In response to the RFP from R. Scott Aaron, KFAR has assembled reccomednations for the entertainment component of the 11/29 (orig. 12/6) “Hanukah from Africa” Mazon event at Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. Please note that although other acts may also have been appropriate for this event, the date change impacted the availability for some we had initatially considered.
Budgetary considerations vary by the act, given differences in the production, travel, talent fees and in one case, development and rehearsal of the act. For the sake of artistic consideration, cost estimates will be presented seperately. Each of these acts somehow bridges the Jewish and African diasporic communities musically.
A special project commissioned for this event that will combine Senagalese drumming, Klezmer melodies and Nigerian Highlife. This ensemble would be assembled from talented members of Chicago’s professional musical community and may also feature a short accompanying performance element by members of the Muntu Dance Theatre. Savings on travel expenses will be redirected to the rehearsal and development of this ensemble. Since this group has yet to be assembled, however, we cannot presently offer music samples.
Son of an Ethiopian father and Puerto Rican mother, Y-Love is a black convert to Bostoner Chassidus and a Hip Hop MC unlike any other. Spitting rhymes in Hebrew, English, Spanish and even Aramaic, Y-Love meld Torah concepts and innovative freestylers on the scene, weaving seamless polyglot rhymes in English, Arabic, Yiddish, and Hebrew. Most unique is Y-Love’s revival of Aramaic, the language used to discuss Jewish Law and Kabbalah. With each word he spits in the tongue of ancient Babylon, Y-Love breathes new life into hip-hop, one beat at a time. He is backed by dj handler, a yemenite jew of the hip hop persuasion who mixes beats with Ashkenazic cantorial music, traditional Sephardi melodies, Brazilian Baile Funk and Afro Beat.
Blues Guitarist Jeremiah Lockwood fuses the Chazzanut of his grandfather, Cantor Jacob Konigsberg, to a pulsating rhythm section and the horn section of famed Antibalas AfroBeat Orchestra. Calling upon the sounds of Malian guitars, Saharan beats, Afro-pop horns and the B-L-U-E-S, The Sway Machinery goes knocking at the gates of prayer with muscles swollen and eyes clenched. Ensemble members have also played with Arcade Fire, Yeah yeah yeahs, Tom Waits, Balkan Beatbox and Carolina Slim.
I Shall Chant Praises
Steven Bernstein’s Diaspora Soul
Best known as a seminal member of NYC’s downtown music scene, Steven Bernstein is a world-renownded slide trumpet player also known for his swinging ensembles Lounge Lizards and Sex Mob. With Diaspora Soul, Bernstein explores Jewish liturgical and Klezmer sources through a the filter of New Orleans rhythm and blues horns and Afro-Cuban rhythms. It dives traditional source material headlong into Cha Cha, Gulf Sounds and West African riffs, for a radical reinvention of Jewish music and a reunification of long lost musical brethren.
Once you have listened to these samples and reviewed the options, please let me know which musical project best fits your vision for the featured entertainment.