Concert: Amos Hoffman and Noam Lemish

October 17, 2018 @ 7:00 pm
Mittleman Jewish Community Center
6651 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97219
$15; $10/members; $5 youth

Internationally renowned jazz guitarist and oud virtuoso Amos Hoffman and world-class pianist/composer Noam Lemish will be touring the west coast of the US with their quartet to celebrate the release of their latest album. Pardes is an enchanting album offering an inspired blend of jazz, north African and latin rhythms as well as melodies that come from various Jewish communities across the Middle-East and Eastern Europe.

“Listening to Pardes…it’s easy to feel like you’ve been transported to a musically intoxicating garden of Eden” The Whole Note, May 29, 2018
“Exuberant jazz arrangements of Jewish songs” Canadian Jewish News, March 2, 2017

The tour is highlighted by an appearance at the historic Freight & Salvage in Berkeley and also includes concerts in San Francisco, Sacramento, Sonoma State University, Healdsburg and Portland. The quartet is comprised of a rhythm section featuring stellar Bay Area musicians Miles Wick on bass and Alex Aspinall on drums.


For years, Hoffman and Lemish have been collecting Jewish melodies from different parts of the world including Kurdish, Yemenite, Moroccan, Ladino, Russian and Israeli songs. The quartet’s lyrical and vibrant reimaginings of beloved Jewish melodies have been captivating audiences all across North America and their new album has been garnering rave reviews. In their two years of performances of the Pardes repertoire Hoffman and Lemish have played an array of festivals and venues in both the US and Canada including: Toronto Jazz Festival, numerous clubs in NYC, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Buffalo, Jewish Community Centers in Rochester and Columbia (SC) as well as to sold out audiences at UC Berkeley and San Diego State University.

Hoffman and Lemish, both of whom have roots in Israel but have spent much of their adult life in North America, began collaborating in January 2016. Lemish is deeply rooted in jazz and classical music and Hoffman is equally well-versed in jazz, Arab classical music, and North African vernaculars. Together they create a refreshing and compelling sound, filled with vibrant sonorities, unique instrument combinations and compelling arrangements.


Their work together started when Lemish, who grew up admiring Hoffman’s pioneering blend of jazz & middle-eastern influences invited Hoffman for a series of performances in Canada. The two musicians clicked on their initial tour and decided to launch the Pardes project. The pairing of their unique talents and backgrounds brings about this truly exciting project.
The meaning of the word Pardes in Hebrew is “orchard” or “fruit garden”. The word also carries with it many layers of meaning in Jewish philosophy. Pardes is etymologically rooted in Farsi and is the origin of the word “paradise”. The songs presented in this project are both geographically diverse in origin and cover a wide-range of emotional terrain and sonic landscapes. The renditions are simultaneously faithful to the songs’ origins and rooted in the African-American and Afro-Caribbean musical traditions. The result is a joyous, uplifting celebration, texturally rich music, filled with groove, lyrical melodies and outstanding solos. In Pardes, Hoffman and Lemish breathe new life into gorgeous melodies that had been forgotten and create music that is appealing both to listeners completely unfamiliar with the melodies in their original context and to those who recognize these songs.

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