24 2022

Dreaming Wordless Melodies: The Jewish-themed music of Brian Katz

The Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies and the Department of Music in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design are proud to present “Dreaming Wordless Melodies: The Jewish-themed music of Brian Katz” as part of the year-long performance series “Sound and Sense: Jewish Music @ York”.

Internationally renowned guitarist, pianist, composer, educator, Brian Katz, is celebrated for his instrumental mastery and evocative compositions, where he forges jazz, Jewish, classical, and various world music influences into a very personal sound. This suite of his Jewish-themed compositions was inspired by contrasting life events such as: performing a concert in a bomb shelter on a kibbutz; meditating in an olive grove outside of Jerusalem; dreaming a nigun (wordless melody) note for note while staying in a hotel—packed with Rabbi’s— in Elora, Ontario. For this special presentation, Brian will be joined by long-time colleague, Juno-nominated woodwind virtuoso, Ernie Tollar.

This series has been made possible via the generous support of the Azrieli Foundation.

Brian Katz’s longstanding love of Jewish music has led to collaborations with leading Jewish music artists such as klezmer clarinet sensations, Jonno Lightstone and Martin van de Ven, and a host of Yiddish singers including Michael Alpert (Brave Old World), Shura Lipovsky, Lenka Lichtenberg and Theresa Tova. Brian has also worked alongside many esteemed jazz and world-beat artists including Jane Bunnett and jazz legend, Barry Harris. Brian has taught a variety of subjects in music for York University since the mid 1990’s. “If you want music that speaks—here it is.” Noted European music critic, Alexander Schmitz (of Brian’s solo guitar recording, “Leaves Will Speak”).

Ernie Tollar has garnered international praise for his exceptional musicianship, creativity, and enormous versatility on a variety of woodwinds including soprano sax, Arabic ney and East-Indian bansuri flute; with Brian, they often perform as the duo, KatzTollar.

The Martin Family Lounge (Accolade East Building) is located just outside York University subway station (line 1 – University).


Sponsor: The Azrieli Foundation.

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