A LATIN KLEZMER LOVER

By Ariel Zilber

Published December 12, 2003, issue of December 12, 2003.
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Cuban-born percussionist Roberto Rodriguez takes center stage at the JCC in Manhattan, teaming up with renowned clarinetist David Krakauer and his Roberto Rodriguez Septet to perform music from his album “El Danzon De Moises,” released on John Zorn’s Tzadik record label.

The record, Rodriguez’s first as the primary composer, brings together Cuban clave rhythms and Bulgar klezmer music.

Rodriguez, who has performed with Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan’s Miami Sound Machine, was exposed to Jewish culture while growing up and working as a musician in South Florida, where he played Jewish weddings, bar mitzvahs and even in the Yiddish theater.

“I could go between one and the other,” he said of Latin and Jewish music. “The music has a unity that moves you, makes you want to dance, makes you want to cry, makes you want to laugh. It tells a story. That’s what I feel strongly about — telling a story, a story where you can close your eyes and forget all your troubles and escape reality.

The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave.; Dec. 18, 8 p.m.; $20. (646-505-5708 or www.jccmanhattan.org)






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