African, Jewish and Muslim musical traditions come together in a one-night-only musical experience when Toronto’s Jubilate Singers, conducted by Isabel Bernaus, and soprano Denise Williams of Walk Together Children join forces for Roots and Intersections. The evening of traditional and modern music and mashups features choral music, solos and ensemble pieces performed by the approximately 40-member, mixed-voice Jubilate Singers and Denise Williams, joined by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Waleed Abdulhamid, reed and tenor sax player Ben MacDonald, percussionists Daniel Barnes and Sam Donkoh, pianists Brahm Goldhamer, Babak Naseri and Darryl Joseph-Dennie; and a dancer TBA.
African music will include songs from that continent as well as North America and the Caribbean, Jewish songs will reflect the Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions, and Muslim repertoire will come from Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Andalusia. The soloists and choir will also join forces to perform contemporary Canadian works reflecting each of the three cultures, as well as songs in which the cultures meet, in such mashups as the Hebrew song Bein Hachoshekh Laor (Between Darkness and Light) by Manal Hreb and Daphna Rosenberg, paired with Woyaya (We Are Going) by the Ghanaian band Osibisa. Also featured will be Shalom Salaam from Andrew Craig’s oratorio We Still Dare to Dream.
Denise Williams earned a following with her Walk Together Children concerts, which she began in the early 1990s to bring the African and Jewish communities together in response to the Showboat controversy in Toronto. Antiguan-born Williams had learned the spiritual, Walk Together Children, as a professional singer with the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir. Her performances resulted in a CBC Radio broadcast and a CD, and in 2018 expanded to include music from Muslim traditions.