released April 28, 2013
Glenn Gould Studio, 250 Front Street West, Toronto
Embrace is the energetic, bold second release of the Canadian world-music group, Lenka Lichtenberg with Fray (“free” in Yiddish) – co-led by percussionist Alan Hetherington, and headlined by the multi-faceted, award-winning international recording artist, Lenka Lichtenberg: composer, vocalist and songwriter. Continuing in the tradition of Fray, the ensemble's eponymous debut album, Embrace boldly forges uncharted terrain in new Yiddish music drawing on both traditional songs as well as contemporary Yiddish poetry. Lichtenberg blends the tradition and language of Eastern European Jewish culture with unexpected sounds from Middle Eastern, Brazilian and North Indian music, expertly animated by Canada’s leading Indo-Canadian and world-jazz players: Alan Hetherington (musical co-director, drums, pandeiro, percussion), Ravi Naimpally (tabla, darbuka), Ernie Tollar (flutes, saxophones), John Gzowski (guitars, oud), and Chris Gartner (bass).
The result is a soulful, harmonious mix of East and West where the rich flavours of the Yiddish language find new textures and vibrant, stirring surroundings.
Special guests at the world premiere CD release concert for Embrace included David Buchbinder (trumpet), Hugh Marsh (violin), Roula Said (qanun, vocals), Kinneret Sagee (clarinet), and Eric Stein (mandolin).
Fray: band, CDs, concept
Lenka's first Fray recording - "yiddish ethno-jazz" - was nominated "World Music Album of the Year - solo" by 2011 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Fray marked a new direction for Lenka's song-writing, and opened a world of possibilities.
Fray : a fresh new sound….
Inspired by the soundscape of Toronto, Lenka has enlisted the talents of a unique assemblage of musicians rooted in diverse musical traditions for her fourth and most adventurous solo CD project Fray (”free”). Blending classical Indian, Egyptian, and Middle-Eastern music with North and South American styles, Fray takes Yiddish-based music into the world of global roots and rhythms, blending styles and transcending boundaries, thus carving a new space in contemporary world music for Yiddish culture.
Fray (band) features members of Tasa, one of Canada’s leading Indo-Canadian world/jazz groups: Ravi Naimpally (tabla, darbuka), Alan Hetherington (drums, percussion), Ernie Tollar (flutes, saxophones), John Gzowski (guitars, oud), and Chris Gartner (bass; on recording, George Koller). Special guests include Roula Said (qanun, voice; George Sawa on recording); Kevin Fox (cello); Kinneret Sagee (clarinet) and Alexis Basque (trumpet, cornet). Since its release in September, 2010, Fray toured in Argentina, Quebec and Poland, showcased in NYC, and performed with Yair Dalal in Vancouver, B.C.