Enjoy the sounds of trumpet, sax, bass, drums and piano, as Shabbat services are accompanied by The Afro-Semitic Experience - a seven piece band that combines the spirited sounds of jazz, gospel, soul and klezmer. The event takes place Friday at 8 p.m. at The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shoreand is open to visitors and congregants alike.
The group got its start back in 1988 when African-American jazz pianist Warren Byrd, and Jewish-American jazz bassist David Chevan performed together at an interfaith Martin Luther King memorial service. Ever since, the Afro-Semitic Experience has shared its music at concerts, workshops, and worship services all across the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Their music weaves the distinct cultures and heritages of the members of the group. They blend their stories and music together, celebrating and explaining the Jewish and African-American sacred traditions.
The group describes itself as “an ensemble dedicated to preserving, promoting and expanding the rich cultural and musical heritage of the Jewish and African diaspora,” according to its mission statement.
That mix sounds right to RSNS Cantor Eric Schulmiller.
"We are thrilled to host such an exciting musical program at our synagogue," he said. "It takes place on Shabbat Shira - the Sabbath of Song - and on the heels of Martin Luther King Day, and we hope our celebration in song will also help reinforce the connections between the African American and Jewish communities."
The musical program is free, and open to the public. For more information visit rsns.org or call the synagogue office at 516-627-6274. RSNS is located at 1001 Plandome Rd in Manhasset.