Fela Kuti and Shlomo Carlebach are not an obvious pairing. But Zion80 do a masterful mash-up of the Jewish counterculture icon and the late Nigerian superstar.
Playing together, Israeli Idan Raichel and Mali’s Vieux Farka Toure show how harmoniously Jewish and Islamic culture can meld when given the chance.
Singer Basya Schechter is not some naive Jewish singer doing a world music mash-up. Her latest release is a collection of Yiddish songs that showcase her distinctive sound.
It’s easy to laugh at reports of music-banning in China or by fundamentalists groups. But ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis have also sought to ban music they find distasteful.
Istanbul was once a center of Sephardic Jewish life and music. Little of that grand legacy remains there, but it has spread to America and around the world.
‘A melody lives and dies and it is forgotten,” actor Rafael Goldwaser says early on in a presentation of “A Gilgl fun a Nign” (“The Metamorphosis of a Melody”). “But a melody can be resurrected.”
A tough room, lousy sound and half a band. Given the poor hand she was dealt, it’s a testament to Alicia Jo Rabins’s onstage appeal that she came across as well as she did at a showcase for emerging Jewish performers presented June 17 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
Analogies between music and language abound. Sometimes we liken music to a universal language that is able to transcend ordinary linguistic and cultural boundaries. Sometimes we talk about its innumerable local dialects, the genres and styles that mingle and give rise to yet more idiosyncratic forms.
Listening to “Her First Dance,” pianist Misha Alperin’s latest recording for the ECM label, I was reminded of an old story about the late jazz trombonist Vic Dickenson.
A series of happy accidents. That, in a nutshell, is how 32-year-old saxophonist and scholar Evan Rapport describes the arc of his career — a career that began in the nightclubs of Maryland and ultimately carried him to the Bukharian Jewish enclaves of New York City.