Recognized as a leading musical folklorist and a master singer and guitarist, Gerard Edery has at his command a remarkable range of ethnic folk styles and traditions from around the world. He sings in fifteen languages and speaks four fluently. Not only does he regularly uncover and preserve songs, stories and melodies from Europe, the Middle East, South America and ancient Persia, he energizes these repertoires by interpreting them for contemporary audiences and by teaming up with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed virtuoso musicians. His special brand of world music fusion prizes formal authenticity and an appreciation for how disparate cultures overlap, parallel each other and often borrow from one another. He is a recipient of the Sephardic Musical Heritage Award.
One of the world’s foremost experts in the wide-ranging music of the Sephardic Diaspora (including repertoire from the Judeo-Arab, Judeo-Spanish, Argentinian, Middle-Eastern, Northern European and Eastern European musical worlds) Edery has conceived a number of exciting and distinct live concerts which he and his various collaborators and ensembles regularly play around the world: TWO FAITHS, ONE VOICE (with singer Maria Krupoves) traces the peripatetic wanderings of Sephardic music from Medieval Spain to modern Eastern Europe; EDERY SINGS YUPANQUI presents the songs of Atahualpa Yupanqui considered to be one of the most influential Argentine folk musicians and poets of the 20th century; A brand new multi-media concert, SPIRIT OF SEPHARAD: From Casbah to Caliphate, explores all the rich cultural strains that influenced Sephardic/Mizrahi Jews from The Golden Age in Medieval Spain to the present. This astonishing program highlights the shared melodies of many cultures and of the three primary monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianianity and Islam. It suggests that no culture was ever truly alone; THE MINSTREL AND THE STORYTELLER (with spoken word artist Penninah Schram) brings to light fascinating stories and songs from the Ashkenaze and Sephardic oral traditions.
Highlights of Edery’s extensive performing career include performances at Zankel Hall (Carnegie Hall), Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Merkin Concert Hall , Florence Gould Hall, and The United Nations in both New York City and Geneva, Victoria Hall in Geneva, The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Royce Hall in L.A., The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, the Fez International Festival of Sacred Music in Morocco, the Festival Cervantino in Mexico, the Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam where he recently sang the opening gala concert at the historic Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue and where he also served on the jury of their musical competition. He has also performed at the Vilnius International Folk Festival, the Pax Sacred Music Festival and the Klaipeda Concert Series (with chamber orchestra) in Lithuania; at the International Folk Music Festival, the Zachor Music Festival in Bialystock and at the Warsaw Music Academy in Poland, among others. He was especially honored to perform for the 300-year anniversary celebration of the Bevis Marks Synagogue, the oldest Sephardic Synagogue in the UK..
Gerard Edery has been an active educator for all ages. He has been a featured artist for Carnegie Hall’s Musical Explorers series, the 92nd Street Y Educational Outreach Program, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Center for Jewish History, LIMMUD in Warwick, UK and for the Spirit of Fez educational outreach at Royce Hall in L.A. to name a few. He has also served as part-time faculty at The Manhattan School of Music, American Institute of Guitar and Hebrew Arts School in New York City. He has also led workshops, Master Classes and Artist-in-Residencies at the 92nd St. Y and Columbia University (NYC), University of Judaism (L.A.), University of Guanajuato (Mexico), McGill University (Montreal) and Simpson College (Des Moines), as well as in synagogues and JCCs throughout the U.S.
Sefarad Records, which Edery founded in 1991, is a contemporary musical enterprise that produces recordings and live concerts of ethnic folk music from a remarkably diverse repertoire spanning many centuries and cultures. He has released 15 CDs on the label as well as a much acclaimed Sephardic Songbook.
Gerard Edery specializes in the music of the Sephardic diaspora, which is no small corner to stake out. The cultures of Sephardic Jews span continents and cross oceans, and include the music and lore of countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America—they’ve been especially important in liminal zones like the Middle East and the Balkans, and they’ve cross-influenced other wandering tribes like the Romany. With a guitar style touched by the fluidity of flamenco and a deep voice slightly reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, Edery brings his copious historical and anthropological research to life—he’s studied places and times like the early Argentinian Jewish community and the Jewish cultural life of medieval Muslim Spain—and in the process transports his listeners to another past in another country. M.K. – Chicago World Music Festival
“Gerard Edery’s vocal and guitar mastery transported those present…an artist at the height of his powers.” - A.M. Guanajuato, Mexico
“Edery and his band are among the best interpreters of Sephardic Music in the business.” - The New York Jewish Week
“His utter ease is more likely the product of the same self-assurance and relaxation that make him comfortable singing in a dozen different languages, playing guitar in a multitude of styles and negotiating more than a half-millennium’s worth of Sephardic cultural history.” - The New York Jewish Week