Now in its 21st season, the Temple of Israel brings six variety concerts to Greenville that won’t break the bank. The Music on Sunday concert series features musical varieties such as Afro-Cuban jazz, chamber music, Latin American rhythms, traditional klezmer tunes, and Broadway hits.
For $85, concertgoers will enjoy all six concerts and post-show complimentary wine-and-cheese receptions to meet the musicians. Or, guests may purchase $20 individual concert tickets. The season pass, called a “flex” ticket, may be used for any combination of six single admissions.
“We think we’ve got a great season going forward again with lots of variety and very inexpensive,” longtime music committee member Jack Cohan says. “There’s not anything else like this.”
Thanks to a Metropolitan Arts Council grant, the Music on Sunday series expanded from the usual five concerts to six this year. All concerts are held at the Temple of Israel at 3 p.m. on select Sundays from September 2019 to March 2020.
The 2019-20 season lineup
Salsa Shark on Sept. 15
The Cuban-Afro-Caribbean quintet called Salsa Shark brings back unstoppable rhythm. Returning with Afro-Cuban jazz tunes, Salsa Shark will also play a variety of new numbers.
“The music is really driven by the percussion and the piano,” vibraphonist/percussionist Jason DeCristofaro says. “It’s also a very rhythmic style of music.”
The members also include Warren Gaughan on piano, Kevin Kehrberg on bass, Ruben Garcia on congas, and Isaac Wells on timbales/percussion.
“It’s also dance music, so people are encouraged to dance if they feel like it,” DeCristofaro says.
American Chamber Players on Oct. 27
Playing in the series for many years, the well-known American Chamber Players present chamber pieces by Gabriel Pierné, Max Raimi, Guillaume Lekeu, and more.
The players consist of violinist Miles Hoffman, violinist Joanna Maurer, flutist Sara Stern, Bulgarian pianist Anna Stoytcheva, and cellist Stephen Balderston.
Saying the acoustics in the temple are phenomenal, Hoffman tells audiences to expect hearing lots of great music in a great venue. “I think the folks who have been following the American Chamber Players all these years know that we love to play this music and that they can count on a wonderful performance,” he says.
9 String Theory on Nov. 10
Born from the collaboration of Russian domra virtuoso Angelina Galashenkova and American guitarist John Huston, 9 String Theory transports audiences around the world.
Visiting songs with Latin American rhythms, Russian Gypsy fire, Spanish flamenco sounds, and American tunes, the unique duo presents musical magic.
Jack Cohan and Friends on Jan. 12
Along with two young artists, pianist Cohan performs a variety of songs to highlight the specialties of each musician.
Soprano Brittany Hogan Alomar and clarinetist Benjamin Chen bring top-notch talent to the temple. The trio will close with Schubert’s “The Shepherd on the Rock,” which was made for a soprano, clarinet, and piano.
Bandana Klezmer on Feb. 16
Performing Old World Eastern European Jewish festive music, Bandana Klezmer plays tunes to reflect joyous and sorrowful times in Jewish life. The music includes hints of Jewish, Gypsy, and Romanian cultures in both minor and major keys.
The ensemble consists of Meg Peterson on accordion and vocals, Naomi Dalglish on fiddle and vocals, Michael Hunt on percussion and tsimbl, Rob Levin on guitar, Andy John on cello and harmonica, and Marc Rudow on fiddle.
“Broadway Swings” with Wendy Jones and The Jason DeCristofaro Trio on March 15
Honoring Rosemary Clooney in last year’s show, Wendy Jones returns to join DeCristofaro, Kehrberg, and Rick Dilling for a musical journey back in time.
“I’m taking some songs from Broadway and giving them jazz treatments,” Jones says. “It’s going to be a wonderful afternoon where people can just revisit a time where melodies were beautiful and lyrics elevated and almost always understood.”