The Recording Academy GRAMMY Awards


"Sing Me Home" by Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble (Featuring Black Sea Hotel on "Sadila Jana")


The Wall Street Journal

"A multimedia piece that defies strict categories...the most striking sections feature Balkan folk singing by Ms. Small and Ms. Thomas, where the anguished harmonic friction between the drone and the melody has a stronger erotic charge than the punk rock."

- The Wall Street Journal


The Theater Times

"A perfect synthesis of opera and media. Combining tribal and post-modern influences...astonishing a cappella singing...Textured costumes accentuate the grace and glamour of the sounds."

- The Theater Times


New York Music Daily

"A warm, lustrous voice singing a gorgeous love song in Arabic...gentle and reassuring"

- New York Music Daily


New York Theater

"The music is what matters in this piece, and the music is gorgeous. The combination of flute, cello, percussion, the harmonizing vocals, even the electronic sounds – music that, as the production puts it, “synthesizes genres from Balkan folk to contemporary chamber, industrial, renaissance, rock, rap, and punk” – is mesmerizing...a sonic adventure, a journey through dreamland.  I wouldn’t call “Secondary Dominance” the 21st century’s “Fantasia,” but that’s because the century is so young."

New York Theater


Centerline News

"Shaheen hosted the Arabic Music Retreat's 20th Anniversary Gala...featuring performances by the Arabic Music Retreat Ensemble, comprised of 14 musicians representing 12 nationalities...The retreat provides "a musical/cultural oasis and social community crossing many boundaries and uniting many cultures and generations of musicians." 


New York Music Daily

“As exhilarating to listen to as it is a towering display of vocal prowess. Thomas has such vast range, formidable technique and minutely nuanced command of microtones that she can do it all. The result is rapture that sometimes borders on terror…One of the half-dozen best albums of 2016.”

 -New York Music Daily


Beledi Beat

"Shelley's performance was sublime...unique and impressive...her voice is fresh, melodic, and evocative. Her passion for her work is demonstrated in the intense commitment she gives. Everyone...was enthralled"

-Beledi Beat


Ukrainian Weekly

"The a cappella trio Black Sea Hotel, consisting of Sarah Small, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Roberts, sang Macedonian folk songs...their delicate arrangements producing wonderful fourth and fifth voice harmonies."

-Ukrainian Weekly



 "The transcendent Shelley Thomas performs traditional Bulgarian folk songs, lifting us up...." 

Nomadique Collective


The Arts Fuse

Bulgarian Voices Trio listed in "Fuse Roots and World Music Review: Favorite Shows of 2014"


New York Times

"Purveyors of eerie Balkan harmonies" (on Black Sea Hotel)

-New York Times 



Hassan Hakmoun's UNITY Album on NCPR's Best Global Music of 2014 List


New York Music Daily

"One of the most eclectic of New York's elite singers"

-New York Music Daily