Bilingual site shared with Nancy Snipper, acclaimed author and cultural affairs journalist. July 2016 ushers in her new site: SN Travel and Arts without Borders. Check it out!
Site bilingue partagé avec Nancy Snipper, auteur acclameé et journaliste des affaires culturelles. Juillet 2016 inaugure sa nouvelle site: SN Travel and Arts without Borders. Vérifiez-le!
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Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Montreal Jewish Music Festival 2014
and diverse international line-up
by Nancy Snipper
Get ready to celebrate Jewish music like you’ve never heard it before.
Now into its fifth year, MJMF has gathered together the crème de la crème of amazing
musicians who have made the genre world famous.Unique and eclectic compositions performed by exciting musicians from
over 15 countries will create an abundance of unforgettable beats and melodies
- putting their own global stamp on Jewish music in this űber-lively festival.
Over a period of four days (August 24th-28th), Montreal will indulge in MJMF’s endless, zesty music feast- creating all kinds
of savoury Kosher-style sounds filled
with the food of love. It’s coming to you in a huge variety of flavours in over
seven concerts. From Iraqi’n’Roll and Electro-Klezmer-Cumbia – through to
Psychedelic Latvian Yiddish Rock, Russian Soul and Cuban Style Klezmer, MJMF is
serving a giant potpourri of gorgeous galactic Jewish musical groups whose
sounds will fill your ears to their bountiful brim.
On opening night KlezKanada will present one of the most anticipated concerts:
a performance by Der Grovyser Concert Internacionale. It will take place in the
Oscar Peterson Hall. The group is a world sensation with its sixteen Jewish
music instrumentalists and Yiddish song interpreters from Hungary, Israel,
North America, France and beyond.
The list of Jewish music wired to the world’s wizards of the genre also
includes some dazzling gypsy punks, kingly Kuwaiti back-ups to Dudu Tassa, and
so much more.
It was a feast of superb talents entertaining us all with Jewish songs
and klezmer music that had the entire audience clapping away. Packed to the
brim, the Oscar Peterson Hall resonated with the masterful music presented by KlezKanada.
Its ebullient performers are pros on their instruments and the big lush sounds
they produce is almost overwhelming.
We were treated to the lively personality and stunning voice of Shura
Lipovsky who truly belongs on the Broadway stage. She is so expressive; we were
pulled into Schetel life and Yiddish humour – all made vital through merry and
mournful melodies punched with evocative lyrics of love and loss.
Clarinettist Merlin Shepherd teamed up with his saucy pianist/ singer
wife Paulina to dazzle us with his playing. Likewise, the Brothers Nazaroff
offered amusing stage presence as they sung tried and true Yiddish songs,
including, “Boy, What a lucky Jew I am” and “Timbaland”.
I was so impressed with double bass performer Rémy Yulzari who played
with Israeli-born guitarist, Nadav Lev. Residing in New York this brilliant guitarist
is winner of the André Segovia Competition. Mr. Yulzari brought out new sounds
with his instrument as he bounced his bow off its strings.
The duo stole the evening. You could hear everyone listening so intently
and the thundering applause after told the whole story.
Speaking of stories, MC Michael Wex is a humorous fellow who was able to
turn car woes into Jewish humour.
I found the music very loud, and boisterously over-the-top in some
pieces, but the crowd lapped it all up.
What a great group of superlative musicians! Tassa’s 6-member band dig
deep to bring out the star’s Jewish Iraqi’s rootsand stellar singing which truly is the iconic
voice of the Middle East. His grandfather and great-uncle were recognized as
two of the greatest composer/musicians in Baghdad during the first half of the
20th century. Tassa performed his great hit non-stop for over an
hour, singing in Arabic; and his encore consisted of three Hebrew songs. The
lighting effects were fun, and it would have been nice had some landscapes been
projected on the back wall, as his raw voice evoked this setting.
I wish though he had talked a bit
about the meaning of the lyric for his songs. I also wish the audience was not
allowed to come and go during songs – as they pleased. Late attendees and
recording the show was disturbing.
Tassa’s god-like guitar skills and powerful voice are awesome. He is the
Israeli version of Chris Martin, Pat Matheny and Black Sabbath rolled into one.