The 2016 Festival

The 2016 Gesher Music Festival celebrates AMERICAN DREAMS.

Throughout history, Jewish artists have shaped and been shaped by the American landscape, be it socially, politically, or musically. In our 6th season, the Gesher Music Festival brings to life stories of immigration, patriotism, and Americana through the music of AMERICAN DREAMS.

What a time to be focusing on America, right?? In this current election season, it’s hard not to feel how divided our country is. But the wonderful thing about art is that it transcends politics and reminds us of the common ground we share. Much like the vistas and the people that make up this country, the music of America is incredibly varied! In fact, just three concerts hardly do justice to the wide scope of styles and sounds that have been created here.

Our ROUTE 66 MIXTAPE program is a musical journey down America’s historic highway. Exploring the music of composers along that route, you’ll see that the classical music of this country was never just intended for the concert stage; in folk songs, film scores, and even personal greeting cards, composers shaped America’s history with their own musical voices.

WELCOME TO AMERICA serves in homage to the artists who left their countries of origin in search of a fresh start here. Their unique voices have only added to the rich palette of the American musical landscape. A little like fusion food, the pieces on this program are themselves little combo plates of Americana fused with music from Argentina, Austria, Italy, and Germany, among others!

And lastly, be prepared to have fun at THE GREAT (JEWISH) AMERICAN SONGBOOK show. You’ll hear plenty of your favorite songs, but you’ll also get to know the flip side of some of those great songbook composers. They might be known best for their show tunes, but many of them also wrote classical concert pieces that will blow you away!

Speaking of the depth of beauty and talent throughout America, our Gesher artists come from all corners of the country--Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and right here in St. Louis! You'll get to know them a little more intimately at our MEET THE MUSICIANS concerts over happy hour at the Chapel and over coffee and bagels at the JCC. And besides the concerts you’ll hear, they’ll be busy working within the community to present concerts and programs to underserved audiences around St. Louis. This year they’ll be visiting the Ferguson Public Library, International Institute, Juvenile Detention Center, and Covenant Place. Through these performances, we hope to build even more bridges to create multi-cultural and musical understanding.

So in this, the land of opportunity, we are thrilled to take this opportunity to share such great music with you. We hope that you'll join us this season!


Sara Sitzer
Artistic Director