Blending a psychedelic sensibility and a pan-Mediterranean sensuality, Basya Schechter leads her band, Pharaoh’s Daughter, through swirling Hasidic chants, Mizrachi and Sephardi folk-rock, and spiritual stylings filtered through percussion, flute, strings and electronica.Her sound has been cultivated by her Hasidic music background and a series of trips to the Middle East, Africa, Israel, Egypt, Central Africa, Turkey, Kurdistan and Greece.
She began retuning her guitar to sound like a cross between an Arabic oud and a Turkish saz, with harmonic minor melodies, and odd time signatures. With the many amazing musicians, named below and others as well she has recorded four albums, three with Pharaoh’s Daughter and one instrumental exploration with Persian santur player, Alan Kushan. PD also appears on three Tzadik label compilations: Voices in the Wilderness, the 10 year of anniversary of Zorn’s Masada compositions; a collection of Sasha Argov music; and, a Brazilian Jewish composer from earlier in the 20th century, Jacob Du Bandolim.
Pharaoh’s Daughter has toured extensively through America, Eastern and Western Europe, as well as Greece and the UK. This past summer, Pharaoh’s Daughter had the honor of debuting at Central Park’s Summer Stage series in August 2004, and has played such presigious stages as Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, and Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. When she’s not touring or performing, Basya plays darbuka, riq and frame drum as part of the B’nai Jeshurun music ensemble that accompanies Friday night services.
Over the past two years, Basya was the recipient of numerous compositional and project grants from NYSCA (New York State Council of the Arts) American Composers Forum (for Trance, and multilayered sound and video installation collaboration with fillmaker Pearl Gluck) and the American Music Center. She hopes to record Pharaoh’s Daughter’s fifth album, Hagar, within the next year.