Asefa (ah-say-fah): (noun, from Hebrew) A collective, assembly or gathering, with purpose. The collective, here being musicians sharing in a discursive language of song, present for their audience a musical text. On stages worldwide, Asefa blends Middle Eastern culture, North African grooves, and Sephardi sounds with jazz and popular music sensibilities. Vocals in Arabic and Hebrew, sax, guitars, oud, bass, guimbri, and percussion rock the house and get the crowd moving every time. Bandleader Samuel Torjman Thomas studied performance and jazz composition at renowned Berklee College of Music before beginning his Ph.D in Ethnomusicology at CUNY Graduate Center.