Samuel Torjman Thomas, Ph.D., is an ethnomusicologist and multi-instrumentalist (oud, sax/clarinet, vocals, ney, and frame drums). As artistic director of the NewYork Andalus Ensemble and ASEFA, he journeys through a lush Mediterranean garden of songs in Hebrew, Arabic, Ladino, and Spanish, highlighting intercultural exchange in the expressive cultures of North Africa and the Middle East. His interactive workshops bring participants into worlds of Jewish song traditions – Sephardi piyyutim (poetry), wordless Chassidic niggunim, Klezmer music and dance, and chazzanut liturgical practices.
Dr. Torjman Thomas teaches music, interdisciplinary studies, and Sephardic studies at the City University of New York, including courses on world music, American vernacular musics and jazz history, religious studies, ethnic studies, and diaspora studies. He is a frequent guest speaker at cultural institutions, universities, and in multi-denominational ecumenical spaces worldwide. His formal talks center on historical and cultural topics related to Sephardi-Mizraḥi Jewry.