New York City-based Middle Eastern fusion band Baklava Express has been making waves with their mission to introduce the enchanting sounds of the Middle East to a broader audience. The band’s debut album, “Davka,” is a delightful mosaic of musical influences, incorporating elements from the Arab world, Turkey, Greece, Jazz, Flamenco, Rock, and Eastern European Folk music.
Baklava Express is an extraordinary collective of talented musicians, including Josh Kaye on oud and composition, Daisy Castro on violin, John Murchinson on qanun, Max O’Rourke on guitar, James Robbins on bass, and Jeremy Smith on percussion. Together, they weave a rich tapestry of sounds, effortlessly blending diverse styles and traditions.
“Davka” comprises nine beautifully crafted songs, each a testament to the group’s penchant for blending cultural landscapes and breaking boundaries. The album is characterized by its slow and calm tempo, soothing the soul and setting a relaxing atmosphere that carries listeners away on a voyage through various emotions and moods. This harmonious fusion of genres showcases the band’s dedication to creating an inclusive and unifying musical experience.
The manner in which “Davka” examines themes of individual development, identity, and togetherness is one of its most notable features. Baklava Express’s unique instrumentation and style lend themselves to storytelling, with captivating melodies resonating across the album like a tapestry of intertwining narratives. This approach results in a cohesive and immersive listening experience that defies conventional genre boundaries.
While firmly rooted in Arabian-style music, “Davka” effortlessly blends in elements of jazz, flamenco, rock, and Eastern European folk music, paying homage to each tradition while creating something entirely new. The album’s fluidity demonstrates Baklava Express’s ability to transcend cultural barriers and create an expressive, shared language of music. One can’t help but draw comparisons to other artists who have seamlessly merged cultures, such as Afro Celt Sound System, Rodrigo y Gabriela, and even elements of Pink Floyd’s more experimental work.
For listeners new to Middle Eastern music, “Davka” serves as an accessible and enjoyable introduction. Those already familiar with the genre will undoubtedly appreciate the band’s innovative approach and intricate musicianship. No matter the listener’s background, “Davka” offers a profoundly moving experience that transcends geographical borders and musical conventions.
Baklava Express’s debut album “Davka” is a fascinating and engaging journey through a world of diverse musical traditions. The band’s unmistakable ability and dedication to their craft are evident throughout the album, producing a peaceful and immersive ambiance that is guaranteed to enchant music fans of all backgrounds. It is a triumphant celebration of unity, diversity, and the power of music to bridge cultural divides.