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Jewish Journal

The New Color of Rock

by David Finnigan

April 22, 2004 | 8:00 pm

Does New York's Orthodox Jewish rock band Blue Fringe have groupies? "It's not really sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll," lead singer Dov Rosenblatt, 22, said. "One father e-mailed us and he wrote it reminded him of 'Beatlemania.'"

About 4,000 fans attended the Yeshiva University-originating quartet's Passover weekend performance in South Florida.

Rosenblatt told The Journal that the group's style is "pop rock with a lot of funk influence. The lyrics are Jewish, but the music could be stuff you hear on the radio."

Blue Fringe performs at a Yom Ha'Atzmaut concert April 26 at Beth Jacob Congregation in Beverly Hills, followed by a May 29 appearance at a Southern California regional Shabbaton of the National Council of Synagogue Youth. Blue Fringe's debut album last year, "My Awakening," sold 10,000 copies.

Rosenblatt, one of Jewish Week Editor Gary Rosenblatt's three children, studies psychology and music at Yeshiva University. Two and a half years ago, an invitation to play at a Jewish student event at the University of Pennsylvania found Dov Rosenblatt forming Blue Fringe with Yeshiva University psych major/drummer Danny Zwillenberg, music major/guitarist Avi Hoffman and psych major/bassist Hayyim Danzig. They played last month at Yeshiva's "Pesachpalooza," and also have performed in Jerusalem's Great Synagogue.

The group joins Jewish-identified bands such as Soulfarm and Moshav in advancing Jewish rock.

"We're sold in Lakewood, [N.J.], which is a yeshiva community," Rosenblatt said. "And then we get e-mails from kids who say they don't listen to Jewish music at all, but they like us. There's no reason why high school kids can't have in their CD book Nirvana, Guns N' Roses and all of us."

The April 26 performance at Beth Jacob, 9030 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, begins at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:15. For tickets, $18, call (310) 248-2450. For more information on the Shabbaton, call (310) 229-9000 ext. 2. For more information about the group, visit www.bluefringe.com .

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