Local Jewish groups present concert

Shir Ami, and HaShemesh, the two groups that have kept the spirit of Jewish music alive in St. Louis for the past several decades, will present a special concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 27 at The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Avenue in Maplewood. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 the day of the show and are available by mail (e-mail [email protected] or call 314-276-0235 for information). Seating is limited to only 120, so advance purchases are encouraged.

Shir Ami (“Song of My People”) sings well-known songs of Yiddish, Israeli and Ladino cultures with beautiful vocals and lush harmonies. The group was formed in the 1970s and has performed at international festivals in the Midwest and private functions locally. In addition to founder Carol Kaplan-Lyss (guitar & vocals), the other members are Jan Fishman (guitar & vocals), Amy Gage (vocals), Michael Lyss (mandolin & drum), Judy Medoff (vocals) and Elaine Unell (vocals).

HaShemesh (“The Sun”) delivers a spirited, festive sound and plays a variety of styles from Israeli to Ladino to Yemenite to Chassidic. Also formed in the 1970s, the group has played more than 500 engagements, including folk festivals, bar/bat mitzvah parties, wedding ceremonies and receptions and Shabbat services. The members are Rob Aronson (guitar & vocals), Bob Barth (guitar), Rob Birenbaum (drum), Judi Furman (flute) and Michael Lyss (mandolin).

“Through the years, our two groups have embraced Jewish folk and liturgical music. Though we have both played at events together, we have rarely shared a stage in this way,” said Carol Kaplan-Lyss. “We are especially looking forward to performing at the Focal Point, an intimate venue that is dedicated to music and has great acoustics.”

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