Westport Radical Jewish Culture Festival to open with free concert

The Center for Jewish Arts and Literacy at Beit Chaverim Synagogue has announced the schedule of concerts for its new season of the Westport Radical Jewish Culture Festival. Each Festival concert will be held at the Westport shul and will feature a current project of some of the most influential musicians of the current generation of creative Jewish artists, whose work is released on John Zorn’s Tzadik record label, and who perform frequently throughout the world.

Hasidic New Wave

Hasidic New Wave

Opening the Festival series on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 9 p.m. is a free concert featuring Hasidic New Wave, one of the most important groups to emerge from the Lower East Side’s Downtown Renaissance of the ‘90’s and 2000’s centered at the Knitting Factory, and later Tonic. Formed by Grammy award-winning trumpeter Frank London and saxophonist Rabbi Greg Wall, who met years ago as students at the New England Conservatory of Music, Hasidic New Wave blends the sounds of modern jazz and funk with the older traditions of Hasidic spiritual songs, resulting in both energetic improvisations and original works. Guitarist David “Fuze” Fiuczynski, bassist Fima Ephron, and drummer Aaron Alexander round out the group.

The concert will be followed by Selichot, the traditional pre-Rosh Hashana recitation of penitential poetry, and a reception.

Wall founded the Center for Jewish Arts and Literacy while serving as spiritual leader of the historic Sixth Street Community Synagogue in New York City’s East Village from 2009-2012. The Center produced hundreds of concerts, commissioned new Jewish theater works, featured installations of mixed-media artists, and offered nightly classes in Jewish thought, text study and Jewish history. Now based in Westport, where Wall leads Beit Chaverim Synagogue, the Center will gradually introduce its cutting- edge programming to Fairfield and Westchester Counties to enhance the communities with inspiring Jewish cultural offerings.

Beit Chaverim is located at 85 Post Rd. West in Westport. For more information call (203) 227-3333.

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