World Music Ensembles

Ensemble Mezze  is Miriam’s current Mediterranean music ensemble, based in Minnesota. Ensemble Mezze specializes in compelling, evocative and lively music from across the Mediterranean region.

Upcoming performances:

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  • Little Mekong, Lao Thai Family Restaurant and Irrigate  present Little Mekong Musical Buffett: A Taste of the Mediterranean with the musical group  Ensemble Mezze. on Saturday night October 12, 2013 from 7 to 9 pm. The evening will feature music from the Mediterranean and a special $7.99 food buffet for your dining pleasure! Lao Thai Family Restaurant is located 501 University Avenue West, Saint Paul, MN 55103, (651) 224-5026.
  • Oct. 19, Saturday at 2 pm – free performance at Hosmer LIbrary, East Lake Street, Minneapolis

Background on the group is posted below the group’s picture!

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The word Mezze is a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Balkans, and as such, the Ensemble’s performance provides a feast of music traveling from Spain, across North Africa, through the Middle East, Israel, Turkey and up into Greece and the Balkans.  We’ll hear songs sung in Spanish, Ladino, Arabic,  Hebrew, Greek, Rom and Turkish.  The group’s musicians include Miriam on accordion and the Arabic qanun  zither, Rachel Milloy on vocals and percussion, Scott  Mateo Davies on flamenco guitar and oud, David Stenshoel on violin and Stephen Spaise on percussion.

Ensemble Mezze  recently performed a commissioned  evening’s concert at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis as part of their 416 Commission Series, and at the Worthington MN International Festival.

The ensemble members bring long histories and experience with this diverse repertoire to the group. A well-established ethnomusicologist, composer, and founder of The Minnesota Global Arts Institute, band leader Miriam has a long history of working cross-culturally with her music. She has performed Arabic, Turkish, Israeli and Yiddish music for over 20 years. Miriam and vocalist Rachel Milloy co-founded Ensemble Mezze, later bringing in the other musicians into the group. She teaches World Musics at Hamline University. Vocalist/ percussionist Rachel Milloy and guitarist/oudist Scott Mateo Davies have collaborated since 2007, sharing their love of Flamenco and other related Mediterranean music, such as Greek/Balkan Romani (Gypsy) and Sephardic music as well as Argentinian Tango. Mateo regularly tours Spain, the US and recently China performing Flamenco guitar. David Stenshoel, violin, a fixture in the Minnesota music scene, performs with many world music groups in the Twin Cities: Boiled in Lead (Irish),Voices of Sepharad (Sephardic), Saharan Nights (Arabic pop), Robayat (Persian), and Yiddishe Folksmenshn among many others. And Stephen Spaise plays the Drumkit, Arabic, Balkan & Latin Percussion, and also performs with many area groups most recently with Orchestra Bastet, Caravan Dance and Music, and The Other Country Ensemble.

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