August 28, 2017

Jewish Music Series Blends Spiritual, Avant-Garde

Jason Ditzian of Kugelplex

The third annual Jewish Music Series from August 31–November 30 leans toward the spiritual, with a dash of klezmer and avant-garde. Presented by the Department of Music and the Jewish Studies program, the free concert series in Schroeder Hall is part of the course MUS 343 Survey of Jewish Musics taught by Joshua Horowitz, a klezmer historian and accordionist whose group Veretski Pass is a perennial favorite.

Shows are at 6:30 pm and seating is on a first-come basis. Parking charges have been underwritten by the Jewish Studies program at SSU.

For more information, call the SSU music department at (707) 664-2324.

3rd annual Jewish Music Series

Aug 31–Kugelplex

Sep 14–Sharon Goldman

Sep 28–RebbeSoul

Oct 19–Roslyn Barak

Nov 2–Richard Neil Kaplan

Nov 16–Jeremiah Lockwood and Brian S. Wilson

Nov 30–Veretski Pass


Aug 31–Kugelplex

Kugelplex is California’s rockin’-est purveyor of klezmer and old-world party music. Formed in 2001, the group plays wild, soulful dance music at weddings, concerts and festivals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and beyond. We’ve performed with Joan Baez, the Oakland Symphony, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Frank London (founder of the Klezmatics) and many other great artists. For weddings, Kugelplex can act as expert ritual facilitators, helping plan your event every step of the way. From tish to toasts, the group plays in a variety of configurations and styles — chamber music, cocktail jazz, swing, latin, wild dancing, beautiful horas, dance instruction, DJing…

Personnel: Dan Cantrell, accordion/saw; Jason Ditzian, clarinet; Lila Sklar, violin/vocals; Eric Perney, bass; Max Baloian, guitar; Michael Pinkham, percussion



Sep 14–Sharon Goldman

Based in Metuchen, NJ, Sharon Goldman has spent 15 years honing her craft on the Northeast folk and indie music circuit and has a half-dozen solo and collaborative albums to her credit. Her intense, insightful and vivid storytelling and heartfelt, soulful performances have garnered attention from folk, indie and roots radio around the U.S. and internationally, while she performs regularly at clubs, festivals, listening rooms, synagogues, community centers and house concerts. Digging deep into her Modern Orthodox Jewish childhood on Long Island in New York and the spiritual/identity struggle of her adulthood, the now-secular artist — in an interfaith marriage — presents a song cycle, Kol Isha (A Woman's Voice) that is by turns deeply feminist, conflicted, and yearning. The songs, which blend folk, pop and blues sounds with memories of prayer and ritual, Hebrew refrains and biblical texts, chart her journey to find her voice as a passionate woman; a lifelong questioner; and a constant seeker. Through this odyssey, she invites us into a universal spirit of candid reflection and transformation.


The Tribe

Song of Songs

Pillar of Salt


Jerusalem (Yerushalayim)

Land of Milk and Honey

The Sabbath Queen

Three Stars

In My Bones

The Bride

Kol Isha (A Woman’s Voice)


Sep 28–RebbeSoul

The Musicians
Bruce Burger, guitar

RebbeSoul, a world fusion band led by guitarist Bruce Burger, performs on September 28. The music of RebbeSoul draws from the Jewish Diaspora, a mix of ancient and modern, a blend of East and West, featuring Russian balalaika, Greek bouzouki, electric and acoustic guitars, hip-hop rhythms, Middle Eastern percussion, flamenco cajónes, and soulful vocals.





Music & More Music

Oct 19–Roslyn Barak

Cantor Roslyn Barak will sing Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino art songs. Barak served Congregation Emanuel, San Francisco as Senior Cantor for 28 years, retiring in 2015.  Her first album, "The Jewish Soul" was released worldwide in 1996.

Roslyn Barak was born and raised in New York and attended the High School of Music and Art and the Manhattan School of Music. She pursued an opera and concert career prior to entering the Cantorial program at Hebrew Union College in New York.  She served Congregation Emanuel, San Francisco as Senior Cantor for 28 years, retiring in 2015.  Her first album, "The Jewish Soul" was released worldwide in 1996.  She is soloist on an album of compositions by Samuel Adler issued by the Milken Archives of American Jewish Music. Roslyn has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, the Israel National Opera, the Jerusalem Symphony and the Israel Philharmonic, and in concerts and recitals throughout Israel, Germany and the United States.  She also teaches and lectures extensively in those countries. Roslyn recently released a new album entitled "My Spirit Sings", available on ITunes, Spotify, CD Baby and Amazon.


Nov 2–Richard Neil Kaplan

The great Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly once remarked that
“There are regions in the soul where only music can penetrate,”
and that “music can connect us to, refine and develop our inner life.”

This genre of music, often called “sacred music,” is the territory that will be sounded out by Cantor Richard Kaplan in a concert of songs from his root tradition
of Judaism, songs from Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Salonika, and Eastern Europe,
as well as music from other World Wisdom Traditions, reflecting his participation in an evolving Planetary Judaism, that in its cosmopolitanism, can integrate multiple streams of knowledge and culture, including cutting-edge science.
This is music that is intended to vibrate at the deepest levels of our being, on behalf of our threatened commons, and beyond.


Nov 16–Jeremiah Lockwood

The Musicians
Jeremiah Lockwood, cantor
Kristie Janczyk, piano
Roy Zajac, clarinet
Wayne Van Lieu, horn
Matthew Vincent, violin
Jill Brindel, cello
Anthony Gonzales, percussion
Brian S. Wilson, composer and conductor

Composer and Jewish Studies Program Director Brian S. Wilson has a longstanding tradition of connecting liturgical ideas with modern compositions, including entire remakes of such standards as Avinu Malkaynu and Shalom Alechem. Jeremiah Lockwood, grandson of renowned cantor Jacob Konigsberg and leader of the “unclassifiable, uplifting band” The Sway Machinery, will sing two of Wilson’s modern cantorial settings. Also on the program are two instrumental works performed by renowned musicians from the Bay Area.

Avinu Malkaynu
Quintet of cantor, clarinet, cello, piano and percussion

And Ezra The Scribe Stood Upon A Pulpit
Trio of violin, horn and piano

O’seh Shalom
Quartet of cantor, cello, piano and percussion

The Mixed Multitude
Sextet of violin, cello, clarinet, horn, percussion and piano

Jeremiah Lockwood Music
Brian S. Wilson Music

Nov 30–Veretski Pass

The Musicians
Cookie Segelstein, violin
Joshua Horowitz, piano and button accordion
Stuart Brotman, cello

Venturing beyond the known Horas, Freylekhs, Bulgars and Shers of Moldova, Ukraine and Russia, Veretski Pass and clarinetist Joel Rubin (absent from this performance), mine the obereks, kujawiaks, krakowiaks and polkas of Poland, the land that was once home to three million Jews. Inspired by the 1901 story, A Gilgul Fun a Nign (Metamorphosis of a Melody), written by Polish Jewish author I.L. Peretz, the repertoire draws from previously unknown Hassidic tunes, country dances, contemporary and 19th century ethnographic collections as well as from field research of the musicians and their colleagues. Drawing on these sources for their latest album, Polyn, Veretski Pass and Joel Rubin have re-imagined, re-composed and re-arranged old urban and rural music to enrich the genre currently known as klezmer music. The recording of Polyn is the meeting of Jewish and Polish music — a missing link of the klezmer revival.




Media Contact

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