My take on the awards...the klezmer revival is no longer the center of the action for contemporary Jewish music. While there are a number of great klezmer bands out there, there's a lot more brewing. Ashkenazi (including klezmer, cantorial, Yiddish theater, niggunim), Sephardic and Misrachi are all being blended with hip-hop, reggae, latin, tango, electronica, classical, avante-garde jazz, blues, rock. Not all of the blending works, but lots of it does. And there's a lot of energy in it. Ten For ‘06 The best Jewish recordings of the year.
"All in all, 2006 was a very good year for Jewish music. Fourteen CDs won the five-star plaudit, which is certainly a hopeful sign and a pointed rejoinder to those naysayers who have been proclaiming the death of (choose one): a) klezmer; b) New Jewish Music, c) old Jewish music. On the downside, however, four of these albums were the product of deceased composers/artists. That means that the kiddush cup is better than 70 percent full. Mazel tov!"
Best Music 2006
Mordy (aka MC Atzilut) posted the his best of list on Jewschool.
"Criteria for inclusion: I felt it somehow added to Jewish music, or made an impact on Jewish music or Jewish listeners - even if it wasn’t overtly Jewish. An album in 2005 that I listened to mostly in 2006 qualified - as did a single that didn’t get wide-release (Myspace babies). Otherwise, it’s what I want - and since it’s one of the few of its kind, you’ll take it and like it. I kid! Oh, and because it’s Jewish music, it’s a list of everything - singles mixed with albums mixed with artists. Deal with it!"
OYHOO Festival Jewish Music Awards
"The JEWISH MUSIC AWARDS 2006 were announced on Monday evening, September 11th at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. The fun evening was hosted by the comedian/actress Jackie Hoffman and included four musical performances including: Y-Love, Soulfarm, Rachel Sage and Benny Bwoy. The show was highlighted by a presentation to the world reknown composer Steve Reich who was presented with a lifetime achievement award by fellow composer David Lang. Steve Reich is being honored this season by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Brooklyn Academy of Music in conjunction with his 70th birthday. The nominees and subsequent winners were picked by a group of 25 leading journalists who write about Jewish music."