“Days of Awe” at Rodeph Sholom, Manhattan

The “Days of Awe” to be Experienced during Selichot at Congregation
Rodeph Sholom, Manhattan

The music of the High Holy Days will be
explored in a sacred experience by David Chevan with the Afro-Semitic
Experience in a program of instrumental interpretations called “The Days
of Awe.” Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph
Sholom of Manhattan will join Chevan and the Afro-Semitic Experience and
with them enter a unique spiritual realm with their arrangements of
original music, High Holy Day cantorial works from the repertoire of
Hazzan Yosele Rosenblatt, along with familiar traditional Jewish
congregational High Holiday melodies on Selichot at 7:30p.m., September
16, 2006. Special Guest, Frank London of the Klezmatics will join as
well for this special evening. The program, a highly meditative series
of improvisations and interpretations of traditional melodies, is geared
to all ages.

Cantor Rebecca Garfein is the Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph
Sholom and is the first female Cantor to hold this position in the
history of the congregation. Cantor Garfein has appeared in numerous recitals throughout the United
States, Israel, and Europe and has two solo CD recordings, a live
recording from the 1997 Jewish Festival in Berlin entitled, “Sacred
Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue” and her first studio recording,
“Golden Chants in America…Commemorating 350 years of Jewish Music,
1654-2004,” the first U.S. recording to feature Jewish music spanning
350 years of life in America.
Cantor Garfein graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd
School of Music with a degree in vocal performance and opera. In 1993,
she received her Master’s Degree in Sacred Music and Cantorial
Investiture from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

David Chevan was musically active from an early age. He grew up in a
Conservative-Egalitarian Jewish synagogue where he led services from the
age of 10. Although much of his performing method on the double-bass has
been self taught, Chevan credits the master bassist, Lisle Atkinson with
showing Chevan the pathway to self-education. As a composer Chevan has
primarily focused on works for improvisers. He has written works for a
wide range of artists and ensembles, including several collaborations
with dance and film. In addition to performing regularly in a duo with
pianist Warren Byrd and leading their group, The Afro-Semitic
Experience, Chevan has had the opportunity to perform and record with a
wide range of creative musical artists, including Ali Ryerson, Joe Beck,
Jaki Byard, Harold Danko, Ellery Eskelin, Giacomo Gates, Frank London,
Andrea Parkins, and Cookie Segelstein. He is an Associate Professor of
Music at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven and holds a
Ph.D in Music History from C.U.N.Y.

For the past decade, the Afro-Semitic Experience has been actively
exploring ways to express and share sacred music in a jazz setting.
Whether in the context of a concert or service in a synagogue or church,
almost all of the music we share comes from the sacred traditions of our
peoples. Imagine a band that understands and can present
interpretations of music from traditions as rich as gospel, klezmer,
nigunim, spirituals, and swing and you have the Afro-Semitic Experience.

“The Days of Awe” album was featured on National Public Radio in 2005
and was chosen as the number three album in the Jewish Week’s Top Ten
List of Best Jewish Recordings in 2003.