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The Future of Jewish Music in Poland
Shofar and Polesye

Thursday, February 21, 2013 - Monday, March 4, 2013

The North American Tour

February 21, 2013
7:30 pm
David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
between 62nd & 63rd St.
New York City
FREE-be early!

February 25, 2013
7:30 pm
2013 Chutzpah! Festival
Norman & Annette Rothstein Theatre
950 West 41st Avenue
Vancouver, Canada

March 2, 2013
7:00 pm
28th Jewish Music Festival
Opening Night:
The Future of Jewish Music in Poland
7:00 pm pre-concert talk
with journalist Ruth Ellen Gruber Berkeley
Repertory Theater Thrust Stage
2025 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA

March 4, 2013
1:00 pm
Polesye  Matinee
Featuring Olga Mieleszczuk, Ittai Binnun,
Cookie Segelstein & Josh Horowitz
JCC East Bay, Berkeley Branch
1414 Walnut Street
Berkeley, CA

Additional SHOFAR concerts

Shofar presents an improvisational twist on traditional Hasidic melodies, through the wild minds of three leading Polish musicians Raphael Roginski, Mikolaj Trzaska and Macio Moretti. The im­pulse to pursue this area of interest was a discovery of a collection of Hasidic songs by Moshe Beregovski (1892-1961) who, beginning in the 1920s, researched and wrote about Jewish music. The concept behind this project is to carry on the Jewish musical traditions, while also searching for a common denominator shared by Hasidic music and free jazz. The trios repertoire includes nigunim, or religious songs meant to induce a state of religious ec­stasy, freylakhs of a more dancelike nature, as well as pieces derived from Jewish liturgy. Unchanged in form, this material unlocks the whole broad spectrum of Hasidic music and culture. As composers and performers, Raphael Roginski has focussed on jazz-influenced improvisation and folk music; Mikolaj Trzaska explores new wave, free jazz, modern rock and poetry; and Macio Moretti covers grind/punk, twisted country and western, improv, psychedelic and pseudojazz.

Direct from Poland and Israel: Polesye was the ancient cradle of the Slavic peoples and a center of Hasidism. This original project created by Olga Mieleszczuk is inspired by the repertoire of Mariam Nirenberg, a pre-War Jewish folksinger born in this multicultural region. This project aims to revive, reconstruct, and provide modern arrangements to these songs, many of which are known only to a small circle of ethnomusicologists. Olga Mieleszczuk is a singer, accordion player and researcher of Eastern European musical folklore. Her work has focussed on Jewish music of Ashkenazi roots, particularly from the borderlands of Poland. Olga Mieleszczuk will perform with Lisa Gutkin (violin), Ittai Binnun (wind instruments), Uri Sharlin (accordion, piano).

The multilingual and multicultural nature of her repertoire is typical of the eclecticism of traditional Jewish singers in Eastern Europe. Her repertoire is a result of a delicate balance between intercultural contact and cultural independence, factors that played so important a role in East European Jewish culture as a whole. - Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Shofar and Polesye concerts are presented by David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, Chutzpah! Festival, Jewish Music Festival in collaboration with the Polish Cultural Institute New York. Concerts in Berkeley co-presented with the Polish Cultural Institute New York and co-sponsored by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, in association with the Israel Center in San Francisco, the Consulate of Israel, and the Consulate of Poland in Los Angeles.

Special thanks to the Unsound Festival.

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More about Shofar
More about Olga Mieleszczuk
The Sound of Change: Jewish Music in Poland
A word from the PCI Director

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