Music

Her Grandma’s Back Pages

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

09/15/2010
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'

09/08/2010
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

Generations Of Yiddish Song

Adrienne Cooper’s new projects span the years,
with collaborators old and new.

07/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Fifty years ago, Yiddish was generally considered a dying language or one that was already dead if still upright. The Shoah and the Gulag had taken a dreadful toll on Yiddish speakers, readers and writers. Isaac Bashevis Singer was much feted as the last of his tribe (although the brilliant poet Abraham Sutzkever would live until 2009), and Yiddish-based musical forms were considered museum pieces.

Adrienne Cooper performs next week at Damrosch Park as part of the “Music for a Better World” show.

Klezmer's 'Woody Guthrie' Celebrated

German Goldenshteyn Memorial Orchestra performs the famed clarinetist's best work.

07/20/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The late jazz writer Gene Lees frequently remarked that jazz musicians tended to speak the way they played.

The same seems to have been true of German Goldenshteyn, the great klezmer clarinetist and a man who was a veritable human archive of the rich musical heritage of Bessarabia. Goldenshteyn, who died in 2006, was a Yiddish speaker whose inflections had a lilting, melodic rise and fall and a rhythmic precision not unlike his solos.

German Goldenshteyn

Copland’s Journey From Brooklyn To The Prairie

Composer’s little-performed opera ‘The Tender Land’ gets a new life at Glimmerglass.

07/06/2010
Managing Editor

Aaron Copland grew up in the cramped quarters of Brooklyn, the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, but in his music he lit out for the territory. The architecture of city life — Deco skyscrapers and imposing Beaux-Arts museums — defined his early life, but in his music he sought sanctuary in the prairie.

In “The Tender Land,” Aaron Copland was influenced by Walker Evans’ photographs of the American South.

Israeli Jazzman’s Southern Swing

From Houston to Hattiesburg, saxophonist Amir Gwirtzman’s four-month tour in the American South was ‘highlight of my career.’

06/28/2010
Staff Writer

Growing up along the shores of the Mediterranean, where a football is round and the sport is played by men in shorts on a grass-covered pitch, you don’t learn much about the huddling, helmeted brand of the NFL game beloved on the bayou.

But Amir Gwirtzman is a quick learner.

Amir Gwirtzman

Jewish Singer Hooked On Bossa Nova

How does a rabbi’s kid from New Jersey get swept up in a Brazilian musical wave? Meet singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia.

06/18/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

If singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia’s new CD “Something New” were a tapestry, when you turn it over you would see a bright yellow-green thread running through every song, a skein of Brazilian jazz steeped in bossa nova and samba. That is a nice musical preoccupation to have under any circumstances, but as one critic asked recently, How does a rabbi’s kid from New Jersey get hooked on bossa nova? And we do mean hooked: Wisnia did his undergraduate work at NYU’s Albert Gallatin School on Brazilian music, language and culture.

Singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia

A Guitarist’s Jewish Sparks

For Tim Sparks, it’s a long way from Southern Baptist North Carolina to Tzadik records.

06/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

It is a cliché to say that music can change someone’s view of the world. But in the case of guitarist Tim Sparks, it’s true.

Sparks, who will be performing at The Stone on June 14, grew up in North Carolina where he was “exposed to a lot of heavy-duty Southern Baptist culture,” he said in a telephone interview last week from his home in Minneapolis. “I’ve spent most of my life trying to work my way out of that.”

His passport to a wider worldview was his guitar.

Tim Sparks’ journey has taken him from the blues to classical to  the music of the Jewish diaspora.

Jewish Songwriter Offers An Indie Take On Genesis

Wailing Wall’s Jesse Rifkin reimagines, and personalizes, the biblical story.

05/25/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Jesse Rifkin is remembering his childhood in Annapolis, Md. He began writing songs when he was 4. At that age, he loved the Beatles. He was already thinking of himself as a career musician.

“Sometimes you just know,” he says firmly.

It all came true; he has recorded an EP and two CDs with his Wailing Wall band, with the latter recordings being released through JDub Records. He will be launching his new album, “The Low Hanging Fruit,” with a gig in New York on June 4.

Songwriter Jesse Rifkin’s “Low-Hanging Fruit” CD bridges the Bible and the economic downturn.

Pianist Judith Berkson: A Journey Across Genres

05/21/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

If genetics count for anything, Judith Berkson’s career choice was foreordained. Her father is a cantor, her mother a pianist and, with her two sisters and one brother, the entire family formed a band that entertained at synagogues and JCCs in the Chicago area as she was growing up.

Pianist-singer Judith Berkson moves easily between cantorial music, classical and cutting-edge jazz.
Syndicate content