Jersey Shore Jewish Music presents "One People Many Voices: Celebrating a World of Jewish Music"
by Jeffrey DiLucca for Vocal Area Network
Posted July 15, 2013

Shir MishugasOn August 7, 2013, Jersey Shore Jewish Music will present its first concert, "One People Many Voices: Celebrating a World of Jewish Music," at Monmouth University's Pollak Theatre in Long Branch, New Jersey. Sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County, this exciting and eclectic concert unites Monmouth County's diverse groups of Jewish heritage into an extravaganza of world music featuring Syrian, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) and Klezmer song traditions.

The concert will highlight the Syrian Jewish song tradition known as Pizmonim. Pizmonim are Hebrew liturgical poems sung to existing Arabic melodies. Israeli and Middle Eastern singer Yohai Cohen is the evening's featured soloist. Backed by an Arabic music ensemble, or takht, consisting of violin, oud (Middle Eastern lute), kanun (zither) and percussion, Cohen's performance promises to rock the entire Jersey Shore.

Honored at the event for his lifetime contributions to Jewish music will be Syrian singer, music teacher and community builder Moe Tawil. In his ninety-eighth year, Moshe, or "Moe" as he is known, has instructed and lectured on Sephardic Liturgical music at New York University, Hofstra and Yeshiva University, and continues to guide many of the Hazzanim (cantors) in the Syrian community. Moe was invited twice to Israel to establish a program to maintain the Sephardic liturgical musical tradition for Hazzanim and is the founder and director of the Moe Tawil Cantorial Seminary.

Also featured on the program that evening is the Jersey Shore's very own Shir Mishugas Jewish Music Ensemble. Cantor, composer and conductor Jeffrey (Eliezer) DiLucca, leads Shir Mishugas in Ladino songs, stemming from Judeo-Spanish culture, and Klezmer music originating in the Ashkenazi Jewish communities from Eastern Europe. Jeffrey will also be accompanied by Russian pianist Maxim Anikushin as he performs songs by Turkish composer Alberto Hemsi.

The event is made possible by Jewish Federation of Monmouth County's AdVenture Fund grant program, which was created to seed innovative Jewish programs. The goal of the AdVenture Fund is to inspire individuals, synagogues and organizations to create new programs that enrich Jewish life and engage the community.

"We are beyond thrilled to support such an exciting and diverse program that brings heroes of Jewish music to our backyard. We know this festival shows great promise and we hope it blossoms into a robust and annual festival spotlighting all types of Jewish music. We applaud Jeff DiLucca's diligence and vision in putting this together," says Ariella Raviv, Director of Community Impact at Jewish Federation of Monmouth County.

Jersey Shore Jewish Music (JSJM), founded by Jeffrey DiLucca, is an organization that aims to unite the many diverse forms of Jewish heritage in the Jersey Shore region through concerts, performance workshops and educational programs. JSJM seeks to promote and preserve rare and lesser known genres of Jewish music. It is also the goal of JSJM to use the power of music as a tool in breaking barriers between Jewish and non-Jewish communities, promoting understanding and appreciation in the Jersey Shore area.

So, whether you like matzo balls, hummus, rice and beans… or even shrimp and cheeseburgers, Jersey Shore Jewish Music welcomes all people from all backgrounds to partake in this fabulous feast of world music.

Jeffrey DiLucca is a cantor, composer and conductor and founder of Jersey Shore Jewish Music.