Howard plays lute and guitar and is part of Trio Sefardi–one of our specialist groups for this year’s Christmas Revels. Howard has studied guitar in Cleveland, Ohio, Washington, DC and Alicante, Spain! (he even played for the King and Queen of Spain at the Smithsonian Institute in 1976 and at the White House in 1978). Howard is not new to Sephardic music (although Trio Sefardi is actually a fairly new group); he was a founding member of La Rondinella, which has three recordings on the Dorian Discovery label, with a new retrospective recording just released this November — Sephardic Songs: An Anthology. For many years, Howard has also worked extensively with Sephardic singer/composer Flory Jagoda (whom he accompanied on her latest recording, Arvolika) and early music singer Barbara Hollinshead, with whom he recorded an album of Elizabethan lute songs and solos entitled Loves Lost… and Found; their new recording of 16th and 17th century French songs and lute solos will be released in early 2012.
In this year’s Christmas Revels, Howard will be playing both lute and guitar, and will be playing everything from Renaissance and Sephardic music to some Flamenco (for our Sevillanas dancers).
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last few days helping to finish the Christmas Revels program. Our program is really elaborate. It has about eight articles, some about Revels activities and some about aspects of this year’s show. There’s a section of program notes that list every song, poem, and dance in the show, with a ton of information contributed by a lot of different people. It’s quite a job to make the notes both accurate and concise. Not to mention that things change, so we have to make sure the items are in the right order and list the right performers. The final product is beautiful. (And, I hope, interesting.)
Yesterday I had some expert assistance on the final proofread.
That’s a teeny knitted tarasque, the mythical beast that will appear on stage. We plan to sell these little guys at Lisner, so start saving your pennies. Not this one, though – I don’t think I can part with him.
We saw the full-sized tarasque in action yesterday. WOW. Seriously. I had no idea. It’s so…lively. And I heard the tarasque puppeteers are scheduled for a special rehearsal tonight to make it even cooler.
By the way, if anyone wants to pitch in and knit some tarasques for the merchandise table, I’ll e-mail you the pattern. It takes about three hours for me to knit one. There’s no crochet pattern, but anyone is welcome to design one and share it.