Zoë Aqua is a violinist based in Brooklyn, NY.
From February to August of 2017, she served as the full-time understudy for the Klezmatics’ Lisa Gutkin in the Broadway production of “Indecent”, ultimately going onstage over 18 times. "Indecent" is a Tony-winning play by esteemed playwright Paula Vogel about the creation of the Yiddish play “The God of Vengeance”.
Quickly becoming an in-demand violinist in the klezmer scene, Zoë is a co-founder of Tsibele and Farnakht, and performs regularly with Litvakus, Ternovka, the Honorable Mentschn, and more. Tsibele’s debut album "It's Dark Outside/ In Droysn iz Finster" was released in 2017 and features dark and atmospheric original arrangements of Yiddish songs. Farnakht’s debut album “Ultraviolet” was released in 2018 and combines new compositions with klezmer, Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian folk music. In the summer of 2018, she performed at Yiddish Summer Weimar with Farnakht and studied Hungarian folk music in Hungary and Transylvania.
Zoë is a frequent collaborator of Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joya Powell, having composed and performed music for three different pieces: Song and Dance You (2016), (For) Those We Left Behind (2017), and A Life of Many Seasons (2018). Other recent projects have included a piece for dance collective Konverjdans, and playing on Canadian singer Ben Caplan’s most recent album “Old Stock”. Upcoming projects include composing music for a new devised theater piece led by director Coral Cohen and in collaboration with 6 esteemed Jewish women performers, which will premiere in January 2019.
Thurs Jan 18- Sun Feb 10, 15 shows: I’m very excited to announce a new devised theater piece in which I will be performing original music. Between the Threads (Jewish Women Project) is an interdisciplinary performance by an ensemble of Jewish women artists that explores personal history to interrogate the meaning of Judaism in this historical American moment. At HERE Arts Center in Soho, $25. More info here.
Sat Jan 19: Golden Fest, one of my favorite events of the entire year!! I’m playing with Litvakus at 9:45, Tsibele at 10:15, and Michael Winograd and the Honorable Mentschn at 12:10 am. More info here.
Sun Jan 20 at 7pm: Golden Fest afterparty! Come out to hear a special set with my awesome sister Annie Aqua! We’re playing as the Aqua Sisters Fidl Kapelye and will be mixing some epic old-school doinas with new compositions. Concert to benefit the Yes Project, which supports kids learning Balkan music. At the Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, $10
Thurs Jan 31: Tsibele plays the New York Klezmer Series! At Town and Village Synagogue on the Lower East Side.
SELECTED PAST PERFORMANCES:
Zoë is the founding music teacher at Family Life Academy Charter School II, located in the South Bronx. From 2012-2018 she taught general music well as 30+ violin students who attend an after-school violin program. In 2018 she moved to only violin classes in order to pursue more performing and touring.
In addition to her extensive work with children, she has led well-received workshops for all ages at Klezkanada, the New York Klezmer Series, Yiddish New York, and Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center. Her educational interests include helping musicians of all levels of experience build their tonal aptitude and become more comfortable with improvisation.
She is currently accepting private students. Additionally, from January-March 2019 she will continue to teach a popular Klezmer Community Band Class on Monday nights, located at the at Brooklyn Conservatory School of Music in Park Slope. Come join us!