Music of the Jewish and African Diasporas

A new program conceived & directed by Jeannette Sorrell
Rachel Weston, mezzo | Haitham Haidar, tenor | Jeffrey Strauss, baritone | Daphna Mor, recorder, ney, vocals
with Apollo’s Singers

On tour March 2023 (US) and April 2023 (UK & Europe)

Though stolen from their homeland and scattered across the world, both the Jews and the Africans found strength and inspiration in music – their means to preserve their cultural identity and their soul as a people.
In this musical tour of the Jewish and African diasporas, Apollo’s Fire explores the remarkable resilience of these enslaved peoples during 250 years, 1600-1850. Music by Jewish baroque composer Salamone Rossi and Jewish-inspired composer Benedetto Marcello is interwoven with the rhythms of life in the ghetto: songs, dances, and prayers from the Ashkenazy, Sephardic, and North African traditions. A company of 22 musicians – including Jewish, Palestinian, and African-American artists – raise their voices in longing and celebration.
With optional projected images of period paintings, designed by Camilla Tassi.

“A voyage of faith for the 21st century… An ensemble at the peak of their powers, making vital statements about the world…”
– Seen & Heard International (Review of Apollo’s Fire’s related program, “O Jerusalem!”)

Several of the pieces in this program may be heard and seen in the videos of our 2018 program, “O Jerusalem!” This program has also now become a hit CD album!


O Jerusalem! – Trailer/montage

Karen Yom (Hasidic Chant)

Oh Freedom! (African-American Spiritual)

O Jerusalem! – Complete concert


Released February 16, 2022

“Sumptuous and exuberant… the playing is gutsy and colourful. Who’d have though this would be such a hit?”
The Scotsman, Edinburgh, UK (5-star review)

“Fascinating… magnificently performed… sophisticated arrangements at a high level. This CD is a real treasure.”
Pizzicato Magazine, LUXEMBOURG

“A rich musical portrait of the Old City… extraordinarily varied in mood. Sometimes rumbustious, sometimes riven with tragedy. Sorrell is one of those idealistic souls like Jordi Savall who use their music-making to suggest that despite political and religious enmities, the peoples of East and West can find common ground in music… perhaps even learn to live together. Listening to this wonderful, inspiring CD one could almost believe it.”

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)