Yoel Ben-Simhon


The Sultana Ensemble present

Mediterranean Collage

Mediterranean Collage is an Israeli musical experience which incorporates Middle Eastern and Western influences into a cross-cultural fusion. It is a work scored for voice, violin, kaval (Armenian flute), oud (Arabic lute), piano, bass, darbuka (hand-drum), and tambourine. Two of the pieces of the collage feature a dancer.

The structure of Mediterranean Collage is similar to the Arab nueba, or Dance suite. It is Israeli and Middle Eastern in its melodies, and Western in its harmony. As is typical in Middle Eastern music, some of the oud and nai parts are improvisatory, within the parameters of harmonic and rhythmic structure.

Yoel Ben-Simhon, the composer and the founder of the Sultana Ensemble, is an Israeli born of Moroccan parentage. He has devoted himself to exploring the subject of Jewish music in Morocco and how it contributes to the heritage of Jewish communities in the countries of origin and in Israel itself. He has studied both Western music (Classical and Jazz), as well as Middle Eastern scales and rhythms. He sings and plays keyboards, guitar and various Middle Eastern percussion instruments.

Yoel Ben-Simhon says, "Sultana was the name of my grandmother, a very inspirational figure in my life, who was born in Mogador, Morocco. As a verb, sultana means 'to dominate' or 'to govern' and of course sultana means Queen." Sultana also means 'sublime', the enjoyment communicated by a performer to the audience through the artistic and technical mastery of the instrument or voice.

For more information:

Renee Schreiber
Dir. of Cultural Events, Consulate of Israel
800 Second Ave, New York N.Y. 10017
Tel: (212) 499-5442 Fax: (212) 499-5445

Yoel Ben-Simhon
115 East 96th Street, Apt.#3
New York N.Y. 10128
Tel: (212) 876-9089 Fax: (212) 876-6086