"Davka – a longtime
quartet on the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish arts scene – has no
equal. The foursome's fifth release, compiled from two crystalline live
recordings, is a masterpiece of technical perfection, musical dynamism
and group synergy.
Davka has been striving since its inception to create a new instrumental Jewish music based on the major musical influences of the modern Jewish world; klezmer/Yiddish music, Middle-Eastern/Sephardic music, Western classical music, and elements of American jazz and pop music.
Taking its name from the Hebrew slang for "contrary to expectation," Davka has kept its audiences expecting the unexpected for nearly a decade. Davka has refined its music into a forward-looking expression of universality; Old-world Jewish melodies meld with striking Middle-Eastern rhythms. Contemporary harmonies and daring improvisations combine with inventive and beautiful textures.
When pressed for a description of their compositions, they use a lot of hyphens: neo-Jewish-roots-fusion; Middle-Eastern Ashkenazi jazz; avant-retro-hybrid-postmodern-art-musik; fiddler-on-too-much-Turkish -coffee. Listeners have called DAVKA world music in a meltdown pot; klezmer run amok; the acoustic equivalent of a Chagall painting. Whatever the label, DAVKA's music is filled with passion, lyricism, and virtuosic interplay.
Davka has performed
at numerous major international festivals and has appeared in concert
throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Israel. They have recorded five
CDs with Interworld Music and John Zorn's Tzadik label.
Ori Nir in
Israel's respected daily Ha'aretz, put it this way: