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.
After a long summer of composing, arranging, rehearsing, and multiple 14-hour recording sessions, Aliya Cycon Project's newest album PRAYER (2017) has come to life. PRAYER explores the power of large orchestration and draws inspiration from the world-famous Yanni and the arrangements of Henry Mancini.
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.
ACP has opened for major world music artists including Amir el-Saffar and Vieux Farka Toure. This summer, ACP shared the same stage as Pedrito Martinez Group and Tank & the Bangas at the renowned Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA. Downbeat Magazine described their first album as "an alluring, shimmering dance between world pop and traditional Arabic music." (Frank John Hadley, March 2016).
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.
Cycon delivers a new album, Prayer, which sounds like the soundtrack to an epic theatrical journey, invoking the spirit of Middle Eastern music while incorporating jazzy rhythms helped by the band's multi-instrumental attack. Songs like "Heartbeat" and the title track showcase both Cycon's virtuosic oud playing and her skill in crafting engaging melodies and movements, while her gentle vocals lead the way on the triumphant "Motherland" and "House on the Stone." Relix Magazine
[Prayer is] an absolute masterpiece. This new release is a breath of fresh air and very unique. Indulge into a world orchestra filled with tons of strings, percussion, vocals and a crisp/powerful production. This is gorgeous all around! Wow! The Drunken Coconut
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
Coverage of Tunisian tour (click below)
WRSI Radio Interview
Greenfield Recorder (8/16/17) - "Life of a musician better fits who I am"
Downbeat Magazine (3/2016) - String Bound article pictured below
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