Music

Project Runway, Sephardic Style

Annual Sephardic Music Festival branches out with art rave, fashion show.
11/22/2010 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The phone is ringing. There is a new CD to promote. There are the usual last-minute changes in the Sephardic Music Festival to be arranged. A new music video has to be shot this week. A fresh pot of coffee needs to be brewed.

And the baby is crying.

Erez Safar, founder of the Sephardic Music Festival.

Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’: Both Sides Now

Was the German composer’s oratorio a nod toward his Jewish ancestry — or the full fruition of his Christian identity?
11/08/2010 - 19:00
Staff Writer

When the New York Philharmonic performs Felix Mendelssohn’s rarely heard “Elijah” (1846) oratorio this weekend, many will no doubt see it as proof that the composer always identified with his family’s Jewish faith.

Bass-baritone Gerald Finley sings the role of Elijah in the New York Philharmonic’s production of the oratorio.

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

A Tempest Over Tutu

11/01/2010 - 20:00
Staff Writer

(Cape Town, South Africa)The fat lady will sing in Israel next week, so to speak, but the battle to silence Israel isn’t over in South Africa.

That’s the opinion of leaders of South Africa’s Jewish community, who say the decision last week by the Cape Town Opera to stage its production of “Porgy and Bess” in Tel Aviv as originally scheduled — despite the urging of Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu — will not slow down the international effort to delegitimize Israel.

Jewish community “spitting blood” over Archbishop Tutu’s Israel boycott comments.

Discovering Felix’s Forgotten Sister

The work of pianist/composer Fanny Mendelssohn is just now being appreciated.
10/25/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

She seemingly had everything going for her. She was a terrifically gifted pianist and composer. She came from a wealthy family. Her father had taken the precaution of converting the children from Judaism. There was only one small problem.

Fanny Mendelssohn was born 150 years too soon to gain recognition as a pianist and composer.

“Fanny’s sphere was semi-public, and yet semi-private,” her biographer says.

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

‘Have A Good Laugh, Refresh Your Memory’

10/11/2010 - 20:00

His work spans the history of entertainment in modern America. Fyvush Finkel, one of the last performers from the heyday of the Yiddish theater, opens this weekend at the Folksbiene in “Fyvush Finkel Live!,” a nostalgic recap of his illustrious career on both stage and screen. Finkel, who turned 88 last weekend, will be joined by his two sons, pianist Elliot and xylophonist virtuoso Ian, along with veteran performers Merwyn Goldsmith and June Gable, in a revue that showcases the talents of one of the country’s most versatile and durable Jewish performers.

Fyvush Finkel, 88, stars in a revue about his life in Jewish theater.

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.”

Her Grandma’s Back Pages

Singer-songwriter Clare Burson confronts the ‘rupture’ in her family’s life with ‘Silver and Ash.’
09/14/2010 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Singer-songwriter Clare Burson confronts the ‘rupture’ in her family’s life with ‘Silver and Ash.’

Clair Burson's “Silver and Ash,” is based on her grandmother’s experience escaping Nazi Germany.

Strong Jewish Women, The CD: Galeet Dardashti's 'The Naming'

09/07/2010 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Galeet Dardashti, founder of the all-woman band Divahn, never set out to be a Jewish feminist icon or spokeswoman. She just wanted to follow in the footsteps of her highly musical family.

Galeet Dardashti
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