Longing for Peace and Home, a presentation of Russian and Jewish songs from World War II. Featuring world-renowned singers and musicians, including Aelita, Natasha O. Ramer, Theresa Tova, Vadim Kolpakov, John Joyce, and Boris Fogel.
Performed at Congregation Gates of Prayer in Metairie and Marigny Opera House, New Orleans.
An international singing star and recording artist, Aelita completed two world tours singing in 16 languages.
Named by the media as “The Queen of Cabaret”, she graced stages all over the globe, bringing her special brand of entertainment to the opening ceremonies of World Cup 2002, Seoul, Korea; performing for the Queen of England and winning the title of the best Big Band Vocalist in Canada.
Born in Riga, Latvia, Aelita is passionate about the preservation of Yiddish music. She remains true to her roots in her new production “Yiddish Cabaret – Songs from the Heart,” taking audiences on a journey from the turn of the Century, intertwining English, Yiddish, Russian, Hebrew and French lyrics to incorporate a fascinating personal family story that spans three continents and several generations.
“Only once in a great while do audiences have an opportunity to enjoy such a unique talent as Aelita, “The Queen of Cabaret”. Her many fans fall in love with her warmth, charm and personality making her one of the world’s greatest performers who will win the hearts of any audience.”
~ Eleanor Hannan, Florida Suntimes, Entertainment 2016
Mike Walsh sums it up best in “The Golden Voices of History,” EuroWeekly News, Malaga, Spain 2014:
“The celebrated chanteuse extraordinaire Aelita is a Latvian born icon who rhapsodises hearts the world over”.
Boris Fogel returns to New Orleans to participate in Moscow Nights’ latest program.
Born in Moscow, he graduated from Gnessin State Music College and worked at the Moscow Concert Organization (MosConcert) for 30 years as a solo pianist and accompanist.
Mr. Fogel performed Russian romances, Gypsy and Yiddish songs with singers of the Bolshoi Theater and accompanied the actors of two prestigious Russian theaters, the Moscow Academic Theater of Satire and Vakhtangov State Academic Theater.
As a solo pianist, he toured Malta (1996), Ireland (on the invitation of the Consul General of the Russian Federation in Ireland, 1998), Vietnam, North Korea, Germany and China (2000). In 2000, Mr. Fogel moved with his family to Boston, MA, where he continues his active career as soloist and accompanist to both singers and instrumentalists.
Mr. Fogel also performs programs where he combines his roles as Musicologist-Researcher, Singer and Pianist: “From Bach to Offenbach,” “Unforgettable Tangos in Russia,” as well as the programs dedicated to the lives and songs of Alexander Vertinsky, Isaac Dunaevsky, and Bulat Okudzhava.
In 2007, he published his first book, “Concertmaster’s Notes”, which had its second, extended, edition in 2015.
Professor of Music at Tulane University. He received degrees in percussion from Loyola University of New Orleans and Julliard in New York. In addition, he received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Columbia University and both an Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Musicology at Tulane University of Louisiana. Dr. Joyce is both a musical scholar and performer.
As a scholar he has done specialized research in the field of Italian music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque, specifically in the origins of opera and solo song in early 17th century Florence. Dr. Joyce’s other field of interest is African-American music.
He teaches the History of Jazz course at Tulane and is the editor of The Jazz Archivist, the quarterly journal of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane’s Howard Tilton Memorial Library. He has published five articles on New Orleans jazz in addition to four articles on jazz in the new Grove’s Dictionary of American Music.
He recently completed work on a major jazz publication, the complete recordings of the Sam Morgan Jazz Band (1927) transcribed into musical score, published for The American Musicological Society as volume 24 of their series MUSA (Music in the United States) by A-R Press (May, 2012).
As a performer, Dr. Joyce has been a percussionist with the Dallas and New Orleans Symphonies, as well as a jazz drummer with various local groups, beginning with The Last Straws and including Pete Fountain and the currently active Louisiana Repertory Jazz Ensemble of which he is co-leader and arranger. With this last group he has toured extensively in the United States, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, China, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Joyce is currently conducting a seminar on Louis Armstrong and the emergence of big band swing in the late 1920’s.
Natasha O. Ramer
Natasha O. Ramer received her Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA) at the Russian Academy of Performing Arts (GITIS) in Moscow, and studied with the renowned actress and director Maria Knebel. She directed throughout Russia and Lithuania prior to coming to America in 1984, and immediately putting down her artistic roots as a vocal artist by performing concerts of Russian and Gypsy romances.
In 1999, the same year she founded and became Artistic Director of Moscow Nights, Natasha began her American performing career at the newly established Le Chat Noir with her first show titled “Natasha Ramer: Diva Russe.”
“The marriage of provocative voice and passionate delivery has given Ms. Ramer the reputation of being a sophisticated chanteuse in her adopted home-town, New Orleans.”
~ Kathy Krotzer-Laborde
She once more stepped onto the stage with Kurt Weill’s “New Orleans Style” with Harry Mayronne Production’s “Centennial Celebration” in 2000.
In 2003, Natasha assembled her American experiences in a program “Natasha O. Ramer: 20 Years In America”. Through monologues, Ms. Ramer relived the frustrations and epiphanies of the past 20 years; with the monologues punctuated by songs — some pop, some standards — well known to American ears.
“Natasha O. Ramer: 20 Years In America” quickly gained notoriety and Natasha took her one-woman show to New York’s National Art Club in April, 2004. In December 2004, she brought this program Moscow for two encore performances at the prestigious National Actors’ Club and finally to her alma mater GITIS. Before returning to America, she was filmed by Central Moscow TV in an interview and concert named, “Poetry Theater with Roman Viktiuk”, which was broadcast throughout Russia, Europe, Israel and the United States.
“This Little Russian Sparrow sang with an intensity of feeling and phrasing that went right to the heart. She had…a script…that was delightful, fascinating, funny and poignant; and which described her 20 years in America in a manner that gave a totally seamless and fine cohesion to her selection of songs.”
~ Patrick Shannon III | Crescent City Chronicles (December 2003)
This show quickly gained notoriety and Natasha took her one-woman show to Moscow at GITIS, her alma mater. Before returning to America, she was filmed by Central Moscow TV in an interview and concert named, “Poetry Theater with Roman Viktiuk”, which was broadcast in Russia, throughout Europe, Israel and the United States.
A daughter of Holocaust survivors, Theresa Tova is described as a “Towering, pan-cultural jazz-cabaret diva.” (~ Planet Jazz)Tova is an award-winning actor, writer and singer who is at home in film, television and theatre as well as headlining major international festivals, such as the Yiddish Diva. Tova starred as Emma Goldman in the First National Broadway tour ofRagtime and Yenta in Fiddler On The Roof at the Stratford Festival.
Tova’s Holocaust musical “Still The Night” based on her own mother’s tale of survival as a Partisan in the forests during World War Two won four Canadian Tony Awards and was nominated for the Governor General Award for Excellence in Dramatic Literature.
“The importance of these Holocaust songs lies not only in their beautiful minor keyed tones, but more so in their timelessness. The bittersweet tales they tell of women and war are as meaningful today as when they were first sung in the ghettos and forests.”
Her latest musical, “Bella: The Colour of Love“, played to sold out houses in Philadelphia, Warsaw, Poland; Halifax, Toronto and New York.
Vadim Kolpakov returns to New Orleans!
Vadim Kolpakov is a virtuoso Russian-Romany (Gypsy) seven-string guitarist, dancer and vocalist, as well as Founder, Artistic Director and performer in the Via Romen ensemble as well as with his Zingaresca guitar duo, and as a soloist with several artists and bands in many different projects.
A graduate of the Romany Performing Arts School Gilori, he studied guitar with his uncle and mentor Alexander Kolpakov in Moscow. At the age of 15, Vadim joined the Moscow Romen Gypsy Theater as a guitarist, vocalist, dancer and dramatic actor. Since then, Vadim has performed extensively in Russia and abroad, has performed at concerts in Carnegie Hall (New York City) as well as in the Kremlin (Moscow). He has participated in numerous musical projects on Russian, European and North American television and radio. He was an artist-in-residence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2006 – 2007.
In 2008-2009, Vadim Kolpakov went on tour with Madonna as a performer in her “Sticky & Sweet” world tour. Vadim is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Via Romen ensemble.
His musical repertoire includes Russian- and Romany-style compositions by Alexander Kolpakov, 19th Century Russian seven-string guitar repertoire, and his own compositions and improvisations on Romany, Russian, classical, jazz, pop and world music.
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