Songs of the Spirit
Wednesday, December 3, 2008; 7:30 pm
Church Street Center
**Exclusive housing sponsor: The Porches Inn
Songs of the Spirit is a concert series that combines contemporary popular music and spoken word performances with traditional sacred music of diverse faiths and cultures. Through an innovative fusion of genres, styles and traditions, the program focuses on the shared spiritual ideals of an interconnected, interdependent world.
The performers this year are Haale, Frank London & Lorin Sklamberg (of the Klezmatics), and Tracy Grammer. In between musical sets we have readings from different faith and spiritual traditions. This year our readers include Rabbi Jeff Goldwasser, Reverend Peter Elvin, the Berkshire Dharma Punks and more. Artistic direction by Parallel Voices.
Haale (as in halle-lujah or jalepeno), is a Bronx-born woman of Iranian descent whose name means the 'halo around the moon.' Her songs are trance-inducing, rhythmically propulsive, and lyrically engaging tapestries that draw on both Persian mystical and American psychedelic musical traditions. The New York Times says: "Percussionists provided driving rhythms...over which Haale's warm, supple voice unfurled like a curlicue of smoke. Her band's amplified rumble served as a reminder of the extent to which rock bands like the Doors and the Velvet Underground turned to the East for their hypnotic efforts; here their borrowings were reclaimed with interest."
Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg of the Klezmatics join Songs of the Spirit 2008. They are world-reknowned superstars of the klezmer world. They erupted out of New York City's East Village in 1986 and revitalized klezmer for the new century. Their klezmer is one steeped in Jewish spiritualism and Eastern European tradition while incorporating more provocative themes such as social rights and anti-fundamentalism with eclectic musical influences such as gospel, punk, and Arab, African, and Balkan rhythms. Over the course of nearly twenty years, they have released six albums of wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective, and ecstatically danceable music, forever redefining and transcending traditional labels.
Tracy Grammer rose to acclaim as one half of the duo, Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer. Called "one of the fastest-rising acts in folk music" by the Boston Globe, the duo released several internationally acclaimed albums featuring their award-winning postmodern, mythic Americana song craft; toured with Joan Baez as their backing band; and earned a diverse and devoted following with their indelible live performances. Mary Chapin Carpenter says: "[Tracy's] pure voice conveys the simple truths of these songs; her gifts as a musician are like that of a painter who is a master of chiaroscuro, offering light and shadow at every turn."
To buy tickets, call 413.662.5204.
To become a member and support this great work, call 413.662.5224.
For more information, call 413.664.8718.