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Chai Folk Ensemble



By Rhonda J. Prepes, P. Eng.

Chai Folk Ensemble Winnipeg Manitoba is releasing a brand new music CD after a 13 year break.
“This was a huge undertaking”, reports Vocal Director Arthur Liffmann. “We have an exceptionally talented group of musicians and singers who have been performing together and perfecting their skills for many years.”

“If you have not heard Chai perform in a number of years”, says Liffmann, “you will truly be blown away by this CD.”

The musical portion of Chai, some 18 members, aged 16 to 57, spent 2 weeks in February 2010 at the Private Ear Studios in Winnipeg recording their work. Musical Director and Producer of the CD, Ariel Posen explains, “A lot of hard work went into making this CD. The performers were in the studio for up to 12 hours a day.”

Chai is North America's oldest and largest Israeli folk ensemble. Founded in 1964 by the late Sarah Sommer, Chai has built an international reputation for the unique blend of international dance, music and song that gives it its name...Hebrew for "alive". Chai is made up of more than 40 dancers, singers and musicians. It is the only Israeli folk ensemble in North America to perform exclusively to live musical accompaniment.

Tracy Kasner Greaves
Chai Managing Artistic Director
Ariel Posen
Chai Musical Director
Arthur Liffmann
Chai Vocal Director

“Over the past 10 years, Chai has experienced an evolution. From travelling to Israel, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Detroit, Los Angeles and other places, we were exposed to other musical/dance groups. We have been able to learn from them and grow from our experiences. Today we have more challenging scores, more complex vocal arrangements, more talented performers, better technique and style, and higher standards. We are all passionate about what we do and we strive for the ultimate performance,” says Liffmann.  

This CD is a mixture of many different styles of music, including traditional Israeli, Yiddish, Yemenite, Moroccan, and current Israeli hits – all with a unique Chai twist.

Managing Artistic Director Tracy Kasner Greaves clarifies, “This CD is indisputably unique. The music reflects “our travels” literally – the impact of our movement around the world. It is world class, intertwining old and new flavor with a graceful style.”

Posen concludes, “It was time for Chai to release a new CD. We wanted to get the music out to the people. And this CD will appeal to all ages.” A release party and intimate concert featuring the entire ensemble is planned for Sunday, May 9th, 2010 at the Gates on Roblin. Call the Chai office at 477-7497 for more information.

Rhonda Prepes Rhonda Prepes is an engineer, educator, mother, and writer in Winnipeg.


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