Klezmer Company Orchestra, Conducted by Aaron Kula, to Present 'Beyong the Tribes' at Eissey Campus Theatre
Concert Celebrates Musical Fusion of International Melodies, New Orchestration and 30 Performers, Including Special Guest Soloist Elena Correia
BOCA RATON, FL (January 3, 2008) – The innovative, critically acclaimed Klezmer Company Orchestra (KCO) will present “Beyond the Tribes,” a musical fusion of exotic melodies from 14 countries, on Sunday, January 27, at 3 p.m., at Eissey Campus Theatre, Palm Beach Community College, 3160 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens.
During this grand production featuring 30 performers and guest vocalist Elena Correia, Aaron Kula, KCO’s conductor and music director, will introduce new arrangements and orchestrations of songs from the Mediterranean, Middle East, Latin America, Europe, Russia and America that blend jazz and classical musical traditions. The concert also includes compositions by great Jewish composers Bernstein, Ellstein and Rumshinsky.
“Beyond the Tribes” reflects a fresh approach to traditional folk melodies by blending contrasting cultures. “JewOrleans March” combines Louisiana jazz with a Romanian melody, while “Venezuelan Calypso” merges a Latin beat with an Israeli folk tune. “Glezele L’Chaim” combines American swing with a popular Yiddish song from the early 1900s, and “Yiddishe Polonaise” has the characteristics of a Polish folk dance with a Klezmer melody.
“Jewish music embraces both tradition and evolution. I am declassifying and deconstructing ‘Klezmer’ music as a narrow genre,’’ said Kula. “The concert is about fusing traditions of various cultures and various music styles, and blending them to create something inherently new and accessible for today’s multi-cultural audiences.”
KCO, the professional ensemble-in-residence at Florida Atlantic University Libraries, has been on the move, celebrating the national release of its studio-produced debut album “Beyond the Tribes” and kicking off its 11 th year of major performances this month.
The ensemble defies classification with its high-energy performances and eclectic programming of traditional and non-traditional music. It features nine core soloists, a classical string section made up of premier musicians from regional orchestras and the 20-member Judaica Choral Society.
Kula, who founded KCO in 1997, said the real star of each production is the music itself. Since its inception, KCO has successfully taken music in the Libraries’ collections “from shelf to stage.” Preservation and performance are codependent activities and both are necessary for the survival of music in any world class collection,” said Kula. “As an artist, it is my responsibility to perform, to teach, to promote and to inspire people through music — which by nature is not a stagnant art form.”
Dr. William Miller, dean of University Libraries at FAU, said Kula is constantly breaking new ground with KCO and the Libraries’ collections. “Audiences who attend these performances every year have had the chance to see the genre expand before their eyes with each successive concert,” said Miller. “Aaron Kula is doing things with this music that no one else in the country has even thought of doing, and we in South Florida are fortunate to be here and witness his evolution as a concert artist.”
“Beyond the Tribes” will also feature special guest soloist Elena Correia, a versatile Portuguese-American soprano trained at The Juilliard School, who will be singing in four languages. Correia, an international operatic performer has earned many awards, including first place in the Die Meistersinger competition in Graz, Austria, and the Heinz Rehfuss Award from the Orlando Opera. She is scheduled to perform a solo recital in Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall.
Like classical orchestras and jazz ensembles, KCO features core soloists with section musicians and varies its orchestra personnel depending on the concert’s repertoire. The popular ensemble has performed before thousands at sold-out concerts and has received rave reviews for its unique style and innovative arrangements. KCO’s core ensemble of distinguished musicians has accomplished backgrounds in classical, jazz and pop music, electric and acoustic violin, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flügelhorn, trombone, bass, drums, percussion, piano and accordion.
Kula, who joined the FAU faculty in 1997 and became director of music collections in 2003, plays a dual role as conductor and accordionist, which audiences find unusual and visually stimulating. His activities include research, archiving, lecturing, composing and performing. Kula is also on the faculty at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he has conducted orchestras since 1986.
Other ensemble members are Randi Fishenfeld, violin; Stas Pomerantz, clarinet; Scott Klarman, saxophone; Chaim Rubinov, trumpet and flügelhorn ; David Levitan, trombone; Jacqueline De Los Santos, double bass and guitar; Doug Friend, drums; and Teresa Flores, percussion. Their credits include Bruce Springsteen, B.B. King, Barbara Streisand, Clarence Clemons, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, the Bee Gees, Dionne Warrick, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Arturo Sandoval, Peabo Bryson, Quincy Jones, Nestor Torres, Tito Puente, Jr., David Sanchez, Melton Mustafa, Miguel Cruz, Andrea Bocelli, The Moody Blues, Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Randy Brecker, Burt Bacharach and Aaron Neville.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the FAU Libraries’ Music Collections. Concert tickets are $36, 42, and $55 for premier seating. Early reservations are recommended. For tickets, call 800-564-9539 or visit www.fauevents.com. For information on KCO, visit www.klezmercompany.com.