Friday, December 7, 2012

Isra-Aliens Land at The Buttonwood!

(Author's note - this post also appears on my blog, Step Tempest.)

Chanukah commences at sundown this Saturday (December 8) - while not the religious celebration that Christmas is, the holiday celebrates a military victory as well as the the miracle of the oil that lasted 8 nights (read more here.)  Usually the holiday falls near the winter solstice and the light coming from the menorah is always a welcome site.

Not sure if Anne-Marie of The Buttonwood Tree had Chanukah in mind when she booked Isra-Alien for this Saturday but the acoustic guitar duo of Oren Neiman and Gilad Ben-Zvi will definitely light up the performance space at 605 Main Street in Middletown. The duo, both natives of Israel, met during their compulsory military service in the Israeli army and have been friends ever since.  After moving to New York City in 2005, they formed this ensemble with Neiman on nylon-string guitar and Ben-Zvi on steel string.  They released their self-titled, self-produced and self-released debut CD in 2009 and their latest, "Somewhere Is Here" just a few months ago. Their music is a joyous blend of Middle-Eastern melodies, Eastern European klezmer tunes, jazz, and world music - one can hear the influence of Belgian guitar genius Django Reinhardt as well as tango in the duo's eclectic mix.  

Isra-Alien will be in The Buttonwood's spotlight at 8 p.m. - for more information, go to  To learn more about the duo and hear selections of their infectious music, go to  


Anonymous said...

"While not the religious celebration that Christmas is" ??? Seriously? I'm Christian and we celebrate Chanukah because of its rich spiritual and religious significance which far surpasses that of Christmas, which is in fact a knock off pagan holiday of worshipping trees and the sun god, among other things. When all you know is Christmas, maybe Chanukah seems insignificant, but try not to say things that are just flat out ignorant. No offense.

Tree Fanatic said...

I can only applaud Richard Kamins for his restraint in not responding to this fatuous and ridiculous criticism. Nowhere did Richard say that Chanukah was inferior to Christmas -- he merely said, quite neutrally, that it is not the holiday that Christmas is. One might even infer that Chanukah is a whole lot better than Christmas -- but he did not say that either. The assumptions that Anonymous 12:57 made and took the trouble to write about seem pretty offensive to me, and I am not even affiliated with any organized religion.

Anonymous said...

To give Anon 12:57 the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he or she is confusing Chanukah with Passover? Passover is very much a part of the Judeo-Christian tradition and is often an inter-denominational observance. Chanukah? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

Hanukah is a military battle commemoration