Musical Performance: Jazz Meets The Near East Festival: CYMINOLOGY - U.S. Release of "As Ney"

Sat, May 9, 2009 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Cymin Samawatie (vocals)
Benedikt Jahnel (piano)
Ralf Schwarz (bass)
Ketan Bhatti (drums)

Cyminology returns in concert at Alwan with the U.S. release of their new CD, As Ney.

Purchase tickets online here:

The subtle yet dynamic, softly-pulsating music of Cyminology takes its cue from the sound of the Persian language. “This was the turning point for us,” says singer Cymin Samawatie, the lead singer of the Band. “When I began singing in Farsi, the music of the group started to become unified. There are still elements from different kinds of music” – including chamber jazz, open improvisation, modern composition, art songs, minimalism, even a distant hint of bossa – “but once we brought in the Persian poetry, it seemed to bring everything together. Farsi is a soft language and has a unique melody in itself, it already gives you a sense of direction. And the changing meters of the poetry influence the rhythm and the time signatures.”

Cymin allows the audience to share her passion for music and convinces with her sensitive voice. Through her exceptional compositions she succeeds in her own way in combining contemporary Jazz with Persian elements (poems by Hafiz and Omar Khayyam, melodies by Sima Bina and her own Persian lyrics).

Listen to tracks from As Ney


Cymin Samawatie

From the age of 12, Cymin started writing lyrics, composing original music and playing piano. Seven years later, she studied classical piano, drums and voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover. Following that, she studied jazzmusic at the Universität der Künste in Berlin where her teachers included David Friedman and Jerry Granelli. Early recognition of her talents came in 2003 when Bobby McFerrin called her on stage to sing with him at the Braunschweig Festival. With her band, Cyminology, Cymin combines her individual style as a composer and singer with her Iranian roots and delights her fans worldwide.

Benedikt Jahnel

Pianist Benedikt Jahnel, born 1980 in France, grew up near Munich, moving to Berlin in 2000. Amongst his teachers were John Taylor, Kenny Werner and Richie Beirach. Jahnel has already toured with international musicians including Charlie Mariano and Phil Woods, and is active with three other bands, his own Benedikt Jahnel Trio, and the groups max.bab and the Kaktus Sextett. Cyminology grew out of the collaboration between Samawatie and Jahnel, with both of them providing repertoire. “When Benedikt brings a piece to the band, it’s generally ‘composed’ in all its details,” Cymin says. “My approach to songwriting is more open and the work changes as we play it. Sometimes Benedikt will play what I write, and sometimes he’ll find something much more beautiful, which I welcome, of course. And Ketan, our drummer, I never tell him what to do. He’s got such great ears and is so imaginatively responsive.”

Ralf Schwarz

Bassist Ralf Schwarz grew up in Braunschweig, where he was born in 1971, and played organ and guitar before switching to double-bass and electric bass a decade ago. Through lessons and workshops with players including Ron Carter, Steve Coleman, Mark Dresser, Mark Helias, Richie Beirach and Billy Hart he has had the opportunity to refine and develop his skills, and his discerning choice of notes is a key component of the total group sound.

Ketan Bhatti

Born in New Delhi, India in 1981, Ketan Bhatti grew up in Bielefeld. Playing piano from the age of 7, and touring as a drummer since he was 14 he has been active in projects from reggae and triphop to jazz as both musician and producer. Ketan recently produced music for Nuran Callis’s play “Home Stories” at the Schauspiel Essen and for Schiller’s “Die Räuber” at the Volkstheater in Vienna. He is the newest member of the band, replacing Cyminology’s original drummer Sebastian Schmidt in 2004. Ketan describes himself as a sound-oriented drummer, and he is as alert to the textural implications of the poems Cymin sings as to the concentrated interaction with his fellow musicians.

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Online Ticket Purchase:
General Admission: $20 plus $1 online purchase surcharge; $20 purchase at the door.
Students (with valid I.D.): $15 plus $1 online purchase surcharge; $15 purchase at the door .


Last updated: 2009-05-04 15:33:19


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