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Odessa to Istanbul, Philadelphia, PA, Dec 2

odessa to istanbulOdessa to Istanbul
Saturday, December 2
7pm & 9pm
Tickets: $30 | Members: $15
Painted Bride Art Center
230 Vine Street, Philadelphia

The music is the message. Painted Bride Art Center is extremely proud to introduce XL, a two-year series of “extra large” ensembles. With added orchestration comes an added dimension, texture and power not often achievable with small groups. The first XL ensemble to be presented is Odessa to Istanbul, which unites members of the progressive klezmer band Klingon Klez with the Middle Eastern ensemble Atzilut: Concerts for Peace. The ensemble will explore the musical fermentation of eastern European klezmer with Arabic classical music. Amazing music will fill the Bride's intimate theater as singers Jack Kessler (Hebrew) and Maurice Chedid (Arabic) are backed by an extravagant array of horns, strings, Middle Eastern instruments, and a platoon of percussionists.

Odessa to Istanbul gets its name from a centuries-old highway of economic and cultural movement. The great port city of Odessa is located on the northern end of the Black Sea, connecting by river to Eastern and Central Europe. Istanbul is at the southern end of that sea: the gateway to the Middle East and the Mediterranean world.

The project is directed by Hazzan Jack Kessler, a practitioner of Hazzanut, the traditional improvisational art of Jewish spiritual song and a specialist in the Eastern European branch of that tradition, which is also the primary source of klezmer. His own musical journey sought enrichment by including Middle Eastern Jewish musical material in performance. As he moved in this direction he discovered Arabic classical music, with its highly disciplined modality and rhythms.

The Odessa to Istanbul project has grown out of his vision of the rich brew that combining these different will create. Odessa to Istanbul features: Hazzan Jack Kessler on Hebrew vocals; Maurice Chedid on Arabic vocals; Bob Butryn on clarinet; Stan Slotter on trumpet and flute; Roger Mgrdichian on oud; Josef Kessler on violin; Adeeb Refela on violin; Bruce Kaminsky on bass; Dave Posmontier on keyboards; Lenny Seidman on tabla; Joe Tayoun, Jim Babb and Joe Ruscitto on percussion; Tom Cohen on drum set.

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