BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — If you’re ready to snap your fingers, clap your hands and tap your feet, come experience Eugene Marlow’s Heritage Ensemble as it performs its unique Judeo-Latin-Jazz repertoire at Congregation Mount Sinai’s annual holiday concert, Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.
The Heritage Ensemble will also accompany Congregation Mount Sinai’s own Cantor Shira Lissek, who will sing selections from the Great American Songbook.
Described as “a cross-cultural collaboration that spins and grooves” by New York City Jazz Record, the Heritage Ensemble takes familiar Judaic melodies and plays them in new ways, and performs new melodies in familiar styles. The Heritage Ensemble is well-known for its unique musical approach — arranging familiar Judaic melodies and original compositions and performing them in various jazz, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and neo-classical styles.
Its 2010 album, Celebrations: Festive Melodies from the Hebraic Songbook. garnered 27 reviews and extensive radio play in the United States, Canada and Europe. Of its most recent album, A Fresh Take, Jeff Wanser of JazzReview said: “The group takes each beautiful melody in turn and works through its theme, explores its possibilities, and never overstays its welcome.”
Lissek (whose first name, Shira, is Hebrew for “song”) has sung to the delight of audiences since she was 4 years old. At 16 she sang the national anthem at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game and by 18 she was leading Jewish high holiday services for thousands. A graduate of Indiana University School of Music and Manhattan School of Music, Lissek went on to sing leading roles in regional opera companies including Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Seattle Opera), Mimi in La Boheme and Nedda in Pagliacci (The Philadelphia Kimmel Center), and The Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Bronx Opera). In the musical theater world, Lissek performed 656 shows of the American Girl Revue in New York.
Congregation Mount Sinai is located at 250 Cadman Plaza West, Brooklyn.
* * *