FAU Plans "Roots, Rhythm and Soul" Concert In March

Aaron Kula, music director and conductor, with Klezmer Company Orchestra

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Get ready for some rockin’, roots, rhythm and soul, at FAU on March 4th. The school is announcing a “transformational concert that connects and re-imagines melodies that cross cultural boundaries.”

According to the school: “(the performance will be presented by) award-winning Klezmer Company Orchestra (KCO), under the direction of Aaron Kula, on Sunday, March 4, at 3 p.m. at the Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium on Florida Atlantic University’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. The concert sets the stage for KCO’s 15th season, the release of a new CD, a celebrity roast and toast dinner honoring Kula and FAU Libraries’ annual Kultur Festival.

Kula, director of music performance and education at FAU Libraries, reviewed thousands of pieces of sheet music from the vintage print music collection before creating the compositions for KCO, which is FAU Libraries’ professional ensemble-in-residence.

“My goal is to bring these new creations from the shelf to the stage, breathing new life into forgotten musical legacies,’’ said Kula. “We want to honor the music and composers of this heritage.”

The 25-piece KCO will perform 22 new compositions adapted from songs and folk music. Kula’s adaptations are influenced by American and Latin jazz, swing and Negro spirituals.

Among the concert’s highlights are KCO’s reunion with Daniel Cochran, a West Palm Beach tenor who will be accompanied by his quartet, and a performance by KCO violinist Randi Fishenfeld, who will be joined by the full orchestra in a recently discovered “Hungarian Czardas.”

To thank the audience for its support, KCO is releasing “Klezmerology,” its new CD, during the concert to give fans the first chance to hear and buy such innovative cuts as “Bongo Bulgars,” “2nd Avenue Mambo” and “Rebbe’s Cumbia.”

“Roots, Rhythm and Soul” also honors the memory of Cantor Morton Kula, Kula’s father who passed away in September. A reworked version of “Shabbat Menucha/Sabbath Day of Rest,” one of the cantor’s recordings, will be performed in English by Cochran and in Hebrew by Cantor Mark Kula, the director’s brother.

The concert falls on the second day of the eight-day Kultur Festival 2012, a celebration of Jewish culture that showcases FAU Libraries’ special collections through the talents of artists, scholars and musicians. Among other festival highlights are the Florida premiere of the play “The Gospel According to Jerry,” which will be presented by Jeffrey Bruce and Miami native Lela Elam; a program by acclaimed storyteller Caren Neile, Ph.D., artist-in-residence, FAU School of Communication and Multimedia Studies; a concert by drummer Reuben Hoc; and a wrap-up concert by renowned Sephardic ballad singer Flory Jagoda, who will lead the Joe Elias memorial concert, on Sunday, March 11, at 2 p.m. at the Barry and Florence Friedberg Lifelong Learning Society. A schedule of events and tickets for the Kultur Festival are available at www.fau.events.com or by calling 800-564-9539. Parking for all events is free, except at meters.

Following “Roots, Rhythm and Soul,” the Jewish Cultural Society (JCS) at FAU will sponsor a “Celebrity Roast and Toast Dinner” at the Live Oak Pavilion to honor Kula and his contributions. Noted author and TV personality Rabbi Irwin Kula and distinguished scholar and humorist Henry (Hillel) Abramson, Ph.D., dean of academic affairs and student services at Touro College, are among the celebrity participants. Contact Sara Landset at 561-297-392l for tickets.

The concert and Kultur Festival 2012 are sponsored by FAU Libraries and the JCS. The Sephardi Federation of Palm Beach County and the Joe Elias family provided additional support.

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