photo: Jill Peltzmann 2017

Dafna Naphtali is a singer/instrumentalist/electronic-musician who composes/performs experimental, interactive electroacoustic music, drawing on a wide-ranging musical background in jazz, classical, rock and near-eastern music and using her custom Max/MSP programming.  She’s performed in the US, Canada, Europe, India, Russia and the Middle East, with current projects including: “Audio Chandelier” multi-channel audio works presented in US, Berlin, and Montreal, in 2020 at Harvestworks New Works residencyGovernors Island  in collaboration with metalsmith/designer Ayala Naphtali, and in July 2023 at APO-33 in Nantes, France.  Other projects include “Robotica” (music robots and voice) ; and her Audio Augmented Reality soundwalks “Walkie Talkie Dream Angles”, and “Walkie Talkie Dream Garden” site-specific interactive compositions written for the U-GRUVE AR platform for NY’s Washington Square Park, and the waterfront areas in Williamsburg Brooklyn and Hamburg Germany.

Dafna’s has long-running projects in live sound-processing of voice and acoustic instruments, as her a performable “instrument”.  The current focus is on duos with acoustic instrumentalists –pianist Gordon Beeferman (CD “Pulsing Dot”), trombonist Jen Baker (Clip Mouth Unit), percussionist Luis Tabuenca (CD “Index of Refraction”), Chuck Bettis (electronics/throat – CD “Chatter Blip” and 2020 release “Microcosmopolitan”), saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Ras Moshe, saxophonist Edith Lettner, and a longtime duo with Hans Tammen (Buchla, endangered guitar). Performing as a singer (unplugged!), Naphtali has interpreted the music of Cage, Stockhausen (Stimmung w/choreographer Daria Fain / Magic Names vocal sextet), Eisler/Brecht (Hollywood Liederbuch), and contemporary composers Joshua Fried, Shelley Hirsch, Kitty Brazelton, José Halac, Terry Riley (In C), Yotam Haber, Jonathan Bepler, she’s performed Spanish Civil War songs with the genre-transcending band Barbez, and organized “Voice Activated” public interventions for Make Music NY.

Fellowships/awards include: Guggenheim Fellowship 2023, NY Foundation for the Arts (’22, ‘13, ‘01), Mutual Mentorship for Musicians Fall 2022 cohort, NY State Council on the Arts (’99, ’18), Brooklyn Arts Council (’18), Franklin Furnace, American Composers Forum (’99, ’09), Foundation for Contemporary Arts, American Music Center; residencies: Music/OMI, STEIM, and Signal Culture. Discography includes “What is it Like to be a Bat?” digital punk trio with Kitty Brazelton (Tzadik), “Pulsing Dot” duo with pianist Gordon Beeferman, CDs with Chuck Bettis, Hans Tammen, and many as side-person / singer.  Her work-in-progress album, “Machines & Memory”, is commissioned pieces since 2010: “Panda Half-Life” (vocal sextet and electronics), “Marching Men” (voice/chamber group/electronics) and Robotica (voice/music robots).  More information about Dafna’s Walkie Talkie Dreams soundwalks are at

“…luminary” (Time Out New York)

“extraordinary experimental vocalist”  (Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery)

Dafna Naphtali at All About Jazz

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