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Crossing Melodies

Gregorian chant meets Judeo-Iraqi songs of prayer in Miami

Alicia Zuckerman
February 18, 2008

Imagine hearing a concert of Gregorian chant at your local synagogue, or traditional Judeo-Iraqi liturgical songs performed at a church.

Recently, South Florida audiences had the chance to have both experiences, when these musical forms were combined in concerts held at two local synagogues and a church. The experiment was the brainchild of Patrick Dupre Quigley, artistic director of the Coral Gables chamber choir Seraphic Fire, in collaboration with cantor George Mordecai of Temple Emanu-El, in Miami Beach. The result was perhaps more radical than either man had imagined, and also quite mesmerizing, as Alicia Zuckerman reports.

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