Sound and Sense events return to York with Juno-worthy performances

music notes and keyboard

The Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies and the Department of Music in the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) will host “Dreaming Wordless Melodies: The Jewish-themed music of Brian Katz” on Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

This instalment of the “Sound and Sense: Jewish Music @ York” series features world-renowned guitarist, pianist, composer and educator Brian Katz, a contract faculty member in AMPD who is celebrated for his instrumental mastery and evocative compositions, where he forges jazz and classical music, infused with Jewish and international influences, into his personal sound.

For this special presentation, Katz will be joined by long-time colleague, Juno-nominated woodwind virtuoso, Ernie Tollar.

This selection of Katz’s Jewish-themed compositions was inspired by contrasting life events such as: performing a concert in a bomb shelter on a kibbutz; meditating in an olive grove outside of Jerusalem; dreaming a nigun (wordless melody) note for note while staying in a hotel – packed with rabbis – in Elora, Ont.

Katz’s love of Jewish music has led to collaborations with leading Jewish music artists such as klezmer clarinet sensations, Jonno Lightstone and Martin van de Ven, and a host of Yiddish singers including Michael Alpert (Brave Old World), Shura Lipovsky, Lenka Lichtenberg and Theresa Tova. He’s also worked alongside many esteemed jazz artists including Jane Bunnett and Barry Harris. Katz has taught a variety of subjects in music for York University since the mid 1990s.

Brian Katz and Ernie Tollar event

“If you want music that speaks – here it is,” said music critic, Alexander Schmitz, of Katz’s solo guitar recording “Leaves Will Speak.”

Tollar has similarly garnered international praise for his exceptional musicianship, creativity and enormous versatility on a variety of woodwinds including soprano sax, Arabic ney and East-Indian bansuri flute. Alongside Katz, they often perform as the duo KatzTollar.

Tickets for this event are free, click here to reserve a seat.