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8. Performing Bands
Performing Bands


Guy Mendilow

Get ready for an emotionally powerful, artistic voyage awash with warm harmonies, intricate textures and spellbinding rhythms. Starting in ancient Spain and winding through Sarajevo, Salonica and Jerusalem, the award winning Guy Mendilow Ensemble brings to life the adventures and legends of traditional Sephardi songs, sung in the endangered Judeo-Spanish language, Ladino. Epic tales of sailors and love lost to the seas, fantastic dreams and the intrigue of kings and queens abound in arrangements that crackle with rich musical storytelling, seamlessly interwoven with poetic narration and poignant historical vignettes. Step into a new world of Ladino music, re-imagined by a team of internationally recognized players and spearheaded by charismatic Israeli composer/performer Guy Mendilow. It’s a recasting that shifts from spare to sweepingly cinematographic, ricocheting from tradition into modern imagination and alive with passion and humour and grit.

More about The Guy Mendilow Ensemble at www.guymendilow.com


Jewish “fusion” group, Zetz, out of Buffalo NY, combines the musical talents of Marty Kerker (keyboard and vocals), Leah Saada (guitar and vocals), JoAnn Vaccaro (guitar and vocals). and Alex Gordon (percussion and clarinet).  Their repertoire offers an array of Jewish genres, including Klezmer, Israeli and Ladino music.  All their songs bear their own unique identity, keeping the music fresh, contemporary and entertaining –in other words, it’s
Jewish music like you’ve never heard before!




The Buffalo-based band, West of Odessa, with Roberta Levine and Alan Sisselman, features clarinet, tsimbl, percussion, and accordion. The group performs klezmer music from regions of the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Moldavia) and the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe. Much of their music is taken from the repertoire of the late Moldavian klezmer clarinetist German Goldenshteyn. The group welcomes Syracuse’s own Sam Young on baritone horn. West of Odessa's new CD will be available at the festival.



Jonathan and Klezmercuse


Jonathan Dinkin and Klezmercuse’s repertoire features soul-stirring traditional and original Jewish music. The group welcomes Ken Frieden, new to the group on clarinet, Judy Cohen Stanton on violin, Sam Young, euphonium and tuba, Judy Schmid, accordion, Art Bronstein, guitar, Mark Wolfe, drums and percussion, and Aveeya Dinkin vocals. The group has given concerts at the Morgan Opera House, the Massena Summer Concert series, The Everson Museum, The Syracuse Jewish Music and Cultural Festival, and a number of performances at the New York State Fair.

Dinkin has composed the music for the CD “ Hanukah a Noble Celebration.” The title song, co-written with his wife Aveeya is part of the “Complete Chanukah Songbook” published by Transcontinental Music Publications. Also by Transcontinental Publications,” Nigun Anthology Volume I” includes three Jonathan Dinkin nigunim, and Shabbat Anthology Volume 5 includes his Oseh Shalom, co-written with Aveeya and Eric Gould. Other published compositions include Mi Chamocha by Boosey and Hawkes, and the children’s musical Born to Freedom by Shawnee Press.

Jonathan has also written the title song for the docu-drama “Prisoners of Freedom”. Jonathan Dinkin and Klezmercuse released the CD Lily’s Hora in 2010. Eagle entertainment editor Russ Tarby called it the best local CD of the year, and labeled the group Syracuse’s best kept musical secret. A theater company in Austria used a dozen of its songs in their performance of a Maxim Gorky play. You may download the whole CD or individual songs on OYsongs.com, the Jewish music world’s premiere download source , and on CD Baby.





Farah! brings the best of Sepharedi (Jews from southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East) and Israeli music to life. Their music reflects the cultures of Spain, Greece, the Crimea, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, Turkey, and Israel. Band membersSam Asher (vocals, guitar, violin), Bonnie Abrams (vocals, guitar), Max Steiner (percussion, vocals), Ben Markowitz (bass, percussion)and Angie Lenzo  (vocals) perform in Ladino, Hebrew and English. Farah! performs both liturgical and secular music, serious and whimsical, hard-driving and lyrical, traditional and original - and always entertaining!



Keyna Hora


Keyna Hora


Keyna Hora


Lively, ethnic klezmer dances and Yiddish songs of love and joy are the specialty of the KHKB. Their venues are Jewish and other institutions and private parties for joyous occasions of all kinds. Players are Sid Lipton, founder and banjo; Carl Borek, sax and clarinet; Allen Kosoff on drums, Megan Mawhinney on clarinet; Neil Novelli on banjo; Harvey Pearl on mandolin; Elaine Meltzer on violin; Ernie Wass on violin, Sue Wass on keyboard, Mark Watkins on trombone; Mimi Weiner conductor and violin; Mark Wolfe on drums and Sam Young on euphonium. Harry Sommer and Cheryl Wolfe are dance leaders and vocalists. Their CD demo is Manna and Matzoh.

Syracuse Jewish Festival