Posts Tagged ‘Canadian Folk Music Awards’

Jewish Group Wins Canadian Music Award

November 12, 2013

This post first appeared on The Arty Semite blog at the Forward.

blog-jaffaroad-111213Toronto-based Jewish world music group Jaffa Road keeps racking up honors. Most recently, the band was named World Group of the Year at the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards, which took place over the weekend in Calgary.

Jaffa Road’s second album, “Where the Light Gets In” (2012) was nominated for a JUNO Award this year. The group’s debut album, “Sunplace,” also scored a JUNO nomination, and the group has won Best World Music Artist at the Toronto Independent Music Awards.

“Jaffa Road blends Jewish, jazz, Indian and Arabic music with electronica and dub. The result is fantastic,” said CBC Radio One.

“I am thrilled, Jaffa Road just won WORLD MUSIC GROUP OF THE YEAR, at the Canadian Folk Music Awards (CFMA). There is so much great roots music at the CFMAs and in Canada in general. It is such an honor to even be nominated, so glad to get this acknowledgement,” posted Jaffa Road member Aaron Lightstone, who plays guitars, ud, saz, synthesizers, on Facebook Sunday night.

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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.


Songs For The Breathing Walls

November 9, 2012

This article was first published as “Musical tour creates poignant historical echo in Czech Republic’s synagogues” in The Times of Israel.

Lenka Lichtenberg at the Old Synagogue in Plzen (Pilsen) (Photo credit: Romana Rysava)

It’s unusual for a mid-career artist to declare a recent project “the most important thing I will ever do.”

But that’s precisely how Czech-born singer Lenka Lichtenberg feels about “Songs for the Breathing Walls,” a collection of mainly Jewish liturgical pieces she recorded in 12 Czech synagogues. The album’s North American release this week coincides with Friday-Saturday’s 74th anniversary of Kristallnacht, during which some of these synagogues were damaged or destroyed.

With two nominations at this month’s Canadian Folk Music Awards, it’s evident that Lichtenberg isn’t alone in thinking the album is remarkable. “Lenka Lichtenberg is a unique artist, and this album is a unique project,” says Grit Laskin, a member of the CFMA board of directors.

The praise she’s receiving is the end result of what Lichtenberg recently called her 2009 “moment of epiphany.”

“I was on a bus on the way back to Prague after giving concerts in synagogues in Plzen [Pilsen] and Liberec,” she said in a recent phone interview with The Times of Israel. “I was half-asleep, but I was musing on the interesting comparison between singing at the Plzen synagogue, which is derelict, and at the Liberec one, which is completely renovated. How could I capture the difference between the two experiences?”

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© 2012 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.