Brio Ensemble Makes Houston Debut
The 3rd Annual Jewish Music Festival begins on Feb. 21 with Brio Ensemble, featuring music of the medieval, baroque and Renaissance periods. The acclaimed music group makes its Houston debut with the program, Romance, at 8 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 5601 S. Braeswood.
The group features the singing of the young Brazilian countertenor, Jose Lemos and performs with period instruments reflecting the cultural sounds of the West and Near East.
Their instruments include rebec and viols played by Mary Anne Ballard; recorders, krummhorn, gemshorn, and Renaissance and Baroque guitars played by Steve Rosenberg and percussionist Danny Mallon rounds out the quartet with Mediterranean hand drums, tambourines, wood block, castanets and other exotic ideophones.
The Sephardic Jewish culture of early Spain might be considered a very early example of musical crossover. The Sephardic Jews who lived in Spain from Roman times until the expulsion of 1492 had their own culture but soaked up those of their surroundings wherever they were. Cultures from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East came into Spain and when the scattering of the Iberian Jews occurred, they mixed their musical culture with those of their new neighbors. One of their forms was a type of ballad influenced by the early songs of the medieval troubadours. It was called the Romance, and this debut of the quartet known as Brio concentrates on their interpretations of this traditional Sephardic music.
Tickets range from $15 – $25. For tickets, call the box office at 713-551-7255 or visit www.jcchouston.org. Tickets are also available at the door. The Brio Ensemble concert is underwritten by the Maurice Amado Foundation.