music

The Year Of The Woman

From Yiddish tunes to alt-rock to Sephardic rhythms, female performers dominated this year.
12/27/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

This was a year in which recorded Jewish music seems to have been dominated by women. Certainly the CDs that have stayed with me the longest in 2010 are the work of some tremendously talented female singers, songwriters, composers and instrumentalists. So here’s a list of some recordings that have haunted me and delighted me since the first time I heard them. Not exactly a top 10 list, but not a bad yardstick to go by.

 Judith Berkson: “Oylam” (ECM)

Clare Burson's Holocaust-themed album, "Silver and Ash," made a major impact in the pop world.

The Music Of Change

As Greg Wall adapts to new demographics at his shul, its second annual Radical Jewish Music Festival is on tap.
12/20/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It hasn’t been what he expected. Which suits Rabbi Greg Wall just fine, thank you.

Rabbi and tenor saxophonist Greg Wall

Maccabeats Rewrite Musical Expectations

YU a cappella group atop Billboard charts, adored by media.
12/13/2010 - 19:00
Associate Editor

Just as the Maccabees continued the Chanukah wars long after the eight days of flames disappeared into a wisp of smoke, the story of the Maccabeats — an a capella group formed by Yeshiva University students — and their Chanukah video continues to dazzle even as the holiday fades.

Reflections On The Maccabeats And The Power Of New Media

12/13/2010 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

From zoot suits to flagpole sitting, the university campus has always been a source of fads and fun that spread beyond the campus. As young people focus on their education they also look to affirm their youth and push the envelope of tomorrow.

‘Joys And Angst Of The Holidays’

11/30/2010 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Jews and Christians have very different rituals that mark the onset of winter, but they share the pleasures and stresses of the holiday season. In Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman’s revue, “That Time of the Year,” which opens this weekend at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, two dozen new songs illuminate various aspects of the winter festivals.

“That Time of the Year” runs through Dec. 19 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center

Jewish Rock Gets Internet Radio Channel

We all know that Jews can rock. After all, you only need to listen to Bob Dylan or Gene Simmons of Kiss to know that. But there are also some Jewish singers who are rocking Jewish music... and I don't mean Jon Fishman leading Phish in "Avinu Malkeinu."

Yes, Jews Rock Too!

A Fiddler’s Goodbye

11/08/2010 - 19:00
Editorial

The recent passing — just nine days apart — of Jerry Bock, 81, composer for “Fiddler On The Roof,” and Joseph Stein, 98, who wrote the musical’s book (based, of course, on Sholom Aleichem’s short stories), leads us — those old enough, anyway — to recall and honor the remarkable energizing impact that the show had on the Jewish community of 1964.

Jerry Seinfeld said the other week that his first visit to Broadway “was when my parents probably shlepped me to ‘Fiddler on the Roof.” So it was for a lot of us.

New Musical Life For A Supposedly Dead Language

Adrienne Cooper performs new/old Yiddish songs at Drom.
11/03/2010 - 20:00
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.”

New CD consists entirely of material that is either brand new or significantly re-imagined Yiddish songs

The Jewish Heart Of A Song Festival

From Gershwin and Sondheim to Dylan, a song for everyone
10/18/2010 - 20:00
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.

Festival co-founder and artistic directorr Steven Blier

For Blacks And Jews, A Musical Gray Area

Collection featuring black musicians singing Jewish songs masks a complicated cultural relationship.
10/11/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

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.

“Kol Nidre,” said Johnny Mathis, who recorded the prayer on a 1958 album, “is just a big, big emotional outpouring.”
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