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, both ensembles which are dedicated to increasing the visibility of women and gender-nonconforming people in the klezmer scene. 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”, to be release summer 2018, combines new compositions with klezmer, Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian folk music.
Zoë is a frequent collaborator of Bessie Award-winning choreographer Joya Powell, having composed and performed music for three different pieces of Powell’s: Song and Dance You (2016), (For) Those We Left Behind (2017), and A Life of Many Seasons (2018). She is a band member of Litvakus, a Belurusian klezmer band, and Blue Dahlia, a Francophile world groove band. Other recent projects have included a piece for dance collective Konverjdans with improvising musician Chris Aiello, and Canadian singer Ben Caplan’s most recent album, “Old Stock”.
I am studying in Hungary, Germany and Romania! Catch me with Farnakht at Yiddish Summer Weimar on July 28. I will be back in the States on August 6.
SELECTED PAST PERFORMANCES
Zoë is the founding music teacher at Family Life Academy Charter School II, located in the South Bronx. She has taught there since 2012 and currently teaches general music to grades K, 1 and 2 as well as 30+ violin students who attend an after-school violin program. 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 not currently accepting private students.