Syrian vocalist Gaida to perform Connecticut debut at Wesleyan University on Friday, February 5, 2016

Syrian vocalist Gaida to perform Connecticut debut at Wesleyan University on Friday, February 5, 2016

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts presents
Gaida: In Concert
Friday, February 5, 2016 at 8pm
Connecticut debut of Syrian vocalist and songwriter

Middletown, Conn.—Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts presents the Connecticut debut of Syrian vocalist and songwriter Gaida on Friday, February 5, 2016 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall, located at 50 Wyllys Avenue on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown. One of the most "effusive and charming" (Timeout New York) singers on the world-music scene, Gaida delivers "entrancing and luscious" performances. With a voice described as "beyond perfect" by The New Yorker, she will be joined at Wesleyan by the outstanding ensemble of pianist George Dulin, Zafer Tawil on oud (stringed instrument), percussionist Tony DeVivo, and bassist Jennifer Vincent to perform original fusion compositions and traditional Syrian songs.

"[Gaida's] plaintive, gauzy vocals effectively disarmed listeners, she improvised incantatory lines as an accomplished jazz vocalist might have done."
—Chicago Tribune

Admission for the concert is $19 for the general public; $17 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, and non-Wesleyan students; and $6 for Wesleyan students. Tickets are available online at; and starting on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to the performance, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University,” and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount – please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges.

About the Artists
Vocalist and songwriter Gaida is celebrated for her impeccable musical intuition and velvety yet crystalline voice. The wide range of musical styles heard within her music flow together organically and naturally and is tied together by Gaida's depth of soul and her evocative and expressive voice, which transcends genre and drives directly into the listener's heart. Gaida and her band have been featured in major films, including Jonathan Demme’s 2008 Academy Award-nominated drama “Rachel Getting Married.” They have recorded with Robyn Hitchcock, Gillian Welch, and Alejandro Escovedo; and have performed in prestigious national venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and many world music festivals. Recently, Gaida performed at the Givenchy New York Fashion Week, recorded for Anne Hathaway’s play "Grounded," and supervised and created the music for the documentary "The Arab Americans." Gaida has a parallel career as a speech and language pathologist and as a vocal coach. For more information about Gaida, please visit

Pianist and composer George Dulin has been making heads turn and ears percolate since his arrival on the New York jazz scene. In January 2006, Mr. Dulin finished a Masters in Jazz Performance at New York University, where he was an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Piano. He has studied with Jim McNeely, Kenny Werner, George Garzone, Brian Lynch, Chris Potter, Dafnis Prieto, Justin Dello Joio, and Panos Mavromatis. He has performed in a master class with living legend Cecil Taylor, and recorded with Teo Macero, John Scofield, Lenny Pickett, and Alex Sipiagin. Mr. Dulin performs at major venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, 55 Bar, Smalls, Joe's Pub, and The Blue Note.

New York based Palestinian-American Zafer Tawil (oud and percussion) is a master of Arabic music with virtuoso talents on oud, violin, qanoon (stringed instrument), and a full range of percussion instruments. He has performed with numerous musicians ranging from pop star Sting and Arab music greats such as Simone Shaheen, Chab Mami, and Bassam Saba to avant-garde composer/performer Elliot Sharpe, among others. Mr. Tawil has also composed music for a number of films.

Bassist and cellist Jennifer Vincent has been as active force on the jazz and Latin music scenes in New York City for the past two decades. She had played with Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, the Harry Whiteaker Group, Jon Hendricks, Paula West, Son Sublime, and the famed Boy's Choir of Harlem. She studied with the legends Ron Carter, Buster Williams, Andy Gonzales, and Orlando Cachaito Lopez, the bassist of the beloved Buena Vista Social Club. Her bass lines are featured on NBC's 75th Anniversary "Cosby Show Retrospective," and on episodes of "Dora the Explorer" and "Dirty Sexy Money." Ms. Vincent co-leads two groups, The New Jazz Quartet and CoCoMaMa. She is the bass chair for the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the most legendary band in American history. All About Jazz praised Ms. Vincent for “getting a bass to sing".

Drummer, percussionist, composer, and arranger Tony DeVivo started working professionally as a musician at the age of sixteen in Caracas in 1986, and has been living in New York since 1991. Mr. DeVivo has toured South America, West Africa, Europe, Russia, and China. He has participated with The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the U.S. Department of State for inclusion in the "Jazz Ambassadors" program (Jazz Sabrosón Quartet), touring South America (2003) and West Africa (2006). Mr. DeVivo directs his own large group, the Winds of Wood Ensamble, and also performs nationally and internationally with the flamenco group Espiritu Gitano “Arturo Martinez,” Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orquestra, The Cintron Brothers, Gary Morgan’s big band Panamericana, and Pablo Moya’s YUKA SEKA.