Berklee Summer in the CityChristiane Karam and ZilZALA
Led by award-winning vocalist/composer Christiane Karam, the ZilZALA Middle Eastern Ensemble is a Boston-based world music group that draws from several musical cultures to reinterpret classical, traditional, and folk Arabic and Balkan Music. The outcome is a powerful and uplifting blend of Eastern and Western influences that creates a truly unique musical experience. The ZilZALA Ensemble has been playing to packed houses in Boston and New York and is a two-time nominee for Best World Music Act in Boston by the Phoenix Best Music Poll.
In addition to leading the ZilZALA ensemble, Karam writes and performs in various musical settings and has collaborated with the likes of Yanka Rupkina, Bassam Saba, Hüsnü Senlendirici, Jamey Haddad, the Assad Brothers, and Bobby McFerrin, in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Summer Stage in New York and the International House of Music in Moscow.
Karam is also an award-winning songwriter and is on the faculty of Berklee College of Music as an assistant professor of Voice, Ensemble, and Songwriting.
Christiane Karam (voice, percussion)
Jussi Reijonen (oud, guitar)
Helen Sherrah-Davies (violin)
Naseem Al Atrash (cello)
Tyreek Jackson (bass)
Tareq Rantisi (percussion)
"East and West collide in the music of the ZiLZALA Middle Eastern Ensemble. This international cast of musicians provide a distinctive flavor and an irresistible rhythm." —Luke O'Neil, Boston Globe
"Christiane Karam and ZilZALA take you on a sensuous sound journey. You'll start on the narrow winding streets of Beirut and Damascus, hop a caravan ride through the desert, make a stop at a cinema in Cairo and, from there, they might lead you . . . just about anywhere!" —Hankus Netsky, New England Conservatory
"On this album [Songs of the People], Christiane Karam crafts her vocal interpretations with marvelous fluidity. Her performance with the ZilZALA Ensemble is creatively conceived and beautifully executed." —A.J.Racy, Ph.D.