Iraqi Jewish Music For A New Millennium

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

03/03/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

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.

02/24/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

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

The Boss And The Bible

A Rutgers course probes biblical imagery and religious themes in Springsteen’s music.

02/17/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Jews have long felt a special kinship with rocker Bruce Springsteen; his Jewish-sounding name, left-wing politics and his penchant for singing about the downtrodden have made Jewish mothers everywhere insist he’s one of the tribe. 

Six-string salvation: Rutgers professor Azzan Yadin-Israeli, right, writing a book about Springsteen's gritty spirituality.

The Real Fifth Beatle

Graphic novel tells graphic tale of drugs, homosexuality in the Swinging Sixties and Brit Brian Epstein, the man behind the band.

02/13/2014 - 19:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story chronicles in surrealist, comic-book-style fashion the rise and fall of one of the most successful music managers of all time. It is the untold tale of Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ Jewish, homosexual manager, who guided the group during their atmospheric rise to fame and whose vision changed the world. “If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian,” Paul McCartney famously stated in a 1999 BBC interview.

Brian Epstein

Krakauer Goes To The Movies

Month-long series has the clarinetist exploring tunes from films with Jewish content.

01/20/2014 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The noted clarinetist David Krakauer has moved through enough genres to last several musical lifetimes. In the past 25 years he has played everything from klezmer (where he was one of the leaders of the klez revival) to classical, jazz, folk and funk.

A new lens on his work: Krakauer arranges tunes from Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Photo courtesy GMD3

Joshua Nelson’s ‘Moaning And Groaning’

The black and Jewish singer brings together two musical traditions that help define his people.

12/16/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Joshua Nelson could imagine the sound of the music he wanted to make. Growing up a Reform Jew and an African American, he imagined a music that would combine “the moaning and groaning” of two historically oppressed people in a form that would go straight to the heart.

Joshua Nelson breaks all kinds of stereotypes. Photo courtesy DZB Productions LLC

‘A Goyishe Christmas’

N.Y. Festival of Song program looks at relationship between Jewish composers and holiday classics.

12/10/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I’m sitting on the downtown A train, diagonally across from a shortish guy in a Victorian-era top hat and long topcoat. He’s listening to an mp3 recorder, stopping, rewinding, repeating, singing along to a famous Jerry Herman tune from “Mame.” But the lyrics are a bit metamorphosed.

Irving Berlin, composer of "White Christmas." Getty Images

Mambo, From Miami To The Mountains

New release from Idelsohn Society traces the roots of the Latin-Jewish musical story.

12/02/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Although it flourished most brightly in the post-World War II era, the Jewish-Latin connection in American pop music probably goes back as far as the history of recordings will take us. Even the authors of the entertaining liner notes for “It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story: 1940-1980s” admit that the origins of this musical marriage are shrouded in mystery. But as the two-CD set, issued this month by the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, richly documents, it has been a fruitful, if occasionally dopey relationship. (As if none of us have been in one of those, right?)

Idelsohn’s new collection moves from Xavier Cugat to Machito to Eydie Gorme.

‘The Voice Of The Rebirth Of Yiddish Culture’

The Folksbiene marks Theo Bikel’s 90th birthday with a celebration.

11/25/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The memory is clear, the fear still palpable.

“We looked from behind our curtains, and in the street we saw the hardware rumbling past — the cannons, the machine guns, and the open limousines with Goering and Hitler,” Theodore Bikel says. “We trembled. And within days the expected and feared happened.”

Theodore Bikel, left

A Musical ‘Bridge’ To Israel

Soulfarm’s new thematic album is a departure for the popular jam band group.

11/18/2013 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

C Lanzbom and Noah Solomon Chase, the guitarist-songwriters who are the core of the band Soulfarm, have been making music together a long time.

C Lanzbom and Noah Solomon Chase: The new record is “kind of a throwback.”
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