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 www.buttonwood.org. To learn more about the duo and hear selections of their infectious music, go to www.israalien.com.