Basya Schechter Cantor

Basya is widely acclaimed as a songwriter , musician and performing artist. She is perhaps best known for her group, Pharaoh’s Daughter, a 7-piece world music ensemble that travels effortlessly through continents and language with a genre-bending sound. Basya’s earthy, soulful, beautiful voice rings out over the oud, strings, and keys that all blend together to form a vibrant vision of a new Middle East.

Basya is a graduate of the cantorial school at the neo-hasidic Aleph program (Jewish Renewal) and is the new  musical director at Romemu, an ecstatic, deep mind body spirit community in the Upper West Side/New York City. She has also  delved into Yiddish repertoire with her most recent release, “Songs of Wonder”, her settings of Abraham Joshua Heschel’s poetry to music. This project will be performed at YIDSTOCK in Amherst on July 20th.  She is set to release a new collection of contemplative prayers called “Dumiyah” in the fall on Magenta label. And is embarking on finishing and creating her eight full length album in the coming year, melodies to the love poetry from “Song of Songs.” (She is looking for a great title – winner gets 10 free cd’s!) In the last two and a half years she has been singing with an Upper West Side women’s choir that hosts several FIS congregants among its members.

Basya has been working with Rabbi Magid and the members of our Ritual Committee to plan for the coming season.  After co-initiating the new Friday night musical all participatory Kabbalat Shabbat services  last summer with Shaul Magid ,  she is very excited to see what’s on the horizon for this coming summer!