Under Hindemith’s Wing

Five Jewish protégés of the great composer, while he was Yale, have their moment in the spotlight.

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

If, as Shakespeare famously wrote, every man in his time plays many parts, it should come as no surprise that various observers will see him differently over time. The time span needn’t even be a particularly long one. Consider the case of the 20th-century composer Paul Hindemith. While in exile to escape the Nazis, Hindemith taught at the Yale School of Music and, in that capacity he mentored a distinguished group of younger composers whose music is being performed, along with that of Hindemith himself, on Nov. 22 in a concert tribute “Hindemith at Yale.” Of the five Hindemith protégés whose work will be on the program, the two who are still alive have recollections of Hindemith that seem to be calculated to make the listener think they are discussing completely different, albeit potent, teachers.

Paul Hindemith teaching a class at Yale’s Sprague Hall. Photo courtesy Yale University

The Music Of ‘Spoken Word’

For Jake Marmer, poetry is an outgrowth of song.
10/21/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The stage at the Cornelia Street Café isn’t spacious. With a baby grand piano in place it is downright cramped. So it’s not surprising that poet Jake Marmer is bouncing in place as he chants, exhorts and declaims his verse while Greg Wall, Frank London and Uri Sharlin lay down a deep-pile sonic carpet to cushion his words. “It’s been a long way to get here,” Marmer says at the outset of the performance, “and I’m grateful to be in the moment.”

Marmer, in mid-linguistic riff: Improvising like a jazz man. Photo courtesy Jake Marmer/Andy Ingall

Sephardic Cousins Reunite, 40 Years On

For Gerard Edery and Claudio Betan, the connection is both genetic and musical.
10/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Forty years is a long time between drinks. Or collaborations.

Gerard Edery, Left, and Claudio Betan. "We share the Argentine connection," Edery says. George Robinson

A Folkie With A Hip-Hop Groove

L.A.-based songwriter Mikey Pauker makes his N.Y. debut.
08/12/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Never underestimate the power of persistence.

A native of California, Mikey Pauker combines several musical sources, traditional and modern, in his songwriting.

Blues From The Casbah

The Jewish-Muslim El Gusto Orchestra reclaims the chaabi sound of Algiers before the revolution.
07/29/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It seems as if every culture has one, a signature populist musical genre that speaks from the heart of a people, that expresses some unique national passion, pride and longing. In Portugal it’s fado, Spain flamenco, Greece rebetiko, the U.S. blues and bluegrass. It’s the music of the poor, sometimes of the underworld.

Algerian swing: A bulk of El Gusto’s members are in their 80s and 90s. Yvan Manioski

John Zorn, Still Looking Ahead

‘Zorn at 60’ festival tracks part of the ‘radical Jewish culture’ guru’s prolific output.
07/08/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

As they get older and their style becomes more refined, most great artists strive towards a stripped-down, simplified version of the style that made them famous. Cézanne, Matisse, Picasso all aimed for fewer brushstrokes. B.B. King and Count Basie reduced their solos to telegraphic dimensions, with each note speaking where cascades might have been heard before.

“The music just flows — there are no doubts,” Zorn says. Scott Irvine

Rick Moranis, Cooking With Brisket

With some kvetching and a healthy dose of nostalgia, the comedian’s just-released CD mines the Jewish tradition for laughs.
06/24/2013 - 20:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

You can hear the rabbi whispering directions in the background.  To the melody of a haftorah, Rick Moranis chants a story about a red-diaper baby, now running his father-in-law’s auto parts business, who’s having his bar mitzvah at age 46.

In his new CD, Rick Moranis lovingly mines his cultural Jewish background.

‘Newsflash’: Gilad Hekselman Can Play

The Israeli-born jazz guitarist revels in spontaneity on his new release, ‘This Just In.’
06/03/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

When he was a little boy growing up in Kfar Saba, Gilad Hekselman became fascinated by Michael Jackson.

“When I was 7, I was a big Michael Jackson fan and wanted to be a singer,” Hekselman, now 30, admitted in a telephone interview this week. “But I tried to play the drums and the guitar and I gave up singing.”

Israel may have lost a potential “Melekh shel Pop,” but the jazz world gained a terrific guitarist and composer, whose fourth CD, “This Just In,” is being celebrated with a gig June 11 and 12.

“I come from a music-appreciating family, but no one is a musician,” said Hekselman, who moved to New York about 10 years ago as part of a wave of Israeli jazz musicians who have made a significant mark on the city’s jazz scene.

From Michael Jackson to the N.Y. jazz scene: Gilad Hekselman.

Building A Musical Tower Of ‘BabEl’

Israeli alto saxophonist Uri Gurvich weaves ‘folkloric’ elements into his Middle Eastern-tinged jazz group.
05/09/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The sound rolls out of the saxophone, a sinuous, plangent moan that evokes rivers — the Nile,the Jordan, the Mississippi.

Uri Gurvich

Between Bima And Stage

Sharon Azrieli Perez’s big voice can bridge musical worlds.
05/06/2013 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It is somehow appropriate that Sharon Azrieli Perez should be giving a Mothers’ Day concert on May 12. She is, after all, not only an opera singer, she’s also a mother of two.

“I love to sing the music that was written for cantors in the 1950s who moved easily from pulpit to stage,” says Azrieli Perez.
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