Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Maurice Bernstein talks about founding a record label, and not much else of interest

Music promoter and lifestyle marketer Maurice Bernstein sat down recently for an interview with the website LeadEl - Leadership Elements (Jewish Leaders, Jewish Activism) . It's a milding interesting video, but, for me at least, a very frustrating one. Once the interview gets past Bernstein's personal background everyone seems runs out of steam. Bernstein and the interviewer discuss the fact that there are lots of Jews in popular music. (We know that). They note the long standing and complicated relationship between Jews and African Americans in popular music. (We know too. Really.) For a leadership lecture produced by a group that claims to be about Jewish activism I was keenly disappointed that there was no discussion at all about new energy being invested in Jews making and promoting culturally and/or religiously Jewish music. Even though Bernstein isn't involved in this aspect of music, I would have loved to have heard his thoughts. Hearing about his passion and naivete when starting out is a lot less useful than a few practical suggestions for marketing Jewish music would have been. LeadEl says that"[t]raditional definitions of identity disappear, or become irrelevant, are not cool. Yet generations’ of accumulated wisdom and insights are lost in the process, and many people, particularly young people, find themselves rootless." I personally object to the first sentence of your thesis, guys, and this video did nothing to support the second. Bleah.
"How do you go and find a music label? For Maurice Bernstein it was a gradual process, and in this interview with Leadel.NET, he tells us of the path that led him there. He also discusses his role models, the issue of Jews in American music, and the comfort of being a Jew in New York where, unlike his hometown of Manchester, Hanukkah is mentioned on TV."
Maurice Bernstein

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