Call from the East: The Mizrahi Tradition

On Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 7:30 pm, Journeys of Jewish Music sponsored by the Victoria Jewish Community Choir continues with a Call from the East: The Mizrahi Tradition with Gary Cohen and Amber Woods.

For centuries, Jews lived in Arabic countries where their music influenced, and was influenced by, the local culture. This music has been called Mizraḥi—the Hebrew term for “Eastern”. Gary Cohen and Amber Woods of the world folk duo, Kouskous, will share the flavours and rhythms of various regions of the Middle East and Mediterranean basin—including Morocco, Turkey and Yemen. Through musical examples, they will explore the influence of the Sephardic populations, the features of Arabic music, and the unique traditions of several regions. With infectious rhythms and intoxicating melodies, this promises to be a most engaging journey to the East. 

Gary Cohen began his musical career as a teenager. He was inspired by his mother’s singing of Jewish songs, and was greatly influenced by his friend, teacher and mentor, Moshe Denburg. Gary was a co-founder of Tzimmes, and has played in a number of bands, ranging from Greek to Klezmer.  Currently he fronts the world folk music duo, Kouskous.

Amber Woods came to music through many years of folk dancing, and her studies of Egyptian Dance with Carol Sokoloff.  The wonderful rhythms moved her to study the Middle Eastern hand drum and tambourine.  She is the other half of the world folk music duo, Kouskous.

To register for this session, please send an email to the following address:

For further information on Journeys in Jewish Music,  please consult: or contact Carol at:

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An inclusive, warm, and progressive Conservative synagogue in Victoria, B.C.

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