Malika Zarra, Milt Hinton Jazz Series
Thu, April 4, 2013 at 7:30pm
General Admission $25
College Students FREE ADMISSION
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Moroccan singer/composer/producer, MALIKA ZARRA is an exotically beautiful artist with a velvety, sinuous mezzo-soprano voice that has demonstrated a rare ability to communicate both powerful and subtle ideas and feelings in Berber, Moroccan Arabic, French and English. She is now an in-demand headliner at concert halls and festivals all over the world.
Malika was born in Southern Morocco in a little village called Ouled Teima. During her early childhood, there was always music and dancing in the house. After her family emigrated to a Paris suburb, she found herself straddling two very different societies.” I had to be French at school yet retain my Moroccan cultural heritage at home.” Malika was exposed to a wide variety of musical styles. She cites fellow Moroccan Hajja Hamdaouia, Rais Mohand, the Lebanese-born, Egyptian-based ud virtuoso/composer Farid el Atrache, Um Kalthoum and Algerian singer Warda (Al-Jazairia) as major influences. She also absorbed albums by Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby McFerrin, Thelonious Monk, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin.
During her apprentice phase, when she became a fixture on the Paris scene, Malika performed at a variety of well-known clubs, including Festival L'esprit Jazz de St Germain, Sunside/Sunset and Cite de la Musique. In the beginning, she interpreted classic material strictly in the original languages -- then a breakthrough occurred. When I started to sing in Arabic, writing new lyrics for jazz standards, I found that people reacted really strongly.
In 2004, Malika decided to relocate to NYC. Having crafted a repertoire that incorporated her native Berber, Gnawa (a percussive form of religious trance music) and Chaabi (Arabic working class blues) heritages, the intellectual elegance of French pop, plus freewheeling jazz rhythms and techniques, her reputation as a solo act began to grow. Malika eventually recorded and/or sat in with Makoto Ozone, John Zorn, Tommy Campbell (Dizzy Gillespie), Will Calhoun (Living Color), Lonnie Plaxico (Cassandra Wilson), Michael Cain (Jack Dejohnette), Brad Jones (Ornette Coleman), Jacques Schwarz-Bart (Roy Hargrove), David Gilmore, Gretchen Parlato and many others. She has recently recorded a vocal quartet album for John Zorn’s released on Tzadik records in January 2010.Among the venues she has graced are the Carnegie Hall (opening for Bobby McFerrin) (NYC), the London Jazz Festival (UK), the Montreal Jazz Festival (Canada), the Opera House Lincoln Center (NYC), the Apollo Theater, the Festival du Monde Arabe (Canada), the Salzburg Jazz Festival (Austria), Festival Nuits d’Afrique Montreal (Canada), the Duke Ellington Jazz Festival (DC), Brooklyn Maqam festival (NYC), The Blue Note (NYC), The Jazz Standard (NYC), Joe's Pub (NYC), Sob's (opening for Sara Tavares) (NYC), Smoke Jazz Club (NYC), Brooklyn Academy of Music (NYC), Chorus Jazz club (Switzerland), Porgy & Bess Jazz club (Austria), Domicil jazz club (Germany), WDR 3 (Germany), Klub Cankarjevega doma (Slovenia).
Malika's debut solo album "On the Ebony Road" (2006), reveals a firm grasp of a richly diverse bouquet of references, fusing Orient and Occident, East and West, into a lively, sensual, fresh, and deeply poem of inclusion.