The Connecticut premiere of the award-winning film “Flory’s Flame,” followed by a live concert of Sephardic music by her protégée and West Hartford native singer/guitarist Susan Feltman Gaeta, will take place on Saturday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the University of Hartford’s Wilde Auditorium in West Hartford. The special event is presented by The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford and by Congregation Beth Ahm, a 65-year-old Modern Conservative synagogue in Windsor, Conn. Tickets are $20 per person and include a dessert reception after the concert sponsored by the Hoffman Auto Group and the Feltman Family of West Hartford. To purchase tickets, go to www.Hartford.edu/tickets or call the University of Hartford Box Office at 860-768-4228.
“Flory’s Flame” is an inspirational biographical documentary about the extraordinary life and career of 92-year-old Sephardic composer and performer Flory Jagoda, known worldwide as the Keeper of the Flame of Sephardic music. Raised in a musical household in Bosnia and then Croatia, Flory was forced to flee to Italy and then America during World War II. As one of the few survivors of the Holocaust in her family, Flory made it her life’s mission to continue her family’s cultural legacy through their Sephardic music in Ladino, the language of Jews from Spain and Portugal. Flory has recorded five albums and earned a National Heritage Fellowship (the highest honor given by the U.S. to traditional artists) from the National Endowment for the Arts in the process. The film presents both Flory’s triumphant life story and her Celebration Concert at the U.S. Library of Congress in 2013, where she was joined onstage by 25 musicians who have performed with her, including Susan Feltman Gaeta.
Susan Feltman Gaeta is the sister of Congregation Beth Ahm Executive Committee member Steve Feltman and is the daughter of West Hartford residents Frances and Philip D. Feltman. A decade ago, The Center established an endowed chair in his honor, the Philip D. Feltman Professorship in Modern Jewish History.
Vocalist and guitarist Susan Gaeta has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Holocaust Museum, the Greater Washington Jewish Folk Arts Festival, and for numerous Jewish and interfaith communities across the nation. A longtime protégée of Jagoda’s, Gaeta completed an apprenticeship with her mentor and they have performed around the world together. Gaeta received a grant from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to record a CD to preserve and continue Jagoda’s music from her perspective as apprentice. The recording traces the evolution of the authentic a cappella women's Sephardic vocal tradition that Jagoda learned from her grandmother, to Gaeta’s interpretation of the composer’s more contemporary pieces.
Prior to her extraordinary apprenticeship with Jagoda, Gaeta spent eight years in Argentina where she performed jazz and both American and Argentine folk music in Buenos Aires. She studied with, and often was accompanied by, classical guitarist Oscar Casares. Today, Gaeta performs as a soloist, as a guest accompanist for Flory Jagoda, and as a member of the Sephardic music group, Trio Sefardi. She now lives in Virginia.
- For more information about the film “Flory’s Flame,” visit www.florysflamemovie.com, or click here to view the trailer.
- For more information about musician Susan Feltman Gaeta, visit www.susangaeta.com.
Tickets for the Saturday, December 3 event are $20 per person and include the film presentation, the live concert, and a dessert reception. To purchase tickets, go to www.Hartford.edu/tickets or call the University of Hartford Box Office at 860-768-4228.
For specific questions about the December 3 event, call 860-688-2283.
Sponsor: Congregation Beth Ahm; Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies; Hoffman Auto Group; Feltman Family of West Hartford