Can you believe there isn't a single synagogue in Chapel Hill? While it's surprising, it's not a permanent situation, especially if some local musicians have anything to do with it. Dixie Diaspora is an enchanting compilation created by Triangle artists whose styles range from klezmer to blues to folk, and who have donated their works to this disc. All the proceeds will go to benefit the Chapel Hill "Kehillah" (a Hebrew term for "community"). In turn, the Kehillah plans to purchase a structure in Chapel Hill that will serve as the area's first synagogue. Local bands like Mappamundi, Mispacha, and Room Fulla Jews offer up some fantastic music sung in Yiddish, Hebrew, English and "Ladino," which not only represents centuries of sacred music but generations of secular songs as well.
A highlight of this disc has to be "Sadegurer Khosidi" from the group South of Delancey, which features the dazzling vocals of Suzie Bolotin. Bolotin should have great pipes--she won the Spivey's Corner National Hollering Contest a few years ago. Another hot track is "Belz," a bossa nova number from the Raleigh-based trio The Rabbi, The Russian & The Blonde that will have your hips shaking with its South American rhythms. The Magnolia Klezmer Band's numbers, such as "Harshl" and "Moldavian Bulgar," have a traditional, Eastern European feel, while the Triangle Jewish Chorale--under the spirited direction of Jane Peppler--blends its multitude of voices to create mellow harmonies. So snap your fingers, tap your toes along to the music of the Dixie Diaspora, and know that the price of your purchase to going to a great cause.