Music

The New Sounds Of ‘Silence’

10/01/2014
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There’s a lively contradiction at work in Basya Schechter’s music. On the one hand, as the singer-songwriter and leader of Pharaoh’s Daughter says, “I love the pentatonic scales; they’re sweet and mournful and yearning.” On the other hand, as her excellent new album, “Dumiyah” (Magenta), reminds a listener, one of the great strengths of her music is the clarity, poise and above all, the simplicity with which she sings, a vocal sound that is stripped of ornamentation and the fake emotion that mars much contemporary music.

Basya Schechter's new CD, "Dumiyah," features a bigger sound than her previous albums.

Singing The Blues, Greek-Jewish Style

Kol Dodi Orchestra plays ‘rebetica’ folk music at Eldridge Street.

08/07/2014
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 When he was a child growing up in Israel, Yaron Hanoka would sit in the back of the family car with his brother and sister, and when their father would play Greek songs on the radio or tape deck they would bristle.

The Kol Dodi Orchestra brings rebetica to the Lower East Side. Courtesy of Museum at Eldridge Street

The Music Of Spanish Exile

In her N.Y. debut, a Catalan singer and lutenist moves from Sephardic songs to John Donne.

07/15/2014
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Clara Sanabras knows something about exile. The thirty-something Catalan singer was born in France, raised in Barcelona and for the past 20 years has lived in London. Her family history is so complicated that even she finds it a bit amusing. Her career path has had enough unlikely turns for an entire music festival.

The cover of Sanabras’ new CD, translated as “Scattered Flight.” Hill & Aubrey

‘The Passenger’ Resurrects Long-Forgotten Jewish Composer

Houston Grand Opera tackles Mieczysław Weinberg’s Shoah-tinged work in a N.Y. premiere.

07/03/2014
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Shmuel Weinberg survived the infamous pogrom at Kishinev, Moldova. His father and grandfather weren’t as lucky. In 1916 Shmuel walked to Warsaw, where he settled, and became a popular violinist and conductor of Yiddish theater music. When the Nazis invaded Poland many years later, Shmuel’s son Mieczysław Weinberg, a piano prodigy and budding classical composer, reversed his father’s path, walking east to the Soviet Union. His kid sister Esther set out with him but turned back after a day or two. It was the last time Mieczysław would see any of his family alive; they were transported to the concentration camp at Trawniki, where they were murdered by the Nazis.

Scene from Houston Grand Opera's production of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's "The Passenger." Lynne Lane

Golem’s Back, With A Bang

The klez-punk returns after a five-year hiatus with a set of originals, thanks to a noted world music label.

05/20/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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The new album by Golem, “Tanz,” opens with a veritable explosion of energy, a burst of rocket-fuel-fed klez-punk that reminds listeners that the band hasn’t released an album since 2009. That’s five years’ worth of frustration you hear being blown away in those opening bars of the title cut.

Recent events in Ukraine color new album by Golem. Pascal Perich

Jenny Scheinman’s California Dreamin’

The jazz violinist has left Brooklyn behind for her old stomping grounds, and she seems to be thriving creatively.

05/06/2014
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When Jenny Scheinman’s newest CD, “The Littlest Prisoner,” is released this week, buyers may be a bit surprised. It’s no excursion into the variegated jazz styles that characterized her last recording, 2012’s “Mischief and Mayhem.”

Scheinman’s new CD features her charming songwriting and vocals.  Joshua Black Wilkins

Musical Mixing And Matching

Isle of Klezbos and the Klezmer/Jazz Alliance have more in common than you might think.

04/01/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

One band is celebrating its second album and 16 years of existence.

The other is brand new and hoping to get into the studio soon.

One leader has been at the head of two of New York’s longest running klezmer bands since their inceptions.

Brian Glassman’s ensemble moves effortlessly between musical genres. Glory Yew.

Coming Home To Yiddish

Inna Barmash’s new ‘Yiddish Love Songs and Lullabies’ CD merges her professional and personal lives.

03/25/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

When Inna Barmash sings a Yiddish lullaby during her show next week at the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, it won’t be an entirely unusual experience. She is more used to singing those songs to a pair of young men in their pajamas, but having a larger audience that is fully dressed won’t phase her.

Inna Barmash accompanied by her husband, Lev Zhurbin. Paul Birman

Iraqi Jewish Music For A New Millennium

Dudu Tassa updates (and rocks) the musical heritage passed down to him from his ancestors.

03/04/2014
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It is a bitter thing for an artist to suddenly descend from stardom to obscurity through no fault of his own. When Daoud al-Kuwaiti and his brother Salah were forced to leave Iraq for Israel in 1951, along with 120,000 other Iraqi Jews, they went from being musical giants honored by the royal court to being... grocers.

Dudu Tassa, grandson Iraqi Jewish singing legend Daoud al-Kuwaiti.

Klez Puts On Scottish Plaid

Museum at Eldridge Street show fuses baroque and klezmer.

02/25/2014
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The Jews of Scotland were recently awarded an official tartan. Actually, “they have three now,” says Hanna Griff-Slevin, director of the family history center and cultural programs at the Museum at Eldridge Street.

David Greenberg performs on baroque and octave violin. Holly Crooks
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