FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: "CONVERGENCE" DEBUT IS AN EXPLORATION OF A HUNDRED YEARS OF BLACK AND JEWISH MUSIC
“[Anthony Russell] wove in and out of Eastern European chazzanut and old African American spirituals, which had an almost shamanistic shape-shifting affect on the audience.”—The Times of Israel
“These aren’t ‘Glee’-style mash-ups, but are astutely arranged to explore the exile, spirituality, hope and redemption in both traditions—with Carpathian folk flute, of course."—Jewniverse
AUGUST 8, 2018 (Boston, MA) — Five years ago Anthony Russell, a black former opera singer-turned Yiddish vocalist, set out to create a new musical idiom by combining two distinct older ones: African American spirituals and the music of Jewish Eastern Europe.
In collaboration with acclaimed klezmer consort Veretski Pass (Joshua Horowitz, Cookie Segelstein and Stuart Brotman), Russell has created a repertoire of songs authentically inhabiting the sounds of two traditions resulting in Convergence, Russell’s debut solo EP.
“I was inspired by the music of these two diasporas in time and space—the Black and the Jewish, “ Russell said, “but I was also inspired by the possibilities of that history as a point of departure, the possibilities of telling stories about modern, ongoing struggle and transcendence.” This is especialy evident on “Side B” of the EP: the inequalities of “Stranger”, the mass incarceration in “Rosie” and the protest-like call to action in “Open”.
Drawing from a diverse collection of folk songs, anthems, lullabies, art and religious music, Anthony Russell and Veretski Pass mobilize an array of historic genres in their creation a multi-diasporic sound: early blues, Hungarian and Bessarabian klezmer, “old time” fiddle, synagogue tunes, contemporary classical and—in a special guest appearance by seven-time Grammy-nominated Latin percussionist John Santos—Cuban guaguancò.
CONVERGENCE Track List
1. Water - (Hebrew/English)
2. Train - (English/Yiddish)
3. Horses - (Yiddish/English)
4. Lift - (English/Yiddish)
5. Stranger - (Yiddish/English)
6. Rosie - (English)
7. Open - (English)
8. Zion (Adoration of the Ancestral Shrine) - (English/Hebrew)
For more information about Convergence, interview requests or promo copies of the EP, please email firstname.lastname@example.org