Posts tagged: jewish music – current

RebbeSoul: Jewish roots, world music

By , January 14, 2014 10:04 am

Deeply emotional and rooted in the ancient songs of Judaism, the music of RebbeSoul brings a modern vibe that re-imagines the music of our ancestors. This is not your grandmother’s Jewish Music.  This is not some crazy mash-up of eclectic sounds.  This is spiritually-based music with modern sensibilities and a deep respect for the past.

After earning a degree in engineering, Bruce Burger (aka RebbeSoul)set off to explore L.A.’s music scene.

Leaving parental expectations and  upstate New York’s brilliant autumns and wintry snows behind him,  it was in L.A. that he finally found his sound….and his voice.

At the age of 22, after sharing a Shabbat dinner with an Orthodox family he was inspired to write “Sister Sarah.”  Despite having been a secular Jew for many years, this experience touched him so deeply that he was moved to take on the name RebbeSoul.

As he added the melodies of nigunim and prayers to his repertoire he made a decision. “Every time I play as RebbeSoul, I put something on my head….To the great Rebbes, a nigun, a melody, is something that comes from the heart and goes straight to heaven without anything getting in the way.  So when I do it, I want to make sure there is something on my head, out of respect.”

To strengthen his connection to the Jewish people even further, Burger made aliya in 2007. Now residing in Zichron Ya’acov, he is exploring his musical roots and enjoying where his musical journey is taking him.

The Judaica Sound Archives at FAU’s Wimberly Library is delighted to be able to add Bruce Burger as our newest JSA featured performer. Click on any album below.

 

Fiddler on the Roof

By , December 17, 2013 8:00 am

You may ask yourself… how did a Yiddish story by Sholem Aleichem, based on a surrealistic painting by Marc Chagal, become one of the world’s most popular shows?

You may ask yourself…. how could a 1964 Broadway musical touch audiences after 50 years?

But, of course…. if you know “Fiddler on the Roof” you wouldn’t have to ask!

“The Fiddler,” as depicted by Marc Chagal, symbolizes the struggle for survival and balance in a precarious world.  A precarious world?  That is something Jews know a little something about.

From Tevye’s confident reliance on “Tradition” to the sweet naiveté of “Matchmaker, Matchmaker;” from Tevye’s ultimate acceptance of his life in “If I Were a Rich Man”  to the bitter-sweet realization that life is an ever-changing landscape in “Sunrise, Sunset;” the collaboration of Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) touches our hearts with one of life’s greatest lessons.

We yearn for stability and tradition while, at the same time, we are compelled to adapt to change.

The Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Libraries is proud of its role in preserving the traditions of Jewish culture despite our ever-changing world. Please consider making a financial contribution to help us fulfill our mission.

Click here to see albums and hear snippets.

Bob Berkman: Nostalgia with a twist

By , October 1, 2012 2:33 pm

Bob Berkman’s pianola brings a rich new sound to vintage early 20th century Jewish music

The first time I heard Bob Berkman’s CD, Klezmerola, I just couldn’t stop playing it. I loved the old time sound that Bob was able to achieve with his pianola. I loved the way the sound of the pianola (player piano) augmented the  impact of the music that had once defined a generation of Jews and now was fading from memory.

I am delighted that the Judaica Sound Archives at Florida Atlantic University can now boast a collection of 47 Jewish songs by America’s premier pianolist, Bob Berkman.

I wrote the following review in September 2008 for the Association of Jewish Libraries. After listening to the CD many times since then, I still feel the same way.

“Take an almost vanished technology (player pianos), add vintage Jewish music and stir with just a hint of ragtime and what do you get? Klezmerola! An absolutely delightful CD album that is fun, fresh and freylekh. In this album of “Jewish music from rare piano rolls” Bob Berkman does an incredible job of bringing the music to life with a vitality achieved by actually foot-pumping an old upright player piano. The accompanying 16 page booklet provides information about each song and about the rediscovery of Jewish piano rolls. Such old familiar Yiddish songs as “Odesser Bulgar,” “Yosel,” and “Die Griene Cosina” seem especially well-suited for Bob Berkman’s pianola interpretations. I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite track.  I loved them all!”

In the liner notes for his two volume CD, Klezmerola at the Yiddish Theater, Bob Berkman tells us that ” Piano roll manufacturers…were eager to record and sell current hits, and for attracting immigrant Jewish customers there was no greater source than Yiddish Theater…The market was never a large one…and surviving examples are rare.” The music on these three CDs took over 35 years to assemble.

The piano rolls only contain notes (like sheet music). Bringing them to life with dynamics, accents, phrasing, and emotion is the work of the pianolist, the person operating the player piano. Bob Berkman’s unique talent revitalizes this vintage music, providing a generous portion of nostalgia. . . . with a twist!

Bob Berkman’s love affair with the pianola began in 1975 when he was hired by QRS in Buffalo, NY, the world’s last remaining piano roll manufacturer. His talents brought him the opportunity to work on such films as Ragtime, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and Reds ( in cooperation with  Stephen Sondheim). He has appeared on NPR, BBC, and CBS Sunday Morning.

Using a 1912 “push-up” portable pianola, Berkman effectively turns any piano into a player piano allowing him to perform  in venues all across America. In great demand as a speaker and performer, his unique and deeply personal work with Jewish rolls has been especially gratifying to him.  His important discovery of George Gershwin’s only Jewish piano roll and the haunting A Gitte Nacht by the obscure Samuel Perlstein are among his most treasured accomplishments.

For information about how to buy recordings by Bob Berkman, please click here.

Because It’s Rosh Hashanah! A Musical Video Greeting

By , September 12, 2012 1:22 pm

 

Rabbi/Cantor David Sirull posted this upbeat musical Rosh Hashanna video on You Tube.  He is the spiritual leader of the Conservative synagogue in Augusta, Georgia and was classically trained in the art of Eastern European Chazanut. To hear a different side of Cantor Sirull’s talents listen to Mizmor Shir which is part of the Judaica Sound Archives collection.

JSA Performer: Cantor David Shneyer

By , May 14, 2012 1:19 pm

Rabbi/Cantor David Shneyer is a singer-composer, guitarist, and clarinetist . He grew up in Lakewood, New Jersey. After graduating from Rutgers University in 1970 Shneyer moved to Washington, D.C. Along with fiddler Alan Oresky he created new Jewish liturgical folk music and founded the popular folk and klezmer band the Fabrangen Fiddlers in 1971. This group remains devoted to the rediscovery of Jewish folk music and the development of new Jewish liturgical folk music.

Sometimes known as a Human Rights Rabbi he is the director of AmKolel Sanctuary and Renewal Center in Pikesville MD.

He recently visited the Occupy DC site in McPherson Square to play music and share the traditions of Sukkot.

Click here to see video.

Click here to listen to the JSA collection of Cantor Shneyer’s music.

Celebrate klezmer!

By , February 27, 2012 9:41 am

4th Annual KULTUR FESTIVAL: A Celebration of Jewish Music and Arts

March 3—11, 2012

FAU Libraries, Boca Raton, FL

Can’t make it to South Florida?

You can join in the celebration of klezmer right here at the Judaica Sound Archives!

The word “klezmer” derives from two Hebrew words meaning instruments of music. The roots of klezmer can be traced back to 15th century Eastern Europe. Klezmer music incorporates Chassidic melodies, folk tunes, and Jewish celebration dances. However, most ethno-musicologists would tell you that what we refer to as “klezmer” in 21st century America bears very little resemblance to the musical compositions of 100 or 200 years ago. Today’s “klezmer” is like a  kaleidoscopic musical mirror that captures sound bits from the Jewish experience and reflects them back in new and sometimes wildly improbable ways.

Steeped in traditional Jewish sounds and melodies, klezmer is no longer chained to the shtetl. Today’s klezmer can be heard on the internet in Jewish homes around the world. Today’s klezmer can absorb interesting new flavors as the Jewish world of music expands.

Today’s klezmer music wakes up our Jewish cultural memory and provokes us to dance, to celebrate, to be Jewish!

Early klezmorim played the violin and other stringed instruments. Around 1855 the clarinet began to gain prominence. In the USA, clarinetists Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein spear-headed a klezmer revolution during the 1920’s. Today klezmer music continues to evolve.  It now includes everything from traditional renditions to mind-blowing fusions.

TheJudaica Sound Archives at Florida Atlantic University Libraries invites you to enjoy klezmer music from the past and the present.

Adrianne Greenbaum – FleytMuzik Klezmer music for flute

Benny Bell – To the Bride

Effy Netzer and his band – Folk Dance in Israel Today

Harry Kandel- Kandel’s Orchestra (1917-1918) Vol. 1

Klezmer Company Orchestra – Beyond the Tribes

The Original Klezmer jazz Band

Paul Green – Klezmer East

Rudy Tepel and his Orchestra- Lubavitch Wedding

Yiddishe Cup – Klezmer Guy

JSA Featured Performer – Judy Caplan Ginsburgh

By , February 7, 2012 2:43 pm

The Judaica Sound Archives is proud to feature the beautiful voice of Judy Caplan Ginsburgh.  Although much of her work is geared towards children’s music and holiday songs,  her  clean, clear, lyrical voice performs beautifully when singing cantorial songsromantic ballads, and folk songs.  She is a nationally recognized and multi-award winning performer.  She travels extensively to perform at a variety of different of events, appearing in concerts, educational workshops and sing-alongs .

Judy obviously has a passion and a talent for childhood education. She has innovated a number of educational performances and events which engage school-age children with music and song. One of my favorites from her collection is the  iParenting 2007 Award winner, You’re Amazing.

Judy has had great success as a recording artist since 1981. Her award-winning, best-selling recordings for Jewish families feature familiar songs which have been sung for years in Jewish schools and homes. Her interactive and educational recordings of music for general audiences have received the highest praises from teachers and parents around the globe.

The Judaica Sound Archives has 11 of her albums in our collection. I know that once you start listening to them you will be emailing me to ask where you can buy the CDs.  So before you have to ask.  I will tell you.

The Judaica Sound Archives does not sell CDs. If you are interested in purchasing this music please visit Judy Caplan Ginsburgh’s website: www.judymusic.com .

JSA Featured Performer – Laura Wetzler

By , January 18, 2012 3:03 pm

The multi-talented Laura Wetzler is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, lecturer, and recording artist. Her professional singing career began when she was only 15 years old.  Influenced  by her love of Jewish music and the famous folk singers of the 1960s, she became a popular performer at NYC clubs, synagogues and college campuses.

After her graduation from Hofstra she became a protégé of the legendary Joe Elias, master of the Ladino folk song genre. Her first CD was released to critical acclaim in 1999 and was re-issued in 2011.

A sought after concert performer, Wetzler’s popular music/lecture programs (Jewish Women in Jewish Song, Songs of the Lost Communities, Adventures in African and Asian Jewish Music and Jewels of the Diaspora, and Kabbalah Music: Songs of the Jewish Mystics ) highlight not only her talent but also her extensive knowledge of and interest in music history.

Wetzler is not only passionate about her music, she is also a passionate humanitarian. Working with Kalanu.org, she has been helping economically challenged African Jewish farmers to find health, education and basic services since 2002.

In her own words: “Music is my way of exploring the world, celebrating my heritage, and sharing with others.”

The Judaica Sound Archives is pleased to welcome her as one of our featured performers.

JSA Featured Performer – Bruce Benson

By , January 11, 2012 2:42 pm

Cantor Bruce Benson has been dedicated to composing liturgy for the contemporary Jewish world for more than 40 years. He is, perhaps, best known for his Jazz Service, written and recorded with smooth jazz saxophonist, Kenny G. His blending of modern sounds with traditional Jewish prayers earned him a place in Chosen Voices: The Story of the American Cantorate by Mark Slobin.

The Jazz Service,was the largest selling Jazz album in the Jewish market for well over 10 years. The Rock Service(version 1), a collection of original compositions, was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2002. The 2nd version, re-released in 2008, featured a now legendary performance of Cantor Benson’s The Healing Prayer with Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band.

Cantor Bruce Benson is currently Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Living. He is the former cantor of Temple Beth Am in Jupiter, FL. He has also served as cantor at the Congregation Beth Israel in Scottsdale AZ.

In his concerts and travels around the country, Benson strives to redefine the Jewish music landscape of our generation.  Whether performing alone, or with his band, T’zur Yisrael, Benson creates new perspectives and a fresh look at Jewish prayer.

The Judaica Sound Archives welcomes Bruce Benson to our list of featured performers.

My favorite videos on YouTube

By , June 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Although the Judaica Sound Archives does not collect or preserve video materials we LOVE watching some of the wonderful clips on YouTube. Supporters and friends of the JSA often send us links to film clips that they think we will enjoy.  Here are some of our favorites. What are yours?

The following YouTube videos indicate that you don’t have to be Jewish to love Jewish music…..

Connie Francis released this album of Jewish songs in 1960. She talks about how much Jewish music has meant to her in this video. Click here. (3 min.)

If you haven’t heard Tom Jones singing My Yiddishe Momma you are in for a treat.  Click here. (2 min, 33 sec.)

Charles Aznavour also sings My Yiddishe Momma. He not onlymakes this rendition totally his own he also makes it powerful and totally unique.  I love this recording.  Click here. (6 min, 32 sec.)

We all love Julie Andrews.  Did you ever wonder what it would be like if she sang at a Jewish wedding?  Well, now you know! Click here. (4 min., 24 sec.)

Prof. Josh Kun discusses the meaning and importance of Hava Negila. Leonard Nimoy, Irving Fields, Harry Bellafonte and many others add their talents. Click here. (9 min.)

Sophie Tucker sings her iconic rendition of My Yiddishe Momma in this clip. Click here. (7 min., 9 sec.)

Think you’ve heard it all?  Here is a new perspectives on some old Jewish music.

Meshugga Beach Party performs Sholem Aleichem like you have never heard it before. Click here.  (2 min., 12 sec.)

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