Adrienne Cooper performs new/old Yiddish songs at Drom.
Special To The Jewish
Jewish history is too unpredictable for folks to count out the Yiddish language just yet. After all, 200 years ago Hebrew was supposedly a dead language used only in Jewish worship. Could there be a real-life version of the mythical “Yiddishland?”
“I don’t think there’s going to be a secular Yiddish community in which people live everyday lives in Yiddish,” Adrienne Cooper reluctantly admits. “But among artists there’s no reason this material can’t be taken up as a means of creative communication.”
From Gershwin and Sondheim to Dylan, a song for everyone
Special To The Jewish Week
The New York Festival of Song seems at first glance a slight misnomer. “Festival” suggests a short, sharp blast of events in a concentrated period of time. But NYFOS, now in its 23rd year, schedules events all year ‘round.
Collection featuring black musicians singing Jewish songs masks a complicated cultural relationship.
In 1958, when Johnny Mathis was recording an album of African-American spirituals in homage to his black mother, he included a seemingly odd song: “Kol Nidre,” the centerpiece of the Yom Kippur service and perhaps the holiest of all Jewish prayers.
The concentration camp's chorus, whose Requiem will be performed at Kennedy Center, sang out their sorrows.
As a Nazi prisoner in the Terezin concentration camp, Edgar Krasa said he and other Jewish prisoners were forced to work all day and to survive on little food. What kept him and others going was the camp’s secret chorus.
“After work we went to a basement where we were encouraged to sing Czech songs we all knew,” recalled Krasa, who lives in the Boston suburb of Newton Center. “This was spiritually uplifting. And for those who [later] heard us sing in concerts, it reminded them of the life they had lived.
German Goldenshteyn Memorial Orchestra performs the famed clarinetist's best work.
Special To The Jewish Week
The late jazz writer Gene Lees frequently remarked that jazz musicians tended to speak the way they played.
The same seems to have been true of German Goldenshteyn, the great klezmer clarinetist and a man who was a veritable human archive of the rich musical heritage of Bessarabia. Goldenshteyn, who died in 2006, was a Yiddish speaker whose inflections had a lilting, melodic rise and fall and a rhythmic precision not unlike his solos.
Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs may not always get along, but two young pianists — one a Jew from Tel Aviv, the other an Arab from Nazareth — will be living in harmony next week at Carnegie Hall. Onstage, that is.
When planning a celebration, few choices are as important as the music selection, which not only sets the tone and pace of the event but sends a message to guests about the host’s values and taste. Jeff Neckonoff has been a party DJ since the days when they actually spun vinyl records on turntables under disco balls. But since he took up Orthodox observance in 2004, he’s changed his perspective on the impact of music on kids and on the Jewish quality of a celebration.
Over the past few weeks, Danny Ross’ life has revolved around two events.
First came this week’s congressional hearings probing the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to 9-11.
Then, there’s his appearance Saturday night at the Bitter End in the West Village, where he’ll premiere his debut album, “Introducing Danny Ross!”
Barry Louis Polisar wasn’t up for an Oscar on Sunday night, but his work made a brief appearance in the 80th Academy Awards broadcast.
The scene from Best Picture nominee “Juno” included the harmonica solo from “All I Want Is You,” a song Polisar wrote 30 years ago that is featured in the film’s opening credits.
A singer and writer of children’s books and music, Polisar was thrilled when approached by “Juno” director Jason Reitman for permission to use the song after he stumbled across it on iTunes.