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MEDIA CONTACT: Carol Lewis West

International Young Composers Join Klezmer Company Orchestra to Present ‘¡JubanoJazz!’ on March 2 at FAU

BOCA RATON, Fla. (February 10, 2014) ─ Maestro Aaron Kula is mentoring emerging young composers who are interacting with Florida Atlantic University’s Jewish Print Music Collection and re-imagining vintage melodies for his Klezmer Company Orchestra (KCO) performance. The ensemble will present two compositions by these young composers, one by 24-year-old Venezuelan-born Eric Benaim, and the other by 27-year-old Brazilian-born Diego Myra Medeiros, during ¡JubanoJazz!” on Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m. at Carole and Barry Kaye Performing Arts Auditorium, FAU Student Union, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.

¡JubanoJazz!” is an all-new concert featuring a fusion of Klezmer melodies and Latin Jazz. The 27-piece KCO and returning guest vocalist Graham Fandrei will present 23 Latin Klezmer arrangements by Kula, veteran trumpeter Chaim Rubinov and the young composers. Fandrei will sing eight songs in Yiddish, Spanish and English that will incorporate Afro-Cuban, mambo, bolero and tango rhythms. 

“After 17 years, I am redefining the concert experience for the orchestra and our audience,” said Kula, director of KCO and music performance and education at FAU Libraries. “KCO continues to evolve by inviting voices from within the ensemble and of talented young composers. We must stretch our imagination and embrace change to inspire the next generation.” 

“¡JubanoJazz!” is the main event for Kultur Festival 2014, FAU Libraries’ sixth annual celebration of Jewish music and arts that will take place from Saturday, March 1 through Saturday, March 8 at FAU.The Jewish Cultural Society (JCS) at FAU is the lead sponsor for the festival and the inaugural Composition Competition, which drew submissions from students around the country. Kula’s efforts to preserve and perform music from FAU Libraries’ Print Music Collection fit into the JCS’ mission to advance Jewish cultural traditions and education.

Kula consulted with each of the winning composers to tailor the music and meet the specific needs of the KCO ensemble. The first prize composition, “Klezmer Carnival” features a fusion of musical styles and influences from Venezuela. It includes jazz, Latin and classical characteristics mixed with Jewish folk tunes.

“I believe this diversity reflects my background as well as the background of the Jewish people,” said Benaim, a pianist and music composition major at Florida International University in Miami. “Both are very varied and full of different origins and colors.”

Medeiros, whose composition “Frevo Freilach” won second prize, created his piece by mixing traditional Klezmer melodies with Brazilian rhythms known as Frevo. 

“I constructed the piece using a   Frevo march and incorporated some contemporary harmonies,” said Medeiros, a graduate student in jazz competition and performance at the University of Louisville. “My composition’s energy matches the energy found in Brazil’s streets during carnival.”

Concert tickets are $20 - $45. To purchase tickets, call 800-564-9539 or visit To experience KCO, visit or


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit

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