Danyavaad & the Shimmy Sisters

Greg Vaughan: Sitar | Gabriel Penix: Drums, Percussion | Sandy Bagri: Bass guitar | Adelaide Marcus: Performance art | Leilainia: Performance art

Genre: Pop, Rock, World

Sound description: Modern Middle Eastern and Indian fusion.

RIYL: Ravi Shankar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Peter Gabriel

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Inception: San Diego, 2006

Current Status: Danyavaad and the Shimmy Sisters are always creating new ideas to make their live show more exciting, and the band has already started working on several songs for a second album. The atmosphere of freedom and innovation continue to thrive as they look forward to a bright and adventurous future. They perform monthly at Portugalia's club Nomads.

Influences: World music, exotic instruments, Middle Eastern music, Indian music


Danyavaad means “thank you” in Hindi.

The band plays live original Middle Eastern-flavored music featuring the electric sitar and tribal drumbeats. They create an atmosphere of Middle Eastern lounge mixed with Indian vibes and rock. Their unique songs are originals by Greg Vaughan, Gabriel Penix, and Sandy Bagri.

The Shimmy Sisters (Leilainia and Adelaide Marcus) embellish aspects of creativity and art in their inspiring belly-dance performances. Their diverse show may include snakes, swords, candles, fire fingers, isis wings, glow Hula Hoops, and traditional belly-dance props. They were born into a culture of creativity by their belly-dancing mother and artist-musician father. The Shimmy Sisters are talented, inspiring, authentic, athletic entertainers.

Danyavaad and the Shimmy Sisters have performed at multiple high-end events, such as the U.S. Open, On Broadway, Belo, Stingaree, the Harley-Davidson Corporation, the National Bank Corporation, and Qualcomm. Their amazing show, costuming, and charisma draw guests into the mysterious atmosphere of the Far East. They bring the mystery, color, and spice of the East to life.

Greg Vaughan met Gabriel and Leilainia Penix on May 28, 2005, at their old loft apartment in downtown San Diego. Singer-songwriter Marie Haddad had asked Greg to play a show with her at Twiggs Coffee House downtown. She said that if he did the gig she would take him to a party with lots of belly dancers afterward. Five minutes after Greg met Leilainia and told her that he had been playing professionally for years, taught guitar, won a local guitar contest called Guitarmageddon in March, and bought an electric sitar a week earlier, she informed him they would be working together. A few months later her sister Adelaide Marcus moved to San Diego from Texas, and Danyavaad & the Shimmy Sisters sparked into creation.

While Gabriel was getting a haircut from local bellydancer Sabrina Fox, he mentioned that he was looking for a DJ. After he described exactly what the group needed, she said she had the perfect guy. After the first conversation Gabriel had with Sandy Bagri (DJ Sandbag), a meeting was scheduled to plan an event.

In June 2007 Danyavaad and the Shimmy Sisters had the honor of being chosen for the cover of Vision magazine for an article titled "Modern Day Gods & Goddesses." The article covered the various artistic, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the festival scene in Southern California. Sandy and his promotion company Sandcastle Events, cofounded with DJ Blue, were mentioned in the article.

In January 2008 Danyavaad released a three-song EP CD containing the tracks "Eastern Road," "Danyavaad," and "Fairuza." The group is currently finishing up an album. The CD package will also include a DVD featuring music videos and instructional segments for belly dance, sitar, doumbek, and bass.

Sitarist/guitarist Greg Vaughn, a 1988 Patrick Henry High School graduate, is known for his instrumental prowess. Having studied under Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth, Vaughn won the 2005 San Diego edition of Guitar Center’s Guitarmageddon competition. As of 2011, he also takes the part of a bat-winged guitar shredder in the Depeche Mode–themed Blasphemous Guitars.


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