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January 29, 2016  RSS feed

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’Jewish Pavarotti’ to perform in St. Pete

Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi Internationally renowned cantor and tenor soloist, Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi, will present a concert, “The Voice of a People,” at Congregation B’nai Israel on Sunday, Feb. 21.

Known as the “Jewish Pavarotti,” Mizrahi will perform a varied program of Jewish and operatic music.

Also featured will be B’nai Israel’s own Hazzan Jonathan Schultz and violinist Rebecca Zapen with Gary Lawrence on piano.

The concert begins at 4 p.m. at the synagogue, 300 58th St. N., St. Petersburg. Tickets are $18 per person and free for students or those under age 18.

For more information, contact Susan Goldstein at (727) 344-1017 or

The Greek-born Mizrahi is one of the world’s leading interpreters of Jewish music, serving as hazzan of the historic Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago for the past 25 years of his more than 40-year career. His repertoire, spanning nine languages and a myriad of styles, makes his performances unique in the field. Mizrahi’s extensive discography numbers over 25 CDs.

He is known for melding Jewish music and jazz, having performed and recorded with legendary jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck and his quartet (“Gates of Justice”). Mizrahi also performed and recorded with the late Theodore Bikel (“Our Song”).

In addition, Mizrahi has been featured in films and television specials including 100 Voices: A journey home about the Cantors Assembly trip back to Poland; the celebrated PBS concert, CANTORS: a faith in song, which took place in the Amsterdam Portuguese Synagogue; and another PBS Hanukkah Special with Craig Taubman.

Mizrahi has performed in front of two U.S. presidents: George W. Bush, at a White House Hanukkah celebration, and Barack Obama, at the U.S. Capitol for Days of Remembrance.

Mizrahi serves as president of the Cantors Assembly and is a member of the faculty of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School-JTS, New York, both associated with the Conservative movement.

Performing with Mizrahi will be:

• Hazzan Jonathan Schultz, cantor at Congregation B’nai Israel since October 2011. An active member of BACA (Bay Area Cantorial Association), Schultz trained for a career in opera prior to entering the cantorate. He has sung with several opera and operetta companies in the Washington, DC, area, including lead roles in H.M.S. Pinafore and Eugene Onegin. His version of “Shalom Rav,” has been published in Transcontinental Music’s Shabbat Anthology Volume VI.

• Violinist Rebecca Zapen. A Magna Cum Laude graduate from the School of Music at Florida State University, she is also a jazz crooner and songwriter who has released four albums. Most recently she was voted Best Local Classical Musician in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay 2015.

• Gary Lawrence, a professional pianist and arranger for over 40 years. A graduate of Brooklyn College, he is adept with classical, jazz, klezmer and other traditional Jewish repertoire. In addition, Lawrence is a veteran of the famous Catskills “Borscht Belt,” having worked at many resorts, including Brown’s Hotel and Grossingers.

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Call the synagogue office at (727) 381- 4900 for tickets and further information, or go online to

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