As a boy growing up in Be’er Sheva, Israel, Shmuel Elbaz discovered his love for the mandolin. The nimble, ringing sound of the mandolin makes up the backbone of the Andalusian music of Shmuel’s childhood — music carried from North Africa and the Middle East to Israel —connecting Shmuel’s Sephardic family to their heritage. But even as a boy Shmuel had bigger-than-average dreams for the instrument, and when he graduated from Jerusalem Academy of Music, he did so as the first person ever to specialize in the mandolin. Since then, he has won awards for his solo work, led the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra to the Israel Prize, and gained international fame.

This March 15th-18th, you can hear Shmuel right here in Greater Philadelphia in a four-concert series, as part of a trio of musicians who have all been members of the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra. Together, they capture the lushness of Andalusian music, adding a classical touch, and rounded out with sung Arabic, Moroccan, French, Spanish, Algerian and Israeli poetry. All three Israeli performers arrive as ambassadors of our Partnership2Gether communities of Netivot and Sdot Negev, with whom our Jewish Federation has shared a special connection for over 20 years. And through an extraordinary partnership, they will be joined in performance by members of our very own Philadelphia Orchestra. The Jewish Federation is proud to partner with ARTolerance — a local nonprofit founded by Orchestra cellist Udi Bar-David — to bring together so many talented musicians for what will be an unforgettable musical experience.

For more information on concert times, dates and locations, click here.