“Superb musicianship and palpable enthusiasm…creating a sense of human communication with the divine.”
— All Things Considered, NPR
About Eliyahu Sills
Eliyahu Sills is a highly acclaimed musician of many instruments and deep knowledge of multiple musical traditions, from spiritual music of the Middle East and India to American musics of Soul and Jazz and their African roots.
He is a leader and collaborator of many projects, most notably, The Qadim Ensemble, which brings together diverse cultures of the Middle East, whose CD reached #7 on Billboard’s World Music charts; and BOLO which blends infectious rhythms of dance music, the improvisation of jazz, the cultural depth of world music, and the soulfulness of devotional kirtan. Eliyahu also performs as a solo artist and with his duo, playing Hindustani Ragas, Middle Eastern Sufi music, and Jewish songs on the oud, ney, and bansuri.
Known for his authenticity and soulful musicianship, Eliyahu Sills has been performing music for over 20 years on multiple instruments, including bansuri (the bamboo flute of India), and Turkish and Arabic ney (the reed flute of the middle east), the upright bass, and electric bass. He performs throughout the country with his critically acclaimed bands The Qadim Ensemble, BOLO, and as a solo artist as well as collaborating with many highly acclaimed musicians.
Eliyahu has performed and recorded with Arabic oudist and singer Naser Musa, Iranian Santoor player Hamid Saeidi, Ethiopian born jazz/soul vocalist Meklit Hadero, world music with Rupa & the April Fishes, devotional music with Shimshai, middle eastern music with oudist/composer Yuval Ron, Za’atar, and with members of Diwan Halev, West African folk music with the Palm Wine Boys, soul roots reggae with the Original Intentions, acoustic soul with Sparlha Swa conscious Hip-hop with Rebels Advocate, and Hindustani Ragas with Jason Ranjit Parmar.
Eliyahu has studied for over a decade with the late Hindaustani bansuri flute master G.S. Sachdev, one of the worlds most highly esteemed musicians in that ancient tradition.
In Istanbul, Turkey he studied the ney under masters Neyzen Omer Erdogdular and Neyzen Ahmet Kaya. He returned two years later to further his studies. Later in Israel he studied with Neyzen Itamar Shachar. In Morocco Eliyahu studied Arabic ney (nai) with Akdii Abdelsalaam, as well as Gnawa music with Hossein Bohalibambara Bziz.
In the 1990’s, studied at the New School of Jazz in New York City, playing upright bass. His most influential teachers there were Makanda Ken McIntyre, Arnie Lawrence, and Reggie Workman, who played with John Coltrane and Art Blakey,