The Maggid and the Minstrel: Renowned International Artists Peninnah Schram and Gerard Erdery Help Launch Israel @ 70 Celebration
By Cathy Schechter
Austin’s Jewish community will welcome Peninnah Schram and Gerard Erdery as Shalom Austin kicks off its weekend celebration of Israel at 70. The free concert, sponsored by Shalom Austin, will be held at the JCC Community Hall April 21 at 8 p.m.
Schram, internationally known storyteller, teacher, author and recording artist, is former associate professor of speech and drama at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University. Author of 10 books of Jewish folktales, including “Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another” and “Stories Within Stories: From the Jewish Oral Tradition,” she travels across the United States and around the world presenting storytelling programs and workshops for all ages. She is winner of the prized 1995 Covenant Award Foundation Award for Outstanding Educator, and National Storyteller’s Network Lifetime Achievement Award.
Schram will be joined by the Warsaw-based singer/songwriter and recording artist, Erdery. The New York Times has called him a “master of Sephardic song.” Schram remembers hearing him sing for the first time in the 1990s just a few weeks after she had done a story concert full of Sephardic folk tales.
“I absolutely fell in love with his guitar, his voice, his music,” she said.
Schram recalls that when she introduced herself, Erdery said, “I’ve always wanted to work with a storyteller.” The Maggid and the Minstrel went on to perform their first evening together at the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue in New York City, and have since performed in venues around the world, “From Berlin to Jonesboro, Tennessee,” joked Schram.
The Maggid and the Minstrel’s performance in Austin will be a selection of stories and songs of love, for others, for community and for Israel. The concert is free and open to all. ■
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