Music

Russian-Jewish pianist dies on stage

(JTA) — The celebrated Russian-Jewish pianist Mikhail Klein collapsed and died on stage while performing his own composition in his hometown of Irkutsk.

Klein, who in 1987 was awarded the prestigious title of Honored Artist of Russia, reportedly died of heart failure at the foot of a grand piano of...
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Artists pull out of Berlin music festival over Israeli Embassy funding

(JTA) — Several artists pulled out of a popular Berlin music festival because the Israeli Embassy in Germany provided a financial contribution.

The three-day Berlin Pop-Kultur festival, which runs through Friday, accepted 500 euros, or nearly $600, from the Israeli diplomatic mission.

Israeli artists are among the 70 acts scheduled...
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Jay-Z defends lyric called anti-Semitic: ‘Context is everything’

(JTA) — Jay-Z defended his decision to include a lyric in a song on his latest album that has been called anti-Semitic, saying he exaggerated images of black people in the same song.

The rapper was discussing his song “The Story of O.J,” which appears on his “4:44” album, during...
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Billy Joel wears yellow Star of David during concert encore

(JTA) — Billy Joel wore a yellow Star of David on his sports jacket during the encore of his monthly concert at Madison Square Garden.

Photos of the legendary singer wearing the star began appearing on Facebook shortly after his performance Monday night. At least one tweet bore the hashtag...
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Glen Campbell was a practicing Messianic Jew for over two decades

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Glen Campbell, the country music star who died at 81 on Tuesday from Alzheimer’s, grew up in rural Arkansas. The man who sang hits such as “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “By the Time I Get To Phoenix” was raised a Baptist in a family of 12.

...
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Tchaikovsky’s Jewish problem

By TOM TUGEND

LOS ANGELES (JTA) – While researching his latest one-man show, “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” Hershey Felder — a playwright, actor and composer who has brought the loves, torments and soaring music of some of the world’s greatest composers to the stage — faced a moral question.

Does towering...
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ADL expresses ‘concerns’ about Jay-Z Jewish lyric

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League expressed concern about a Jay-Z lyric that “Jewish people own all the property in America,” but emphasized that it did not believe that the rapper intended to promote anti-Semitism.

“The lyric does seem to play into deep-seated anti-Semitic stereotypes about Jews and money,” said...
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Britney Spears mobbed at Western Wall ahead of Tel Aviv concert

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Britney Spears was mobbed by fans during a visit to the Western Wall.

The American pop star arrived Sunday in Israel ahead of her concert scheduled for the following evening at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. It was her first visit to Israel.

Excited fans mobbed Spears,...
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Paul Shaffer’s post-Letterman act: Touring with ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Band’

By GABE FRIEDMAN

NEW YORK (JTA) — Paul Shaffer, sporting a gray T-shirt and a one- or two-day-old beard, is sitting in the living room of his spacious Manhattan apartment near Lincoln Center. The walls are crammed with music memorabilia, including a signed Curtis Mayfield single and a plaque presented by...
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‘Wonder Woman,’ big-name concerts upstage cultural boycott of Israel

By ADAM ABRAMS

(JNS.org) — As Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s “Wonder Woman” film heads toward $400 million in earnings after debuting in early June, and numerous big-name musical acts line up to perform in Israel this summer, the influence of the BDS movement’s cultural boycott of the Jewish state appears...
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