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Afro-Semitic Selichot, NYC, Sep 16

band photoThe Afro-Semitic Experience

The music of the High Holy Days will be explored in a sacred experience by David Chevan with the Afro-Semitic Experience in a program of instrumental interpretations called “The Days of Awe.” Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom of Manhattan will join Chevan and the Afro-Semitic Experience and with them enter a unique spiritual realm with their arrangements of original music, High Holy Day cantorial works from the repertoire of Hazzan Yosele Rosenblatt, along with familiar traditional Jewish congregational High Holiday melodies on Selichot at 7:30p.m., September 16, 2006. Special Guest, Frank London of the Klezmatics will join as well for this special evening. The program, a highly meditative series of improvisations and interpretations of traditional melodies, is geared to all ages.

The entire community is invited to join us on Selichot. Congregation Rodeph Sholom is located at 7 W. 83rd Street off Central Park West. For more information, please call 212-362-8800 x1337.

David Chevan was musically active from an early age. He grew up in a Conservative-Egalitarian Jewish synagogue where he led services from the age of 10. Although much of his performing method on the double-bass has been self taught, Chevan credits the master bassist, Lisle Atkinson with showing Chevan the pathway to self-education. As a composer Chevan has primarily focused on works for improvisers. He has written works for a wide range of artists and ensembles, including several collaborations with dance and film. In addition to performing regularly in a duo with pianist Warren Byrd and leading their group, The Afro-Semitic Experience, Chevan has had the opportunity to perform and record with a wide range of creative musical artists, including Ali Ryerson, Joe Beck, Jaki Byard, Harold Danko, Ellery Eskelin, Giacomo Gates, Frank London, Andrea Parkins, and Cookie Segelstein. He is an Associate Professor of Music at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven and holds a Ph.D in Music History from C.U.N.Y.

Cantor Rebecca Garfein is the Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom and is the first female Cantor to hold this position in the history of the congregation.

Cantor Garfein has appeared in numerous recitals throughout the United States, Israel, and Europe and has two solo CD recordings, a live recording from the 1997 Jewish Festival in Berlin entitled, “Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue” and her first studio recording, “Golden Chants in America...Commemorating 350 years of Jewish Music, 1654-2004,” the first U.S. recording to feature Jewish music spanning 350 years of life in America.

Cantor Garfein graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music with a degree in vocal performance and opera. In 1993, she received her Master’s Degree in Sacred Music and Cantorial Investiture from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR).

For the past decade, the Afro-Semitic Experience has been actively exploring ways to express and share sacred music in a jazz setting. Whether in the context of a concert or service in a synagogue or church, almost all of the music we share comes from the sacred traditions of our peoples. Imagine a band that understands and can present interpretations of music from traditions as rich as gospel, klezmer, nigunim, spirituals, and swing and you have the Afro-Semitic Experience.

“The Days of Awe” album was featured on National Public Radio in 2005 and was chosen as the number three album in the Jewish Week’s Top Ten List of Best Jewish Recordings in 2003.

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