Gaida is a vocalist and composer working at the intersection of the New York Arab and improvised music scenes. Her compositions draw at once on classical Arabic song, Syrian folk traditions, and free improvisations that expand on traditional Arabic maqams (modes) to produce an original and highly personal style marked by great emotional intensity. An acclaimed singer from an early age, Gaida was born in Germany and raised in Damascus. Later she lived in Kuwait, Paris, and Detroit, where she received classical voice training at Wayne State University. Now settled in New York, Gaida works with leading music artists such as Amir ElSaffar, Brahim Fribgane, Tareq Abboushi, Zafer Tawil, and Rufus Cappadocia. Gaida has recorded for major motion pictures, including Jonathan Demme's Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains, in which she recorded with Gillian Welsh and Alejandro Escovedo. She also appeared on Jonathan Demme’s latest film Rachel Getting Married and recorded with Robyn Hitchcock, composed and recorded a song for The Hennegan Brothers' documentary film The First Saturday in May. Gaida’s debut CD, Levantine Indulgence was recorded in September of 2008 and awaiting to be released. Gaida also maintains a parallel career as a speech pathologist.
Gaida’s forthcoming CD, Levantine Indulgence, a song sequence of alluring beauty, is steeped in the traditional music of her Syrian heritage, but also shows the eclectic worldview of a New York singer-songwriter - David R. Adler, Timeout New York
“[Gaida] improvised incantatory lines as an accomplished jazz vocalist might have done… [her] plaintive, gauzy vocals effectively disarmed listeners” - Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
Voice / vocals
Willing to teach