Showing posts with label radio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label radio. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jewish Rock Radio

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Jewish Rock RadioThere's a new Jewish internet streaming radio station in town. Helmed by Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Ron Hoffman, and musician Rick Recht, Jewish Rock Radio is a slick and glossy website and iphone app that's now streaming slick and glossy Jewish rock music 24/7. To give you a sense of their playlist, in the last 20 minutes or so I've heard Orthodox rapper Eprhyme, and Orthodox college pop band Blue Fringe, Israeli world-beat rockers the Idan Rachel Project, singer-songwriter Todd Herzog, and Reform camp rock superstar Rick Recht ('s his station, right?). It's is a really nice pop-radio mix with a liberal Jewish orientation but drawing some great frum-pop and secular Israeli pop. Good for them.

And yeah.. I said slick and glossy twice. I can't help it. I'm so not a slick and glossy guy. I like my pop indie and my rock punk. I want them to play The Shondes and Girls in Trouble. I dislike Rich Recht's music so much it makes my eyes cross. But that's my deal. I honestly hope and expect JRR to take off and finds it's audience.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Anthology of Jewish Music" Radio Program

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I love community radio and am always thrilled when I find a new station with Jewish programming. Anthology of Jewish Music is a weekly hour long show that "highlights the Ashkenazi and Sephardic cultures, including Yiddish and Hebrew selections." It's broadcast and streamed live on Co-op Radio 102.7 out of Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada. It's shows are also archived online for play-on-demand and download. Check it out.

UPDATE. Ok. I'm an idiot. I just went to add Anthology to my radio show list and there it was. Evidently I found it once before. But it's worth find twice.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Teruah on the radio Thursday!

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Radio 613Hi everyone. Shameless publicity time. Avi, of the fantastic, Radio 613 / Semitic Soul radio show on CFRC 101.9 FM Kingston Ca, has invited me to sit in tomorrow night at 10pm Eastern Time. The show will be live, on the air, classic community radio. It'll be a hoot. Avi's going spin some of the tracks I featured in my recent talk, "The Silver Age of Jewish Music is Happening Now. And We're Missing it!" I'll be calling in and attempting to sound coherent and entertaining. Which on the best of occasions is a challenge, but after catching a red eye back from San Diego tonight? Oy.

Shabbat ResouledI'm not going to give you a playlist in advance..this is live radio, right? I'd just be guessing and it would spoil the fun. But I will say that we're going being covering a lot of musical territory in an hour. We're also going to do the world premiere broadcast of the brand new Shabbat Resouled album. Shabbat Resouled is England's answer to Craig Taubman's "Friday Night Live."
"Shabbat Resouled - the Musical Project - has evolved out of the highly successful eponymous Kabbalat Shabbat service held on the third Friday of each month at the FINCHLEY PROGRESSIVE SYNAGOGUE in North London, which has been attended by over a thousand people since its inception in April 2007. With new music composed by DEAN STAKER (9½ Incas, Asylum Nation) and performed by a live band of talented musicians. Whilst acknowledging the contribution of the pioneers of Jewish contemporary music such as JEFF KLEPPER and DAN FREEDLANDER (KOL B’SEDER), DEBBIE FRIEDMAN, SAFAM and CRAIG TAUBMAN, SHABBAT RESOULED takes its inspiration from mainstream British artists such as THE BEATLES, CAT STEVENS, PINK FLOYD, THE MOODY BLUES and JETHRO TULL, giving the project a ‘British’ feel and establishing the ‘Anglo-Jewish sound’! With a full-length album scheduled for completion in 2010 and a burning ambition to take the project beyond British shores, Dean is currently working on new songs, demo versions of which are featured on this website. The band is also available to perform for services at synagogues throughout the UK – please contact us for details ("
Well, the album is out. The track's I've heard are great. And we'll be playing one live on air.

To get warmed up, here's a great stage performance of the Shabbat Resouled arrangement of Adon Olam. As good as this stage show is, remember that this is inherently liturgical music. Imagine singing this with a group of 100 at the Finchely Synagogue. Makes me want to fly to London and join in.

Adon Olam - Shabbat Resouled live at Limmud 2009

Show Details: Thursday, April 15, at 10pm Eastern US Time.
  • Option 1. If you're local to Kingston, Canada, listen the proper way: 101.9FM.
  • Option 2. If you're not local, like me, listen to the streaming broadcast off the CFRC Radio website. Go to the website and click the Listen Live button. Make sure you have a streaming media player software installed first. If you don't have one, get Winamp. It's excellent and free.
  • Option 3. Avi podcasts all the shows, using his Radio 613 blog. I'll let everyone know when he's posted this week's show.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

When you can't find a friend you've still got the radio

The Jewish radio landscape is constantly shifting, as new shows light up the airwaves and veteran shows go dark. And yeah, I'm talking radio. AM and FM. Broadcast towers and 'on air' lights. DJ who are Disk Jockeys, spinning songs and making snappy patter.

If it sounds like I'm getting romantic about this, it's because I deeply love radio. There's nothing like driving along in your car on a dark night or a sunny afternoon, listening to your buddy the DJ chattering away, knowing a great song is about to spin up. My wife, also a lover of radio, and I have gone on lots of road trips just to get out, get some air, and listen in to a favorite show.

And Jewish radio is stronger now than it's been in a long time. There are community radio stations hosting Jewish programming all over the country. See this blog's left column for the ones I know about. There's probably one near you. And if there isn't, many of them broadcast live via the internet or podcast their shows.

Washington Jewish RadioWashington Jewish Radio. I've recently run across two fantastic shows that are worth calling attention to. The first is Washington Jewish Radio, which is a 2 hour show that broadcasts every Sunday (10am?) and airs on 4 stations. WKHZ/1590 - Ocean City, MD; WCTN/950 Potomac, Washington DC; WYRE/810 Annapolis, Baltimore; and WEMD/1460 Easton, MD. The show is co-hosted by the father and son team of Larry and Ben Shor. As Ben described it to me in an recent email....
"We try to have a diverse mix of US and Israeli music as well as a weekly comedy feature. My Co-Host and Father is Larry Shor, who is the owner of one of the largest Independently owned collections of vintage and modern Jewish Music In the USA. He was also the host of a show called "The Jewish Music Hall" which aired in DC for over 25 years. We are both DC natives, In fact, I am a 6th Generation Washingtonian! Larry is 53 and Is the Mid-Atlantic regional sales manager for Globex Kosher Foods, in Brooklyn. I am 19 and a student At The University of Maryland, College Park."
I've listened to a number of there recent shows, and am a big fan. Partly because of the music mix. Larry is deeply knowledgeable about the history of Jewish music and spins a range of liturgical, comedy, Yiddish pop, and Israeli music recorded over the last 100 years. He digs deep in the bins to present some great stuff. Ben has a good ear for new Jewish music and has already turned me on to a new band (Hello Sid). The other reason I love the show is the patter. Larry has a classic radio voice, pacing, and patter. This is the kind of voice that I want to hear on a road trip, getting me through the miles. I've got a stack of their shows queued up on my iPod just waiting for my next trip. For more info or downloadable podcasts, hit the Washington Jewish Radio website or their facebook fan page.

Radio 613Radio 613's Semitic Soul. The second show I've gotten excited about is Radio 613's Semitic Soul. Coming down from the college town of Kingston, Ontario, Canada....
Radio613 is a collective and radio broadcast dedicated to Jewish politics, culture, and religious life. Diasporic tones find auditory homes through featured interviews, music, readings, discussion, and documentaries. Each week radio613 presents Jewish perspectives on religious/spiritual thought and practice, race and racism, gender and feminisms, anti-semitism, identity politics, colonialism and resistance… and more! Tune in on Mondays from 5-6pm on CFRC 101.9fm in Kingston (

Semitic Soul is the musical branch of the radio613 collective. DJ Grenadier presents a weekly set of Klezmer/Roma/Balkan/Arab dance and soul music. Tune in on Thursdays from 10-11pm on CFRC 101.9fm in Kingston (

This is classic freeform college radio. The Semitic Soul set list focuses on great contemporary Jewish and related music, with an emphasis on hot instrumental music of all kinds. Their recent shows have include Teruah favorites Enrico Fink and the Sherele Jazz Band Innovators (Italian and Mexican klezmer jazz bands, respectively), Balkan horn band Boban Markovic and Israeli pop band Balkan Beat Box. They've also opened my ears to arab musicians including Arab Summit and Ali Hassan Kuban. And that's just in one recent show. I have a fantasy of getting these guys down to Ann Arbor to DJ a killer party.

For more information or to download their recent shows, check out the Radio 613 website.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Charlie Bernhaut Channel

Photo of Charlie BernhautGot an email this morning about a great internet radio show, the Charlie Bernhaut Channel. I've been listening to one of the shows for most of the morning and I'm hooked. It's a treasure trove of chazzanus (cantorial) music a well as a variety of Orthodox and Chassidic music artists. I think I'm going to be listening in regularly. Here's the official description...
"Charlie Bernhaut’s volunteer 'radio career' began in 1977 when he introduced the Friday morning pre-Shabbos segment on Larry Gordon's "Jewish and Hebrew Sound" at WFMU. In 1980 he created "Two Hours of Jewish Soul Music" on WSOU – which ended in 1996. In recent years, under the auspices of Cantors World, he hosted a one hour cantorial program every Thursday at midnight via WSNR.

The first hour of the internet music program will be a mixture of Israeli, Yiddish, Chassidic, Sephardic, Choirs, Instrumental, Comedy, Historic, together with frequent brief interviews and commentary concerning Israel and the Jewish world. The second hour is solely 'chazzonus' - cantorial music. Via this hobby, Charlie is pleased to share his private collection of over 15,000 Jewish albums with listeners. There will be no commercials.

Lovers of 'chazzonus' recall that Charlie, together with his friend, Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, formed "Cantors World" and helped to revive interest in traditional chazzonus."

To give you a tasted of what you'll hear on the show, here's are two videos of songs I heard this morning (or are close to what I heard).

The first is a vintage Reb Shlomo Carlebach singing Mimkomcah.


The second is a video of Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt singing Acheinu Kol Beis Yisroel.
Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt sings Acheinu Kol Beis Yisroel

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Symphonic klezmer, big music in a minor key.

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Timing is everything. Writing my latest "Jewish Music on the North Coast" blog post got me thinking about symphonic klezmer. At the same time, an email thread on the same topic popped up on the KlezmerShack mailing list. I love it when that happens. I was familiar with most of the pieces mentioned, and will list them in a moment. What I wanted to share first is a wonderful radio show on symphonic klezmer that was suggested by Rochelle Zucker of the Winnipeg Jewish Radio Hour. The show is hosted by Fred Flaxman and is part of his Compact Discoveries radio program. Compact Discoveries is an offbeat introduction to classical music that includes such shows as Music for Insomniacs, Favorite Funeral Music, One-Hit American Composers and, of course, Symphonic Klezmer.

In the hour long program, Flaxman presents compositions by Canadian composers -- the Suite for Klezmer Band and Orchestra by Sid Robinovitch and The Old Toronto Klezmer Suite by Srul Irving Glick -- and "Klezmers" from the Vaudeville suite by the American composer Paul Schoenfield. You can read a transcript of his show on the Compact Discoveries website and listen to the full show on the website. Sadly, while the show is free it requires you to create a PRX account and can only be listened online. No podcast / download. Sorry, PRX. No biscuit for you.

In addition to the pieces presented by Flaxman, here are a few more pieces discussed on Klezmershack.

Kol Simcha's Shabbes

  • Ofer Ben-Amots lovely Klezmer Concerto, which also involved David Krakauer and premiered in Portland Oregon in 2007. Here is a video of the first of it's three movements, performed by The Herzilya Chamber Orchestra in Herzilya Israel last month (October 2009). Movements 2 and 3 are also available.
The Klezmer Concerto, I. Pastoral Doyna

  • The Milken Archive has a wonderful disc titled "Klezmer Concerto's and Encore's" which features, of course, David Krakuer. The disc includes Robert Starer's "K'li Zemer", Paul Schoenfield's "Klezmer Rondos", Jacob Weinberg's "The Maypole" and "Canzonetta", Abraham Ellstein's "Hassidic Dance", and Osvaldo Golijov's "Rocketekya".
  • Osvaldo Golijov has also composed "The Dreams and Prayers of Issac the Blind", a piece for klezmer clarinet and string quartet. Here is a section of it performed by members of Brooklyn Rider, with Max Treitler and Keith Lipson.
Osvaldo Golijov's "Isaac the Blind" at Angel Orensanz

This is only a start. There's a lot more out there and I'll present more soon.

Hat tip to YouTube user's johnnyg2703 for posting the Osvaldo Golijov video and to the Herzliya Chamber Orchestra for posting the Ofer Ben-Amots video.

Monday, April 6, 2009

iPhone and Jewish Radio... yeah, there's an app for it.

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iPhone for Jewish Music logo RustyBrick has just launched their Jewish Radio for iPhone application. It's available through the iTunes store for 99 cents. From the screen shot on the RustyBrick website, it's clear that they've got all of the important Orthodox / Chassidic stations (JM in the AM, Olam Radio, Jewish Broadcast" as well as Miszrachi, Yiddish, Israeli stations, and even Big J. It's a nice starting lineup. I don't have an iPhone yet, but this may be the final reason to get one. I wonder if I can get them to link to my podcast? Here's the official RustyBrick description...
"Listen to dozens of free Jewish Internet radio stations on your iPhone or iPod Touch. The music and talk radio channels will stream directly from your device. It works over WiFi, 3G or Edge. You can even "scan" through the available Jewish and Israeli channels. In addition to listening to the songs, we give you a link to a site where you can purchase the song or album. Plus, if we are missing any free channels, you can email us and let us know, and we will add them to the list."
iPhone Jewish Radio App

Hat tip to the Infoxenter_apps Twitter feed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rabbi Abulafia's Boxed Set

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Tonight KCRW radio, out of Santa Monica, CA, is rebroadcasting the wonderful 2005 documentary "Rabbi Abulafia's Boxed Set." If you missed it tonight, or back in 2005, you can listen online.

From the KCRW show notes....

"For more than two years in the 1950's, avant-garde ethno-musicologist Harry Smith recorded a Lower East Side Rabbi's cantorial music, folk songs and Yiddish story-telling. The Rabbi's eccentric grandson, 81 year-old Lionel Ziprin, is hoping to re-release a condensed version of this material. It's a holy mission for him. The program you are about to hear was produced for KCRW by Jon Kalish. It has been honored with this year's Gabriel Award recognizing programs that uplift the spirit, sponsored by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals.

Lionel Ziprin passed away last week on New York’s Lower East Side. ....Today in his memory, we are rebroadcasting Jon Kalish’s award-winning documentary.

Here a great pair of videos on the subject.
Lionel Ziprin Part 1 - Harry Smith Recordings of Rabbi Abulafia - Jewish Liturgical Song

"Lionel Ziprin retells the story of the original recordings made by ethnomusicologist Harry Smith of the Jewish liturgical songs sung a capella by Rabbi Naftali Zvi Margolies Abulafia. Recordings made between 1953 and 1954. 18 Lp set. Filmed December 6, 1997 in New York City, the Lower East Side by Leyna d'Ancona."

Here's the second Lionel Ziprin video. And for a bonus, here's a great off-kilter video called "Songs for Schizoid Siblings" by Ziprin and Leyna d'Ancona.

Hat tip to Leyna d'Anconafor posting the videos and to David Griffin of Hebrew School for letting me know about them.

Shir Bliss Radio Plays Jewish Music that Doesn’t Suck.

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Shir Bliss, the new radio show on Gainesville community radio station WGOT-LP 94.7 out of Florida,"plays Jewish music that doesn’t suck." I'm currently listening to their March 23 Hip Hop show, and Y-Love is kicking with New Disease and Matisyahu's Smash Lies just blew me away (again). Love it. The show's coming up every Monday night at 10pm. It doesn't look like you can stream the show live, but the guys are posting each show to the Shir Bliss blog. Download and be happy.

"Shir Bliss plays Jewish music that doesn’t suck. From happy hasidic jams to holy free jazz to cantorial death metal, we’ll give you the best in both new and old Jewish music. We’ll strive to be an outlet for new and innovative voices expressing their beliefs and heritage on their own terms. Shir Bliss plays music that lifts your soul and assaults your ears, or at the very least tries to convince you that klezmer music isn’t all that bad."

Here's the hip-hop show. Give it a listen.

Here's the hip-hop show playlist.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Chunky Chocolate Bars & Raisins and Almonds: Henry Sapoznik talks Yiddish Theater and Radio

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Living on the North Coast (aka Michigan) has many perks. One of them is that between the University of Michigan and Michigan State we have a steady stream of exciting Jewish music related visitors. Yesterday Henry Sapoznik came to MSU to talk about Klezmer, Yiddish Radio and Theater, and give a Klezmer performance master class. I was only able to attend the Yiddish Radio and Theater lecture, but am so glad I did. Sapoznik is not only incredibly knowledgeable, but he is one of the people personally responsible for rescuing and chronicling a lot of Yiddish theatre and radio shows from being discarded or lost. He's also a fabulous story teller.

I don't think that last night's lecture was recorded, but here's a snippet of Sapoznik giving a similar lecture at last year's Paper Bridge Summer Arts Festival at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, MA.

Hank Sapoznik on the Forward Hour

I had great intentions of taking notes through his lecture but a) got so caught up in his story telling that I forgot and b) realized that he's written a fabulous book on Klezmer and co-produced a 10 part radio show on Yiddish Theater. Reading and listening to those would be way better than my notes.

I do want to share one great story from the lecture. According to Sapoznik, one of the cellars that some unique Yiddish radio shows were rescued from belonged to the family that owned Chunky Chocolate Bars. It turned out that at the heyday of Yiddish radio, between the two world wars, the owner of Chunky Chocolate was a big supporter of Yiddish radio. He both advertised heavily on Yiddish programs and funded and recorded Yiddish theater to be performed on the air. Why? The answer (maybe) comes from the signature song of a Abraham Goldfaden opera that Sapoznik found on an aluminum master disc in his cellar. The theme song of this opera...Royzhinkes mit Mandlen (Raisins and Almonds). Sapoznik happily speculates that this man so loved Goldfaden and his song that he dedicated a candy company to producing chocolate bars that with ingredients drawn from an opera song, and then years later supporting revivals of opera the song came from. Royzhinkes mit Mandlen is a classic of the Yiddish theater and has been recorded so many times that it's often considered a folk song. In case you haven't heard it, here's a lovely presentation of it that includes the Yiddish and English lyrics.

Judy Albert singing Royzhinkes mit mandle

Hat tip to David Marc Klein of the Heartland Klezmorim for inviting me to the show, to the MSU Jewish Studies Program for hosting the lecture, and to YouTube user schnuffibossi for posting the Judy Albert video. Thanks folks.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chai FM - South Africa Jewish Radio

I just ran across a promo video for the brand new Chai 101.9 FM Johannesburg, South Africa, a 24 hour a day Jewish radio station. Mazel Tov folks.


Here's their station description...
"Chai Fm is a Jewish community radio station broadcasting to the greater Johannesburg area on 101.9fm. The station is talk format with 20% Jewish music. Programming is determined by community research and reflects the diverse views of the community. Based on "Tools for Life", Chai Fm provides programming that is informative, educational, entertaining and relevant to the community.

The objectives of Chai Fm are to: Unite the Jewish community, to build the connection between the community and the land of Israel, to reflect ourselves to ourselves and to provide programming that is relevant, informative, intelligent, honest, engaging, reflects a diversity of views and is entertaining.

Chai Fm is for all the Jews of Johannesburg, irrespective of observance levels, age, gender, race or financial status.

"The station aims to provide a platform for debate and a diversity of opinion" says Kathy Kaler, a director of Chai Fm. She adds: "It's so easy to think that our communities are insular and we can forget we are each part of a greater "whole".

Chai Fm was granted a community broadcasting licence in June 2007 and will begin broadcasting in September 2008
The magic words here are will begin broadcasting. The website is pretty much a mess, so I'm betting they're not on air yet. But hopefully they'll get things straightened out and running smooth soon.

Good news from South Africa. According to Lisa Gordon of Chai FM, as of December 2008 they have started broadcasting. They hope that in a year or so to be streaming their show world wide via the internet. I did a quick bop over to their website and it's looking much more put together now. Great job, folks. Mazel tov.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Montreal's Radio Shalom

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It's 10:00, the kid's and wife are sacked out and I'm relaxing to the rhythms of the Afro-Semitic Experience bumping through my computer speakers (sorry it's not more hi-fi guys) and enjoying the DJ introducing the tracks in Quebeqois French*. Listening to a stack of tracks from my favorite Jewish Jazz group from my home state of Connecticut is strangely heightened by the unexpected context. Not that I understand a word of the patter, but sometimes it's better that way, letting the DJs voice be a warm human music all it's own.

Les faces cachées de la musique juiveI'm listening to an archive recording of the program "Les faces cachées de la musique juive" on CRJS 1650 AM, Radio Shalom, Montreal Canada. Radio-Shalom describes itself as "Canada’s first multilingual Jewish radio station and will broadcast 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Programming is broadcasted in English, French and Hebrew....the only station in North America which offers our listeners music from Israel, Yiddish, Ladino, Mizrahi, hassidic and klezmer as well as world music in a multitude of languages." While Radio-Shalom is certainly not the only Jewish radio station out there, it does have the widest range of programming I've seen. With shows ranging from "The Cantors' Corner" to Chassidic Heavy Metal Rocker David Lazzar's "Rockin' Rabbi Show" it's a pretty amazing lineup.

And they stream live and host an archive of past shows. What more could we ask for (besides instantaneous French-to-English translation)? For more information, see their schedule or the individual show pages for times and archive programs. For the record, not all shows are in French but don't let the ones that are slow you down. It's the music that matter's, right?

For a taste of the Radio Shalom goodness, here's

- The Afro-Semitic Experience on "Les faces cachées de la musique juive"

- The February 3rd Cantors Corner show

- Rockin' Rabbi David Lazzar's Van Halen tribute.

* ok. So I have to tell this story. My lovely and clever wife and I were up in Quebec last summer. I don't speak a word of French. My wife, though, is quite fluent in Spanish and does passable French and Italian. So we're sitting in a charming little bistro in Quebec's Old City. She's ordering and I'm half listening, half daydreaming. All of a sudden the waitress, way over estimating my wife's French, launches into a long explanation of some fine point of the menu and concluding with a complicated question. My wife, going from savy traveler to befuddled rube in one shot, looks at me and says (and I quote) "huh?" My quick witted response was (and I quote) "what?" The waitress looked at the two of us idiots and walked away with our order. By the time she hit the kitchen, we'd begun to recover enough to laugh about it. Sprechen sie Gringo anyone?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Teruah - The Israel National Radio Interview

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Israel Beat w/ Ben BreskyI was on the radio today! Israel National Radio to be precise. I was interviewed by Ben Bresky for his weekly music show, The Beat. I'm a big fan of the show, so it was great fun to participate. The interview was recorded last Thursday and, I'll admit, I wasn't as prepared as I'd wanted to be. I'd been on the road for work the two days before hand and my concentration was shot. I FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT JEWISH COWBOYS. ARGGH! But I had fun and hopefully it sounded ok. I got to name check some of my favorite groups (sorry if I left you or your favorite out, I didn't have much time). I talked too fast and too much. No big surprise there. Anyway, if you'd like to hear it, you can go to the download it or listen now. My bit starts about halfway through.

Because of the time difference between the US and Israel, I lost track of when it was going to be aired. I actually found out when I got a nice email from a Beat listener who wanted to chat about definitions of Jewish music. I'm a bit skeptical of the value of definitions but between the two of us we came up with "Music that celebrates or recognizes Jewish life or comes from a Jewish artistic impulse." It doesn't say much, but it doesn't remain altogether silent.

One irony of the interview is that it was recorded and aired during the Three Weeks, a traditional period of mourning where frum Jews don't listen to music (and don't have weddings, haircuts...). The result is that Ben opened the show with some poetry readings and didn't play any of the music I had picked out. Timing is everything. As the music tracks and videos I've posted lately demonstrate, I'm neither frum enough or clever enough to be Three Weeks compliant here at Teruah. I'm glad that Ben is and I'm going to steal his idea of showcasing Jewish poetry during next year's Three Weeks. But, no music for me.

Update: Ben emailed with the link to his web page for the show and say that we should "save the mp3 and share it, spread it, etc. The mp3 should last about 6 months." I've already downloaded the mp3 so if you want a copy after it's pulled from the Israel National Radio website, just give me a yell.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Image USA - Sephardic Community Radio (And Subliminal gedenk's, do you?)

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Image USA logo I got a nice email today from the folks over at Image USA, a website for the "Sephardic community online." It seems like a nice website, with articles, community calendars, video and photo galleries and community targeted advertisements. And, best of all, they have their own internet radio station. I'm looking forward to listening in. Here's how they describe themselves...
"Image Magazine has a twenty-year history of serving the Sephardic Jewish Community. Our website,, is helping people continue to connect and enjoy the centuries' old traditions that are so dear to all of us. We have recently made our entire magazine available on our site in pdf form."


As an added bonus, here's one of the video's that Image USA links to.

God Almighty When Will It End? Subliminal & Miri Ben-Ari

Here's a section of the (long) video description..
"This song is dedicated to the Jewish Holocaust and is part of the Gedenk movement. The Gedenk Movement (Remember!) A humanitarian campaign to raise youth awareness about genocide through art and education. Gedenk is a word that means "remember" in Yiddish. Gedenk is a movement established in 2006 as a humanitarian campaign that promotes youth education about anti-Semitism and the Jewish Holocaust.

Gedenk will use commercial outlets, i.e. music, dance, billboards and celebrities, to communicate its message and make the Jewish Holocaust relevant to today's youth. Those that do not speak up are as guilty as the criminals themselves!"
For more info on the Gedenk Movement, visit their website GedenkMovement.Org. For more info on the Israeli rapper Subliminal, see his Wikipedia page. For more info on the Grammy winning Israeli violinist, Miri Ben-Ari, see her website and her Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lori Cahan-Simon, folklorist, vocalist, and guest DJ

I've enjoyed having a Last.FM radio widget tacked on to my blog lately. Dialed to the 'Jewish' tag, it's spun a delightfully random stream of clips ranging from Matisyahu to European heavy metal band Rootwater's Hava Nagila to a Noam Chomsky lecture. But I thought I'd share the fun. I've invited critically acclaimed singer/folklorist Lori Cahan-Simon to guest DJ the Teruah radio for a while. Lori's Last.FM radio station will stream vintage and post-revival klezmer including Dave Tarras, Les Yeux Noirs, Naftule's Dream, Den Flygande Bokrullen, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

Lori's got a series of excellent albums that are well worth checking out including "Vessel of Song: The Music of Mikhl Gelbart," "Songs My Bubbe Should Have Taught Me; Volume One: Passover," and "Chanukah is Freylekh! A Yiddish Chanukah Celebration. Songs My Bubbe Should Have Taught Me: Volume Two"
Vessel of Song: The Music of Mikhl GelbartReleased in late 2003, Lori Cahan-Simon's "Vessel Of Song" is another fine collection of Yiddish songs by this outstanding Yiddish singer. Sub-titled "The Music Of Mikhl Gelbart", the album presents fifteen songs (two of which are medleys) by one of Yiddish song's greatest composers. Born near Lodz, Poland in 1889, the son of a poor khazn (cantor), Gelbart started writing music for a theatre group he toured with between 1909 and 1911 before immigrating to the United States in 1912. There he continued his theatrical and compositional activities, eventually also teaching singing, first at the Workmen's Circle in New York. Mikhl Gelbart died of bone cancer in 1962 and is still remembered by many of his students with great affection. He left a huge body of work that includes six oratorios, fifteen operettas, eight orchestral pieces, and settings of the works of some one hundred and twenty poets. He also published some twenty books of Yiddish songs. Gelbart's music is of a deeply folk-rooted nature and thus was often assumed to be traditional folk music of anonymous origin. The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble's "Vessel Of Song" presents a superb if necessarily tiny cross-section of Gelbart's vast body of Yiddish songs.

Songs My Bubbe Should Have Taught Me; Volume One: PassoverIn the desire to cast off the ways of the old world and in the ashes of the Nazi death camps, most of the songs included here have been lost or forgotten by the majority of Yiddish performers. But in the first of what will presumably be a series of recordings documenting Yiddish songs for all occasions, singer/folklorist Lori Cahan-Simon collects fourteen Yiddish Passover songs and performs them with her top-notch ensemble of local and national Yiddish vocal and klezmer talent. On half the numbers, Cahan-Simon shares vocal duties with Michael Alpert, best known for his work with klezmer group Brave Old World. The instrumentalists include Steven Greenman, violinist for the group Khevrisa, cymbalomist Alezandr Fedoriouk, who has worked with jazz artist Herbie Mann and John Cale of the Velvet Underground, and Walt Mahovlich, who currently leads the East European folk group Harmonia.

A work of incalculable folkloric value, as well as an entertaining and educational tool, Cahan-Simon's CD is well-annotated with extensive background notes and complete lyrics, transliterated and translated into English. The musicianship is on a very high level, and Cahan-Simon is a compelling, theatrical vocalist, whether she is tackling the cantorial-style, rubato phrases of "Avodim Hoyinu (We Were Slaves)" or the intimate cabaret-pop of "In dem land fun piramidn (In the Land of Pyramids)" by "sweatshop poet" Dovid Edelshtadt. "Shvimt dos kestl afn nil (The Little Basket Floats on the Nile)", laced with flute by Mahovlich, has an appropriately Middle Eastern feel to it, and "Dayeynu" is rendered in an upbeat, klezmer-to-jazz arrangement. The highlight of the recording is the swinging, imaginative duet between Cahan-Simon and Alpert on "Der Bekher (Tayere Malke)". Henry Shapiro's acoustic bass keeps the tune moving at a speedy pace, and the musicans interpolate eight rollicking, traditional klezmer tunes in between the verses." -- Seth Rogovoy (Author of The Essential Klezmer), Sing Out! Magazine

Chanukah is Freylekh! A Yiddish Chanukah Celebration. Songs My Bubbe Should Have Taught Me: Volume Two Most people, if you ask them to name a Chanukah song, will tell you “I Have a Little Dreidel”, and not be able to go any further. Some will tell you the Hebrew songs “Mi Yemalel” or “Maoz Tsur”. On this recording you will find the finest Yiddish Chanukah songs I could find, including one from the earliest Yidish songbook published with melodies, from 1727, up to those written through the end of the 20th century. Also present are the original Yiddish versions of the above mentioned dreydl song and “Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah”. These may be the only tunes that are familiar to you, but don’t let that stop you listening. Some of you may remember these songs from when you went to Yiddish school, but I think most of you won’t know them at all. These are marvelous songs which deserve to be heard and not forgotten in a dusty book, moldering on a neglected shelf somewhere.

Monday, May 5, 2008

David Krakauer's Abraham, Inc - Live at the Apollo

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Abraham, Inc. concert poster
Ok, so I missed this one. It was another MMH show (many miles from here), so I wouldn't have been able to attend but what a cool line up. I saw Krakauer and Socalled here on the North Coast a while back, the addition of Fred Wesley is amazing. The Apollo website has more information and this great promo video. An album and concert DVD will be released eventually. Can't wait.

"Ever since I formed Klezmer Madness! in the mid 1990's I've been exploring the possibilities of adding funk, jazz and lately hip-hop influences to klezmer. Improvisation has always been a part of my musical landscape, but it was my embracing of klezmer music in my early 30's that gave me the opportunity to create my own style of improvising and composing within (and under the umbrella of ) the music of my own Eastern European Jewish cultural heritage. all-out klezmer-funk dance party!
These explorations logically led me to my collaboration with Socalled, a kindred spirit in the search for that magic place where a combination of klezmer, funk, jazz and hip-hop can find a commonality of ecstatic trance. In a conversation with Socalled somewhere on the road in Europe in late 2005, the name Fred Wesley came up. Fred of course is world renowned as one of the great masters of funk through his amazing trombone playing and arranging with the likes of James Brown, Bootsy Collins, Parliament Funkadelic etc., etc . I felt that collaborating with Fred would be a tremendous (and logical) next step in this musical journey that I've been on for the last ten years. Much to my delight, Mr. Wesley accepted the proposal to join this path of musical exploration. -David Krakauer"
Update: I found some additional articles on Abraham Inc, including Weekend America, PRI's The World.

Here's the Weekend America interview.

Here's the interview from The World.

For more video's, YouTube has videos of Abraham, Inc. playing "Moskowitz and Loops of It" and "Tweet Tweet"

Related Post: "I just got back from seeing David Krakauer, Socalled, and Klezmer Maddness live"

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Jewish Music on Last.FM

Last.FMTeruah's got a new toy, a Last.FM radio. Last.FM is a free online music service that creates playlists for you based on previous music you've listened to and music that people with similar taste have listened to. Like most similar services, it's really hard to get it to consistently play Jewish music. That's mostly because Jewish music cuts across music genre's in a way that's hard for a software algorithm to get it's electrons around.

But Last.FM has added a clever feature that allows the determined to game the system. The feature is the ability to generate a randomly selected playlist based on user applied tags. What this means to us, is that the shiny new Teruah Last.FM radio will play a never-ending stream of songs that some Last.FM user has tagged as Jewish.

Will it match your definition of Jewish music? Will it be a musical style you like? You spin the wheel you'll take your chances. What I will say is that I love it enough to feature it on the blog. In an hour of listening I heard rock, heavy metal, reggae, hip-hop, jazz, classical, klezmer, yiddish and folk. I didn't love every song, or even understand why every song had been tagged 'Jewish,' but I loved a lot of the songs and even when out and bought an album on the spot after hear one of the tracks.

So take it for a spin and let me know what you think.

If you're a band or a label, go to the Last.FM 'Promote Your Music' page for instructions on how to upload your music. Then tag it Jewish and join the fun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gimpel the Fool accordian duo

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After posting about the opera La Juive (The Jewess), I went looking for videos of other Jewish operas. The first that I looked for was David Schiff's "Gimpel the Fool". While I didn't find the video I was looking for, I did find this gem. It's a Japanese duo calling themselves the "Jabara Sisters" playing a composition by Hankus Netsky, of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, also called "Gimpel the Fool." According to the video notes, the Netsky piece was written for a radio drama presentation of Issac Bashevis Singer's story. According to the Klezmer Conservancy Band's website, their version of Gimpel is available on their album "Dancing In The Aisles." I haven't been able to track down the radio program yet, but I'll keep looking.

Gimpel The Fool

Hat tip to the Jabara Sisters for posting the video.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"The New Klezmorim" and "The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer Nutcracker for Chanukah" on Sound & Spirit"

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Ellen Kushner's radio program "Sound and Spirit" had a couple of Jewish themed shows recently.

The first was titled "The New Klezmorim" and "follows Klezmer from its earliest days of cross-fertilization with Balkan Gypsy dance music, to America and its meeting with African-American Jazz, and on into the 21st century as new Klez bands hit fusion with a techno bang. We'll also use Klezmer's journey to explore what it means to be a Jew in a changing world."

The second was titled "The Golden Dreydl: A Klezmer Nutcracker for Chanukah" and presents "an award-winning family entertainment featuring the music of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as interpreted by Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, with original story and narration by Ellen Kushner. Together, they have created a brand-new retelling of an old tale: Sara is a little girl with a problem: she hates the annual family Chanukah party! But when a mysterious party guest gives her the gift of a golden dreydl, Sara is catapulted into a magical world of demons and fools, sorcerers and sages."

I used to live in Boston and got to see Shirim play pretty regularly. I never got to see them do the Golden Dreydl, but I've got a copy of their album. It's wonderful, funny disc. I highly recommend it as away to confuse and amuse your Christian coworkers at the annual Christmas party. Step 1. Commandeer the stereo. Step 2. Slip in the disc. Step 3. Watch merriment ensue. I've done this a bunch of times to great effect.

Anyway, for those who haven't listened to it before,
"Sound & Spirit is a weekly series of hour-long radio programs exploring the human spirit through music and ideas. ...Sound & Spirit weaves history, myth, and spiritual traditions together with music to take listeners on a journey around the world and through the ages. With subjects ranging from pilgrimage to family relationships, Shakers to Buddhists, and births to funerals, there is always something new to explore. "As long as there are human topics, there will be topics for our shows," says Ellen Kushner. "People from every culture and every generation have always marked their life experiences with rituals, stories and music."
You get the idea. I honestly haven't listened in a long time, but will make a point of checking out these shows. My problem is that my local NPR station doesn't play it and, while they do put the shows on line, they don't podcast them. That means I can only listen while sitting in front of my computer, which doesn't work well for me. Anything with people talking is too distracting for work time. Oh well. I'll figure something out.

Hat tip to Ari at Klezmershack for posting a link to Sound and Spirit.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hannukah by Satellite: XM Radio Hannukah

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So that dreaded season is starting. I ran to the local Meijers last night. (Meijers is a North Coast thing. Sort like a 24 hour Walmart. It's the only place I know where I could get a 6-pack and a chain saw at 2 in the morning. Not that I was shopping for a 6-pack and a...oh never mind). And the Christmas candy was out. And the Christmas music was playing. It's not even Thanksgiving folks. C'mon.

Anyway, in addition to all of the Christmas programming that we'll be buried under, starting December 4th a little bit of Hannukah will take to the air waves. XM Radio channel 108 will be spinning

"MORE... Special Exclusive Shows about Jewish Culture and Hanukkah....
MORE Big Stars from the past....
An IMPROVED lineup of music and entertainment...
MORE of the items you asked for last year....
It all starts December 4th with the Lighting of the National Menorah."

Pretty cool. Too bad I don't have XM. If you do, you can learn more about it at the XM radio website or the Radio Hannukah Myspace page.