This concert, generously underwritten by the John Leopold and Martha Dellheim Endowment Fund of The Jewish Theological Seminary, was hosted at B'nai Torah Congregation, Boca Raton, FL on Sunday, December 7, 2014.
The concert featured Hazzan Alberto Mizrahi, Cantor Ben Tisser, and H. L. Miller Cantorial School Students Rachel Brook, Sarah Levine and Isaac Yager.
Review of the show by Howard Levy, Grammy Award-winning harmonicist and jazz pianist: But the most special event took place earlier in the month when I played a concert with Alberto at a temple in Boca Raton. I played a bunch of Sephardic music and Jazzy Hanukah tunes with him, an oud player and conga player, and one very soulful tune with the cantor who organized the event, Ben Tisser. There was a great PA, a perfect Steinway B piano, many guest vocal artists, and an audience of about 1200. Alberto said some very kind words about me before I played a solo harmonica version of excerpts from my Harmonica Concerto. I got a great response. But the highlight of the night came just after this, when I introduced my father, Ira Levy, to sing a song as a surprise guest. Although we had planned it, he wasn’t listed on the program, and there was a gasp from the audience when I mentioned that he was 91. He walked slowly up the steps to the stage and took his place near a microphone. I didn’t say what tune he would sing. I played the introduction and he started to sing. My father has a beautiful bass baritone voice that flows out of him with effortless power. After about 10 seconds of “Some Enchanted Evening”, the audience began to cheer the way a crowd at a baseball game cheers when someone hits a home run… They quieted down till he finished, then gave him a roaring standing ovation. I was stunned. He was stupefied. It was hard to go on with the show- it was truly a show- stopper. The background story to this is very long, but part of it is that my mother (88) fell and broke her femur, had surgery, was in a hospital and a rehab center for almost 3 weeks and came home the day before this concert. My dad was exhausted and under a terrible strain from this. Somehow, he was able to sit in the audience for 2 hours and get up and sing with no warmup…it was incredible and I think we will play some more concerts together in Florida in 2015. And my mother is doing much better, and will soon be able to walk without a walker.