Elvis Costello

Jewish Singer Hooked On Bossa Nova

How does a rabbi’s kid from New Jersey get swept up in a Brazilian musical wave? Meet singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia.

06/18/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

If singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia’s new CD “Something New” were a tapestry, when you turn it over you would see a bright yellow-green thread running through every song, a skein of Brazilian jazz steeped in bossa nova and samba. That is a nice musical preoccupation to have under any circumstances, but as one critic asked recently, How does a rabbi’s kid from New Jersey get hooked on bossa nova? And we do mean hooked: Wisnia did his undergraduate work at NYU’s Albert Gallatin School on Brazilian music, language and culture.

Singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia

Rocker Devendra Banhart cancels Tel Aviv concert

Yet another musician -- American indie rocker Devendra Banhart -- canceled his Wednesday/Thursday Tel Aviv concerts, joining the barrage of artists still angry about the Flotilla incident.

And the Band Didn’t Play On: Why a Cultural Boycott of Israel is Wrong

06/15/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

In what one concert promoter has called “cultural terrorism which is targeting Israel and the arts worldwide,” more musicians seem to be trumpeting the latest Palestinian efforts to undermine movement in the peace process as they cancel scheduled tour dates in Israel.

How ironic that these artists are boycotting Israel, a nation that has a lively and vibrant cultural arts scene, to make a political statement about Gaza, a region where “cultural police” inhibit free expression.

Daniel S. Mariaschin

Turkey and the Gaza Flotilla: For Israelis, There Goes Another Friend

With loss of Turkey — once a leading vacation destination — life in the Jewish state feels even lonelier.

06/08/2010
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — There was a time, not very long ago, when Israelis had a friend in the Muslim world. As bad as things got with the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Lebanese, Israelis could point to Turkey as a solid bulwark against near total isolation in the Muslim world.

It was a salve to the Israeli psyche.

Israelis are reeling in the aftermath of last week’s flotilla attack.
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