Rescued Treasure: The SEMER Project

Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:00pm to 8:30pm

URI Hillel  6 Fraternity Circle

Yom HaShoah-Holocaust Memorial Day

Paul Brody, trumpet, with accordionist, Christina Crowder

Berlin-based jazz trumpeter, radio documentarist, installation artist, and composer, Paul Brody will make an informal presentation on his work with The Semer Ensemble and the  project to discover, restore and perform Jewish music from 1930s Germany. With pre-recorded musical illustrations, as well as live performance with Christina Crowder on accordion. URI undergrads to introduce the event with poems inspired by his music.

Light refreshments will be served

Free and open to the public

CDs available for sale


Since moving to Berlin in the 1990s to work as a composer and trumpeter, PAUL BRODY produced ten solo albums, including three for John Zorn’s Tzadik label. He also performed as soloist with jazz, pop, klezmer, and other groups in Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and New Zealand. Originally exploring the crossroads of contemporary jazz and traditional klezmer, his band, Sadawi, has branched out into what Brody calls “Indie Jazz cinematic sound.” His album, Behind all Words, featuring Meret Becker, Jelena Kuljic, and Clueso, won the best list of the German Recording Prize. Until 2010, Brody mainly worked as a composer and trumpeter in venues like the Deutsches Theater, Schaubuehne, and Volksbuehne; and with artists such as John Zorn, Barry White, Blixa Bargeld, Wim Wenders, Volker Ludwig, Julian Rosefeldt, and Cate Blanchett. With the David Marton ensemble, Brody works as a performance artist, fusing trumpet improvisation with spoken word and acting, with performances in numerous premier venues in Berlin, as well as at MC93 House of Culture in Paris, the Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Moscow, and Bergtheater in Vienna. Since 2015, Brody had worked with the SEMER Ensemble, to discover, restore and perform Jewish music from 1930s Germany. Brody’s work also focuses on the intersection of spoken language and music, which is reflected in the album, David Marton’s La Sonnambula, and in sound installations featured at the Jewish Museum Berlin, Transmediale Festival, and Prinz-Georg Raum Fuer Kunst. Most recently, Brody wrote and produced “Most Wanted Poets, Escape from Alabama Prison,” a WDR radio feature exploring the effect of art and poetry in the harsh environment of the Alabama prison system as well as other projects that include a documentary portrait of Jewish Bluegrass musician, Mark Rubin (“Southern Discomfort,” WDR, West German Radio, 2014; a documentary exhibit examining perspectives on help, “Voices of Help” (which explored concepts of help through interviews with community and social workers living in a post socialist-communist area of Berlin, and was inspired by people who had helped Brody’s mother when she was put on the children’s transport as a thirteen year old girl escaping from Nazi Vienna); and, installations exploring the parameters of singing and spoken word for the Munich Kammerspiele Opera Department, where he is currently Artist in Residence. Brody’s most current commission is to produce music based on the voices of the translators at the Nuremburg trials.

A sampling of Brody’s Voice Melody Compositions can be found here; a video featuring his work as Artist in Residence at the Opera House of the Kammerspiele, Munich, Germany can be found here. And, an excerpt from “When Two Sing: In Search of a Jewish Sound” can be found here.


Hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences Kenneth and Susan Kermes Distinguished Lecture Endowment, URI Hillel, The Harrington School of Communication and Media, the Department of Journalism, the Department of English, the Film/Media Program, and Department of Music Faculty and Staff



Event Type

Concerts / Performances


Hillel: The Center for Jewish Life on Campus, College of Arts and Sciences, English Department, Film Media, Harrington School of Communication and Media, Journalism Department, Music Department

Contact Person

Professor Mary Cappello

Contact Email

Contact Phone

401 874-4678

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