The month of February is set aside to honor people and events critical to the understanding of African-American history. Singers in the nationally recognized trio Soul to Soul plan to share the spotlight with another group of persecuted people when they perform a special concert at Southern Adventist University on February 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Iles P.E. Center.
Soul to Soul is a ensemble that explores the common ground between African-American and Jewish musical traditions. This unique pairing was conceived by Zalmen Mlotek, the internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theatre music.
“A history of a people is not measured by how much they suffer, but how they overcome suffering,” Mlotek told the Voice of America website during a recent interview. “I think African-American culture and Jewish culture do share that in common—struggling against the odds. That’s what life is. I think these two groups have made an art form out of it.”
The concert will feature Magda Fishman, a cantor at Los Angeles Temple Beth Am and Israeli singing sensation; Elmore James, a veteran of five Broadway productions and opera stages around the world; and Tony Perry, a professional singer and actor who has performed extensively in New England.
Despite the somber themes, musicians in the group find a way to bring “humor, celebration, passion, and joy” to the performance, according to James.
Pam Dietrich, administrative assistant for the Student Services department which scheduled the performance, praised the trio’s work and is excited about what this experience will provide for those in attendance.
“They’re very energetic,” Dietrich said. “The audience will love them!”
Admission is free for Southern faculty, students, and staff. The community is invited as well, and tickets will be available the night of the concert ($10 for adults; $20 for families).
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