Zamir Chorale of Boston Live In Studio

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To watch Zamir Chorale perform “Kafe Bekef” Click Here!
Based on the smiles coming out of the WERS live mix studio, one would never suspect it to be early on a Sunday morning. These bright smiles were courtesy of the members of the Zamir Chorale of Boston who stopped by the studio this weekend as part of Live Music Week. As an organization dedicated to “raising awareness of the breadth of beauty of Jewish culture through performances and recordings,” the Zamir Chorale found themselves right at home performing during Chagigah – WERS’s only show centered on Jewish and Israeli culture and music.

Although only a small fraction of the entire chorale, the ten select members who came to WERS were more than capable of handling performance duties. For as their concert manager Larry Sandberg commented, even the small group of ten had a combined 190 years of performing experience – an impressive yet minute amount compared to the total experience that the Zamir Chorale of Boston has given its members since its founding in 1969. Since 1969, the members of the Zamir Chorale have traveled and performed around the world, making quite a reputation for themselves in the world of Jewish choir music.

Despite their travels around the world, the Zamir Chorale always comes back to their home in Boston. Their comfort in the city was apparent in the group’s relaxed demeanor as they visited the WERS studio for the first time in a couple of years.

For the first song of the morning, the ladies of the Zamir Chorale were center stage in their elegant black dresses and purple scarves as they performed “Markhela Aliza.” Originally composed by Nurit Hirsch in the early 1960s, “Markhela Aliza” is about a choir of birds singing from the treetops. With their lovely voices, it was easy to imagine the ladies of the Zamir Chorale singing along with the aforementioned birds on an enjoyable sunny day. The song is so pleasant and sweet that it should come as no surprise that it will be one of the many performed at Zamir Chorale’s interactive children’s concert, Zing!, taking place October 28 at Newton’s Temple Reyim.

The men of the Zamir Chorale of Boston stepped in for the next song, looking sharp in their bright purple ties. Both the men and the ladies sang together in “Halleluyah, Haleli Nafshi,” a song written by Venetian composer Salamone Rossi in 1622. The voices of the men and women complimented each other nicely in a way that created a sense of wholeness out of diversity – like the citizens of seventeenth century Venice coming together to celebrate their faith in the streets.

The same kind of communal energy was brought in their third song of the morning, “Kafe Bekef.” Appropriate for an early autumn morning, “Kafe Bekef” features a group of people singing about the virtue of coffee. Based on their rendition of the song, one could assume that the Zamir Chorale of Boston can achieve a level of fun and energy based solely on their interactions with each other without the help of caffeine. The members in the studio kept their mutual energy going even after their performance was over, being kind enough to stick around to record special promo sweepers to air during future broadcasts of Chagigah.

Ultimately, the Zamir Chorale of Boston is about more than just Jewish chorale music. While they are a group of very talented vocalists, their dedication to teamwork and togetherness transcends the music. Their commitment to bringing people together can be heard in their ensemble performances and can be seen with their constant involvement in community outreach programs. For just this reason, the Zamir Chorale of Boston is admirable, not only musically, but socially, for bringing people together regardless of age, culture, or faith.

By Chris Gillespie
Photo by Madelyn Reese

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