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New CD of Indian Jewish music

Dr. Marsha Edelman posted this to the Jewish-Music list:

"Hodu: Jewish Rhythms from Baghdad to India"
"One of the ten best CDs of 2004" -NY Jewish Week

The cost of the CD is $15 plus $4 shipping, available through Ms. Musleah's website, www.rahelsjewishindia.com, or by calling (516) 829-4866.

Rahel Musleah, a singer, writer, speaker, cultural ethnographer and seventh generation of a Calcutta family with roots in Baghdad, is pleased to announce her new recording: "Hodu: Jewish Rhythms from Baghdad to India."

"Hodu," in Hebrew, means both "India" and "Praise God!"—an appropriate double entendre for a community that thrived in the most benevolent of diasporas. This compilation of songs for Shabbat and holidays features a blend of ancient texts, authentic melodies and contemporary rhythms. "As the daughter of a Baghdadi-Indian family, these are the songs I grew up singing," says Ms. Musleah, who was born in Calcutta and now lives in Great Neck, NY. "Their beauty is meant to be shared with others."

India was host to one of the oldest living Jewish communities in the world, with roots stretching back to biblical times. For its three main communities—Bombay, Cochin and Calcutta—music offered a way to express their spirit, their faith, and their hope that God would return them to the land of Israel. Today, only about 4,000 Jews remain in all of India. Most have resettled in Israel; others have made homes in the U.S., England, Australia and Canada.

"The recording represents a path to preserving and disseminating a tradition that might otherwise be lost," says Ms. Musleah. Selections include: Tzur Mishelo; Yigdal; Eshet Hayyil; L'khah Dodi; D'ror Yikra; a Havdalah medley; Hon Tahon (Rosh Hashanah); Yisrael Am El (Sukkot); Yah Shema/Mi Va-mi (Simhat Torah); Halleluyah (Simhat Torah); a Pesah medley featuring family members, and El Eliyahu (Havdalah). The other artists who accompany Ms. Musleah include Alan Iny, vocals; Maurice Chedid, oud; Amir Chehade, percussion; Michael Hess, violin and kanoun. Arrangements by Marsha Bryan Edelman.

Ms. Musleah is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Hadassah, Reform Judaism, Jewish Woman, Family Circle, Publishers Weekly, Naamat Woman, and numerous Jewish journals. Through her multi-media song, story and slide programs, she shares her rare and intimate knowledge of her community's history, customs and melodies with audiences at synagogues, schools, libraries, women's groups and cultural events. She is available as an artist-in-residence or for single programs. She is also the author of several children's books. Her newest, Apples and Pomegranates: A Family Seder for Rosh Hashanah (Lerner/Kar-Ben), introduces the Sephardic custom of blessing the Jewish new year with symbolic foods, and was named a notable book of 2004 by the Sydney Taylor Award Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries.

The cost of the CD is $15 plus $4 shipping, available through Ms. Musleah's website, www.rahelsjewishindia.com, or by calling (516) 829-4866.

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