for her expertise on the dumbek, an ancient Arabic drum instrument she calls “beautiful with tons of possibility,” she has traveled to nearly every continent accompanying some of the greatest Middle Eastern music masters. Raquy has performed in Canada, Mexico Turkey, Greece and throughout South America, and has taught students throughout the U.S., Egypt, Canada and Israel, in addition to her thriving teaching practice at home. In all, she has taught hundreds of aspiring musicians, many of whom have later performed with her.
She recently returned from a month in Egypt, where in March she performed with a fifteen piece percussion troupe led by virtuoso Said El Artist, the most famous dumbek player from that country, whose compositions are known throughout the world. She played the solo dumbek part in Said’s compositions and also taught the ensemble one of her own pieces, which they performed on an outdoor stage on the Nile at the El Sawy Cultural Center.
During Raquy’s stay in Egypt, she also appeared on the Samir Sabry Show performing one of her drum solos. Both Al-Jazeera and Orbit TV Networks filmed the concert and interviewed Raquy and Said. “This was a great honor for me,” she says. “Anyone who knows about Middle Eastern music has heard of him, and I have been learning from his style for years.” A daily journal of her Egyptian journey is available at http://raquy.blogspot.com.
When she’s not out globetrotting, Raquy and The Cavemen are in perpetual motion, performing at clubs in the West Village, East Village and Greenwich Village, including a semi-regular Sunday spot at Café Figaro. Although the charismatic Raquy is the band’s focal point in concert, Jordan—her first album with the Cavemen, and third overall—is very much a collaborative effort between herself, her Israeli born musician husband Liron Peled (who plays guitars, drum set, Moog synthesizer and percussion) and three top New York performers—Daphna Mor (recorders and nai), Yotam Beery (bass) and Rami El-Aasser (riq, bass dumbek). The album also features special guest artists Osama Farouk (dumbek, zils, bendir, dahula), Haig Manoukian (oud) and Raquy’s father, Robert Danziger on bassoon.
In addition to performing on high dumbek, riqs and daf, Raquy plays many of Jordan’s lead melodies on the Iranian kemenche, a bowed violin-like instrument that is a staple of much Middle Eastern music. Raquy and Liron had partnered musically on her 2004 recording Dust, and gathered the ensemble that would become The Cavemen for a performance at its record release party. Raquy then decided to keep these players as her official band.
“The albums are in similar styles, and Jordan has more of the same instruments,” says Raquy, whose solo catalog also includes 2001’s much-heralded Masmudi. “Dust, however, has more Indian and Persian chanting, while the new project puts the kemenche in a more prominent role. There’s also heavier Egyptian style drumming. The riq is a frame drum like the tambourine, and we play three of them. The daq is another frame
drum. It’s the perfect blend of ancient and modern sounds, with Liron drawing on his background as a hard rock drum set player from Golan Heights to keep the rock vibe going.
“About half of the 15 pieces on Jordan are melodic, featuring kamanche, guitar and bass, and the rest of them are solo drum compositions,” she adds. “Liron likes the melodic songs, and my favorites are the drumming pieces. It’s a nice balance. Jordan is named after my grandfather, and the title song is written in a beautiful Middle Eastern mode, with minor and major chords at the same time. It’s happy yet somehow heartbreaking.”
A classically trained pianist, Raquy’s defining trait is the intense w - Florida Entertainment Scene

"Splendid Magazine"

Many modern musicians can barely be bothered to achieve basic competence on their instruments of choice, so the musician calling herself Raquy stands out from the pack in the best possible way. Not only does she have a total mastery of an array of exotic drums that you and I haven't heard of (Oh, sorry Mr. or Ms. Cool; I should have known that your knowledge of the Zarb was both broad and deep. That's right. I thought so); she has also mastered a host of picked and bowed stringed instruments you and I haven't heard of (let's not do this again). And by mastery, I mean the kind of blazing skill that can so shock and amaze someone who hasn't heard these instruments played before that all future performances by other musicians are in danger of seeming amateurish.

The rhythms and tones that emerge and coalesce in the opening bars of the Greek dance "Yietierre" are all the more impressive after you read the instrumental credits in the liner notes; while Raquy's collaborator Liron plays several more conventional instruments, Raquy plays four of the aforementioned drums and stringed instruments, somehow making their interplay sound as organic as any live combo's spontaneous collaboration. The music she plays is even more exciting on tracks like "Kurdish", an original composition based on Kurdish folk songs that harnesses a truly rock guitar/bass/drums sound to the service of Raquy's more exotic muse. It's the kind of perfectly balanced endeavor that gives hope for the future of such world/rock combinations -- hope that's hard to find elsewhere.

Each of these tracks is fantastic in its own way; even relative throwaways like the rhythmically chanted, a capella "Tanan" add valuable texture and variety, making the album a richer experience by their presence. Dust goes from strength to strength, from the distorted bass tones and sinuous melody of "Raquin" to the stunning, epic wall of drums that conclude "Hafla". By the time "Axarai" (think Radiohead Goes to Ankara) fades into the stately drone of closer "Huseyni Saz Samai", you'll be ready to listen to the whole thing all over again.

Dust is an intriguing, exciting, deeply personal expression of love for the instruments and possibilities of a style of music that we should all know more about. - Brett McCallon

"Exclaim Magazine (Canada)"

Dust is a hard-hitting, well thought out blend of Greek, Iranian, Indian and Turkish drumming styles mixed with electronics that rocks hard. Undulating rhythms in nine, seven and ten beat cycles adapt amazingly well to electric guitars and synth bass textures. The foundation of Dust is Raquy Danzinger's sure-handed playing. Her “Dumbek Duet” showcases her skills at their most upfront; it’s a fascinating exploration of the tonal and dynamic range of the Turkish drum. Her speed, control and phrasing are very accomplished on all hand and frame drums. Her playing of the bowed kemenche produces fiddle-like skronks with microtonal anxieties, conjuring some awesome riffs from centuries old folk traditions. Husband/producer Liron contributes guitar riffage and bubbling analog synth pads to provide a sympathetic electronic setting to the complex beats. Nearly every song tries and succeeds at augmenting the traditions they are based on — special props go to Haig Manoukian ("the Jimi Hendrix of the oud") for contributing a virtuosic solo in the title track. The liner notes helpfully explain the origins and playing techniques of the instruments. This is a very accomplished record — one hopes that Raquy and Liron will be able to tour to promote this. - David Dacks

"Skratch Magazine"

Rather than just a straightforward release to showcase her talents as an Arabic drum virtuoso, Raquy Danziger, with the aid of her band the Cavemen, delivers a powerfully eclectic amalgamation of modern music and ancient. Much of DUST is filled with pulse-pounding beats, and rhythms that remind you of something Nine Inch Nails would conjure up. Songs such as "Raquin" (with its use of the classic Moog) and "Axarai" are prime examples of the multilayered, dark, industrial feel that accompany these powerfully intoxicating Arabic arrangements. From bass guitar to various exotic instruments, DUST contains a large variety of tight instrumentation that takes you all over the map. Mostly instrumental, the album hypnotizes the listener to a point of psychedelic coolness, and you find your body swaying along to the sweet musical flow that is pouring itself out of the speakers, it and has you asking for more. - Norberto Gomez, Jr.

"NY Post"

Basically, all we know about Iraq and Iran comes from news clippings about war and natural disaster.
Raquy Danziger, an American, wants to put another face on those countries - through their music. She and her band, the Cavemen, have taken traditional Eastern songs from that corner of the world and melded them into something else with electronic instrumentation...
This odd but interesting disc of world music is terrific!

"Inside World Music"

I was previously only aware of Raquy Danziger through her writings in Drum magazine regarding the art of Arabic percussion. One listen to this disc shows what qualifies her to impart knowledge on such a subject. She's a dynamite player, not only on the Middle Eastern dumbeck, riq, bendir and daff drums, but also several bowed instruments from the same region.
Dust is laced with intricate percussion rhythms, their twisting and turning textures rooted in Turkey, Iran, Greece and elsewhere...Dust really crackles. It's inventively quirky, genuine and played with passion. Percussionists and Middle Eastern music fans will savor and cherish it. - Tom Orr


Release the Green Lover - 2010
Bewitched - 2009
Mischief - 2008
Naked - 2007
Jordan - 2005
Dust - 2003



Middle-Eastern drumming sensation Raquy and the Cavemen are a duo of virtuoso drummers / multi-instrumentalists who bring hard rock energy to the mystical rhythms of the Middle East.

Raquy Danziger and Liron Peled, a former couple, started the band when they were married - Raquy is a world renowned virtuoso on the dumbek (Middle-Eastern hand drum), expressing her love of Middle Eastern music with the inspiration she absorbed in her travels. Liron has had a rich background as an incredible, world-touring hard rock drummer. Together they've created a fresh new sound, bringing out the best of both genres.

Raquy and the Cavemen switch between energetic drumming compositions and intoxicating melodic pieces. Utilizing a variety of unusual instruments including the Kemenche (an ancestor of the violin), Dumset (Middle Eastern drumset) and Mongolian Throat singing (see full instrument descriptions below), Raquy and the Cavemen's huge sound and mind-blowing show leaves listeners transported, uplifted and full of joy.

Raquy and the Cavemen have released Six CD’s (See discography below). They have performed at Central Park SummerStage, LollaPalooza and PASIC, and have collaborated with some of the biggest names in Middle-Eastern music, including Omar Faruk Tekbilek and Saiid El-Artist. They have also shared the stage with Mickey Hart.

Their music has received radio airplay (reaching the top 20 in the CMJ Radio Airplay chart) and has been licensed in movie soundtracks and dance performances worldwide.

Their show features several exotic instruments:

Raquy specializes in the dumbek, the Middle Eastern goblet drum. She has shared the stage with some of the greatest drummers in the Middle East. Her style combines techniques that she learned in various countries, but especially features the amazing new Turkish Split Hand Technique that she has been studying in Istanbul. In Raquy’s original drumming compositions, the dumbek, usually used as accompaniment in ensemble pieces, becomes a shining solo instrument. Audiences are amazed by the speed, dexterity and finesse of Raquy’s playing.

Kemenche Tarhu
Raquy's other instrument, the Kemenche Tarhu, is a haunting 12 stringed spiked fiddle designed after the Persian kemenche (spikefiddle.com). Raquy plays original compositions on the Kemenche, based on the Middle Eastern tonal modes, as well as a selection of favorite traditional tunes.

Liron combined his hard rock drum set background with Middle Eastern traditional drums by inventing the Dum Set. The Dum Set consists of Liron's "Baboombeck" (big copper dumbek), a bass dumbek played with one foot, a Riq (tambourine) played with the other foot, and cymbals played with his hands.

11 String Guitar
Liron took a beautiful 12-String guitar, and restrung it with 11 thin strings to sound like a cross between a guitar, a sitar and a saz, bringing the instrument a new exotic character.

Throat Singing
Liron learned how to throat sing from his friend Nezih, who figured out how to do it himself while he was on mushrooms. Now Liron uses this incredible sound to entrance listeners and add a synth bass-like sound to Raquy and the Cavemen.

"Raquy and the Cavemen's music is a remarkable demonstration of what Page and Plant have always wanted to do but have never succeeded at."
- David Dacks, Exclaim Magazine

Raquy and the Cavemen also give workshops and master classes in Middle-Eastern drumming.