WEST COAST PREMIERE
Long-thought lost and newly restored by The National Center for Jewish Film, Broken Barriers (Khavah) is back on the screen after 100 years! Originally released as Khavah and later renamed Broken Barriers, this 1919 silent film is the first American screen adaptation of the work of Sholem Aleichem (Tevye, the Milkman). Born in Russia in 1859, Yiddish author Sholem Rabinovich, who wrote under the pen name of Sholem Aleichem, was the most read and revered Jewish writer of his time. This film focuses not on Tevye the milkman, but on his daughter Khavah, who falls in love with the gentile boy Fedka, sending reverberations through her family and community. The film's substantive depiction of Jewish life is a rarity even amongst the precious few surviving early American films with Jewish content. This special one-time-only online screening features a brand new commissioned score by renowned musician Sascha Jacobsen who, along with his fellow musicians, will perform live along with the film in this can’t miss one of a kind event. Co-presented with the SF Silent Film Festival.
THE SASCHA JACOBSON QUARTET has performed for many historic Silent Film screenings including many films not seen for almost 100 years: "A City Without Jews" for the 2018 SF Jewish Film Festival, "Not Like the Others", one of the first silent films with a gay protagonist, in collaboration with the Goethe Institute, "Mother Krause's Journey to Happiness" at the SF Silent Film Festival and many others. Their performances are a mix of improvisation, interpretation and collaboration, led by bassist and composer Sascha Jacobsen.
Sascha Jacobsen was born into a musical family, going as far back as his great, great, great, great-grandfather, who was a bassist for the Moscow Opera. His mentors have been Michael and James Finley, John Brecher, Nico Abondolo, and Dennis Trembly, as well as Wolfgang Guttler and Shinji Eshima. He completed a Master's degree at the University of Southern California and has served on the faculty at The California Jazz Conservatory, Humboldt State University, Laney College, Golden Gate Bass Camp, and the Sequoia Chamber Music Festival. Sascha was a founding member of the Classical Revolution movement, which has spread around the world and has performed with Adam Theis and the Jazz Mafia. Sascha also performed as principal bass with the Santa Cruz Symphony, and the American Musical Theatre in San Jose, and has toured the world with the Argentine Tango group: Trio Garufa. He is the founder of the Musical Art Quintet which performs his original works. Strad Magazine say his music is "...Stylish and Vigorous...beautifully arranged". SF Bay Gaurdian says “composer-bassist Sascha Jacobsen's concoctions hop nimbly through a world of styles while impressing with ear-catching intricacy and handsome technique.”. East Bay Express says “Classical Music is sexy again”. SF Weekly says: “Classical training and a taste for evocative melodies underpin this sound”.
MORGAN NILSEN is an international touring musician and clarinet teacher located in San Francisco, California. Nilsen is a Backun Performing Artist, and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, with a Bachelors of Music degree in classical clarinet performance and a diploma in Ethnomusicology. Now she can be seen touring with global music ensembles: La Misa Negra (Colombian Cumbia), Inspector Gadje Brass (Balkan music), Kugelplex (Klezmer Band), and EDM project Balkan Bump. She has performed in Thailand, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and 49 of the US states. She has been heard on radio stations in Iran and Bulgaria, toured with Tunisian singer McRai, and was flown to London’s British Museum to play with the Assyrian Music Ensemble. Nilsen has taught privately in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past 12 years and loves her students! MorganNilsen.com IG: LadyEmEn.
MATTHEW SZEMELA is a violinist who crosses musical genres with ease and has been praised by the New York Times for his “outrageous fiddling,” . He has performed as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in several renowned concert halls both domestically (Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully, Merkin Recital Hall, Library of Congress, Kennedy Center), and abroad (Japan, China, Korea, Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, Italy). Upon moving to Berkeley, CA in the summer of 2011, Matthew began performing with the Berkeley Symphony. He joined the Opera San Jose Orchestra in 2017. An active member of the Bay Area music scene, he can be often be seen collaborating with such groups as Vadalma (Hungarian Folk), Incognito Express (Balkan), Musical Art Quintet (Nuevo Chamber), Tango del Cielo, and Classical Revolution.
JAVIER SANTIAGO is a true pianist of the new millenium. His music speaks to audiences of every age, background and gender. Santiago is an artistic visionary who embraces traditions in music while forging ahead with innovations in new sounds, technology and concepts. The piano has been always been one of his main mediums of expression and composition – but his music consists of all instrumentations – ranging from big bands, string quartets and the acoustic piano trio to hip-hop beats and the integration of synthesizers, keyboards and other electronics.