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'Jewish soul music' concert to premiere in LA

March 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
World-famous violinist Itzhak Perlman is in town to perform in a special concert for a good cause. The proceeds will benefit a local legal aid organization and Holocaust survivors. It's a project he's wanted to do all his life.

Virtuoso violinist Itzhak Pearlman rehearses for a one-of-a-kind concert. He will be onstage at the Saban Theatre Wednesday night playing Jewish music with the Klezmer Ensemble and famed Cantor Yitzchok Meir Helfgot.

"It's a 'new' old frontier," said Perlman. "You know, I've done concerts with Klezmer music, but never really with a serious vocal cantor."

There are 5,000 Holocaust survivors nationwide, 1,000 of them living in Los Angeles. The Bet Tzedek Legal Services organization is putting together the concert to help them.

"We honor those who perished in the Holocaust by trying to provide for those who have survived with a means to live out the rest of their lives in dignity," said Sandy Samuels, president and chief executive officer of Bet Tzedek Legal Services.

The concert will combine traditional, popular and Klezmer music.

Asked if he considers it "Jewish soul music," or "the soul of Jewish music," Perlman replied: "Both, both. It's both, whatever you want to call it. But whatever it is, it's going to unify everything."

Wednesday will be the premiere performance of a concert that is planned for a national tour.