In my previous article ‘Three Jewish Tenors – Three Jewish Tenors Make Ancient Jewish Music Come to Life’, I wrote, the Jewish nation has its own Three Tenors. Cantor Samuel Cohen moved to Los Angeles seven years ago. Shortly after his arrival he met and befriended Cantor Marcus Feldman. About two years later, Cantor Natenel Baram moved to Los Angeles and Cantor Cohen invited him to perform in a concert together with Cantor Feldman and that is when their musical friendship began. Shortly after this concert Cantor Friedmann joined and become the final link in the Hollywood Cantors’ group.
Cantor Cohen began to mull that if there is the Three Tenors, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, and, now the late, Italian singer Luciano Pavarott, the IL VOLO, the Italian trio operatic pop teenage singers, The Texas Tenors, and Il Divo, the English multinational operatic pop vocal crossover group, then why not have four young cantors do the same? The idea of four young cantors – three tenors and one base/baritone – singing, now known as The Hollywood Cantors, became reality three years ago when they began giving concerts.
The Four Cantors
Samuel “Sam” Cohen of Congregation Kehillat Ma’arav – the only Conservative congregation in Santa Monica, California, serving the Westside and beyond. He sings Zocreinu Lchayim Cantor Jonathan Friedmann of Bet Knesset Ba’midbar, a reform congregation in Las Vegas, Nevada Cantor Marcus Feldman of Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, California Cantor Netanel “Nati” Baram of Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, California
The fact is that there is no other tenor trio, or quartet, like The Hollywood Cantors in the world. The four young, gifted, talented men sing an array of Chazaunt and cantorial songs in English and Hebrew, as well as songs in Yiddish, Italian, Russian and Spanish and I am sure their repertoire will diversify further and expand.
Last weekend I attended The Hollywood Cantors pre-Passover concert at the Plummer Park Fiesta Hall, in West Hollywood. The crowd, mostly Russian-Jewish immigrants, filled the hall and heard a superb vocal performance. The purpose of the concert was to get into the mood of the Seder’s chanting. The four were accompanied by Dianna Volman, piano, Susan Greenberg, flute, Jonathan Rubin, violin and Carmit Baran, bassoon. Violinist Angela Bae, age 14, a winner of the Spotlight Award, played Nugin for violin.
Cantor Cohen emceed part of the programs with a great sense of humor. Later on he told me that to be able to create a repertoire that speaks to everyone, they take into consideration the audience in front of whom they will be performing.
For centuries Jews have contributed to a variety of music, much is internationally know and even acclaimed. The Hollywood Cantors have not moved out of Hollywood yet, where they are well known and often perform. Now we need to move them beyond the borders of Hollywood to become an international musical treasure.
AMAZING HOLLYWOOD CANTORS