A world-class humanitarian aid concert
KindredSPIRITS’ next concert will be presented Sunday, June 7, 2009 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA’s premier concert venue.
The LA Jewish Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Noreen Green, and our 100-voice interfaith gospel choir, featuring the St. James Sacred National Gospel Choir, the Valley Beth Shalom Choir and the St. Mel Parish Singers will join with noted artists, Ilan Davidson, tenor, Ron Li-Paz, baritone, and Ilysia Pierce, soprano in a concert of world music celebrating unity and peace.
Special guest celebrities will introduce the music and KindredSPIRITS’ beneficiary for this year.
The prestigious KindredSPIRITS Humanitarian Award will be presented to Ed Asner and the Grossman Burn Centers for their contributions to the world.
Special Guest: Ed Asner
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, is designed to be one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world, providing both visual and aural intimacy for an unparalleled musical experience.
The 2,265-seat auditorium with natural lighting in which the audience surrounds the orchestra was designed to look and feel like a ship’s hull. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is wheelchair accessible and Phonic Ear sound system headsets for the hard of hearing.
From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, the 3.6-acre complex embodies the unique energy and creative spirit of the city of Los Angeles and the Resident Companies that call the Concert Hall home.
Heifer International is a non-profit, humanitarian organization dedicated to ending hunger and poverty and caring for the Earth, providing sustainable and secure sources of food and income in the best interest of the people, land, and animals where they work.
Heifer International provides life-sustaining livestock and agricultural kits along with training and support to help families and communities become self-reliant. In addition, Heifer’s commitment becomes the recipient’s commitment: Each family pays their gift forward to help another family in need.
From Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, for over 30 years Heifer has reached out to make your donation multiply and families thrive. Find out where your goat, flock of ducks, geese, chicks, or cow will be going at www.heifer.org.
Versatile, committed, eloquent and talented are all adjectives that describe actor/activist Edward Asner. Perhaps best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV news room comedy The Mary Tyler Moore Show and continued in the newspaper-set drama Lou Grant, which earned him five Emmys and three Golden Globe Awards. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots. His prolific and much honored acting career demonstrates a consummate ability to transcend the line between comedy and drama.
One of the most honored actors in the history of television; Edward Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy Awards and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe Awards and served as National President of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996. Asner received the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actors Guild in 2000, presented periodically for distinguished service to the Guild’s Hollywood membership. In March 2002, he was again honored by The Guild as the 38th recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment, presented annually to an actor who fosters the highest ideals of the profession.
In addition to his professional versatility, Edward Asner has consistently served and committed himself to the rights of the working performer in addition to advocating for human rights, world peace, environmental preservation and political freedom. A passionate and informed spokesperson for the causes he supports, Asner is a frequent speaker on labor issues and a particular ally for the acting industry’s older artists. Some of the many honors he has received throughout his career include the Anne Frank Human Rights Award, The Eugene Debs Award, Organized Labor Publications Humanitarian Award, ACLU’s Worker’s Right’s Committee Award and the National Emergency Civil Liberties Award.
Edward Asner has more than 100 TV credits, which include starring in the series Off the Rack, The Bronx Zoo and Thunder Alley. Numerous guest appearances include roles in Curb Your Enthusiasm, ER, Arliss, The Practice and a recurring role on Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip. Besides commercials and numerous books on tape, he has lent his voice to popular cartoon shows such as The Simpsons, Spiderman and Boondocks. Asner’s dozens of motion pictures include They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, Fort Apache the Bronx, JFK, and the European production of Giovanni XXIII – the highest rated television mini-series in the history of Italian TV as well as the box office hit, Elf with Will Farrell and James Caan. Asner has done several Hallmark movies and was nominated for another Emmy for The Christmas Card.
Most recently he completed filming for Gigantic, slated to be in theatres Spring 2009, with John Goodman and Jane Alexander; Generation Gap for the Hallmark channel, an episode of CSI/ NY, airing April 29th. and will be the voice of Carl Fredrickson in Pixar’s next animated film UP, due in theatres May 29, 2009.
Grossman Burn Centers
Grossman Burn Centers are plastic surgery-based Centers of Medical Excellence specializing in the comprehensive treatment of burns – from acute care and reconstruction, to rehabilitation and psychological counseling. Since they first began in 1969, Grossman Burn Centers have earned a world-wide reputation as the innovative leaders in burn treatment.
In addition to the many pioneering world-first techniques developed by founder Dr. A. Richard Grossman which are now standard practice in the treatment of many burns, Grossman Burn Centers are further distinguished by the compassionate, nurturing, personalized and team-centered way we provide treatment. Their experience has shown the way they provide burn care results in less patient discomfort and speedier recoveries with better results.
2009 Concert Performers
Cantor Ilan Davidson
Cantor Ilan Davidson has been pleasing audiences with his singing since before he could read. At age five, he began singing with his Cantor, Philip Moddel, and hasn’t shut up since. At ten, he made his Operatic debut with the Fullerton Civic Light Opera’s production of Bizet’s Carmen, as a street urchin. Since then, he has performed roles in and scenes from Die Zauberflote, Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, L’Elisir D’amore, Les Pecheurs du Perles, and Manon, to name a few.
Besides his Operatic experience, Cantor Davidson also has extensive background, performing and directing theatre. He has performed such roles as Benny Southstreet in Guys and Dolls and Tony in Westside Story, and has produced many one man musical theatre reviews. Ilan has also been the musical and artistic director for many children’s theatre productions.
Among his many accomplishments, Cantor Davidson is also known as a contemporary Jewish songwriter and performer, having delighted audiences all over the world, including Israel and Lithuania with the soulful sounds of his music. As the owner of Davidsound Productions, the Cantor has produced many recordings, including his first original album, Stained Glass, in 1995. Most recently, Ilan’s band, The Moody Jews, released In A Hanukkah Mood. The Moody Jews are working on two more recordings in 2009, including Still In A Hanukkah Mood, a CD of new, original Hanukkah melodies.
After making the choice in 1991 to pursue a career in Jewish Education, Youth Work, and the Cantorate, Cantor Davidson left the stage and in 1995 joined the Temple Beth El family, in San Pedro, where he has brought many new programs and much enthusiasm to the community. In 2007, Cantor Davidson founded KindredSPIRITS, a non-profit humanitarian organization that inspires and educates diverse communities to support its global partners. The inaugural event premiered June 5, 2008 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Whether it is Hazzanut, Pop, Opera, Musical Theatre, or Folk music, Cantor Ilan Davidson shares his soul and genuine love in every note.
When asked about his finest accomplishment, Cantor Davidson invariably responds, “After all the great concerts, services, and roles, my finest role in life is that of husband to my beautiful wife, Jodi, and daddy to my gorgeous daughters, Jordan and Zoe.”
After pursuing a career in the theatre since childhood, Ilysia says it was “beshert”, meant to be, when Rabbi David Baron heard her sing just over ten years ago! It was after that meeting that Ilysia redirected her life and began her journey as the Cantor of Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, California. She has led Shabbat and High Holy Day services since 1999. In 2003 Rabbi David Baron and the Temple produced a CD, Enlighten which has elicited outstanding audience and critical review. Ilysia’s stirring rendition of “We Came to Sing in Jerusalem” was chosen to be on the Keeping the Faith, Voices for Israel 2 CD benefiting survivors of terrorism in Israel. Her vocal talents were also featured in the title song, “Keeping the Faith.”
Ilysia began studying acting, voice and dance at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for the Performing Arts and received her BA in Theatre Arts at California State University, Northridge.
Prior to her tenure at the Temple, Ilysia enjoyed a successful career entertaining audiences on stage, television, nightclubs and in concert. Some of her theatrical highlights include: Disney’s King David, an oratorio concert sparking the reopening of the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York (the original home of the Ziegfeld Follies), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, playing the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Frumah-Sara in Fiddler on the Roof with Theodore Bikel and Lainie Kazan, Eva Peron in Evita which she received a Dramalogue Critics’ Choice award for outstanding performance, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd, to name a few.
Ilysia was thrilled to originate the role of “Miss Oops-A-Daisy” for the nationwide PBS television show, The Huggabug Club, where she was able to teach children “it’s okay to make an oopsie, everyone makes mistakes sometimes!”
Ilysia’s reputation as a consummate entertainer has prompted invitations to sing in concerts as the featured guest artist at local venues, various fundraising events and at Pan Pacific Park’s Holocaust Memorial Yom HaShoah event.
Of all her successes and accomplishments, Ilysia says the one she is most thankful for is that of wife to her supportive husband, David, and mother to her two beautiful children, Braxton and Madison.
Dr. Noreen Green
DR. NOREEN GREEN, LAJS Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor, is also music director at Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, California, a renowned lecturer on Jewish music, and an accomplished educator. She is known world-wide for her knowledge and skill in presenting music with Jewish themes.
Green has received public recognition for her outstanding contributions to the multi-cultural musical scene in Los Angeles by Congressman Brad Sherman and by the Casden Institute for the Study of the Jewish Role in American Life. She has received the “Jewish Cultural Star” award presented by the National Foundation of Jewish Culture at The Jewish Image Awards, the “Golda Meir Award” from The State of Israel Bonds, the “Hall of Fame Award” from the National Association of Women Business Owners and the “Women of Significance Award” from Adat Ari El Sisterhood. She has been a featured speaker for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Upbeat Live series and conducted at the opening ceremonies of the 2001 Maccabi Games in Philadelphia. Dr. Green has been guest conductor for Jewish Music concerts with the Rubin Academy Orchestra in Tel Aviv, the Johannesburg Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Symphony at the new performing arts center in Herzliyah and the R’aanana Symphonette . Under her baton, LAJS has performed in concert with Hollywood personalities including Billy Crystal, Tovah Feldshuh, Leonard Nimoy, Randy Newman, Theodore Bikel, Laraine Newman, Valerie Harper, Pat Boone, Lainie Kazan, Fyvush Finkel, Dave Koz, Marvin Hamlisch, Roslyn Kind, David Benoit and others.
During her tenure with the LAJS, Green, along with Education Director Ilizabeth Gilbert, has developed education programs initially funded by the New and Innovate Grants division of the Jewish Community Foundation. Several of these programs have gone on to receive funding from the Righteous Persons Foundation, the Maurice Amado Foundation, the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, the Leonard and Susan Bay Nimoy Foundation and the Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership. LAJS received a substantial education grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for its Patchwork of Cultures program which uses music to show the cultural bridge between the Sephardic Jewish and Hispanic communities.
Green received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting at California State University, Northridge under conductor John Alexander. From 1981 to 1990, she was the conductor of the American Jewish Choral Society. As West Coast Music Director of the David Nowakowsky Foundation from1992 to 1998, Green presented an annual concert series of the Nowakowsky Chorale. She wrote her doctoral treatise on the music of Nowakowsky, and went on to edit many of his works, ten of which have been published by Laurendale.
From 1986 to 1992, Green was an Assistant Professor at CSUN and in the summer of 1993, she worked with conductor Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music School. With his support and encouragement, she developed the concept for and founded the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony.
RON LI-PAZ has rapidly established himself as a leading bass-baritone on the international operatic scene. He was the recipient of a full scholarship and various performance awards at London ‘s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the vocal student of his father, the bass-baritone, Michael Li-Paz, and the famous American basso, Giorgio Tozzi. Ron began his stage career in Britain, appearing in leading roles in plays and musical theater including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Death of a Salesman,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Three Sisters,” “Little Foxes,” “The Winters Tale,” “Zoo Story,” “Anatol,” “Lysistrata,” “Flora the Red Menace” and “Only the Lonely.” He made his concert debut in a Royal Gala Concert for the late Princess of Wales. His operatic debut came in 1999, as ‘Angelotti’ in “Tosca” for the New West Symphony and Opera San Jose. Since then, he has sung in the United States , France , Germany , Holland , Britain , Italy and Belgium.
Li-Paz performed the role of ‘Sarastro’ in “Die Zauberflöte” with the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, a performance which Music Critic Jim Farber called “the most impressive,” further stating that Li-Paz delivered “two stirring arias in a manner that was both lyrical and resonant.” Music Critic Alan Rich also described Li-Paz’s ‘Sarastro’ as “marvelously resonant,” while the Los Angeles Times praised his “richness and weight.” He has since sung ‘Sarastro’ in the Schwetzingen Festival and at Opéra National du Rhin to equally high acclaim. Other roles have included ‘Don Alfonso’ in “Cosi Fan Tutte” in Houston, the ‘Kommisar’ in Keith Warner’s highly-acclaimed production of “Der Rosenkavalier” in the Spoleto Festival, Italy, and ‘Ramfis’ in “Aida” at the Royal Albert Hall, a portrayal that the London Evening Standard described as “the all-around most convincing performance.” At the Concertgebouw, Mr. Li-Paz recently sang the title role in “Le Nozze di Figaro,” for which the Haagse Courant wrote “the theatrical bravura with which the bass-baritone Ron Li-Paz created the title role of ‘Figaro’ clearly showed his past career as an actor.”
Li-Paz made his Los Angeles Opera debut in 2004 as ‘Larkens’ in “La Fanciulla del West” under the baton of Simone Young. He has performed the solo roles in various oratorios including a televised performance of Honneger’s “Jeanne d’arc au Bucher” under the baton of Paolo Carigniani and Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” in the inaugural season of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. This season, Li-Paz returned to Britain to star in Kurt Weill’s “One Touch of Venus” with Opera North. He repeats the role in the Ravenna Festival in the summer before returning to London for further performances at Saddlers Wells in the fall. His performances in “Die Zauberflote” from the Schwetzingen Festival and “Der Rosenkavalier” from the Spoleto Festival are available on CD and DVD.