Founded and led by the first female 'oud player to graduate Berklee College of Music, Aliya Cycon Project blends her jazzy and soulful compositions with characteristics of traditional Arabic music to create an unforgettable East-meets-West experience.
Along with leading the band on her acoustic 'oud, her Godin Guitars electric 'multioud' and her voice, Cycon composes and arranges all the band's repertoire--having picked up a passion for orchestration while completing her Contemporary Writing & Production major at Berklee. The band members represent a vast array of countries including Iran, Dominican Republic and Palestine. As a result, the group's sound has taken on aspects of many cultures.
The music of the group crosses genres of pop, latin, world music and Middle-eastern fusion. No two pieces are the same, and ACP prides itself in its musical diversity. Some pieces are up-tempo as they dance through intriguing rhythmic patterns, while others are deep and introspective and seduce listeners through repetitive melodic motives. Her Godin electric oud enables Cycon to further fuse traditional and contemporary.
The music of ACP has been likened to that of Middle Eastern mavericks such as Ziad Rahbani and Charbel Rouhana, and the band has opened for major world music artists including Amir el-Saffar and Vieux Farka Toure. This summer, ACP share the same stage as Pedrito Martinez Group and Tank & the Bangas at the renowned Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA. There are also slated to perform in Pennsylvania's famous Musikfest in the city of Bethlehem in August. Downbeat Magazine described their first album as "an alluring, shimmering dance between world pop and traditional Arabic music." (Frank John Hadley, March 2016). Their second album, Prayer, will be released in August and explores the power of large orchestration, much inspired by the world-famous Yanni, and other large fusion ensembles like Forbidden Saints. The two album release parties scheduled at the end of August will feature ACP's 11-piece group, which includes a string section, horns, and various percussion instruments, to make for a memorable and electrifying night of music.
ACP brings to life Cycon’s long held goal of making accessible the lilting charm of Arabic music to a broader audience of both Easterners and Westerners, musicians and non. Fusing her love of cultures, travel, spirituality and originality, Aliya Cycon Project creates a world of its own.
The Aliya Cycon Project's We Will Be Light (self-release, 28:22) finds Berklee-schooled Cycon doing an alluring, shimmering dance between world pop and traditional arabic music. Her [oud] sometimes projects a palpable effervescence, other times an incisive ambiguity. Frank John Hadley, Downbeat Magazine
... I’ve had the pleasure of watching her and her ensemble develop a unique sound that courageously traverses boundaries and musical styles. Her compositions and playing are intelligent, heartfelt, and original. I have no doubt that the music Aliya will make will have lasting impact, with potential to make a positive
contribution to humanity. Amir elSaffar, Iraqi Jazz Trumpeter
Aliya Cycon has immersed herself fully in the deep well of Middle Eastern music. The early returns are very promising. In her playing, writing and her choice of collaborators, Cycon demonstrates a seriousness borne of a joy for music-making and a reverence for tradition. Glen Siegel, WMUA Radio Host
Greenfield Recorder (7/14/17) - Feelin' oud: Former Leverett woman brings her Middle-Eastern Vibe to kick off Green River Festival
Downbeat Magazine (3/2016) - String Bound article pictured below
Fusion Magazine (10/17/15) - Aliya Cycon Project
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