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First Annual Jewish Music Festival Announced

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(LENOX, Mass., July 1, 2006) – CHALLAHPALOOZA, the first annual Berkshire Jewish Music Festival, will feature Greg Wall’s KlezmerFest, a renowned traditional klezmer ensemble, and M-Generation, a Russian-Jewish youth choir, at the Duffin Theatre at Lenox Memorial High School on Sunday, July 9, at 7. Berkshire Living editor-in-chief Seth Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer, the all-time bestselling guide to klezmer music, will host the event, sponsored by Chabad of the Berkshires.

The event will also include a performance by the BIMA Jazz Ensemble from Williamstown. BIMA, or the Berkshire Institute for Music and Arts, is an annual summer arts program for Jewish teenagers that takes place on the Williams College campus.

As a leader and member of such groups as Hasidic New Wave, the Neshama Carlebach Band, the Wall/London Band, Later Prophets, and the Unity Orchestra, saxophonist Greg Wall has been one of the leaders of the contemporary klezmer revival for the last 20 years. A Massachusetts native trained in jazz and world music at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the New England Conservatory in Boston, Wall, who now lives in New Jersey, is one of the best-educated and creative musicians in traditional Jewish music and its modern offshoots.

“Besides being a mensch of the highest standards, Greg Wall is unsurpassed in his sensitivity and understanding of the roots of Jewish music,” says Seth Rogovoy, who has profiled Wall for The Forward and other publications. “He is one of the best of his generation, and it will be an incredible treat for Berkshire audiences to hear him play klezmer at the apex of his career in this lovely, intimate theater.”

M Generation is made up of a dozen boys between the ages of 5 and 12 who sing songs in English, Russian, Hebrew and Yiddish. The group, which won first place at the 2003 International Chanukiah Awards in Germany, competing against Jewish performers from 17 countries, has performed at numerous venues in New York City, including Gracie Mansion, Borough Hall, and Madison Square Garden. The group’s repertoire includes traditional tunes and original compositions by the group’s artistic director, Baruch Rukiter. M Generation is a project of Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, a Chabad organization servicing the Russian-Jewish community for over 35 years.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 413-499-9899. For additional information and a schedule of Chabad-sponsored events, visit

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