Musician, composer and scholar Neil M. Frau-Cortes, a native of Mallorca, Spain, will share aspects of the traditional music, literature and spiritual practice of the Sepharad – Jews of the Iberian Peninsula – in a lecture/recitation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center, Ingles Mountain View Room. Presented by UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies, Lights and Shadows in the Songs of the Sepharad is a free event, open to everyone.
Frau-Cortes will touch on many areas – the role of women, the crypto-Jewish experience, and the transmission of melodies and themes through the Sephardic world, including the Sephardic diaspora, with special attention to the Romanzas of the American Southwest.
A musician of both classical and contemporary education, Frau-Cortes has composed scores for several short films and plays. His compositions and performances on piano, guitar and vocal music cover a variety of styles, from folk to liturgical music, kirtan, jazz-fusion, and New Age electronica.
Frau-Cortes also is a hazzan, or cantor, who has worked in Orthodox, Conservative and Reconstructionist synagogues. His lecture/recitals cover diverse aspects of Sephardic music, Kabbalah, chanting, and meditation. He has participated in events such as New Mexico’s Festival Djudeo-Espanyol, and the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies convention. He has a Ph.D. in Medieval Hebrew literature and a master’s degree in cantorial studies and Jewish music.
For more information, contact UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies at 828.232.5027.