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  • Shabbat in Liverpool: New CD adapts Beatles’ tunes for services

    January 4, 2011 | 5:49 pm

    When is it kosher to listen to the Beatles on the Sabbath?

    When your chazan adapts the Kabbalat Shabbat Friday night service to the melodies of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

    Lenny Solomon, the founder of the song-parody group Shlock Rock, employed “nusach Liverpool” for a...

  • Documentary goes behind the music video with Chutzpah

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 10, 2008 | 11:38 pm

    Tor Hyams was startled to discover that his Jewish rap group, Chutzpah, had become the subject of an arty short documentary -- Juliet Landau's "Take Flight" -- which will be the centerpiece of The Hollywood Hill's inaugural BigBrainBoy Mobile Media Summit that takes place on Sept. 12...
  • Brooks Arthur brings stars’ hearts and humor to ‘Jewish Songbook’ CD

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    June 18, 2008 | 10:27 pm

    The decor in Brooks Arthur's office chronicles what Billboard calls his "career as a behind the scenes superstar of the record industry."

    One photograph depicts Carole King hugging Arthur while working with him after her LP "Tapestry" hit in the 1970s. Nearby is a picture of Bruce...

  • Fresh music choices include Pesach treats

    By George Robinson

    April 17, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    Not much Passover music arrived in this year's mail so it's difficult to speculate on the ebb and flow of certain kinds of Jewish music recordings, but it does seem that fewer holiday-specific records are coming out of late. On the other hand, the flood of spiritually informed...
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  • Eight Jewish albums hit high notes in ‘07

    By George Robinson

    December 20, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    At the risk of sounding like Walter Cronkite, what kind of a year has it been in Jewish music?

    It's been a very good year, though you wouldn't know it from this annual compilation of five-star records -- there are only eight this year, the fewest in the decade I've been doing this....

  • For listening, for giving—klezmer and its cousins

    By George Robinson

    November 29, 2007 | 7:00 pm


    Romashka Live at Joe's Pub
    After two consecutive years of a mailbox clogged with new Chanukah music, this year seems to have produced a drought of latkes-candles-and-dreidel epics. No matter. There are plenty of terrific CDs around that will make good gifts for those who do the...
  • Originality trumps repetition in the holiday songs battle

    By George Robinson

    December 7, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    I will be frank. I'm tired of hearing the same holiday songs over and over. So the best Chanukah present I've received this year is a pile of Chanukah-themed CDs with lots of new holiday songs, many of them quite good. Here's what crossed my desk this December.

    The Klezmatics:...

  • Violinist Joshua Bell walks in the footsteps of masters

    By George Robinson

    October 12, 2006 | 8:00 pm


    Although he doesn't exactly think of it this way, Joshua Bell is the latest in a long line of Jewish violin-playing aristocracy.

    His teacher was Joseph Gingold, and as Bell fondly recalled him, "He was a Russian Jewish violinist. He had an incredible joy for the violin that rubbed...

  • Holiday tunes for when you haven’t got a prayer

    By George Robinson

    September 21, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. -- Jerome K. Jerome
     
    Perhaps it is the intensity of the emotions raised by the liturgy itself. Or the power of worshipping in a sanctuary filled with people. Or the sense that everything is at stake.
     
    I...
  • Spectator - A Musical Trek to Israel

    By George Robinson

    April 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    For 2,000 years, Jewish music has been a hybrid compounded of elements picked up from our neighbors. Salamone Rossi created Italian Baroque settings of Hebrew texts. Chasidic niggunim drew on Viennese waltz music and Eastern European military marches. Sulzer and Lewandowski wrote...

  • Fit L.A. - Let’s Take a ‘J-Walk’ Around the Block

    By Norma Zager

    January 19, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    I enjoy walking if it's through a store during a sale or to show off a grandchild. But walking for the pure fun of it isn't fun for me. The last time I exercised was when Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles, and I jumped up and down in the living room as they played.

    Enter the Neshoma...

  • Spectator - It’s Hip to Be Chutzpah

    By Gaby Friedman

    December 8, 2005 | 7:00 pm

    When you think of hip-hop or rap, you don't generally think of jowl-necked septuagenarians or skinny, psyched-out white guys rapping about the tsuris their mother gives them, but then again, you don't generally think of Jews either.

    Enter Chutzpah, or the new "Jewish Hip-Hop...

  • Shticking It to the Classics

    By Nancy Sokoler Steiner

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    My 5-year-old thinks "My Yiddishe Mama," the soulful ballad immortalized by Sophie Tucker in 1928, is a rock anthem. The version he learned didn't come from a dusty old record, but from a CD released in 2004 by the group, Yiddishe Cup, called "Meshugeneh Mambo."

    This is not your...

  • 7 Days in The Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    September 29, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday, October 1

    Ditch the stuffy fundraising dinners in favor of two benefits this weekend that actually sound fun. Today's "Hugs for Ari" is a carnival-style dinner-dance at the Santa Monica Pier. Huge auction prizes like tickets to Pearl Jam in Buenos Aires, plus roaming...

  • Spectator - A Hand in Global Harmony

    By Gaby Friedman

    August 18, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    The Middle Eastern fusion music on "Hamsa" is so insidiously infectious and rhythmic that you will not only be humming along but tapping your feet, as well.

    "It was never intended to become an album," said Carvin Knowles, the CD's creator. "It was how I felt at the time. But I kept...

  • Soothing Music Memories

    By Ellie Kahn

    May 26, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    When Len Lawrence was sitting shiva for his father 12 years ago, he found himself longing for some Jewish music to help soothe him through that difficult time, but he just couldn't find the right songs.

    Now that Lawrence is general manager of Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and...

  • It’s Not Your Zayde’s Klezmer Anymore

    By Gaby Friedman

    May 19, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Musician Eric Stein felt disillusioned with rock 'n' roll. He spent years slogging away in a band without "making it," so he started looking for something else.

    He considered being a history professor, but then, a new instrument and an old style of music changed his mind.

    The...

  • 7 Days in the Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 16, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday, December 18

    Tis the season for cocktail parties, so why not one more. The Anti-Defamation League hosts its 2004 Los Angeles Celebration this evening, complete with dinner, dancing, martini bar and keynote speech by Harvard professor/defense attorney/Israel defender...

  • Spend Chanukah Barenaked

    By Keren Engelberg

    December 2, 2004 | 7:00 pm

     

    While naming your holiday album "Barenaked for the Holidays" is a pretty catchy way to get some attention, for the quirky pop band that calls itself the Barenaked Ladies, it made sense -- about as much sense as getting naked on "The Sharon Osbourne Show" last year, anyway....

  • 7 Days in the Arts

    By Keren Engelberg

    October 14, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday



    The Daniel Pearl Music Day continues on this week and into November. Those paying homage today include Kehillat Israel of the Pacific Palisades, which will honor Pearl's memory during its Shabbat service, and Madeline Felkin and Deanna France, who perform classical,...

  • 7 Days In Arts

    September 16, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Saturday

    Billy Joel goes uptown again, but this time it's Twyla, not Christie, he's crooning for. Pop and high culture fuse the backbone of "Movin' Out," the musical that merges Joel's music with Twyla Tharp's modern dance choreography, and word on the New York streets is this...

  • Aroeste Gives New Life to Ladino Tunes

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    September 9, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Purists were skeptical when Sarah Aroeste debuted her Ladino rock 'n' roll band back in 2001. Most artists singing in the fading Sephardic language were traditionalists, performing classical versions of songs dating to the Jews' expulsion from Spain in 1492.

    But here was Aroeste,...

  • Robbo to Sing at Center Gala

    By Stefanee Freedman

    August 5, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Songwriter and performer Robb Zelonky tangos to the lyrical subject of cleaning up a messy room and morphs into an Elvis impersonation when he sings, "Don't Wanna Share My Toys."

    Zelonky, known to kids as Robbo, brings his family-oriented songfest to the stage as part of the Irvine...

  • Music Makes the Service Go ‘Round

    By Andrea Adelson

    May 6, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Since distributing a CD of hymns to members of Tustin's Congregation B'nai Israel, the Conservative synagogue's cantor, Marcia Tilchin, and congregant Carl Cedar, a veteran musician, no longer sing alone in the sparsely filled sanctuary on Friday night.

    "The house was rocking," said...

  • Shoah Book Brings Museum Experience

    By Steve Lipman

    March 11, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    "A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of Its Survivors," by Michael Berenbaum. (Bulfinch Press. $29.95.)

    You don't find an index or bibliography in a museum. You go there for images, for impressions, to be moved, as well as educated -- so, too, with "A...

  • Etan G—A Nice Jewish Homeboy

    By Naomi Pfefferman

    March 4, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    "Yo, welcome to my crib."

    It's a greeting one might expect, say, in a hip-hop movie, but is slightly jarring from this friendly, compact boychick wearing a knitted yarmulke in the doorway of his Pico-Robertson apartment.

    The boychick is Etan G, who calls himself The Jewish Rapper...

  • 7 Days In Art

    December 25, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday



    Shhh! Today and tomorrow, the Silent Movie Theatre presents "The Silent Picture Show." Legendary 91-year-old theater organist Bob Mitchell and singer and ukulele player Janet Klein provide the sounds, while Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton,...

  • 7 Days In Arts

    December 18, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday

    "The Nanny's" Fran Drescher whines her way into hearts once again, as she hosts the Jewish Television Network's one-hour, all-the-stops-pulled-out"A Chanukah Celebration." Today on PBS, Fran shares her own Chanukah memories, then introduces each of the segments that...

  • 7 Days In Arts

    November 20, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Saturday



    More More. Celebrity Staged Play Reading producer-director Alexandra More presents another installment in the series tonight and tomorrow. "The Floating Lightbulb" is a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy penned by Woody Allen that revolves around a Canarsie family in 1945....

  • An Afro Judeo Beat

    By Jewish Journal Staff

    November 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Tired of the same old synagogue music? Want to put a little lift in your liturgy? Then give your cantor the gift of Ugandan Jewish music, Say what?

    Yes, Smithsonian Folkways has just released a singular CD titled, "Abayudaya: The Music of the Jews of Uganda."

    This is a sometimes...

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