Joel Rubin, In Two Keys

The tradition-minded clarinetist steps ‘out’ in new album, but goes back ‘in’ for rare N.Y. show.

Special to the Jewish Week

Joel Rubin doesn’t get to New York very often these days. Being a professor at the University of Virginia is something of a full-time job.
So when the clarinetist-ethnomusicologist doffs mortarboard and travels north with his instrument, as will be the case on Oct. 11, it is well worth making the trip to Manhattan to hear what he’s doing.

Joel Rubin.

The Kol Nidre Project

One prayer, several melodies and 18 perspectives explored in documentary and related concert.

Special To The Jewish Week

The text is straightforward but dry. It’s a little like singing a rental agreement.

Yet “Kol Nidre,” the liturgy for Yom Kippur eve, is one of the most spiritually powerful experiences Jewish worship has to offer. How does one explain this seeming contradiction?

Cellist Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf and Stephen Scholle

Familiar Sound: Anat Cohen Picked As Top Clarinetist


For the fifth straight year, Tel Aviv native Anat Cohen received the clarinetist of the year award from the Jazz Journalists Association.

The awards were presented here on Saturday.

Cohen’s latest CD, “Clarinetwork,” featured the music of legendary clarinetist Benny Goodman. It was recorded live at the Village Vanguard in 2009 during a weeklong centennial tribute to Goodman and included the A list rhythm section of Benny Green on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums.

Anat Cohen: Honored by Jazz Journalists Association.

Sacred Texts, Personal Connections

For Alicia Jo Rabins, bluegrass and the women of the Bible are a natural fit.

Special To The Jewish Week

Alicia Jo Rabins wears so many hats there are probably days when she’d like to rent a second head. Rabins is a singer-songwriter, a poet, a fiddler and a private tutor for students of Torah ranging in age from traditional b’nai mitzvah students to senior citizens.

At the moment she is speaking to a reporter, though, she is a passenger in a van heading for the Maryland suburbs of Washington, where she is playing a gig with one of her various musical aggregations, Girls in Trouble, whose second album is being released later this month.

Midrash bridges “the reality of the text … and of the person who’s alive at this moment,” says Alica Jo Rabins.

A ‘Prophet’ In Autumn

As Bob Dylan turns 70, even the Cantors Assembly is taking notice.

Special To The Jewish Week

On May 24, Bob Dylan will turn 70. It isn’t hard to predict what this fact will trigger. There will be a spate of editorials in a bewildering range of publications. Radio stations across the country and all over the FM band will air marathon selections of his recordings. Book and DVD publishers will release (and re-release) Dylan biographies. Boomers will have to brace themselves for an extensive encomium in AARP Magazine.

How many roads: Dylan, then, in the 1967 documentary “Don’t Look Back,” and now.

Making Audiences’ ‘Ears Think’

The spiky, avant-garde music of Chaya Czernowin comes to the Miller Theater.

Special To The Jewish Week

It takes a steely will and a ferocious intelligence to write serious avant-garde music. But it never hurts to combine those traits with personal charm and, above all, a sense of humor. In evidence, we offer Chaya Czernowin, the Israeli composer whose works are being showcased at the Miller Theater on April 15.

Czernowin, 53, has no illusions about audience response to her music.

Czernowin has drawn on Israeli and Jewish authors, such as David Grossman, for inspiration. Thomas Roma

Being Part Of An International Jewish Teen Choir

Special To The Jewish Week

Practicing, practicing, and more practicing. That’s how I’ve spent two hours of my Sunday afternoons this year.

By deciding to join HaZamir, the international Jewish high school choir, mid-year of my sophomore year at Friends Seminary in Manhattan, I knew I had my work cut out for me. I hadn’t been in a choir since sixth grade, but I was in an a cappella group last year. In HaZamir, I found out that memorizing more than a dozen songs in just a few months really is just as hard as it sounds.

Putting The Triangle Tragedy To Music

Swados’ oratorio to include Jewish, Italian melodies.

Staff Writer

A native of Buffalo, where the dominant early 20th-century tragedy in the city’s collective memory was the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley, Elizabeth Swados never learned about New York City’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

Elizabeth Swados: Calls opportunity to write oratorio about 1911 fire “a blessing.”

Symphony For King Solomon

In his ambitious new work, ‘Shlomo,’ young composer Judd Greenstein grapples with a biblical giant.

Staff Writer

For a long time, the composer Judd Greenstein kept a wall between his interest in Judaism and his passion for music. Though he was raised in a secular Greenwich Village home and is still not observant, for at least the past decade he’s cultivated a deep knowledge of Jewish history, literature and law.

“It’s interesting that my music has been divorced from my interest in Jewish texts and Jewish learning,” Greenstein said in an interview last week, sitting in his Brooklyn studio.

Greenstein, 31, is trying to synthesize Jewish and classical music traditions. Michael Datikash

Avner Dorman’s Musical Exoticism

Israeli Philharmonic to perform the young Israeli composer’s ‘Azerbaijani Dances’ here next week.

Staff Writer

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will give the U.S. premiere of Israeli composer Avner Dorman’s “Azerbaijani Dance” at Carnegie Hall on Tuesday. But it will not be the first time the conductor, Zubin Mehta, one of the world’s most prominent maestros, collaborated with Dorman. In fact, Mehta essentially gave Dorman his start.

Avner Dorman's "Azerbaijani Dance" will be performed by the Israeli Philharmonic  next week at Carnegie Hall.
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