From a media release:
Jaffa Road CD Release, “Where The Light Gets In”
New release shimmers with pulsating dub grooves, ambient electronic textures & enough rollicking rhythms to make your belly dance
Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W. Toronto
Sunday, October 28, 2012 - 8:30pm
$20 adv / $22.50 door 416-531-6604
[Toronto ON] Did someone say Road Trip? Music lovers better pack their bags because they’re in for a treat when global tour de force, Jaffa Road, release Where The Light Gets In at Toronto hub, Hugh’s Room Oct 28th. With pulsating dub grooves, ambient electronic textures, and enough rollicking rhythms to make your belly dance, Jaffa Road will transport listeners to the Middle East, India, Spain, North America and all points in between.
Recent winners of a John Lennon Songwriting Award, Jaffa Road was also named “Best World Music Artist” at the Toronto Independent Music Awards. Their debut, Sunplace, was nominated for a JUNO award and featured on CBC’s Canada Live. Singles from this new, sophomore outing have already caught the ear of CBC producers and selected for Here & Now’s “Song of the Week” (Sim Shalom), as well as industry nod from OCFF, winning the prestigious “Songs From the Heart” award (Ana El Na).
Aptly named for one of the oldest streets in Jerusalem, Jaffa Road unites multiple cultures and nationalities as it winds its way towards the port of Jaffa. Hebrew, Ladino, English, Arabic and French lyrics blend with genres of Sephardic, Arabic and Indian music, intertwined with jazz, blues, electronica, dub and rock. Theirs is world music on a mission – peace through an unparalleled musical experience that, just like the road they’re named for, brings us together as one people.
Jaffa Road is the unforgettable, entrancing vocals of Aviva Chernick, the rare musicianship of masters Aaron Lightstone (band founder, oud, guitar, synthesizer), Chris Gartner (bass, producer), Jeffrey Wilson (percussion), and Sundar Viswanathan saxophone/flute/vocals).
The distinctive sound of Lightstone’s oud opens “Ana El Na”, bathed in Chernick’s warm, liquid vocals while the band follows with deep bass, exotic percussive technique, synth, violin and bansuri. Six key words translate to “please heal her” – forming an addictive, chanted plea to heal Mother Earth. The more upbeat “Sim Shalom”, adapted from an ancient Jewish prayer continues the hope for world peace, leaning more heavily on guitar and Chernick’s stunning vocal, complete with a breakaway, jazz-like detour.
The track “Avre Los Ojos” is an interpretation of a centuries-old Turkish song – an early protest song first recorded in 1907, and not since until now! “On Your Way” might be the closest thing to a hit single if there were such a thing, riding on Chernick’s pure chorus, while oud, bass violin and propulsive percussion keep it beyond buoyant and highly accessible.
The performances of the five band members are supplemented by such internationally renowned guest artists as Yair Dalal (Iraqi-Israeli master of Arabic violin), Amir Amiri (Iranian-Canadian master of Persian Santoor), Aaron Bensousan (Moroccan- Jewish cantor on Arabic vocals) and Michael Rennie (South African singer and violinist). Guest Yair Dalal’s violin on “Hamidbar Medaber” casts a hypnotic spell across this distinctly Indian-spiced dream sequence while Chernick’s vocal duets with Viswanathan’s sax in their depiction of sky above the Namibian desert. You can literally hear warm sand drifting.
12 songs in all create a road far more active than any typical 2-way street – it’s multi-lane, allowing for many detours along its length, offering up cutting-edge music at the global crossroads.