To say that this young woman has broken barriers in Middle Eastern Music would be gross understatement. Raquy Danziger is a prodigy that has thrilled listeners in the Mid-East, and in the U.S. A professional doumbek player in a world that is, not only male dominated ... but male defined and controlled. In that universe, some women dance. And a few play the tambourine. But, as a rule, women don't drum. Period.
The first time I ever heard of Raquy, someone sent me this youtube of her playing in the Egyptian style ... with Said Al Artist. (Note, the stage is full of his students, all men.)
When I saw Raquy LIVE, her music was somewhat Americanized (thanks to her band called the "Cavemen.") She sounded like this:
And she taught like this:
Over the past couple of years I had lost track of Raquy's studies and exploits... so I did another youtube search and found that she had been studying in Istanbul. Her latest teacher, Binyamin, appears to have been working her to death. She gives him credit in this new video:
One can only imagine what it must take for an Israeli-American women to earn the respect of the men who drum professionally in Egypt and Turkey. Quite frankly, it appears an anomaly that they will even teach her. Knowing that she could well surpass their level of skill must make that doubly daunting. In that sense, Raquy is more than remarkable. She has accomplished a bonafide Feminist feat!
Breaking the glass ceiling of middle eastern music? Ha! This young woman has rocketed through the ceiling and resides on another planet. If you ever get a chance to see her perform, I highly recommend that you do!
Disclaimer: SYD admits that she knows a thing or two about mid-east drumming. Her DH is a doumbek player with apparent bloodlines from Moroccan influenced France. The opinion that Raquy has accomplished a Feminist feat is based upon SYD's first hand impressions and experiences. It may have no basis in Egyptian or Turkish historical reality. If you are curious, take a look at the drumming coming out of those two countries... and decide for yourself just what a novelty a female, master doumbek player is. (Enjoy the drumming too! It is fantastique!!)
"Just Tell Them...
I have worked 40 years to make the Women's Suffrage platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon."
Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony