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(SANTA BARBARA, CA—October 8, 2022)—Congregation B’nai B’rith (CBB) of Santa Barbara will honor the life and legacy of Judy Meisel, beloved educator, civil rights activist and Holocaust survivor, by hosting “Never Forget: An Afternoon of Music, Art and Stories with Lee Oskar,” her world-renowned nephew.
Open and free to the public, the 90-minute program will feature Oskar’s original compositions from his critically acclaimed album titled, “Never Forget,” (Dreams We Share 2022), along with a collection of original portraits inspired by his family’s history of devastating loss and survival through the Holocaust, and an interactive discussion moderated by CBB Cantor Mark Childs.
Oskar is renowned for his iconic role as a founding member, co-composer, and lead harmonica player of the pioneering funk/jazz band that composed and recorded such hits as “Low Rider,” “Spill the Wine,” “Cisco Kid,” “The World is a Ghetto,” “Slippin’ into Darkness,” “Why Can’t Be Friends,” and many more chart-topping songs from 1969-1993. A multiple award-winning composer, performer, visual artist, and harmonica manufacturer as well, Oskar felt a deep-seated need to create “Never Forget” as his musical memoir, in memory of all who have suffered from the Holocaust and other atrocities against humankind around the world. He expresses, “As an artist, I have a fiduciary responsibility to my art, to humanity and to my family to tell the story, help the world to never forget and to hopefully learn from history, as my Aunt Judy devoted her life to doing.”
Cantor Mark Childs comments, “To have a musician of Lee Oskar’s caliber visit our congregation is a rare opportunity. But more than anything else, he is the beloved nephew of the late Judy Meisel, one of the most impactful members of our community. We will honor her memory with Lee’s visit.”
Never Forget has garnered international acclaim among music critics and fans alike.
Leo Zimmerman (Goldmine) considers “Never Forget” to be a “tender tapestry threaded with emotion and commitment, it’s an album destined to stand the test of time in both its impact and importance. In fact, both a tremendous triumph and an extraordinary accomplishment.”
Jim Clark (The Courier) states, “Never Forget is a surreal musical canvas which goes beyond the sound, the artwork, and the liner notes — it’s a sonic masterpiece.”
As teenagers, Judy Meisel and her sister Rachel, Oskar’s mother, survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Nazi concentration camp at Stutthof in northern Poland. Judy became a tireless advocate for tolerance and acceptance, speaking out against hatred to student and community groups in the region and nationally. In this same spirit, Oskar says, “We have the power to inspire and reach people, bring them together. That’s what I hope to do with my art and the music on Never Forget.”
Admission to “Never Forget: An Afternoon of Music, Art & Stories with Lee Oskar” is free and open to the public. RSVP and reserve your seats at www.cbbsb.org. Congregation B’nai B’rith is located at 1000 San Antonio Creek Rd., Santa Barbara.