Knoxville found itself immersed in the heart of a cultural music mosaic Sunday night at the Swamp Fox.

A five-member musical group from Israel, the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble, made Knoxville their first stop to the United States, as part of the 2009-11 Arts Midwest World Fest. They’ll be staying through Saturday, to perform and hold cultural workshops for students and residents. Megan McKay Ziller, Secretary of the Red Rock Arts Alliance says Knoxville was selected as one of only nine Midwestern cities to host the World Fest, and that it’s a real treat to have the ensemble here.

McKay Ziller encourages residents to attend the concert being held Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Middle School Auditorium. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the Next Chapter, McKay Insurance or the Knoxville Community Schools Administration Office.

Talya Solan is the vocalist, manager, and founder of the ensemble. She says Israel, like America, is the product of an immigrant society, each bringing their own traditions and, in this case, blending Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy, Sephardic, and Yemenite Melodies to form a unified whole.

The music certainly did its work. Thousands of miles and years of history separate Israel and the United States, but seeing residents clapping along to one of the pieces, one could feel music’s universal ability to connect.

Hear the story by clicking here—–>Israeli Ensemble

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