New York–Building upon the success of last spring’s popular Stories of Music series, which featured an all-new curriculum developed by The Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music (LMFAJM), the Cantors Assembly, LMFAJM, and The Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience, have partnered in the creation of a new program entitled, “Cantors on Record.” Cantors on Record will feature eight (8) of the Cantors Assembly’s most prominent members, each of whom recorded extensively for the Archive during its active recording phase.
The program will be hosted by Hazzan Elizabeth Shammash, herself one of the Archive’s most prolific voices. Each program will focus on an interview with one particular hazzan and selections of recordings they made for the Archive, including such luminaries as Alberto Mizrahi, Meir Finkelstein, Roz Barak, Shammash, Aaron Bensoussan and more. Dr. Mark Kligman, the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and Director of The Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music, will serve as co-host.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the Milken Archive to a new generation of Jewish music lovers who have come of age in the era of streaming," said Milken Archive curator Dr. Jeff Janeczko. "At the same time, it allows us to pay tribute to the cantors who helped us preserve this important body of sacred and secular music reflecting the American Jewish experience."
“While people are definitely feeling a sense of weariness with all the self-imposed isolation measures we’ve had to undergo during this pandemic,” said Hazzan Mike Weis, Director of Communications for the Cantors Assembly, “we also know that people are starving for opportunities to experience Jewish culture right now, and we’re committed to bringing those kinds of experiences to the public.”
“We believe in the power of music to elevate and transform, so that people of all ages will feel more deeply connected to one another, to God and to their own sense of purpose,” said Weis. “That’s why our profession exists and I believe that the Archive is probably the most eloquent and powerful expression of the transformative power of the cantorial art in recent decades.”
The program kicks off on Monday, October 26 at 8:00 PM with an interview with Dr. Janeczko introducing the Archive, what it is, its history and its future and will feature a number of recordings representative of the overall work that is contained in the Archive. In subsequent weeks, the program will feature the work of Hazzanim Alberto Mizrahi, Meir Finkelstein, Roz Barak, Elizabeth Shammash, Simon Spiro, Charles Osborne, Raphael Frieder and Aaron Bensoussan.
Cantors on Record will run on 9 consecutive Monday evenings from 8:00 PM to 9:15 PM through December 21. The program will be hosted on Zoom. Free registration is available at bit.ly/CantorsOnRecord or through the Facebook event page.
About the Cantors Assembly
The Cantors Assembly promotes the profession of the Cantorate, serving its 650 members and their congregations by supporting colleagues in their roles as vibrant, engaging, vital clergy and musical leaders. It offers its members opportunities for mentorship, professional development and personal growth, and is affiliated with the Conservative/Masorti movement, serving congregations from across the denominational spectrum. It seeks to ensure that its members are fully prepared to lead synagogues and the whole Jewish community through an ever-evolving musical and spiritual landscape.
About the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience
Founded in 1990 by philanthropist Lowell Milken, the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: the American Experience reflects the scope and variety of Jewish life in America. The Archive’s virtual museum website is an interactive guide to music, videos, oral histories, photos and essays.
About the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music
The Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music was established in 2017 to advance the field. Building upon the work of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music, it serves as an academic partner to the archive.
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