HuDost has the most

Band collides unlikely partnerships in musical style, personal background, community causes

by Leah Cagle    
Published: May 14, 2011 in A&E / Life&Style

Since her very first day of post-graduation freedom, with a major in visual arts and a minor in chamber music in her pocket, Moksha Sommer has dedicated her life to performing. Sommer’s amazingly supportive parents had known she was destined for the stage since their little girl informed them at the young age of six that she wanted to take piano lessons. Performing as a child, touring as a teen and launching directly from college into a full-time career, Sommer has always maintained a life saturated with a love for music and performance.

HuDost’s Moksha Sommer. She and bandmate Jamel Wade will perform at Charlotte’s FemmeFest on May 21. Photo Credit: Jane Feldman

The band creates a sound self-declared “neo-folk world rock with country and eastern fusion” — an appropriately eclectic description of their diverse musicians and styles.

“We come from completely different musical backgrounds,” Sommer says of the harmony created by the diversity and congruity of her primary musical partner in the band, Jemal Wade. “He comes from a completely Folk Punk Rock background. Whereas, I come from classical and even in my teens I started studying Eastern European.”

Despite drastically different musical foundations, the two have studied music together in several countries, most influentially India and Turkey, in order to learn new musical energies to bring into their sound.

The power of music to combine the unlikely doesn’t stop with the varied band members or creative ensemble either. HuDost has witnessed first-hand the way that music can unify people.

“We even do things where we have like Arabic songs and we will be in the deep south and audiences that are primarily Christian based start singing with us, singing Arabic chants, and it’s that kind of thing where, that wouldn’t happen even vaguely if it weren’t for music,” Sommer says. “It is a place of coming together… Music can be one of the very few things that just naturally brings things together.”

Dedicated to working with a pro-environmental focus, HuDost recently performed at an event sponsored by Whole Foods and appeared on stage at the Shakori Music Festival. In addition, HuDost has two upcoming relatively close upcoming shows, including a performance at The Tipsy Teapot in Greenville, S.C., and a local performance in NoDa at Charlotte’s annual FemmeFest on May 21.

“We absolutely just love coming to Charlotte because of the kind of musical community that is there,” Sommer says. “It’s such a special crew of folks that are in that area.”

In addition to enjoying the experience of creativity and connectedness with other musicians and music lovers, Sommer recognizes the strong power and influence to bring about social change through music.

“Musicians are often the voices of areas that need to be changed. It’s the thing that is actually taken in, it’s taken in by culture, and actually possibly responded to. Music is just a reflection of what needs to be heard at the time,” she says. “It makes it so that also things that could be very touchy or painful to delve into can be examined in a way that’s beautiful, that offers insight into it.”

To learn more about the band, visit hudost.com. To purchase tickets for their upcoming performance at FemmeFest, visit charlottefemmefest.org. : :