Music

An Exit Ramp Off Weill’s Epic ‘Road’

Goal of slimmed-down version of ‘The Eternal Road’ is to ‘get it back into the repertoire.’

04/28/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

Even in a city addicted to eye-popping spectacles, Kurt Weill’s “The Eternal Road,” which opened in New York in 1937, was the most extravagant musical production that anyone had ever seen. Intended as a wake-up call to Americans about the worsening plight of the Jews of Germany, the show centers on a rabbi who employs stories from the Hebrew Bible to teach a Jewish boy about his heritage, even as demonic forces gather around the synagogue where the lessons are taking place — forces that the boy may be able to defeat once his education is complete. A new, slimmed-down, concert staging, using one of the work’s original titles, “The Road of Promise,” comes to Carnegie Hall next week with Broadway veteran Ron Rifkin in the cast, along with eight operatic soloists.

Veteran actor Ron Rifkin stars as character who doubts his religion in “The Road of Promise.” Courtesy of ABC Television

Klezmer Fiddlers Revel In Freedom

Two violinists, a generation apart, go it alone and together.

04/28/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

It’s the sheer freedom that appeals to Jake Shulman-Ment.

“It’s like taking off a set of chains,” he says. “The freedom and the flexibility [are] so different.”

Deborah Strauss and Jake Shulman-Ment: Strings attached.  Courtesy of Museum at Eldridge Street

The Music Of Defiance

A chance encounter at a Minneapolis bookstore led acclaimed conductor Murry Sidlin to recreate the Verdi work performed at Terezin.

03/03/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

It was a simple act, one that book-lovers perform every day. But it changed Murry Sidlin’s career forever.

Conductor Murry Sidlin has brought the music of Terezin prisoners to life in “Defiant Requiem.”  Jeff Roffman

The Sounds Of Belarus, Reimagined In Brooklyn

Litvakus draws on forgotten traditional pieces to forge a new klezmer sound.

02/03/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

He is a man who bestrides two worlds, with one foot in America, the other in Belarus. Or one foot in academia, the other in music. At the moment, though, Dmitri “Zisl” Slepovitch has both feet planted squarely in being a Daddy; his sleeping 20-month-old daughter is now safely entrusted to her nanny.

“It’s a sound that is totally unknown anywhere else.” Leonid Gilman

Black-Jewish Group Chasing The Trane

Afro-Semitic Experience now flirting with late-’60s free-flowing spiritual jazz pioneered by John Coltrane.

01/27/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

This is, quite simply, the sound of joy. Seven musicians playing with great passion, performing 10 tunes by composers they love in a loose-limbed style that runs the gamut from post-bop to klez-jazz to Latin clave to gospel.

Afro-Semitic Experience, top. Courtesy of Afro-Semitic Experience

For Emil Zrihan, ‘So Many Colors To Choose From’

In the Moroccan-born Israeli cantor’s musical palette, a mix of flamenco, Western classical and other influences.

01/13/2015
Special To The Jewish Week

It has been an unexpectedly hectic day for Emil Zrihan and the members of his band. They were unfortunate enough to land in a snowy New York City and everything has taken longer than expected. Their hotel rooms are being readied and Zrihan has already been checking around the neighborhood to buy food for their Shabbes meals, but when the group alights in the hotel lobby near the Flatiron Building, they are chipper, if a bit subdued.

“I have strong memories of Rabat from my childhood,” Zrihan says.

An Edgy ‘Hannah’ Finally Makes It To N.Y.

Modernist opera on a Chanukah theme has been a long time coming.

12/02/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

He has waited almost 35 years to see it on a New York stage, but Leonard Lehrman is remarkably sanguine as the two semi-staged performances of his opera “Hannah” are approaching.

Poster for Leonard Lehrman and Orel Odinov Protopopescu’s “Hannah.”

Perlman’s Back, Solo That Is

After a seven-year absence, the acclaimed violinist is out front in a recital.

11/25/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

When Itzhak Perlman takes the stage at Avery Fisher Hall next week, it will mark his first solo recital in New York City in seven years.

Itzhak Perlman

Israelis Playing Klez — With Cello?

Welcome to the 12th Night Klezmer collective.

11/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

In the world of Jewish roots music — that is, music that originated in the shtetls of Eastern Europe — Elad Kabilio has two strikes against him: he’s Israeli and he’s a cellist.

“We wanted to reintroduce klezmer from an angle” listeners might not be familiar with. Courtesy of 12th Night Klezmer

‘Artists’ Voices Should Be Heard’

World-music show featuring Israel’s Idan Raichel and Mali’s Touré draws BDS fire, and a cultural counter-punch.

11/11/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

This should have been a story just about music, about a fruitful and enticing cross-cultural collaboration between an Israeli pop icon and the scion of an African musical dynasty. Instead, we begin with a battle of petitions and committees, pitting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against supporters of the State of Israel.

Vieux Farka Touré and Idan Raichel: A Muslim and a Jewish artist united by their love for music.  Youri Lenquette
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