Congregation Rodeph Sholom Marks MLK, Jr. Commemoration with Tel Aviv Gospel Choir
Blending the unique sounds of musical groups from the
Middle East and New York City, an original take on gospel music will emerge and
resound at Congregation Rodeph Sholom during a multicultural and international
celebration to honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18,
2013 during Shabbat services.
The internationally renowned Iris and Ofer Portugaly and their Israeli Gospel Choir
will make their U.S. premiere, presenting a performance of Hebrew Gospel—their
innovative mix of African- American gospel with a “tantalizing” Israeli flavor. The
joyous program will bring together vocalists, gospel choirs, and musicians from
different cultures, communities, and ethnicities in a musical evening dedicated to
King’s vision for freedom and peace.
Iris and Ofer Portugaly are one of the most creative and exciting contemporary music
ensembles in Israel. Called “a breakthrough in original Israeli ethno-jazz,” Iris,
who plays drums and sings, and Ofer, who is the ensemble’s pianist, composer, and
arranger, have played in jazz festivals around the world and with legends such as
singer Sheila Jordan and jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany. Their five records have sold
thousands of copies in Israel and throughout the world.
The Portugalys will be joined by special guest artists from New York City: soprano,
Diana Solomon-Glover, soloist at Riverside Church who recently performed the title
role of Nkeiru Okoye’s Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom; and VOCÉ
(Voices of Christ Ensemble), New York’s best praise and worship ensemble, whose
repertoire includes a mix of traditional, contemporary, and inspirational urban
gospel, spirituals, and today’s invigorating praise music.
Rebecca Garfein, Congregation Rodeph Sholom’s Senior Cantor, will join the featured
performers. Cantor Garfein, the first woman to hold this position at the synagogue,
has performed on notable stages throughout the United States, Israel, and Europe.
Accompanying the singers will be: Associate Cantor Shayna De Lowe and Cantorial
Intern Ben Ellerin of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, organist, J. David Williams, and
drummer, John Hadfield.
The commemorative Shabbat service will take place at Congregation Rodeph Sholom,
located at 7 West 83rd Street (between Columbus and Central Park West), New York
City, 10024 and is open to the public.
For more information about the concert, contact the Congregation Rodeph Sholom
Cantors’ Study at 646-454-3039 or firstname.lastname@example.org.