I’m hitting the road this month and all summer long to bring the music to you. Check out some of these local dates, festivals, outdoor shows, and special events…
•Sat, June 3 – West Philly Porch Fest 2023 •Sat, June 3 – Rittenhouse Hotel, Philadelphia PA •Wed, June 7 – Artswalk Pocket Park, Allentown PA •Wed, June 7 – Sherman Theater Summer Concerts, Stroudsburg PA •Fri, June 9 – 118 North, Wayne PA •Sun, June 11 – Newtown Welcome Festival, Newtown PA •Sun, June 18 – Bucks County Playhouse Deck, New Hope PA •Thurs, June 22 – Bitchin’ Kitten Brewery, Morrisville PA •Sun, June 25 – Rubicam Summer Fest, Philadelphia PA •Thurs, June 29 – Grays Ferry Triangle Plaza, Philadelphia PA
…and more! Head to the TOUR PAGE for the full list, details, and ticket information.
The feature documentary about my family “How Saba Kept Singing” is now available EVERYWHERE!
You can find the full version available to stream on YouTube.
Watch the documentary trailer:
Watch the full documentary:
This is the Director’s Cut (79min), the same version that has been screened in theaters, with over 20 additional minutes that could not fit on TV for the PBS broadcast – this version includes more songs, music by both me and my Saba, more details, more context, and a pretty decent joke about a first-class banana.
After the premiere on PBS, the producers at Retro Report have decided this story is too important and should be accessible to everyone. And we agree.
I hope everyone gets to see this film, to take it in to your hearts, to think about it and talk about it, and to meet my Saba. If you missed it on PBS, or if you just want to see it again and SHARE it – now you can!
The world needs to hear this story. Watch it HERE.
ABOUT THE FILM: The award-winning documentary film, How Saba Kept Singing, shares the story of Cantor, Holocaust Survivor, and Military Veteran, David “Saba” Wisnia, who spends his later years traveling with his grandson and musical accompanist, Avi Wisnia, sharing the story of how he survived the Holocaust through music which the duo perform together. For years, Cantor Wisnia’s story centered around the belief that he survived Auschwitz mainly by using his beautiful singing voice to entertain his Nazi captors. These performances in the death camp gave him status as a ”privileged prisoner.” However, when David takes his family back to Poland for one last performance, Avi starts asking questions and they discover that someone else had a hand in Saba’s survival. A powerful and uplifting story about music, faith, family and resilience, proving love can grow and take hold in even the darkest of places. This film is directed by Sara Taksler (Tickling Giants), and Executive Produced by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.
David Wisnia’s story became an international sensation when featured in the New York Times and Buzzfeed. The film How Saba Kept Singing premiered at the HotDocs Toronto International Documentary Festival (2022) and made its national TV debut on PBS in 2023. The documentary was recently honored with the Audience Award at the Rutgers Jewish Film Festival.
Now screening in select cities, hosted by Avi Wisnia. See the tour page for film dates and details.
Teachers! Educators! Community Leaders!
“How Saba Kept Singing” is now available with Education Resources, Lessons Plans, Film Clips and Discussion Guides – along with short clips and the film itself. Consider incorporating the documentary into your curriculum this year. Join the journey with my grandfather to learn about the Holocaust.
“Classroom resources accompanying Retro Report’s documentary “How Saba Kept Singing” will help students gain a deeper understanding of life at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp; explore the connections in music, humanity and perseverance; and examine how anti-Semitism has evolved through modern history.” Resources are divided up by age group, theme, and activity.
Please share this link with your friends, educators, school districts and communities. Let us make sure that future generations Never Forget.
You can find all education resources and read more about the film HERE.
The Wisnias had a Watch Party for the National PBS Premiere of our family feature documentary How Saba Kept Singing. Thank you for watching with us!!
This was one of the most meaningful moments of my life.
I was invited to participate in a film screening, performance, and post-film talkback at the Chappaqua Performing Art Center in New York. Yes, I finally got to meet the Executive Producers of our film “How Saba Kept Singing” (and if you do get a chance to sit next to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea and hear them speak – highly recommend!), but it was also about what this moment crystalized for me. This documentary is not just about my grandfather, or my family’s story, or the power of music, or the legacy of the Holocaust, it is bigger than that – it is indeed all these things, and more. This film has the ability to educate and start conversations and change people’s hearts and open people’s eyes, and I think this is just the beginning.
This was also the first time we gathered with every team that has worked on the film to help bring it in to the world: Retro Report, Hidden Light, Burnt Umber, and many other partners and supporters. It takes a lot of people to make a movie! I am honored to be a part of this project. And I will be forever. This is now a part of my life’s work.
Enjoy a few photos of the evening, with deep gratitude to Friends of Chappaqua Performing Arts Center, host Stacey Saiontz, director Sara Taksler, and the event’s photographer Lisa Wahl.
with executive producer Hillary Rodham Clinton, director Sara Taksler, the Wisnia family, and producing team Retro Report
post-film discussion with executive producers Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, and director Sara Taksler
And in case you haven’t seen or shared “How Saba Kept Singing” yet, now you can! Watch it anytime, streaming in full on YouTube.
You can read more about our travels together by going to the blog at MY POLISH WISNIA.
“How Saba Kept Singing” is the story of how my grandfather’s music saved him in Auschwitz and how music binds the two of us together. To be able to share my own music as part of this film & perform it during each screening is incredibly meaningful. Through music, my Saba lives on.
As the credits roll at the end of the film, you will hear a song I wrote, an original composition called “How Long It’s Been” inspired by the reunion between my Saba and Tzippi, the woman who had a hand in saving my grandfather’s life during the Holocaust.
How did our film “How Saba Kept Singing” come to be?
Let me introduce you to Director Sara Taksler:
Sara attended the New Jersey synagogue where my father was rabbi for many years. Our families knew each other well. We grew up together. I reconnected with Sara many years later in NYC where she had become a producer and filmmaker.
About five years ago, she came to the Upper East Side to see a program where my grandfather and I were commemorating the Holocaust by telling his story with music. Later that night, Sara approached me and asked if Saba’s story could be her next project. Though my grandfather had long held in the details of his past, he had more recently become comfortable sharing his story of survival publicly, and now, he was ready for the world to hear it.
We started filming some interviews with Sara in 2019, and then when we got invited to perform in Poland in January 2020, we invited Sara and her film crew to come along. That was the last trip we ever took, the last time my grandfather would sing in public.
This photo was taken on an emotional day during that trip in 2020 – right before my grandfather went to sing at the 75th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony at Auschwitz – in a hotel room that is featured in a scene which bookends the film. I’m sure it’s after I brushed Saba’s hair, because he looks pretty good!
Sara, you have managed to capture not only my grandfather’s story with grace and dignity, but you also managed to capture his essence, his character, his humor, his voice, his connection to his family – and now he is immortalized in film forever and that is such a gift to all of us. There is no one I can imagine that our family would trust more with this project, and we love you.
You can find all education resources and read more about the film HERE. You can read more about my travels with my grandfather by going to the blog at MY POLISH WISNIA.
“Musician David “Saba” Wisnia believed that he survived the horrors of Auschwitz by entertaining the Nazi guards with his beautiful singing voice. Join David and his grandson Avi Wisnia as the pair embark on a journey exploring the mystery of Saba’s past and discover that someone unexpected may have had a hand in saving his life.” Directed by Sara Taksler, and produced by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.