Lights! Celebrate Hanukkah Live in Concert

Sun, 12/14/2008 - 5:30pm

Cantor Alberto Mizrahi, the “Jewish Pavarotti”

Annie Little Photography

Lights! Celebrate Hanukkah Live in Concert, airing Sunday, December 14 at 5:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV 21 (cable 11) and WXXI-HD (cable 1011 and DT 21.1), celebrates the holiday with a concert you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy. Host and internationally renowned Jewish musician Craig Taubman brings together an eclectic group of performers, many of them well-known in the Jewish music scene — as well as some surprises.

With high energy and old-country charm, the Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics share songs from their hit Hanukkah album, featuring lyrics by Woody Guthrie, while Cantor Alberto Mizrahi — the “Jewish Pavarotti” familiar to PBS audiences from the special Cantors: A Faith in Song — wows the audience with his Middle-Eastern rendition of Ocho Kandelikas.

Michelle Citrin, whose YouTube videos Rosh Hashanah Girl and Twenty Things to Do With Matzah have received millions of views, gets the crowd singing along to Peter Yarrow’s Light One Candle. Emmy Award-winner Mare Winningham, a recent convert to Judaism, tells her unique story through A Convert Jig, while Grammy Award-nominee and top-selling saxophonist Dave Koz transforms Somewhere Over the Rainbow into a song about hope — and a potential new Hanukkah classic. Multi-instrumentalist Josh Nelson leads a children’s choir in the moving ballad L’Dor Vador, and gospel singer Joshua “The Prince” Nelson puts a new spin on I Have a Little Dreidel.

Rabbi David Wolpe (named the #1 pulpit rabbi in America by Newsweek in 2008) adds to the proceedings with touches of inspiration throughout the program. Taubman performs a number of songs, including his original compositions Shehechianu (with his sister, Cantor Caren Glasser), Holy Ground (with dance troupe BodyTraffic), and the traditional melody Maoz Tzur (a duet with multi-Grammy Award-winner Laurence Juber).

Lights! Celebrate Hanukkah Live in Concert
offers a diverse and joyous new way of looking at the holiday for all generations.