The Los Angeles Jewish Symphony (LAJS) will hold its 18th, or Chai, anniversary program, “CHAIlights: Celebrating 18 Years of Jewish Music,” at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26, at the Ford Amphitheatre.
Founded in 1994, the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony focuses on preserving Jewish music, supporting the creation of new music about the Jewish experience and using music to build cultural ties.
“They say that music and art, all kinds of art, is a soul of a community or culture. … Music and art are nondenominational,” said Noreen Green, the symphony’s founder, artistic director and conductor. “That is why it is important to keep all Jewish music alive.”
For Green, who also has a background in education, teaching about the music has been an integral part of performing it.
“It is not just going to an orchestra concert; it is like going to an event where there are old friends and you learn something, and you come out feeling better than when you walked in. The music is always uplifting,” she said.
The Aug. 26 concert will mark the U.S. premier of “Klezmopolitan Suite” by Niki Reiser, a former member of the klezmer group Kol Simcha, and will feature selections favored by Green with spotlights on concertmaster Mark Kashper, cellist Barry Gold and clarinetist Zinovy Goro. Special performers include Sam Glaser accompanied by the newly formed Jewish Community Children’s Choir and Cantors Nathan Lam, Ilysia Pierce and Ilan Davidson.