With Morrocan and Israeli roots, Laura  regularly performs in Hebrew, Arabic and Ladino as part of the  New York Andalus Ensemble, ASEFA and in duo with Dror Shahaf. With Asefa and the NY Andalus Ensemble, Laura has performed at various venues, including DROM, La Nacional, JCC DC, JCC Manhattan, BMS, and Vassar College among others. Up next, a concert at the World Music Institute. 

Al Andalus

Check out our latest recording with Dror Shahaf!

Shir Hanoded - Laura Lassy Townsend & Dror Shahaf

Upcoming & Past Concerts

A Celebration of World Music & Dance

June 21, 2018

June 21, 2018

Thursday, 6:30 pm - 10:30 pm

Funky Joe's

455 W 56th Street, NYC

Please join us for an evening of live music, food, and drinks in the company of artists, friends, and supporters of WMI.


Live music by: Priya Darshini Trio & ASEFA

April 25, 2018

An evening of music and song from al-Andalus and North Africa

La Nacional

239 West 14th St

For five hundred years, Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side by side in medieval Iberia, sharing their arts and sciences to create a scintillating, multicultural tradition of music and poetry. Singing in Arabic, Hebrew, and Ladino to reflect this cultural pluralism, the New York Andalus Ensemble presents spiritual texts and songs of love and everyday life in Al-Andalus, emphasizing the expressive quality of the region’s shared tradition even as it respects the individual cultures that comprise it. Meticulous attention is paid to authenticity of style and pronunciation as ensemble members, hailing from Algeria, Syria, Israel, Morocco, and the United States, pool their linguistic and musical expertise.

“You won’t want to miss the chance to see such a diverse and versatile group.” —Spain Culture, New York

April 22, 2018

Vassar College

A musical treasury of individual and shared traditions among Jews and Muslims. It will highlight a range of musical styles from Jews and Muslims living in Arab lands and in Spain.

ASEFA is performing at Vassar College. The ensemble includes Samuel Torjman Thomas, oud/vocals; Laura Townsend, vocals; Eylem Basaldi, violin, John Murchison, bass; Daniel Kurfirst, percussion, incorporating music from North Africa and the Middle East.

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