Review: Around the world with tolerance and understanding

SheKoyokh Quintet. Picture by Pierre Marcar

SheKoyokh Quintet. Picture by Pierre Marcar

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Holocaust Memorial Day, She’Koyokh. St Mary’s church, Warwick, January 27

Chief Rabbi, Mirvis, reminded us on Tuesday’s Today programme of the lessons learned from the Holocaust.

Heeding the Rabbi’s words and marking the Memorial Day, She’Koyokh worked in local schools as part of Leamington Music’s Education Programme before providing an audience in St Mary’s with a much improved understanding of five centuries of Jewish and Balkan music in a stimulating and enjoyable concert.

As eight-piece She’Koyokh seldom allowed the pace to drop, we travelled a fascinating journey from 1492 when the Jews departed Spain, across Balkan territories, into the non European part of Turkey, Russia and Poland before arriving in New York.

What a journey, what an education! Susi Evans displayed some astonishing clarinet playing skill and the highlight of a most entertaining first half was her clarinet duet with kaval playing Matt Bacon. The kaval is a Bulgarian flute from a solid piece of timber played as one would play a bottle.

Double bass player, Paul Tkachenko turned to a tornista tuba to provide the rhythm for a Serbian folk song.

With excellent percussion support,a huge variety of Gypsy violin by Meg Rosaleen Hamilton and intricate, accomplished accordion by Zivorad Nicolic, this was a remarkably enjoyable evening full of messages about tolerance and understanding.

Rating 9/10

By Clive Peacock