Downtown Seder 2013 featuring JUDY GOLD, LOU REED, LAURIE ANDERSON AND MORE - 3/19

6:30pm Doors / 7:30pm Start

Downtown Seder 2013 - 3-Tiered Seating

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CONFIRMED PERFORMERS (Additional talent to be announced shortly)

Lou Reed: Lou Reed is an American music and culture icon, having been a founding member and principal songwriter for the pioneering band The Velvet Underground. His career, both in the "Velvets" and with his acclaimed solo work, has spanned over four decades.

Frank London: Trumpeter/composer Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, and has performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowieπs Brass Fantasy, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni and Gal Costa.

Sean Altman (JEWMONGOUS): Altman, who "writes hilarious and irreverent acoustic rock songs about his awakening Jewish awareness" (Jerusalem Post), founded Rockapella and led that group through its heyday years on the Emmy-winning PBS-TV series, Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?, for which Altman co-wrote the famous theme song.  His classic Passover song "They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let's Eat)" has been featured on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Altman has performed JEWMONGOUS throughout the USA, Europe and Israel.

David Broza: David is considered amongst the most dynamic and vibrant performers to emerge from Israel. An icon in his homeland, with over 30 years of impressive career throughout the world and remarkable repertoire of anthem hits. He continues to create and to release his original fresh music, a fusion of the countries he's lived in: Israel, Spain, and the USA.

Jon Madof (Zion80): Guitarist and composer Jon Madof's musical collaborations cover the spectrum of the vibrant New York City music scene, from recordings and sold-out shows with John Zorn and Marc Ribot to genre-busting work alongside Frank London, Matisyahu and others.

Julie Menin: Julie is the former Chairperson of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, a position she was unanimously re-elected to three times. She has been hailed in the press for her “solution driven” and “results oriented” approach to government.

Laurie Anderson: Laurie is a pioneering experimental performance artist, composer and musician. She did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s, and became widely known outside the art world in 1981 with the release of her single "O Superman".

Judy Gold: Emmy Award winning actress and comedian, Judy Gold is best known as the star of her two critically acclaimed long-running Off Broadway hit shows. Judy’s most recent show, The Judy Show – My Life As A Sitcom ran from June 2011 – January 2012 at The D-R-2 theater in New York and will be part of 2013 season at The Geffen Theatre in L.A.

Jeremiah Lockwood of The Sway Machinery: Son of composer Larry Lockwood, Jeremiah began his musical career playing guitar and singing on the streets of Manhattan. He's worked for years as the front man for The Sway Machinery, a blues/world beat/Cantorial music ensemble.

Joel Chasnoff: Joel is a stand-up comedian and writer with stage and screen credits in eight countries, and author of the comic memoir The 188th Crybaby Brigade, about his year as a combat soldier in the Israeli Army.

Rachel Shukert: Rachel Shukert is the author the the critically acclaimed memoirs Everything Is Going To Be Great and Have You No Shame? Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including Salon, McSweeney's, Slate, Gawker, the Daily Beast, Heeb, and Nerve.

Mark Normand: Hailing from New Orleans, Mark does stand up comedy in New York City or wherever someone will have him. His parents are still together, he have an older brother, and as a child he wet the bed. He loves stand up comedy.

Old Jews Telling Jokes: Created by Peter Gethers and Daniel Okrent, OLD JEWS TELLING JOKES showcases five actors in a revue that pays tribute to and reinvents classic jokes of the past and present. Think you’ve heard them all before?

Michelle Citrin: Fully independent from any record label, Michelle has sold thousands of copies of her records. Her engaging live performances and talent for writing catchy and meaningful songs have garnered rave reviews and numerous accolades, including being named one of Billboard Music’s “Top Songwriters”.

Neshama Carlebach & Josh Nelson:

This unprecedented collaboration combines two very different Jewish journeys and traditions into a meaningful and uplifting musical experience. Together they create a sound as provocative, boundary pushing, and intimate as those created by their musical and spiritual mentors, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and Debbie Friedman.

New York City rock icon Lou Reed, superstar Israeli singer/songwriter David Broza, performance art-pioneer Laurie Anderson, and acclaimed stand-up comic Judy Gold are among the all-star line-up of performers and VIPs who will lead the City in a wildly spirited, imaginative and interactive Passover Seder dinner hosted by City Winery!

Other performers on the bill include trumpeter (and member of the Klezmatics) Frank London, NYC comic/musician Sean Altman (JEWMONGOUS), NYC Community Board Chairwoman and advocate Julie Menin, and guitarist and composer Jon Madof (Zion80). Additional talent will be announced shortly.

Why is this Seder different from all the other Seders?

Because on this night, we bring together a variety of artists, political figures, comedians, and thinkers to offer their unique interpretation of the important lessons from the timeless and universal message of the Exodus story. We divide the Haggadah into 5-minute pieces, with each performer offering a poem, song, or thought contributing to a truly moving and unforgettable experience for all. The Seder transcends the Jewish tradition, and has many relevant and important messages, which connect to our place in society and the on-going struggles for freedom and justice across the globe. The Downtown Seder is produced by City Winery impresario Michael Dorf, who has presented this annual sell-out event in New York City since 2002. Past performers include Lou Reed, Dr. Ruth, Lewis Black, Neil Sedaka, Philip Glass, Theodore Bikel, Jerry Stiller, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and many more!

“The Downtown Seder is specifically being held several days prior to the start of Passover so that guests might bring the inspiration into their homes and make their own Seder dinner more relevant.” says Dorf.

“The core of the Passover Seder tradition consists of telling and sharing the timeless story of our ancestors, who were held as slaves in Egypt”, says City Winery founder Michael Dorf. “The focus of this tradition involves re-experiencing the bitterness and despair of oppression, and appreciating the liberation and freedoms we now enjoy. The Seder is our annual reminder to ask questions, to challenge the status quo, and with serious discussion, humor, music, food and wine, address the critical issues facing humanity today.” This year, the Downtown Seder asks these “4 Questions”:

1) In an advanced democracy in which the rights to free speech, to peaceful assembly, and to bear arms were envisioned 200 years ago by our founders, why are there not restrictions on assault weapons designed for war, or at least minimal background checks at the level of scrutiny required in getting a driver’s license to stop the current violent epidemic in our country?

2) In a modern, networked global economy, how can we accept that there are still 27 million people in slavery today - men, woman, and children - and not demand that governments, international organizations and businesses make immediate changes to address this issue and end slavery in our world?

3) Beyond all the scientific research, are the hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, annual “storm of the century’s”, record rainfall, record droughts, record snowfall, record glacial melt not evidence that we are in fact experiencing potentially cataclysmic global climate change, and that we need to address this issue seriously and immediately?

4) Has not the history of all the violent struggles experienced by minorities, the recent Lincoln films and attention to civil war, past and present, ongoing racial intolerance, and marginalization of gays and lesbians not been enough to finally inspire humanity to bring about a true, permanent equality to all people?

The Downtown Seder will not be an ordinary evening (nothing at City Winery is ordinary anyway), but it will be a truly moving and incredibly meaningful experience for everyone!

The 2013 Downtown Seder will feature guests seated at elegant long family-style tables, each set with the traditional accoutrements, including Seder plate and Matzoh. Performers, who are seated with guests throughout the room, will creatively expound on various sections of the Passover Haggadah (Seder text), which has been specially developed for this night. In an approximately 90-minute program, all of the customary traditions will be followed, including drinking of four glasses of wine (produced by City Winery), discussing the four different children, reciting the four questions, and eating a delicious kosher-style or vegetarian meal prepared by City Winery Chef Jeff Haskell.

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