Sandaraa & West Philadelphia Orchestra

Johnny Brenda's Presents

Sandaraa & West Philadelphia Orchestra

Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis

Thu, May 12, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm


This event is 21 and over

All shows are 21+ Proper I.D. required for admission

West Philadelphia Orchestra - (Set time: 10:00 PM)
West Philadelphia Orchestra
With a diverse line-up of professional Philadelphia musicians whose influences range from Sun Ra to
Bulgarian brass bands, West Philadelphia Orchestra is a unique live ensemble in today’s auto-tuned musical
world. They began playing Romanian ballads, Macedonian folk-dance songs, Bulgarian wedding music, and
Klezmer in late 2006, and have continued expanding their repertoire of Eastern European music. The band
also plays original compositions which blend other sounds, like jazz and classical, together with traditional
Balkan sounds. As much a community as a band, WPO’s performances are celebratory events. With blistering
beats and walls of brass, they inspire audiences to hold hands, dance, and slip the yoke of the homogenized
culture industry.
Sandaraa - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Imagined hybrids from lost empires, ​the unexpected sounds of Sandaraa ("song" in Pashto) show how Eastern Europe the indus Civilization and Central Asia connect. The melismatic might of modal music and the ringing grit of mountain songs, the rollicking trance beats and restrained emotional intensity, have an eerie resonance, despite surface differences. A magical world of global sounds comes alive when superstar Pakistani vocalist Zeb Bangash joins forces with a retinue of leading Brooklyn musicians led by klezmer clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd to unlock the musical secrets and history of their regions steeped in ecstatic mysticism, war, migrations and ancient cities lost to the sands of time.​

Michael and Zeb discovered this unheralded affinity between their traditions by chance at a shared gig, but have purposefully crafted the eureka moment into an adventuresome project to explore trans-Eurasian sonic possibilities. Taking inspiration from legendary artists such as Sabzal Saami, Beltoon, Haji Saifudin and more, Sandaraa infuses their own personal styles and vocabulary to expand upon the music. Each band member adds his or her own musical history to the mix creating a signature sound that captivates audiences and fascinates listeners with their unique and inspired approach to musical and cultural synthesis. Through the support of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, Sandaraa has received major grants from the prestigious MAP Fund, Chamber Music America, and Puffin Foundation.
Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis
When Bridget Kearney and Benjamin Lazar Davis went to Ghana in 2014, they
planned to travel and maybe make a few musical friends. They ended up spending the
entire three weeks in the city of Accra, studying the traditional music of Northwest
Ghana with master gyil player Aaron Bebe. The resulting EP, BAWA, treats the
polyrhythmic peregrinations of the xylophone-like gyil not as a gimmick but as source
material, a puzzle to be deconstructed and rearranged into a bright new collage.

"Slow Rider" is the second song on BAWA, yet the release's fourth track (each song is
preceded by a snippet of the Bebe tune upon which it is based). It may take a few listens to tease out its ingredients because the playing is so dazzlingly complex. "Slow
Rider" is more sedate, with the skeleton of a lopsided gyil riff and a lyrical electric
guitar melody that trips along on top.

The Brooklyn-based Kearney and Davis are longtime collaborators. Kearney was a
member of Davis's sprawling avant-pop group, Cuddle Magic (she also plays bass in
the up-tempo, stripped-down Lake Street Dive), and her knack for wordplay and for
unexpected hooks has long been evident. Davis, on the other hand, has honed a
weirder, texture-obsessed sensibility, and in fashion typical for his songs "Slow Rider"
takes a while to get to the sweet spot, while spotlighting many of his favorite sounds
(delicate snare drum hits and whispery harmony vocals). "You're a slow rider, baby/
I'm a slow rider, hey hey," Kearney sings in the chorus, and if it's not immediately
clear what a "slow rider" is, the song offers a definition of sorts, as it rises unhurriedly
towards a state of gentle bliss.
Venue Information:
Johnny Brenda's
1201 N. Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA, 19125