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” The cantorial profession is a sacred calling. The cantor is able to go into a whole different realm with the music, a very holy place. The cantor, which means the leader of prayer, is a messenger of the people. Our real function is to gather the prayers of all the congregants and to present them to God on high.
   
Cantor Sidney Dworkin

 

Montreal has long been known worldwide as a center of cantorial music. The Jewish equivalent of classical music, it enjoyed its cultural craze in the 50’s and 60’s but subsequently came to be known as a lost and dying art. When the late cultural icon, singer / songwriter and native son Leonard Cohenreturned to his Montreal Jewish roots with his final Grammy award-winning album You Want It Darker, his collaboration with renowned Montreal Cantor Gideon Zelermyer thrust the ancient art-form back into the spotlight giving it widespread attention.

A People’s Soundtrack explores this long and rich musical history and its relationship to both Montreal and its celebrated Jewish history. Mixing rare photos, intimate interviews, candid family moments and performance footage from some of the city’s greatest Jewish tenors, A People’s Soundtrack celebrates the unique ways the active voices of today are fighting to keep the ritual observances and emotional expressions of their communities alive.

Featuring renowned Montreal cantors: Sidney Dworkin; Rona Nadler; Adam Stotland; Daniel Benlolo; and Gideon Zelermyer.

A People’s Soundtrack will premiere on Mountain Lake PBS on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 at 8 PM.

The documentary is executive produced by Marvin Rosenblatt and directed by Evan Beloff (2017 Canadian Screen Award finalist for his documentary “Kosher Love”, and more recently “Daughters of the Voice” for CBC’s documentary strand “Absolutely Canadian / Absolutely Quebec”).