Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ezra Malakov's Bukhari Chad Gadya

Beth Gavriel Bukharian Congregation in Queens, NYC was founded in 1996 as home to the city's growing Bukharian and Russian Jewish community. Beth Gavriel's cantor, Ezra Malakov, has been central to an effort to preserve and transmit Bukharian Jewish music. In addition to his own albums, he's collected and produced "Musical Treasures of the Bukharian Jewish Community", a seven CD box-set with book of music and lyric that "represents the religious and folk music of the Bukharian Jewish Community, once based in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and elsewhere in Central Asia.""

Here's Malakov's performance of the Passover seder classic Chad Gadya.

Note that Malakov's recordings and the Musical Treasures collection have all been released independently and do not have any internet distribution that I'm aware of. Contact Cantor Malakov through Beth Gavriel for more information. The only recording that Malakov was involved with that has any internet distribution is "Eternal Music of Bukharian Jewish Hymns" which is available through the American Sephardi Federation online book & music store.

For more information about the Bukharian Jewish community, check out Beth Gavriel's "History of Bukharian Jews," the Australian radio program "Encounter: Shalom from the Silk Road: The Story of the Bukharians," and the article "Bukharian Jewish Music in Queens" by Evan Rappaport of New York's New School. If you happen to be NYC tonight (April 13, 2011) Rappaport will be giving a lecture on the topic. Rumor has it that the talk with be recorded and if it's made available, I'll post it.

Hat tip to the website Invitation to Piyut for uploading the video to YouTube. In addition to Malakov's Chad Gadya, Invitation to Piyut has a wide variety of Passover piyut from around the world.

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