is a singer-songwriter who collects stories and stamps on her passport. Her journey has taken her from New York City to New Orleans, from Lake Victoria, Africa, to Vancouver, Canada, from Bangalore, India, to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, a beach town located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico and Isahrai’s home base since 2004. As part of the flamenco fusion quartet, La Boquita, and then with the Son d’Aka world music collective, she has sampled from the soundtrack of her travels to redefine her lilting soprano voice as a blend of the many musical traditions and cultural touchstones she has experienced.
Trained as a classical soprano at Mannes Conservatory in New York City, Isahrai thought she’d live a quiet yet melodic life of songs written a century or two ago. But life’s unpredictability, a life-threatening illness, an insatiable wanderlust and an accidental move to Mexico, brought folk music and jazz, kirtan and indie rock, boleros and bossa nova into her repertoire. Along the way, she found a melancholy yet hopeful voice as a singer-songwriter.
In 2010, Isahrai released the album, Making It Up as I Go Along, along with the soulful and talented Charlie Phalen. The songs captured a hard won idealism, an unwavering conviction that love in all its manifestations should be celebrated and fought for. Upon the completion of her promotional tour for the album, Isahrai returned to the ocean and to Zihuatanejo where she returned to making music with Son d’Aka and, principally, Pablo Araujo. It was a sweet homecoming.
Between gigs, Isahrai found a new musical genre: lullabies. Ellery Bea was born in late 2011 and has brought the music of laughter, clapping and made up melodies. The rhythm of each day is completely different and more improvised than the most unpredictable of jazz solos. And Isahrai wouldn’t have it any other way.
When the music ends and I’m nowhere to be found, the band has an encore. Don’t look to the door.
– “Migration Heart”
The winds of change are blowing… Isahrai & Ellery Bea are packing their bags and saying bittersweet goodbyes to their home in Zihuatanejo. Next stop: Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. Stay tuned…
I believe that love is love and love is lovely for that. – “Human Rights”
from Making It Up as I Go Along