Jewish Music Series

TRIO SEFARDI, a northern Virginia-based ensemble, performs traditional songs of the Sephardim, the descendants of Jews exiled from Spain in 1492. Their repertoire draws on the song traditions of Sephardic communities from the former Yugoslavia, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, and North Africa, with a special emphasis on traditional and original songs they learned from their mentor, Bosnian-born singer/composer and 2002 National Heritage awardee Flory Jagoda.

Early Twentieth century American Jewish leaders like Solomon Schechter, Mordechai Kaplan, and Stephen S. Wise (among many others) saw Zionism and elements of emerging Hebrew culture in the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine as central to their visions of Jewish life in America. Part of the successful introduction of their brands of Zionist thought into the American Jewish mainstream—initially met with serious contention during this period—entailed importing and proliferating Hebrew music from Palestine to be used in a variety of American Jewish institutions and communal settings.
Creating Shanghai Angel:
A Story of Love, Detainment and a Lie
 
With $2.50 in her pocket, Jewish refugee Rosa Ginsberg left her family behind in Shanghai, China, in 1940 for an uncertain future in the United States. The 18-year-old Vienna native landed at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, site of a U.S. immigration station - and, after several weeks of detainment, was allowed to the mainland on the basis of a mostly true story.
 
Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Lior Ben-Hur is a performing artist, music composer, director and award-winning educator
 
Lior earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from San Francisco State University in the World Music program. Having a love and passion for music and world cultures, he is constantly traveling around the globe learning new musical traditions.
 

In the countryside outside of Prague, Czech Republic lies the picturesque town of Terezin.  During WII, the Germans used it as a concentration camp for prisoners, primarily Jews, from all over Europe.  In spite of the harsh and punishing conditions, a rich cultural life flourished at Terezin, including a plethora of musical performances. Randall Weiss, violinist, will perform music written by Jewish composers at Terezin, and he will talk about the remarkable musicians who were interned there.

In this concert, the members of Veretski Pass demonstrate how they use archival material, and spin melodies, some hundred of years old into new arrangements and compositions. In the tradition of folk musicians all over the world, these musicians put their own recognizable mark on music from the Jewish Pale of settlement and beyond.

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