The New York City-based Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus (JPPC) is dedicated to preserving and fostering a love of Yiddish music.
Furthering their unique mission, the JPPC performs strictly in Yiddish, rediscovering and reinterpreting traditional works from the Eastern European shtetl, as well as new songs with a contemporary sound.
Founded in 1922 as the "Freiheit Gezang Farein," the JPPC began as a musical expression of the Jewish labor movement. It has evolved into an intergenerational chorus with a solid reputation as an interpreter of a wide range of choral material.The longest regularly performing Yiddish chorus in North America, the JPPC currently has around 40 members, as well as a smaller chamber ensemble for special events.
I recently filmed a concert performed by the JPPC at Symphony Space entitled "To Life, To Laugh, L'chaim!". The program featured songs from Sholem Aleichem to mark the centennial of his death.The program also featured choral arrangements of songs from Fiddler on the Roof.
The chorus is conducted by Binyumen Schaechter,
an award-winning composer of musicals and other songs which have been performed on five continents.His music has been represented in such off-Broadway shows as PETS! (Dramatic Publishing),
THAT'S LIFE! (Outer Critics Circle nomination), TOO JEWISH? (nominated:
Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Awards) and DOUBLE IDENTITY.
For more information about the JPPC, please visit www.TheJPPC.org.
JPPC is also available on Facebook at https://facebook.com/thejppc. To write to the JPPC,
feel free to email at
Project 142 is a Manhattan/New York City-based concert series created by Minister Emeritus Richard D. Leonard of All Souls Church in Manhattan. The series
offers/pays for elegant, intimate recital venues for musicians to perform their concerts in an artistic, free environment without commercial restraint. This includes promotional and marketing support (refreshments provided as well to all concerts).
I recently filmed a concert given by American pianist Steve Sandberg at the DiMenna Center in New York City.
Steve Sandberg is an eclectic musician with a lifetime of experience in many worlds of music.
He began classical piano studies at age 4 and won a BMI composers award before attending Yale University, where he majored in musical theory and composition. At Yale, his studies with noted African art theorist Robert Farris Thompson inspired him to immerse himself in the world of Afro-Caribbean music.Upon returning to NYC he played with, arranged and composed for some of the great salsa artists of the 1970s and 1980s, including Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, and Daniel Ponce (featuring Tito Puente). A highlight of this period was an appearance in Rio and São Paolo opening for the legendary João Gilberto in a duo with vocalist Bebel Gilberto. He also toured with David Byrne
("Rei Momo") as keyboardist and vocalist.
Mr. Sandberg has conducted and arranged on Broadway (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) and for many regional and Off-Broadway theatres, including the New York Shakespeare Festival.
Most recently, he was nominated for three Emmy Awards for his work as Musical Director and Composer for Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer" and "Go, Diego, Go!"
Mr. Sandberg has performed improvised electronic multimedia concerts at the Knitting Factory, The Guggenheim Museum, Le Petit Versailles, and the Stone, featuring his unique voice on the
breath-controlled Yamaha VL70 synthesizer. These concerts were heavily influenced by his studies of North Indian raga singing.
His latest project is the classical and world music quartet, Alaya. Alaya concerts begin with performances from the solo piano repertoire (including original compositions), and continue with the quartet’s soaring improvisations on originals that draw from European, African, Latin, Balkan and Indian traditions. One listener described the experience as listening to "music from a country I've never been to but always wanted to visit."
The quartert features:
Zach Brock - heralded as "the pre-eminent improvising violinist of his generation," Zach is known for his work with Snarky Puppy and Stanley Clark.
Mauricio Zottarelli - critically acclaimed and award-winning drummer and artist, Mauricio has recorded and shared the stage with Esperanza Spalding, Hiromi, Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Richard Bona and many others.
Michael O'Brien - bass, performing and composing internationally for over a decade with such notables as Harry Connick Jr., Dave Samuels, Ruben Blades, Gene Pitney and many others.
It is the first time that I've filmed a concert that offered such a
great combination of different genres, creating a very original program. Mr. Sandberg received a well-deserved standing ovation.
Another concert in the Project 142 series that I filmed was given by Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan. Ms. Poghosyan performed works by Grieg, Liszt, Komitas and Stravinsky. She played with excellent brilliance and musicality.At the age of 14, she made her orchestral debut performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, and her solo Carnegie Hall debut at 23.
Since then, she has gone on to win many awards, performing in some of the world's most prestigious concert halls. She has also participated in the master classes of distinguished artists such as Alicia de Larrocha, Claude Franck, Jon O’Connor, and Jerome Rose.
Ms. Poghosyan's solo CD of Aram Khachaturian's piano works and ballet transcriptions was released in 2015 on the NAXOS label. For more information, click here.
The Project 142 Concert Series was started five years ago in Mr. Leonard's home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Mr. Leonard hosted 61 events in his home within the first three years. When the Series outgrew his home, a benefactor intervened to help produce the Project 142 concerts at outside venues.
The next step was to find someone to navigate the expansion of the Series for Mr. Leonard. He hired Vocalist/Producer Scot Albertson as Artistic Director (Mr. Albertson performed in Mr. Leonard's home four times within seven months in 2012 and 2013).
Mr. Leonard and Mr. Albertson have funded the Series since the benefactor backed out in January 2015. Event number 141 has taken place in May 2016, with over 4,000 guests attending the Series since the inception in Mr. Leonard's home.
As of July 14, 2016, Project 142 is now a Non-Profit Organization / 501(c)(3).
For more information about Steven Sandberg, please visit www.stevesandbergmusic.com.
For more information about Kariné Poghosyan, please visit www.karinepoghosyan.com.
For more information about Scot Albertson, please visit www.scotalbertson.com.
For more information about the Project 142 Concert Series, please visit www.project142.org.
I am looking forward to filming a concert at the Birdland Jazz Club in New York, featuring jazz singer and cabaret performer Joanna Strand on August 28.
Ms. Strand brings her "beautiful, pure and richly melodic voice" (says theater critic John Etheridge) and dazzles audiences with her original arrangements.
As an actress and singer, she has walked the boards in numerous West End, touring and Broadway productions of plays, musicals and operas including Phantom of The Opera (West End), Master Class (Bath Theatre Royal and Broadway transfer) and many more.
Ms. Strand enjoys performing at jazz venues across the UK, including the Crazy Coqs, Pizza Express Dean Street, and The Pheasantry, and the US, including in New York at Feinstein's/54 Below, The Algonquin, and many more.
She has collaborated with award winning singer/songwriter Ann Hampton Calloway, fellow West End cabaret artist Jacqui Tate, and many other illustrious 'friends' as part of her Joanna Strand and Friends series.
Check out her official website at www.joannastrand.com.
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