Gerard Edery
Gig Seeker Pro

Gerard Edery

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band World EDM


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



"Under The Sephardic Musical Tent"

It is the hottest day of the year, but Gerard Edery looks totally cool, calm and collected as he sits down with his iced coffee in a café on the Upper West Side. Perhaps that’s because he has come from his home nearby, but on a day like this one, his utter ease is more likely the product of the same self-assurance and relaxation that make him comfortable singing in a dozen different languages, playing guitar in a multitude of styles and negotiating more than a half-millennium’s worth of Sephardic cultural history.

In his latest project — Edery always has three or four projects in progress — the tall, shaven-headed musician is trying “to pool the various strands of my Sephardic roots, trying to make people aware of the incredible richness of Sephardic culture.� The fruits of his efforts will be on display on June 25 under the formidable title “The Spirit of Sepharad: From Casbah to Caliphate, a 500-Year Musical Journey.�

“We’re trying to celebrate the many facets of Sephardic culture,� he explains eagerly. “The program will involve eight or ten languages and will highlight the music of the lands of the Sephardic Diaspora.�

With that goal in mind, Edery has assembled what is probably the strongest ensemble of musicians in his lengthy and highly productive career, including Glen Velez, the outstanding fusion jazz and worldbeat percussionist; Amir Vahab, one of the world’s great interpreters of Iranian classical music; flamenco singer-dancer Barbara Martinez (a frequent Edery collaborator); oud master and composer Ara Dinkjian; and the multi-instrumentalist Meg Okura, whose works ranges from the avant-garde chamber jazz of her own group, the Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, to collaborations with Pharaoh’s Daughter and Cirque de Soleil.

About two weeks into rehearsals, the band cut a few demo tracks, and those cuts found their way into the hands (or ears) of this reporter. They have to be considered among the very best things Edery has done — particularly a pulsing up-tempo “Adir Hu� that is downright electrifying.

Edery, although pleased with my response, downplays the tracks with a wave of the hand.

“That was after only two weeks of rehearsal,� he says lightly. “We’ve come far from there since.�

That “Spirit of Sepharad� features Edery’s most ambitious ensemble is only fitting, because the overall production is by far the most complicated and multifarious he has attempted. In addition to the many musics included in the program, there will be elements of dance and a multimedia presentation that will include projected images of paintings, photos and film footage spanning the centuries and continents inhabited by the Sephardic Jews in the five centuries since the expulsion from Spain.

“Initially we had the idea of just presenting the music, but it kept on growing,� Edery says. “Finally I decided to write a narration, and we came across images that were so powerful we just had to include them.�

The result is an appropriately dense, textured look at a densely textured culture.
Or cultures, to be accurate.

“The Sephardim were impacted by every culture they came in contact with and they impacted those cultures as well,� Edery says. “There is an intercultural richness here; the Sephardic presence in Morocco, Algeria, Syria —those are all reflected in Sephardic music.�

Add to that list the Balkan cultures that these Jewish exiles touched — the Persian court, the Ottoman sultans and the many other locales where the Sephardim ended up — and you have a map of the Sephardic Jewish experience since 70 CE, not just 1492.
“I like to think of Sephardic culture as a huge umbrella that welcomes many cultures under its shelter,� Edery says. “It’s like the tent of Abraham, with room for anyone who wants to enter.�

Edery’s resume is something of a huge umbrella in its own right. Earlier this year, he released an album made in collaboration with the great Lithuanian ethnomusicologist, Yiddishist and singer Maria Krupoves, and the duo embarked on a global series of concerts, beginning in Vilnius, Lithuania. Before the Second World War, Vilnius (aka Vilna) was one of the world’s great seats of Jewish learning; now it is the capital of Lithuania and something of a focus of controversy regarding regional Jewish history.
“Clearly, under Soviet rule Vilnius was thought of by Lithuanians in terms of Jews who were Communists,� Edery explains. Krupoves has told him that a large part of the meaning of their collaboration resides in reintroducing Lithuanians to the positive contributions of Jews to the national culture and heritage so that the Jews are seen as part of the enormous release of energy and pride that the country experienced in the aftermath of the fall of Soviet Communism. If audience reaction is any indicator, the musical collaborators have succeeded in this endeavor, with huge ovations afte - The Jewish Week, By George Robinson

"The "Spirit of Sepharad" Comes to New York City"

The 2008 opening night standing room only world tour premiere performance of “Spirit of Sepharad: From Casbah to Caliphate” was presented and held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York, Wednesday, June 25, 7:00 PM. A special Meet & Greet cocktail reception immediately followed the outstanding off-off Broadway musical performance. Spirit of Sepharad is an exceptional, awe-inspiring, and extremely moving, 500-year musical journey that brings to life Spain’s intertwined deeply rooted Jewish, Arabic, and Spanish culture. Their songs of praise and love capture the true essence of Sephardic music, a spiritual brilliance! Narrator Peninnah Schram said so profoundly, “Love is my Religion! That will remain my faith and my creed.” - Jewish Voice, New York


Gerard Edery:
Two Faiths, One Voice, 2008 Sefarad Records
Amid the Jasmine, 2006 Sefarad Records
Sons of Sefarad, 2002 Sefarad Records
Morena, 2002 Sefarad Records
Sing to the Eternal, 2002 Sefarad Records
Oigo/I Hear, 2000 Sefarad Records
Chansons d'Amour, 1997 Sefarad Records
Linda Amiga, 1997 Sefarad Records
Guitar Give Me Your Song, 1994 Sefarad Records
Romanzas Sefarditas, 1991 Sefarad Records



Gerard Edery is recognized as a leading musical folklorist and master singer and guitarist. He has at his command a remarkable range of ethnic folk styles and traditions from around the world, sings in fifteen languages and speaks four fluently. Not only does Gerard regularly uncover and preserve songs from Europe, the Middle East, South America and ancient Persia, he energizes these repertoires by interpreting them for contemporary audiences and by teaming up with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed virtuoso musicians. His special brand of world music fusion prizes a base of formal authenticity and an appreciation for how disparate cultures overlap, parallel each other and often borrow from one another. Gerard Edery’s programs are celebrations that invite the possibility of coexistence, tolerance, respect and peace among all peoples.

In addition to his busy concert schedule, Gerard also has twelve CD releases as well as a critically acclaimed Sephardic Song Book, released by Tara Publications and Sefarad Publishing. His record company is Sefarad Records.