'Skyland, named after the farm [in which the album was recorded], has to be one of the most ear-opening albums of the year. During the 1960s, Kaleidoscope featuring David Lindley stretched the boundaries of world music within a rock band about as far as they could be stretched, walking away with a reputation as heroes for sonic adventurers. The Guy Mendilow Band may not be quite as rambunctious, but they are no less daring.' - The Boomer's Guide to Music & News 'This isn't for quirky ears, it's for jaded ears that need to be shaken awake with something substantially different that keeps the interest on the beam throughout. Delightfully different, even when it seems like it might be familiar. ' -Chris Spector, Midwest Record "The glory of what [Mendilow] does is finding a common ground among different cultures. And that's what makes his music so exciting." - Jewish Advocate The music on 'Skyland' challenges the concept of borders - both national and musical. Drawing from a life lived in Israel, South Africa, Brazil and the United States, Guy Mendilow breaks down musical boundaries with an inventive blend of Israeli peace songs and Sephardi canticas tempered with Bahian street beats and Blues. Performing in Hebrew, Arabic, Ladino, Portuguese and English, the band skillfully fuses tradition with a contemporary sound. Alongside lush vocal harmonies, woodwinds and strings, the five members of the Guy Mendilow Band create intricate textures with berimbaus, percussion, trancy jaw harps, and Mendilow's award-winning overtone singing. "This is, to folk, what Bela Fleck is to Foggy Mountain Breakdown. This is unusual and exciting." - Philadelphia Folk Song Society 'Sala'am', an Israeli anthem used during the peace marches, subtly introduces Brazilian elements in it's arrangement and whose warm harmonies nod to Crosby, Stills & Nash. The ancient Sephardi song 'Durme Durme', is in a tastefully modern setting and sung in that melting pot language of Spanish, Arabic, Greek, and Hebrew, created from the wanderings of the ancient Jews from Spain to the Mediterranean and Middle East. The group pushes the sonic envelope by taking ancient instruments in new directions -- whimsically, with a refusal to take itself too seriously. On 'Whistler's Brother', Mendilow's award-winning overtone singing playfully duels with a flute. 'Blues for Dino' -- a tongue-in-cheek slide berimbau (musical bow and arrow) blues number - is a tip of the hat to Brazilian berimbau hero Dino Nascimento. A citizen of Israel, Great Britain and the United States, Guy Mendilow's musical mission is to explore the connection between places he's called home. Mendilow spent his formative years playing hopscotch between continents when his musician-turned-professor father was invited to a succession of teaching posts. From early childhood, most aspects of Mendilow's life were a cultural, linguistic and musical mix. Mendilow grew up participating in late night song circles and living room concerts with local musicians in his different homes, whether in Jerusalem or Johannesburg and whether the songs were Israeli, South African, English or American. Mendilow sings in six tongues and is fluent in four. Out in the world, Mendilow has oriented his band around the premise that music, and music making, can play a unique role in the effort to transform 'the other' into a fellow human being to whom one can at least listen, if not necessarily agree. 'It was the height of Apartheid and my family, though secular and Israeli, was invited to participate in one of the only integrated churches in Johannesburg,' Mendilow recalls about the sparks of this passion. 'We were sitting in my elementary school gym after-hours, a large gathering. The services were almost entirely singing: blacks and whites together, in beautiful harmonies. It lit something strong in me.' It's not surprising that the Guy Mendilow Band includes world class musicians from Israel, Argentina, Japan and the United States -- nor to find the group now partnering with international peacemaking organizations, such as Seeds of Peace, whose work with Palestinian and Israeli youth and adult educators helps forge the personal relationships so critical to communication and reconciliation. "Guy Mendilow is quickly developing a reputation as a masterful, deeply passionate and sincere performer." - Winner, World Music Song Contest - Global Rhythm Magazine To Guy Mendilow the music cannot be separated from the message, whether you are part of the audience at Bethlehem Musikfest, New York's Tribeca Performing Arts Center, in a master workshop with government education ministers from Palestine, Israel, Jordan or Lebanon, or swapping songs between Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the 26 diverse young people in the American Boychoir - Mendilow's first touring experience at age 10. The Guy Mendilow Band's message is coming through loud and clear. Mendilow's innovative workshops, residencies and teacher trainings, focusing on improvisation as a tool for communication, have led to ongoing collaborations with cutting-edge international social justice organizations like Seeds of Peace and to invitations to present at schools and conferences across the United States and Brazil. Blurring boundaries and connecting sounds, syncopations, rhythms and roots is central to the mission inspiring the Guy Mendilow Band's latest CD, 'Skyland.' Drawing from his life lived in Israel, South Africa and Brazil (and now, the United States) where musical collaboration cuts through ancient conflict, Guy Mendilow is sowing the seeds of peace with music -- by creating person to person connections, one song at a time.
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