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Cantor Azi Schwartz Adds His Voice to A Night of Inspiration

Music has the power to evoke endless emotions and feelings, whether we listen to music as a form of escapism, a mode of entertainment, or a way to brighten our days. On December 6, everyone has the chance to be inspired with A Night of Inspiration, an evening of uplifting music during which diverse artists come together and show us how music can lift our spirits. Cantor Azi Schwartz of the Park Avenue Synagogue is among these artists.

Acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew—along with his wife and business partner, Vivian Scott Chew—first presented A Night of Inspiration at Carnegie Hall in 2010. The sold-out performance showcased how inspiration in music transcends genre, incorporating traditional and contemporary gospel, pop, opera, and classical music. In addition to connecting musical genres, this year the Chews have organized artists who represent a variety of nationalities and religious backgrounds: soloists—including gospel singers Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Kurt Carr, Donnie McClurkin, and Richard Smallwood; operatic tenor Lawrence Brownlee; singer Dionne Warwick; Albanian violinist Olen Cesari; and Cantor Azi Schwartz—will perform alongside a 64-piece orchestra and 200-voice choir directed by Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor Jr. As Ray Chew explains, the upcoming presentation is “not just a concert—it moved us beyond the spirit of doing a show, where secular and gospel can come together.”

Cantor Azi Schwartz
Cantor Azi Schwartz

For A Night of Inspiration, these artists come together in the spirit of universal unity. The Chews first saw Cantor Azi Schwartz perform for Pope Francis at a service for peace and remembrance at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in 2015. This gathering showcased the musical intersections of a multi-religious population, amplifying the ability that music has to bring people together from all walks of life.

Just like the Chews, Schwartz does not shy away from musical intersections, as is apparent from his setting of the Jewish hymn “Adon Olam” to the melody of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “You’ll Be Back” from the musical Hamilton. At A Night of Inspiration, Schwartz will perform alongside tenor Lawrence Brownlee, best known for his roles in Rossini and Donizetti operas.




Ray Chew
Ray Chew
Tuesday, December 6 at 8 PM
A Night of Inspiration

Acclaimed composer, music director, and producer Ray Chew leads outstanding soloists and a 64-piece orchestra, along with Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor Jr. directing a 200-voice mass choir, in a program of uplifting music from diverse traditions. Lift up your spirit with moving music—get your tickets now.

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