YIR: Alterman – Friedman Wedding Launches Life of Beautiful Music
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YIR: Alterman – Friedman Wedding Launches Life of Beautiful Music

Both Alterman and Friedman share a lifelong interest in music.

Joe Alterman, whose marriage this summer to Stephanie Friedman removed him from the list of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors, will celebrate romance in a Valentine’s Day concert. Alterman, the executive and artistic director of Neranenah, the Jewish music festival, will join his longtime friend, saxophonist Houston Persons, in the Studio Theater of the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center on Feb. 14.

The concert, which is entitled, “Isn’t It Romantic,” will feature romantic favorites from the Great American Songbook of popular music classics, including the 1932 classic by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, which lends its title to the lovers’ holiday concert. The two last played together in March of this year as part of the Molly Blank Concert Series at The Breman Jewish Heritage Museum. The 88-year-old Persons, who still maintains a very active performance schedule, is among Alterman’s closest friends in the jazz world. Another close friend and musical inspiration, Les McCann, was the subject of a CD that Alterman released shortly after his marriage.

In the AJT’s August story of the Alterman and Friedman pairing, it was noted that the ceremony at the peak of summer was held in one of Atlanta’s most idyllic settings, Ray’s On The River. The ceremony took place on the banks of the Chattahoochee River under a chuppah draped with a large tallit from Alterman’s family.

Both Alterman and Friedman share a lifelong interest in music, He performs regularly at some of the top jazz clubs in the country, including the Birdland and Bluenote jazz spots in New York City and Winter’s Jazz Club in Chicago. She grew up playing the banjo and ukulele in her parents’ Bitsyland Band and she performs as part of Humorology Atlanta, which entertains in area hospitals. Friedman also serves as director of theater education and the summer drama campus to the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

Alterman opened Neranenah’s new season this month, with a pair of concerts that offered a musical accompaniment to Chanukah and the year-end holiday season. The group, in a rare tribute to the cantorial repertoire, presented Cantor Gideon Zelermyer, from Montreal’s Shaar Hashmayim synagogue, on Dec. 10. Alterman then joined vocalist Dara Starr Tucker at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in a musical exploration of the Black and Jewish experience in this country.

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