July 26, 2016


Departments of Music, Jewish Studies Present Second Jewish Music Series

Anthony Russell

Music of the Middle East, jazz-influenced improvisations, klezmer and liturgical melodies will comprise the 2nd annual Jewish Music Series at Sonoma State University. Jointly presented by the Department of Music and Jewish Studies program, the six-part series runs from Sep. 1-Dec. 1 at 6:30 pm in the Green Music Center’s Schroeder Hall.

Artists hailing from New York City to the Bay Area will include trumpeter Frank London – cofounder of The Klezmatics – and virtuoso clarinetist Ben Goldberg with his Invisible Guy trio. The series is part of a course entitled Survey of Jewish Musics led by Joshua Horowitz, director of the ensemble Budowitz. Horowitz, who plays chromatic button accordion, cimbalom and piano, is a founding member of Veretski Pass and has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Theodore Bikel, Ben Goldberg, Rubin and Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov.

Admission is free. Parking charges are waived. Seating is available on a first-come, first serve basis. Call 707-664-2324 for more information.

Schroeder Hall at Sonoma State University’s Green Music Center is located two miles east of Highway 101 on Rohnert Park Expressway, near the intersection with Petaluma Hill Road.

ARTISTS
SEP 1– Eliyahu Sills & Qadim Ensemble – Middle Eastern/Mizrachi/Sephardic
SEP 15– Frank London, trumpet with Glenn Hartman, accordion & Jake Marmer, poet – New klezmer and improvisations with spoken word
SEP 29– Ben Goldberg, clarinet & Invisible Guy trio  
NOV 3– Jeanette Lewicki and the gonifs – Yiddish and klezmer
NOV 17– Stephen Saxon, cantorial soloist – Melodies from the liturgy
DEC 1– Anthony Russell, vocalist with Veretski Pass – Spirituals from the Shtetl, Davening from the Delta

 

About This Series

The 2016 Jewish Music Series series is curated and hosted by Joshua Horowitz, the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz and founding member of Veretski Pass. Joshua performs on chromatic button accordion, cimbalom and piano. He has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Theodore Bikel, Ben Goldberg, Rubin and Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov. His music was recently featured in the British film Some of my best friends are... Jewish / Muslim – awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Award – and is also featured in the new film by Jes Benstock, The Holocaust Tourist.

Joshua received his Master’s degree in Composition and Music Theory from the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, where he taught Music Theory and served as Research Fellow and Director of the Yiddish Music Research Project for eight years.

Joshua has taught Advanced Jazz Theory at Stanford University with the late saxophonist Stan Getz and is a regular teacher at Klez Kamp, Klezmerquerque, Klez Kanada, Klez California and the Klezmer Festival Fürth. His musicological work is featured in four books, including The Sephardic Songbook with Aron Saltiel and The Ultimate Klezmer, and he has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach.

Jeanette Lewicki and the gonifs (November 3)

Composer, saxophonist and clarinetist Sheldon Brown has been active in the Bay Area’s creative music scene for over 30 years. He leads several ensembles featuring his own work, and in 2014 he premiered his recent extended composition, Blood of the Air, at the 32nd Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival, at the SFJAZZ Center. Brown has studied and performed Klezmer Music since 1986. He toured Europe with The Klezmorim for five years, and in 1996 became one of the founding members of one of the Bay Area’s top Klezmer bands, The San Francisco Klezmer Experience, led by Daniel Hoffman. Brown also performs with Jeanette Lewicki in the gonifs; and Glenn Hartman’s group, The Klezmer Playboys.

Rob Reich grew up in Long Island, New York, studying piano from age three.  After graduating with a degree in Music Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he discovered the accordion, now his primary instrument. Reich’s music defies genre. His music combines strong melodic ideas, rhythmic drive, and a spirit of irreverence and experimentation. Reich performs with the acclaimed groups Tin Hat, Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors, Ben Goldberg School, Gaucho, Nice Guy Trio, and Prez Kids, and has performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Tampare Jazz Festival, SFJAZZ Festival, Portland Jazz Festival, Switchboard Festival; Herbst Theater, Yoshi’s, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Red Poppy; and in New York venues including Symphony Space, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, and Barbes.

Richard Saunders has been playing bass professionally for 50 years. He has worked with Country Joe and the Fish, Freddie Hubbard, Cat Anderson, Joe Henderson, Jessica Williams, the San Francisco Klezmer Experience (Klez-X), the San Francisco Mime Troupe, the Pickle Family Circus, and various movie and tv shows. He teaches bass at the Community Music Center in San Francisco.

Jeanette Lewicki (say "Levitsky") sings Yiddish & plays accordion in concert halls, recording studios, peace marches, dreams & subways around the world. She has produced critically-acclaimed Yiddish recordings, including "Mayn Shtetele Soroke" with 76-year-old Bessarabian singer Arkady Gendler & "Fli Mayn Flishlang" with 88-year-old Bronx singer-songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, as well as the gonifs breakout CD on Porto Franco Records. Jeanette also edits the zine "Yiddish Tango Illustrated," performs with the San Francisco Klezmer Experience, & leads the gonifs klezmer band, which she co-founded with clarinetist Peter Jaques in 1996.


 

Stephen Saxon, Cantorial Soloist (November 17)

Stephen Saxon is a jazz trumpet player and singer, a klezmer musician, a cantor, and a computer engineer (he has written two books on computer networking).  He was a member of The Klezmorim, Chanticleer, Clockwork, and the Pacific Mozart Ensemble.  He has performed on television and radio, toured and recorded internationally, and he has appeared as a vocal and / or trumpet soloist with choirs, chamber ensembles, orchestras, and on his own.  He has appeared as a featured performer with Kitka, the Klezmer Conservatory Orchestra, Michael Brecker, Shlomo Carlebach, Bobby McFerrin, Mark Murphy, Gunther Schuller, Michael Tilson Thomas, John Williams, Frank Zappa, the San Francisco Symphony, the Spokane Symphony, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Koln Folk Festival, and the Vancouver Folk Festival, to name just a few. Stephen's program will focus on three main topics:
1) Cantorial music and the role of the cantor in Jewish music
2) Improvisation and the lessons it has to offer
3) Finding happiness

The program will be selected from the following:

  • Chassidic Kaddish                      (Yossele Rosenblatt, arranged by Stephen Saxon)
  • Great Aleinu                               (traditional, setting by Stephen Saxon)
  • Hashkiveinu                               (Stephen Saxon)
  • Hin’ni                                           (Israel Reich, arranged by Stephen Saxon)
  • Kol Nidrei                                   (traditional, setting by Stephen Saxon)
  • Kol Nidrei                                   (traditional, setting by Yossele Rosenblatt)
  • Mi Shebeirach                            (Debbie Friedman, arranged by Stephen Saxon)
  • Peace Prayer / Ose Shalom      (Stephen Saxon)
  • Sim Shalom                                 (Julie Silver, arranged by Stephen Saxon)
  • Ain’t Had None of That, Yet     (Stephen Saxon)
  • Eileen Aroon                               (traditional Irish)
  • Lang A-Growin’                           (traditional Scottish)
  • …and perhaps some others

 


Convergence (December 1)
Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, voice & Veretski Pass

The Musicians
Anthony Russell, Voice
Cookie Segelstein, Violin
Joshua Horowitz, Piano and Button Accordion
Stuart Brotman, Cello

About Convergence
Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell, in collaboration with composer/arranger Joshua Horowitz and Veretski Pass, has created new repertoire of works exploring exile, spirituality, hope and redemption.

Convergence combines diverse strains of traditional Ashkenazi Jewish and African American music directly at spiritual, historical and textual crossroads.

The musical sources are diverse: Chassidic piyyutim, negro spirituals, Yiddish labor union songs, Civil Rights anthems, Israeli folksong and traditional Ashkenazi synagogue music.

The idioms covered in Convergence bear elements of contemporary classical, jazz, blues, gospel, klezmer, chazzanut and experimental music.

Bios

Anthony Russell, voice, director
Eight years after making his professional operatic debut in a Philip Glass world premiere, Anthony Russell is now a vocalist, composer and arranger specializing in Yiddish art and folk song, chazones and Chasidic nigunim.

Inspired by the phenomena of diaspora culture, his work in traditional Ashkenazi musical forms has led to an exploration of his own roots through the research, arrangement and performance of a hundred years of African American traditional music.

The result of this work is his ongoing project with klezmer consort Veretski Pass, Convergence (2014 New Jewish Culture Network Music Commission Finalist), combining Ashkenazi and African American traditional musical forms to create singular narratives. The first recording phase of this project is set to be released soon.

Anthony's work in Jewish music has brought him to stages in Toronto, Montreal, Berkeley, Boston, Miami, New York and Tel Aviv, the JCC in Manhattan and San Francisco, Symphony Space and, recently, to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

He lives in Oakland, CA with his husband, Rabbi Michael Rothbaum.

Veretski Pass
Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass (Josh Horowitz, Cookie Segelstein and Stuart Brotman) offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world.The trio plays Old Country Music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania; Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Their CDs have repeatedly been on the 10-best recording lists of journalists since 2002.

Cookie Segelstein, violin and viola, received her Masters degree in Viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. Until moving to California in 2010, she was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony, and served on the music faculty at Southern Connecticut State University. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass, a member of Budowitz, The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik, has performed with Kapelye, The Klezmatics, Frank London, Klezmer Fats and Swing with Pete Sokolow and the late Howie Leess, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, and The Klezmer Conservatory Band.

Cookie has presented lecture demonstrations and workshops on klezmer fiddling all over the world, including at Yale University, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marshall University in Huntington, West VA, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, University of Oregon in Eugene, Pacific University, SUNY-Cortland, and at Klezmerwochen in Weimar, Germany.

She is a regular staff member at Living Traditions' Klez Kamp, Klezmerquerque, Klez Kanada, Klez California, Klezmer Festival Fürth, Klezfest London, and has been a performing artist at Centrum's Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Wash.

She was featured on the ABC documentary, “A Sacred Noise,” heard on HBO’s “Sex and the City,” appears in the Miramax film, “Everybody’s Fine” starring Robert De Niro, and heard on several recordings, including the Veretski Pass self titled release, Trafik, and The Klezmer Shul, Budowitz Live, the Koch International label with Orchestra New England in The Orchestral Music of Charles Ives, Hazònes with Frank London, A Living Tradition with the late Moldovan clarinetist, German Goldenshteyn, Fleytmuzik with Adrianne Greenbaum, and Budowitz Live.

She is also the publisher of "The Music of..." series of klezmer transcriptions. Active as a Holocaust educator and curriculum advisor, she has been a frequent lecturer at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Niantic, CT. She is on the boards of both the North California Viola Society, and the American String Teacher Association, Bay Area chapter. Cookie is also an Apple Certified Support Professional, and owns and operates The Macmama. Cookie lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, Josh Horowitz, 2 cats, a dog and her occasionally visiting adult children.

Stuart Brotman, bass, basy (cello), tilinca (shepherds’ flute) and baraban (bass drum), has been an accomplished performer, arranger and recording artist in World Music for over 50 years. A founding member of Los Angeles' Ellis Island Band, he has been a moving force in the klezmer revival since its beginning, and has defined klezmer bass (as a large instrument that plays really low and has a Jewish accent). He holds a B.A. in music with a concentration in Ethnomusicology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and has taught at Klez Kamp, Buffalo on the Roof, the Balkan Music and Dance Workshops, Klezmerquerque, Klez Kanada, Klez California, and numerous European festivals and institutes, including Oxford University, Klezfest London, Yiddish Summer Weimar, Klezmer Festival Fürth, and the Krakow Jewish Festival.

Stu has been recording, touring and teaching New Jewish Music with the world class ensemble, Brave Old World since 1989, and is featured in the PBS Great Performances film and CD, “Itzhak Perlman, in the Fiddler’s House,” and in the 2010 documentary, “Song of the Lodz Ghetto, with the music of Brave Old World.” 
Long admired as a versatile soloist and sensitive accompanist in traditional and pop music circles, he has toured and recorded with Canned Heat, Kaleidoscope, and Geoff and Maria Muldaur, and played cimbalom on Ry Cooder’s celebrated recording, “Jazz,” which premiered at Carnegie Hall.

Stu appeared in the Los Angeles production of Joshua Sobol’s “Ghetto,” the San Francisco production of “Shlemiel the First” by Isaac Bashevis Singer, played cimbalom in “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” and contrabass balalaika in “Love Affair.” He produced The Klezmorim's Grammy nominated album, "Metropolis," has recorded with The Klezmorim, Kapelye, Andy Statman, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Davka, The San Francisco Klezmer Experience, and Khevrisa.

Stu can be seen in the 2010 documentary, “Song of the Lodz Ghetto,” and performs with Itzhak Perlman in the 1995 PBS Great Performances film and CD, “Itzhak Perlman, in the Fiddler’s House.” Stuart lives in Berkeley, California.

Joshua Horowitz, chromatic button accordion, cimbalom and piano, received his Masters degree in Composition and Music Theory from the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, where he taught Music Theory and served as Research Fellow and Director of the Yiddish Music Research Project for eight years.

He is the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz, a founding member of Veretski Pass and has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Theodore Bikel, Ben Goldberg, Frank London, Rubin and Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov. His music was recently featured in the British film, “Some of my best friends are... Jewish / Muslim”, awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Award and is also featured in the film by Jes Benstock, "The Holocaust Tourist".

His recordings with Veretski Pass, Budowitz, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rubin & Horowitz and Alicia Svigals, have achieved international recognition and he is the recipient of more than 40 awards for his work as both composer and performer.

He was one of the co-founders of the Austrian experimental composer collective, “Die Andere Saite” and received the Prize of Honor by the Austrian government for his orchestral composition, “Tenebrae.” Following his children’s Opera, “Der Wilde Man”, Joshua received The “Award for Outstanding Talent in Composition” by the City of Graz and was twice finalist in the National American ASCAP competition. While teaching at the Graz Academy of Music he was awarded both The David Herzog and Fritz Spielman Awards, and received ongoing support from Louise M. Davies for his dedication to music creativity and education.

In 2001, Joshua’s group, Budowitz was chosen by the Austrian government to represent the country in the International Celebration of World Culture’s held at the “House of the Cultures of The World” in Berlin.

Joshua taught Advanced Jazz Theory at Stanford University with the late saxophonist Stan Getz and is a regular teacher at Klez Kamp, Klezmerquerque, Klez Kanada, Klez California and the Klezmer Festival Fürth. His musicological work is featured in four books, including The Sephardic Songbook with Aron Saltiel and The Ultimate Klezmer, and he has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach.

 

 

 

Media Contact

Ruth Wilson
Lecturer in Horn
Music Department Publicity
Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
707-664-3483