Music

Strings Attached To Sephardic Culture

‘Spanish Odyssey’ duo blends chamber music, jazz and klezmer.

10/08/2014
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The guitar rings like chimes, sounding almost celestial. The bowed lines of the double-bass sigh like a human voice, yearning. The textures and timbres that come out of the instruments are as rich and full as those of a much larger ensemble. It is, quite simply, an enchantingly beautiful sound.

Guitarist Nadav Lev and bassist Remy Yulzari play next week at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Adam Cohen

Neo-Hasidic Rock Band Poised to Release Debut Album

The all women’s Hasidic Rock band Bulletproof Stockings have got some competition. Zusha, self-described as a “neo-Hasidic” rock band formed in the East Village, is poised to enter the Hasid-hipster scene with the release of their debut album on October 28th. The three-man band describes their sound as “a unique blend of jazz, reggae, folk, ska, gypsy swing and traditional Jewish soul.” Stay tuned for Zusha’s EP Release Show in lower Manhattan on October 26th. 

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
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