Dr. Galeet Dardashti is a renowned vocalist and scholar. She holds a PhD in cultural anthropology and has garnered many fellowships for her academic research, including Fulbright Hays, the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, and the Foundation for Jewish Culture. Her recent positions have included Visiting Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow at NYU’s Taub Center for Israel Studies and Reitman Fellow at the Bildner Center and Department of Jewish Studies at Rutgers University. Dr. Dardashti’s many publications examine Israeli music/media, Mizrahi cultural politics, Arab/Jewish artistic “coexistence,” and theoretical questions surrounding the political economy of religious philanthropy and what drives cultural production today. Dardashti’s current book project explores the Mizrahi piyut phenomenon in contemporary Israel.
As a performer, Dardashti is the first woman to continue her family’s tradition of distinguished Persian and Jewish musicianship. She has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative performers of Jewish music today beginning with her work as founder and leader of the renowned all-woman ensemble, Divahn. Dardashti received a Six Points Fellowship to pursue her multi-disciplinary project and 2010 nationally acclaimed release, The Naming, which interprets some of the compelling women of the Bible. Time Out New York called The Naming “urgent, heartfelt and hypnotic,” and The Huffington Post described it as “heart-stopping.” In her commissioned multi-sensory piece, Monajat, Dardashti—accompanied by an acclaimed ensemble of Middle Eastern and jazz musicians—reinvents the reflective musical ritual of Selihot using digital technology to sing with recordings of her famed Iranian grandfather.
Having studied with her father, Hazzan Farid Dardashti, Galeet Dardashti has 17 years of professional cantorial experience —most recently as High Holiday cantor at Beth El Synagogue in South Orange, NJ since 2012.