• Home
  • Promo
  • Video
  • Bio
  • Reviews
  • Tour Schedule
  • Outreach
  • Contacts
Guy Mendilow Ensemble |
“An international tour de force” (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle East, South and North America, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble operates on the notion that the fantastic can do more than just entertain: It can give glimpses of the past and stir highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles and dilemmas. With this premise in mind, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble combines world-class musicianship with cinematic storytelling in shows that conjure voices lost to war and upheaval, whisk audiences to distant times and picturesque places and, ultimately, inspire the motivation to care and question.

Featured Audio

Tales from the Forgotten Kingdom: Micro-Documentary/EPK

Mancevo Del Dor (A Modern Man) — A Live Video from the Guy Mendilow Ensemble

Hermanas Reina Y Cautiva (Sisters, Queen & Captive) — Live Video from Guy Mendilow Ensemble

Esta Montaña D'Enfrente (The Mountain Ahead Burns) — A Live Video from Guy Mendilow Ensemble

Guy Mendilow on Curious George (PBS Kids)

Guy Mendilow Ensemble Arts for All Concert

The Ensemble

“An international tour de force” (Bethlehem Morning Call) from the Middle East, South and North America, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble operates on the notion that the fantastic can do more than just entertain: It can give glimpses of the past and stir highly resonant, deeply moving connections to contemporary struggles and dilemmas. With this premise in mind, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble combines world-class musicianship with cinematic storytelling in shows that conjure voices lost to war and upheaval, whisk audiences to distant times and picturesque places and, ultimately, inspire the motivation to care and question.

 
The Ensemble specializes in deep community engagement including custom residencies, choral/string collaborations, university lectures and school-age programs and was distinguished by the National Endowment for the Arts for highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art and the strengthening of communities through the arts.



Alongside touring with the Guy Mendilow Ensemble, members are on the faculty of music schools like the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in India and tour/record with the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Yo Yo Ma, Snarky Puppy, the Assad Brothers, Christian McBride, the Video Game Orchestra, Amanda Palmer and Simon Shaheen. Formed in 2004, the Ensemble is based in Boston, MA and New York, NY, USA.

The Cast 

Guy Mendilow

Musical Director, Vocals, Overtone Singing, Berimbau, Guitar (Israel/UK/USA)

A citizen of Israel, Great Britain and the United States, Guy Mendilow grew up in what seemed like a global game of hopscotch with homes in Israel, the United States, South Africa and, later, stints in Mexico and Brazil. He began his professional stage career at age ten, touring internationally and domestically with the American Boychoir and singing some two hundred concerts a year in venues like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

Today, Mendilow is quickly developing a reputation as a leader in a wave of young musicians sparking fascination with traditional Ladino song. His gift is in connecting diverse audiences with the adventure, humour and grit of old Sephardi songs from Sarajevo, Salonica and Rhodes, sung in the endangered Judeo-Spanish language, Ladino.

Mendilow grew up listening to Ladino songs in his boyhood Jerusalem home and attended school in one of the area’s larger Ladino communities. Yet it wasn’t until later that he started listening through other artists’ interpretations to the traditional songs themselves and their tales — and got hooked. Today, Mendilow’s creative process with Ladino song begins with ethnomusicological field recordings, followed by research into the songs’ traditional function and context. Most of these songs were sung primarily by women, in the home or life-cycle events like weddings, unaccompanied except perhaps for a drum. The themes may be dark, but the songs were normally sung in a familiar way, without being taken overly seriously and certainly lacking much of the theatricality in which they are commonly presented today.

Mendilow’s next steps often lead him away from tradition, knowingly and deliberately. He asks compositional questions: “What can I imagine the mood of the story, or the emotions of some of the characters, to be, despite the traditional ways the song would have been sung? Was I to create a soundtrack for this story, how would I use the musical tools available to me, and the expertise of the Ensemble members, to bring these tales, moods and emotions to life in a way that will feel personally real, and that will give audiences a powerful emotional experience?” The result is a vivid, often daring recasting that springboards from tradition and into modern imagination.

Mendilow frequently presents in universities across the U.S. including Harvard University, University of Washington, Emory University, Cornell University, Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College. He earned his Masters in Music and International Certificate in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA where he is currently a candidate for the advanced Dalcroze License diploma.

Sofia Tosello

Vocals (Argentina)

From Cordoba, Argentina, vocalist Sofia Tosello is part of an exciting group of young transnational artists advancing change in Latin American song. She brings her expertise in such Latin American Cancion traditions as Tango, Chacarera, Bolero, Son and Zamba into the broader “world” jazz scene, including Bossa Nova and Funk. Ms. Tosello has performed, recorded and toured worldwide with renowned bands and artists such as Horacio “El Negro Hernandez”, Pedro Giraudo Jazz Orchestra, Aquiles Baez, Julio Santillan, Alex Cuba, Pavel Urkiza,  Marta Gomez, La Cumbiamba eneye, Thalia.  She is on the voice faculty at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in India and is a guest artist-educator at universities and schools throughout the U.S., Peru and Argentina.

Learn more about Sofia at sofiatosello.com

Tareq Rantisi

Drums & Percussion (Palestine)

Percussionist Tareq Rantisi was born in Jerusalem and raised in Ramallah, Palestine. While in Palestine he performed internationally with the Edward Said National Conservatory and the Franco-German Cultural Centre in Ramallah and appeared on such acclaimed recordings as the feature film soundtrack to Bird on a Wire. Tareq was awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee School of Music. He regularly collaborates with such artists as Simon Shaheen, Majazz, Kudsi Erguner and Mangred Leuchter, performing on stages from the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation in the US to Montreal's Royal Conservatory of Music and the Chabada Festival in France. Learn more about Tareq at tareqrantisi.com

Andy Bergman

Woodwinds, Jawharps, Mbira, Saxophones (USA)

American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and recording artist Andy Bergman plays clarinet, saxophones, and a variety of other woodwind and percussion instruments. Grounded in classical technique, Bergman's musicality is informed by years of work with a wide range of ensembles from orchestras and theater pits to afro-funk, klezmer, folk, reggae, and jazz bands. His growing list of credits includes appearances at the Chicago World Music Festival, Oslo World Music Festival, Festival Mawazine (Morocco), Baloise Session (Switzerland), Cully Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Colours of Ostrava (Czech Rep), Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto), Cappadox Festival (Turkey), Women Of The World Festival (Frankfurt), Carthage Jazz Festival (Tunisia), Philadelphia Folk Festival, Celebrity Series (Boston). Current collaborations include tours and recordings with Iyeoka, Guy Mendilow Ensemble, The Macrotones, Destroy Babylon, and The Doped Up Dollies.  Learn more about Andy at andybergman.com

Chris Baum

Violin (USA)

Chris Baum is a contemporary violinist, composer, and educator who "ushers the violin into fresh sonic territory" (NPR). A pioneer of modern string technique, his strength lies in his versatility, consistently pushing boundaries while molding his playing to fit ensembles and genres often deemed unsuitable for the instrument. Trained in a demanding classical environment, Baum expanded his musical vocabulary at Berklee College of Music, where he graduated with honors, studying under cellist Eugene Friesen, violinist Mimi Rabson, and composer Sheldon Mirowitz. Chris' growing list of credits include collaborations with Bent Knee, The Dear Hunter, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Dropkick Murphys, Amanda Palmer, Symmetry, Art Decade, Ben Levin, Guy Mendilow, Jherek Bischoff, and the Video Game Orchestra, who recently featured him as a soloist at Boston’s Symphony Hall and on the ensemble's recent tours in China, Taiwan, and Japan. Learn more about Chris at chrisbaummusic.com



Click here to see current touring productions

Technical Documents

Visit the Guy Mendilow Ensemble's Presenters' Toolbox, a one-stop-shop where you'll find fliers, press releases, season brochure descriptions, postcards, teaching guides and more!



 

Remembering a ‘Forgotten Kingdom’

“Tales From the Forgotten Kingdom” sounds like the name of a sword-and-sorcery television show. The truth, though, is that it’s a theatrical musical presentation that tells romantic, touching and sometimes heart-rending stories of Sephardic communities during the early part of the 20th century in cities such as Smyrna (Izmir) and Salonika (Thessaloniki) on the Aegean Sea, Sarajevo, now in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Jerusalem.

The show features more than a dozen songs in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish dialect Sephardic Jews took with them when they were exiled from Spain and Portugal more than 500 years ago, with an English narration that translates the songs and provides historical context.

Conceived, written, and composed in 2011 by the Israeli-born guitarist, singer and composer Guy Mendilow, 39, “Tales From the Forgotten Kingdom” has been staged dozens of times at festivals, theaters, colleges and community centers throughout the United States and Canada, including at the Skirball Cultural Center in 2014. Mendilow and his quintet, which includes a Palestinian percussionist and an Argentine vocalist, have received many honors and awards, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Roberto Loiederman

Presenter Testimonies

"Culturally significant."— Bruce Halliday, Port Theatre, Nanaimo, BC, Canada

“A resurgent force … explodes with artistry, refinement, and excitement” — Yvon Shore, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati OH

“I DARE any audience to NOT be swept away by this show." — Natalie Neuert, UVM Lane Series, Burlington VT

"...captivates the audience. The ensemble brings a vitality to the music that I hadn't experienced with other Sephardic artists." — Jordan Peimer, Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA

"Our audience of (800) children was transfixed. I was spellbound. This is the kind of experience that can open your eyes and ears to possibilities never imagined... I asked the children as they were leaving the theatre after the concert how the experience had been for them. It was the first time I heard unanimous appreciation. If you are trying to open your audiences to new horizons, if you are trying to expose the arts to children or adults, if you seek a new experience for yourself, I highly recommend the Guy Mendilow Ensemble to you." — Chad Haight, Admiral Theatre, Bremerton, WA

"Magical! They performed superbly and let us dream throughout the Mediterranean world." — Peter Steinfeld, ACES Series, Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, IA

"…transports the listener to a place far removed from the concert hall or outreach service site." — Steven Schmidt, Riverside Concerts, Rochester, MN

"... a great evening of beautiful music and exceptional musicianship!"  — John Chicherio, Performing Arts Director, Huntington Summer Arts Festival, Huntington, NY

"The Guy Mendilow Ensemble and their work is a vital and vibrant way to illustrate the possibilities of interfaith and intercultural cooperation. The fact that the band includes members from Israel and Palestine, North and South America makes their music a global experience that is helping to heal the world. They are among the finest musicians I have ever heard, and I would recommend them strongly to any university or college campus that cares about diversity, multiculturalism, interfaith cooperation and world peace." — Greg Mcgonigle, President of the National Association of College & University Chaplains; Tufts University, Medford, MA

 “’Diversity’ is one of our core values, and we wanted to offer a memorable opening event for the series. Attendance was far greater than we had anticipated...The combination of effective storytelling and mesmerizing music, all framed in the context of little-known history, was more powerful than we had imagined. The Ensemble also delivered an information-filled educational outreach session with band and choral high school students that generated a remarkable level of interest in both the music and the history it represented.  Many students stayed after the session to interact directly with the musicians and get pointers on their own musical aspirations.” — Karen M. Thorson, Sanders County Arts Council, Plains, MT

"...one of our most inspiring and unique musical productions that we have had. Many audience members were moved nearly to tears, some definitely to tears, by the emotional story that accompanied such moving, stirring music."
— Brian Campbell, Mission Valley Live, Polson, MT

“The entire program was magical. The musicianship was top notch, the music beautiful and imaginative and the presentation was captivating.  The Guy Mendilow Ensemble provided a very memorable and warm experience. The [group] also provided a children’s program that was captivating.  The children were very involved, dancing, clapping and singing, the message was very positive and the music was wonderful.” — Lev Rothenberg, Director of Arts & Education, JCC Indianapolis, IN 

"The ensemble takes you on a tour through an almost lost world that is filled with stories, beautiful melodies, and traditions. Guy and his ensemble have a way of capturing this tradition while making it accessible and engaging for a contemporary audience. From small children to the elderly, the music has a broad appeal that reaches in a way that’s entertaining and enlightening. Simply said, you come to enjoy a concert, but the cultural experience and learning is much deeper. Guy and his ensemble were clearly connected with the audiences, which were mesmerized. From his showmanship to his skill as a convener, teacher, and cultural explorer, Guy Mendilow is reviving an important culture though his music, one that I believe has much value throughout the world." — Laura Mandel, Executive Director, Boston Jewish Arts Collaborative, Boston, MA

“They were mesmerizing…Their musicianship, versatility, and originality was most impressive. Our audience left raving about their talent and the sound of their music.”  — Rich Warren, nationally syndicated broadcast, The Midnight Special/Folkstage, WFMT Chicago

"The Guy Mendilow Ensemble brought the larger world to our rural community through their music, stories and conversations. Fantastic musicians yet they offer more than just music.  They offer insight into other cultures, languages and times." — Rita Collins, Sunburst Arts, Eureka, MT

“The group is truly a topflight ‘world music’ group …the Guy Mendilow Ensemble enthralled, educated and engaged the audiences with its artistic excellence. I would also add that, at this past year's First Night performance, the group demonstrated truly exceptional professionalism. Despite the bitterly cold, icy weather and a van transmission that failed midway along the trip from Boston area to NJ, they kept in touch and managed to arrive, set up and perform — with distinction — for the event. After 10 hours of harrowing travel, to deliver a beautiful performance which inspired a capacity crowd of over 400 people is testament to their dedication and remarkable professionalism. I recommend the group very highly and without reservation.”  — Dr. Lynn L. Siebert, Director of Arts Participation & Communications / Artistic Programmer, First Night Morris, Arts Council of the Morris Area, Morristown, NJ

"We brought the Guy Mendilow Ensemble to our congregation and the band had the exact effect for which we had hoped: our community turned out in droves, exceeding our own expectations, and they kept coming back for each successive program.  Guy was amazing — he is a terrific teacher and a wonderful collaborator.  We established goals in advance of the weekend and every single one was met.  I can strongly and enthusiastically recommend an Artist In Residence weekend with the Guy Mendilow Ensemble!"  — Bradley G. Levenberg, Rabbi, Temple Sinai, Atlanta, GA

“…one of the most memorable concerts I've attended in my seven years in Vermont. The Guy Mendilow Ensemble was an amazing musical experience that had people awed and grateful. I would highly recommend them not only as superb musicians and storytellers but also as a perfect bridge between Jewish and non-Jewish events. The turnout exceeded our expectation and included significant attendance by non-RJC-members, non-Jewish guests who came from near and far for this extraordinary group.” — Martha Molnar, Rutland Jewish Center, Rutland VT

“One of the most moving and exceptional nights of music I have ever had the privilege of experiencing… Being able to expose students and community members to such a diverse range of music is so important.” — Sharon Silverman, Assistant Director, Hillel at the University of Vermont

"In his masterly way, Guy Mendilow and his Ensemble combines teaching and entertainment with a soul." — Deborah Feinstein, President of the board of Directors,  The Vilna Shul,, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, Boston, MA

“From the moment they began, the children were mesmerized. Guy Mendilow is not only a talented musician, but a gifted educator as well. He could read the group perfectly and knew exactly what the students needed next. The other musicians in the group were equally talented and the whole group together was one of the best performances I have experienced in over 26 years of education.” — Tina Monroe, Principal, Indian Creek Elementary School, Cedar Rapids IA


Media Impact

"...music of hope and affirmation, sophisticated in its delivery but easily accessible to listeners anywhere." —Chicago Tribune

"An international tour de force." —Bethlehem Morning Call

"The Guy Mendilow Ensemble embodies world music at its best." —The Cedar Rapids Gazette

"One of the most ear-opening albums of the year. During the 1960s, Kaleidoscope featuring David Lindley stretched the boundaries of world music within a rock band about as far as they could be stretched, walking away with a reputation as heroes for sonic adventurers. The Guy Mendilow [Ensemble] may not be quite as rambunctious, but they are no less daring."—The Boomer's Guide to Music & News 
"One of Boston's most original world-music acts." —Boston Herald

"This isn't for quirky ears, it's for jaded ears that need to be shaken awake with something substantially different that keeps the interest on the beam throughout. Delightfully different, even when it seems like it might be familiar." —Midwest Record
"This is, to folk, what Bela Fleck is to Foggy Mountain Breakdown. This is unusual and exciting." —Philadelphia Folk Song Society

"Guy Mendilow is quickly developing a reputation as a masterful, deeply passionate and sincere performer." —Global Rhythm Magazine

"The glory of what [Mendilow] does is finding a common ground among different cultures. And that's what makes his music so exciting." — Jewish Advocate

"Auditory magic." — Wildy's World  

"They were mesmerizing... their musicianship, versatility, and originality was most impressive. Our audience left raving about their talent and the sound of their music." — Rich Warren, nationally syndicated broadcast, The Midnight Special/Folkstage, WFMT Chicago 

"A magical, shape-shifting world music quintet hailing from four countries...Often reminiscent of David Lindley's all-encompassing, stripped-gear approach to pan-genre explorations." — Iowa City Press-Citizen

"Vibrant musical storytelling awash with warm harmonies, captivating rhythms and rollicking, fast-paced vocal improvisations." — Cambridge Chronicle


Date

Venue

Location

Tickets

10/30/2017 - 11/01/2017 Wyoming Girls School
Songwriting Residency for students of the Wyoming Girls School, sponsored by Wyo Theater
Sheridan, WY
11/02/2017 WYO Theatre
Sheridan, WY
11/03/2017 - 11/04/2017 Kenyon College
Gambier, OH
11/05/2017 The Holland Theatre
Bellefontaine, OH
11/07/2017 - 11/09/2017 Krannert Center
Urbana, IL
11/10/2017 - 11/11/2017 Ontario Contact
Petrolia,
11/16/2017 Charter Oak Cultural Center
Hartford, CT
11/17/2017 Von Der Mehden Recital Hall (Public Lecture)
Storrs Center, CT
11/29/2017 Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA
11/30/2017 Club Passim
Cambridge, MA
12/16/2017 Krock Center
Celebrity Series of Boston presents the premiere of GME's new holiday show, also featuring Boston City Singers
Boston, MA
From custom residencies especially designed for your community to lectures, school workshops and string/choral collaborations, the Guy Mendilow Ensemble specializes in high caliber community engagement. With over two decades of expertise as educators and teacher trainers, GME artists are internationally recognized as accomplished educators offering deep outreach for school-age children, university students and multi-generational audiences.
Click the links below to learn more: GME was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for distinction in public engagement with diverse and excellent art and the strengthening of communities through the arts.

"Our audience of (800) children was transfixed. I was spellbound. This is the kind of experience that can open your eyes and ears...If you are trying to open your audiences to new horizons, if you are trying to expose the arts to children or adults, if you seek a new experience for yourself, I highly recommend the Guy Mendilow Ensemble to you."
— Chad Haight, Admiral Theatre, Bremerton, WA

“a vital and vibrant way to illustrate the possibilities of interfaith and intercultural cooperation.”
— Greg Mcgonigle, President of the National Association of College & University Chaplains; Tufts University, Medford, MA

“In my 27 years of hiring artists, I can truthfully say that Guy is one of the finest and most intelligent musicians I have ever encountered....[Guy] is a music educator with very high standards.” — Robin Baker, Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Celebrity Series of Boston
 

Publicity Info

Ron Kadish
812-339-1195 X 202
ron@rockpaperscissors.biz
Website