Like so many other musical groups, we have been without performances for much of the pandemic. We had a few moments here and there, such as our performance of Letters from the Affair at the Providence Fringe in the summer or this collaboration on the Hassidic Kaddish with our friend, Cantor Erik Contzius this past fall:
That changed for us for a couple of weeks as found ourselves, for a short while, with a busy January. So busy, in fact, that on January 15, the Friday evening of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, we managed to virtually participate in seven services and concerts. Here are some links to some samples of that evening.
We prerecorded our part for a service services at Congregation Beth Ahabah in Richmond Virginia. And then Cantor Sarah Beck Berman recorded herself into the group. It’s a beautiful service that you can find here:
We prerecorded music for the entire MLK service for Congregation Mishkan Israel Hamden, together with Cantor Arthur Giglio. The service can be found on the synagogue’s Livestream page in two parts. If you search on the livestream page for January 15 you will be able to hear us on the streams for Kabbalat Shabbat Services and the CMI MLK service Livestream — Congregation Mishkan Israel (cmihamden.org)
Meanwhile, at the MLK service at Temple Beth El of Great Neck, Cantor Adam Davis sang along live with our prerecorded videos of the service.
And we also recorded a concert for Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley our concert and our conversation with members of the synagogue can be heard here: https://youtu.be/4N8haCPEgc0
Shabbat Shirah is the Sabbath observed every year that marks the reading of the Torah portion in which the Hebrew slaves cross the Red Sea and become a free people. After the crossing the newly freed Hebrews sang two songs of gratitude and freedom. While many people rightly think of Passover as the essential Jewish holiday for the celebration of freedom this is another moment in the year when we celebrate freedom, and it is a Sabbath that emphasizes celebration through music and song. This year, for Shabbat Shirah, on January 29, band cofounders Warren Byrd and David Chevan went to a studio where they played a Friday night service, accompanying Cantor Meredith Greenberg for Temple Ner Tamid. After the service David and Warren played a bit more and spoke with the cantor about their music: