Pomegranates & Figs: Veretski Pass, Oakland Folkharmonic, Inspector GadjePurchase tickets online
December 15 8:00 pm
We wouldn't dream of knocking the Nutcracker or disrespecting Santa - but if you hanker for something a little different this holiday season, consider Pomegranates & Figs: A Feast of Jewish Music brought to you by Kaila Flexer, the force behind Klezmer Mania! On this last night of Hanukah, we'll light the candles and listen to some Romani rock and Carpathian soul.
San Francisco-based Inspector Gadje, with up to 12 horn players and three percussionists, brings its big sound to the bouncy and beautiful brass band music of the Balkans. Trumpets, saxophones, and clarinets play soaring melodies over the tight, driving groove of low brass and drums. Gadje is the word that Romani people use to refer to those who aren't Romani—the band's name winks at Inspector Gadget, the popular 1980s cartoon show, and also aims a jab at pejorative stereotypes, especially as applied to the Romani. The band often works for causes that promote human rights and human dignity.
Veretski Pass takes its name from the pass in the Carpathian Mountains that the Magyars used in 895 A.D. to cross from what is now the Ukraine to what is now Hungary. The trio plays country music —the Old Country—with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Romanian, and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia, Jewish melodies from Poland and Romania, Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian Ruthenia, and haunting rebetic airs from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions.
The Oakland Folkharmonic is Shira Kammen and Kaila Flexer's new string ensemble featuring Kaila, Shira, Kyla Danysh, and sisters Rachel and Danielle Taylor on a variety of stringed instruments including violin, viola, vielle, and tarhui. The group's repertoire ranges from the traditional modal music of Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East, to medieval music, to original compositions by Kaila, Shira, Ross Daly, and Kelly Toma.
Listen to a track from Veretski Pass:
Listen to sample tracks from upcoming artists.