Broza’s December Light

Expect a few new wrinkles for the Israeli singer-songwriter’s annual Christmas Eve show.
12/17/2012 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

It was born in tragedy but has become a celebration. And it’s as dependable a Jewish ritual as Chinese food on the same night, Dec. 24.

David Broza’s “Not Exactly Christmas Eve” Concert at the 92nd Street Y has become a fixture on the calendar, and the Israeli singer-songwriter has a few new wrinkles for its 17th annual occurrence, the 12th to take place at the Y.

“All these years on the road, I like to have some habitual routines,” Broza says.

Keeping Adrienne’s Dream Alive

Concert marking singer and Yiddish revival leader’s first yahrtzeit brings together a community of musicians.
12/09/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Sometimes you just have to drop everything else and do what’s right.

Frank London always has a busy schedule. Between the Klezmatics and his numerous side projects (the most recent being a Latin jazz-Jewish fusion essay with Arturo O’Farrill), there is never a convenient time for London to be interrupted.

Michael Winograd has a new CD being released this month with launch gigs in Boston and Brooklyn. December 2012 is not a rest period for him.

Cooper will be remembered and celebrated with a blow-out concert. Lloyd Wolf

Outsiders Crash Sephardic Music Festival

Sway Machinery, Zion80 appearances speak to confidence of 8-year-old event.
12/04/2012 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Sway Machinery, the bluesy fusion group led by Jeremiah Lockwood, plays this year’s Sephardic Music Festival.

Netanel Hershtik’s ‘Mission’

The 14th-generation cantor brings the golden age of classical hazanut to Eldridge Street.
11/26/2012 - 19:00
Special to the Jewish Week

When he talks about Jewish music, Netanel Hershtik uses a word that one doesn’t usually hear from a musician preparing for an upcoming concert: mission. .

Given that he is a 14th-generation cantor — no, that is not a typo; his family can trace its history of hazanut back that far — the idea of singing Jewish music as a “mission” may not seem incongruous, but the intensity with which he speaks of it informs you instantly that Hershtik is not merely paying lip service. He firmly believes in it.

“We wanted to present a picture of the whole cantorial tradition,” says Cantor Natanel Hershtik.

Madoff, The Song Cycle

Alicia Jo Rabins’ one-woman show reflects on the Ponzi schemer’s story through a variety of lenses.
10/31/2012 - 20:00
Jewish Week Book Critic

Just a few years ago, Alicia Jo Rabins didn’t know much about the workings of Wall Street; she hadn’t yet heard of Bernard Madoff. But when the story of the largest Ponzi scheme in history unfolded, the musician, poet, Jewish educator — and admittedly broke artist — was captivated by the details of Madoff’s fraud.

Alicia Jo Rabins

Grooving The Cantorial Tradition

Hazonos iz improvizatya.
10/31/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Jack Mendelson remembers well the words of his principal teacher, the great cantor Israel Alter.

“He would always say, ‘Hazonos iz improvizatya,’ hazanut is improvisation,” Mendelson, himself a great cantor today, recalls with a laugh. “All the really great ones would go off on the pulpit, and the cantors who were really musically trained would improvise on the concert stage as well.”

Cantor Jake Mendelson.

Getting The Jews Up And Singing

Kane Street’s Joey Weisenberg wants a synagogue based on music and spontaneity.
10/16/2012 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s a most unlikely place for a musical revolution, a studio tucked into an apartment building in a quiet block in Carroll Gardens, at the intersection of a residential neighborhood and a string of mom-and-pop stores of the sort Brooklyn still has in its quieter corners.

Joey Weisenberg sees Jews getting up, and singing in shul.

A Heavenly Noise

Jacob Garchik and his one-man Atheist Gospel Trombone Choir.
10/09/2012 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Jacob Garchik is back where a lot of his family roots are. Although the brilliant young trombonist-composer was born in San Francisco, he “realized that New York is the musical center of the world” when he was 17. He now lives in Brooklyn, “not that far from where my mom and grandma spent their lives until they moved to California.”

He gladly admits, “It’s a homecoming, that’s a very good way to put it.”

’Bone structure: Garchik’s “Heavens” band consists of some of the city’s best trombonists. Photos by Eliza Margarita Bates

A New Big Band Voice

Arranger-pianist Ezra Weiss is carving out a niche for himself in the jazz world.
08/27/2012 - 20:00
Special to the Jewish Week

Ezra Weiss received his first keyboard as a bar mitzvah present from his parents.

Twenty years later, he’s among the top 14 vote-getters in the Rising Star category as an arranger in this year’s Downbeat magazine critics’ poll, and a pianist-composer whose sixth CD, “Our Path to This Moment,” showcases his evocative writing in an imaginative big band context. It’s an elegant recording with echoes of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer and Maria Schneider.

When writing for big band, Weiss says, “You want everyone to feel that what they’re doing is pivotal.” Photos by Vanished Twin

A Young Pianist With Old-School Tastes

Joe Alterman teams up with sax great Houston Person on new CD and Jazz at Lincoln Center gig.
08/20/2012 - 20:00
Special to The Jewish Week

The first time he realized the power of music, Joe Alterman was a camper in a Jewish summer camp near his native Atlanta.

Sitting on a stool in a Greenwich Village coffee shop, the jazz pianist recalls enthusiastically, “Everything changed when the music started,” Alterman says. It was, he remembers, a mix of old folk songs, some Joni Mitchell and, of course, Jewish camp favorites like “Jerusalem of Gold.” “Everyone would get all happy and swaying.”

Generations of swing: Joe Alterman, left, and Houston Person.  Willie T. Jones
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