The Kol Nidre Finds its Flamenco Rhythm - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

The Kol Nidre Finds its Flamenco Rhythm

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"The Kol Nidre Project" releases unique Flamenco version of the iconic Yom Kippur prayer.

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TORONTO, ON, September 04, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The Kol Nidre, an iconic Jewish prayer, is sung by the Cantor and choir on the eve of Yom Kippur. Traditional arrangements over the centuries have been composed for cello, violin, piano and other conventional instruments. And now, a version for Flamenco guitar has arrived on the world music scene.

Roger Scannura's Flamenco-infused Kol Nidre (titled Todos Los Votos) is being released online as a part of The Kol Nidre Project - a website devoted to "producing and sharing different interpretations of the Kol Nidre through the hearts, souls and instruments of musicians from around the world."

Listen to Todos Los Votos

In January 2014, faced with the worst winter he can remember, and armed with 25 years of playing Flamenco guitar, Scannura "locked himself up" for a few months to compose his version of the Kol Nidre for the Kol Nidre Project. Scannura describes a "eureka moment" where he discovered a curious link between the roots of Flamenco music and the Kol Nidre prayer. "Kol Nidre is the root of several Cante Jondo's (deep song) that compromise the heart of the Flamenco song."

Listen/Watch Roger explore his inspiration for composing "Todos Los Votos"

Inspiring musicians to reinterpret this ancient prayer is the work of journalist/producer Harold Levy. The roots of the The Kol Nidre Project date back to 2002, when Levy heard his son-in law Nico playing his Sitar after returning from traveling in India. Soon after, Nico composed & recorded his version of the Kol Nidre (titled Jolliet Kol Nidre goes East) ladened with sweeping ragas, sitar licks and reggae beats.

Listen to the Jolliet Kol Nidre Goes East

Following the release of The Jolliet Kol Nidre Goes East, Nico was contacted by Paul Warner, a retired colonel in the US Army on special assignment in Kabul who had discovered Nico's Kol Nidre on the internet. Colonel Warner asked Nico if they could play his Kol Nidre at a Yom Kippur service on a military base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Jolliet Kol Nidre was received enthusiastically by the troops. Soon after, a radio documentary called Kol Nidre in Kabul was produced & broadcast across Canada on a popular CBC documentary show called "Outfront."

Todos Los Votos is the most recent release from The Kol Nidre Project, but certainly not the last. Producer, Harold Levy is fascinated with the enduring nature of the Kol Nidre amongst Jews and non-Jews alike and the numerous instruments on which the Kol Nidre has been performed over the years. These range from full orchestra and string quartet to bamboo flute, hammered dulcimer, double bass, clarinet, saxophone, and various combinations of the above.

This fascination inspired Levy to check out some unique instruments during a recent visit to Africa. Although there's no official announcement on another addition to the Kol Nidre Project yet, it does beg the question: Where will the Kol Nidre show up next?



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