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Frank London & Yanky Lemmer – “Ahava Raba”

Frank London & Yanky Lemmer – “Ahava Raba”

Ahava raba, abundant love.

Ahava raba, a prayer and blessing recited daily thanking the Creator for the abundant love we have been given.

Ahava raba, also called freygish, the name for cantorial klezmer musical mode that expresses the character of so much Ashkenazic Jewish music.

Ahava raba, the prayer in which the four corners of the tzitzis are gathered as we ask the Lord to “bring us peace at the four corners of the earth.”

Ahava raba, a new group where phenomenal Cantor Yaakov ‘Yanky’ Lemmer and renowned klezmer musicians Frank London & Michael Winograd come together to celebrate the abundant love, deep spirituality and ecstatic joy in Jewish sacred music.

All springing from the same source, klezmer, Hasidic and cantorial music express the heart and soul of East European Jewish life. Rather than focusing on technical virtuosity or mixing cantorial music with opera and Broadway and playing generic repertoire, Ahava Raba is dedicated to exploring the soul, beauty, passion, fun, joy and exuberance in klezmer and cantorial music. Their material comes from the masters of traditional Ashkenazic religious singing (Yossele Rosenblatt, Yosef Shliskey, Leib Glantz and Zavel Kvartin), the upbeat songs of khazn and matinee idol Moyshe Oysher, and the mystical nigunim and z’miros of the Hasidim.

Cantor Yaakov ‘Yanky’ Lemmer is one of the finest practitioners of the art of cantorial music. Growing up and living in the Orthodox-Hasidic neighborhood of Boro Park, Brooklyn, he has been immersed in the sounds of davening his entire life. A true scholar as well as devotee, he has studied from the masters, recreating the sound of the ‘Golden Age of Cantorial Music’ while developing his own personal style. His skill has brought him to festivals in Europe, Israel and the Americas, singing at memorials in Poland and for the menorah lighting at the White House. He is the Cantor at Manhattan’s Lincoln Square Synagogue. Not surprisingly, his hobby is collecting old Victrolas and 78 rpm discs of cantorial recordings.

Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics, leads Sharabi, the Glass House Orchestra, and his Klezmer Brass Allstars; composed the symphony 1001 Voices, the theater piece A Night in the Old Marketplace based on Y.L. Peretz’ work, and the opera Green Violin about the Soviet Yiddish Theater; has played on more than 500 recordings with artists from David Byrne to Chava Alberstein, and is a Grammy-award winner.

Michael Winograd moved quickly from the young lion on the klezmer scene to becoming nearly ubiquitous, playing with nearly everyone on both sides of the Atlantic, helping form cutting edge groups such as the Yiddish Arts Trio and Sandaara, and arranging and producing recordings for Yiddish singers Adrienne Cooper, Susan Leviton and Miryem-khaye Segal. Together they are leaders in the transformation of klezmer and Yiddish music

Joining them are the cream of the modern new Yiddish music world — accordionists Patty Farrell or Sanne Moericke, bassist/vocalist Benjy Fox Rosen, and drummers Richie Barshay or Guy Schalom. Each brings a deep knowledge, love, and vast experience of Jewish music to Ahava Raba.

Ahava raba — peace, love and music.