Friday, May 30, 2014

San Diego's Jewish festival delights with classics, klezmer, folk tunes

Yale Strom's violin heats up the Lyceum Monday at the lively Klezmer Summit.

Kosher treats await at the Lyceum with world class music, theater, tributes to Irving Berlin and Pete Seeger


Torchy ballads will be served up again by 
talented klezmer diva Elizabeth Schwartz.
Violinist Asi Matathias and pianist Victor Stanislavsky performed Thursday.


THERE'S NO BUSINESS like show business, and there's no Jewish arts festival west of Tel Aviv with as much energy and talent as the Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival.
Don't miss it, folks. It's world class and it's right here in River City!
The impressive 21st annual festival  kicked off to raves and appreciative audiences and continues through June 18 in San Diego's lively downtown and North County.

Cookie and Keller are among legions of  appreciative fans
as the Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts Festival continues. 

THURSDAY'S well tuned concert featured Israeli violinist Asi Matathias and pianist Victor Stanislavsky who presented a nearly flawless 90-minutes of Saint-Saens, Brahms and other well chosen treats. With maturity and precision, these young virtuosi had the all-ages audience attentive and wanting more.   Proceeds benefit the America-Israel Cultural Foundation; the audience showed its support of this endeavor with generous applause and "bravos."
AMONG MYRIAD delights as the festival continues is a world-premiere work about a beloved American composer-lyricist, Israel Isidor Baline, born in Belarus in 1888. (You may know him better as Irving Berlin, the musical genius who gave us "God Bless America," "White Christmas," the score of "Annie Get Your Gun" and countless other treasures.)
Irving Berlin, beloved by Americans,
is honored in song by Hershey Felder. 
An original piece about Berlin's music and life headlines the annual Lipinsky sponsored Jewish Festival, on tap through June 18 in downtown and North County.
This year's festival is again curated, organized and directed by devoted San Diego Rep associate artistic director Todd Salovey, whose enthusiastic welcomes are festival tradition.

Hershey Felder
presents Berlin tribute.
The Lyceum, home of San Diego Repertory Theatre, awaits with delights.
 HE PREVIEWED an upcoming fest highlight, a nearly sold out performance of  "Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin."  The piece spotlights the legendary American composer and Jewish cultural hero who rocketed to fame with "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Oh, How I Hate To Get Up in the Morning," and dozens of other beloved hits. Felder's highly anticipated Berlin show is Sunday, at 7:30 p.m. June 1, on the Rep's Lyceum Stage. Tickets are $55 or $118 for a special reception.
FELDER, a talented pianist, composer, actor and writer, is known around town; his "Composers Sonata" has been staged at the Old Globe Theatre and his "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," is on the Lyceum marquee enticing subscribers to the Rep's next season.
Yale Strom, at right, and an arsenal of red hot talent ,brought
down the house at the 2013 San Diego Jewish Arts Festival. 
DON'T MISS the 13th annual Klezmer Summit Monday, June 2. "My Yidishe Mambo" showcases gifted musicians Yale Strom and Gilbert Castellanos and last year's fest had people practically dancing in the aisles with its unique Jewish-Latin hybrid sound. Hot Pstromi includes Jeff Pekarek (bass), Lou Fanucchi (accordion), Fred Benedetti (guitar), Duncan Moore (percussion), Elizabeth Schwartz (vocals) and Strom (violin), joining Castellanos (trumpet), Irving Flores (piano) and Gene Perry (Afro-Cuban percussion).

The legendary Pete Seeger will be
honored in a special tribute.
ANOTHER FEST highlight is a tribute to the late folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, Monday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Seeger's long career inspired the popular Rep show, "A Hammer, a Bell and a Song to Sing." The Lyceum's Seeger tribute includes a staged reading of Salovey’s musical “Pete Seeger Sings Out,” with actor-musicians Dave Crossland, Jim Mooney and Vaughn Armstrong.
 A second performance is at 7:30 p.m. June 10 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach.
For the Seeger NCRT show, go to or call (858) 481-1055.
The Jewish Festival also includes a "Women of Valor"  reading honoring San Diego's accomplished Jewish women June 18, in the Encinitas Library, 7 p.m. And there are several free events. For details or tickets visit or call 619 544-1000.
Fisherman Larry Giles in search of the big one (catch
and release, of course) off the Florida coast.

COMING UP: From klezmer and other Yiddish treats to gators, a wildlife preserve, fishing, flowers and girl watching in Florida. We're about arts, adventure and exploration, always with a sense of fun. Explore, learn and live and visit us Wednesdays and weekends at:

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