Pop-folkie Matt Nathanson had just returned from hanging in Hawaii, but it was a vacation he only enjoyed “50 percent,” he said.
Debbie Friedman, the popular singer and songwriter who died Sunday, wrote the following for "I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl," a collection of writings following the 2002 murder of Wall Street reporter Daniel Pearl. Dear Daniel, This is the first time I have had to think about the “why” of the words “I am a Jew.” I have never defined myself or my work before. I was born into a Jewish family, exposed to Jewish experiences and Jewish people. The concept “I am a Jew” never crossed my mind until I was asked to reflect on your words.
Over the weekend, as singer-songwriter Debbie Friedman lay dying in a hospital bed in Southern California, the call went out to Jewish congregations around the world to pray for the popular musician. But early Sunday morning Friedman, who composed the popular melody to "Mi Shebeirach," the Jewish prayer for healing, was unable to find healing herself. A longtime sufferer of multiple sclerosis, Friedman died at age 59. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana, Calif. “The healing of the body is something somewhat distinct from the healing of the soul,” said Rabbi Jacqueline Koch Ellenson, director of the Women’s Rabbinic Network, who was one of hundreds who turned out Sunday night at the Manhattan JCC to mourn the singer in an event originally planned as a prayer gathering for her recovery from illness.
The Jewish king of country music is only now publicly revealing his Jewish identity
Cohen became first an accomplished poet and then, starting with 1967's "Songs of Leonard Cohen" (which contained the oft-recorded "Suzanne") a singer-songwriter. According to Ira Nader's Cohen biography, "Various Positions," Cohen's Judaism has influenced his songs greatly -- "Who By Fire" is based on the melody of a Yom Kippur prayer, "Mi Bamayim, Mi Ba Esh," and "If It Be Your Will" is derived from a "Kol Nidre" phrase.
In his new book, pop songwriter Seth Swirsky pays tribute to the sport that has played such an important part in his life.
In Joel Katz's intriguing new documentary about the anti-lynching ballad, "Strange Fruit," an African American poet says she always assumed the songwriter was black.
Katz shared the same misconception before making his film, also titled "Strange Fruit," in the late 1990s. After all, the haunting 1938 tune was first performed by jazz diva Billie Holiday and soon became the anthem of the anti-lynching movement.
Somebody must have perfected human cloning, because no way is Danny Maseng just one person.
When the singer-songwriter-guitarist-actor-poet-dramatist-lay rabbi-teacher-visionary, who will headline the Fund for Reform Judaism's annual fundraiser at Temple Isaiah in Rancho Park on June 13, isn't performing, he may be teaching the Zohar, leading a service at his New York congregation or dashing off a new setting for a passage in Jewish liturgy.
Or he might be working institutionally on innovations in Jewish arts, Jewish worship, Jewish music or Jewish camping.
There's a new singing cowboy in town, and his name is Ken Kunin.
"I've been in this crazy industry for about 10 years," says the lead vocalist/songwriter. And he's about to turn up the heat.
His band, davis waits, has been receiving radio airplay , including on local outlets KLOS and KTTC; and a cross-country tour in support of their new album, "the evolution of...," will follow after the New Year.
Chances are, there are not many singer-songwriters whose oeuvre contains subjects as disparate as the "Shecheyanu" and a visit to the dentist. But such is the nature of Craig Taubman's career.