Saturday, July 2nd 2022   |

Music

Folk band Big Thief won’t play in member’s native Israel, days after defending concerts there

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Days after defending their decision to play in Tel Aviv, the hometown of their bass player, the indie folk rock band Big Thief canceled two scheduled Israel shows, writing that they “oppose the illegal occupation and the systematic oppression of the Palestinian people.”

Last week, the Grammy-nominated band had announced two shows at Tel Aviv’s Barby venue in July, and said that they would donate...

George Dansker announces Harold Rome lecture on 60th anniversary of ‘I Can Get It For You Wholesale’

George Dansker, a noted lecturer and musical theatre expert, who has held a Jewish Composer Lecture series at Touro Synagogue on Broadway luminaries for the past decade, is holding a lecture-concert on Friday, June 17, to usher in summer.

Dansker, whose events are typically held at Touro Synagogue in January, is selecting Harold Rome to be spotlighted and in particular to celebrate the Columbia Record release “I Can Get It...

2022 Grammys: Zelensky’s video address and other Jewish moments

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — While the Oscars had a moment of silence for Ukraine and various onscreen messages, Sunday night’s Grammy Awards went further — with a video address from Ukraine’s Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

“What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people,” he said in the prerecorded video. “Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos.

“They sing to the wounded. In...

A new record label from this 27-year-old Brooklynite celebrates Jewish music

By JULIA GERGELY

(New York Jewish Week via JTA) – Steadfast listeners of “Borscht Beat” — a weekly FM radio show featuring Jewish music, old and new — will be thrilled to hear of host Aaron Bendich’s latest project: a new Jewish record label of the same name. 

On his hour-long radio program, the 27-year-old plays a wide variety of Jewish recordings —  songs from the heyday of Yiddish theater,...

Nissim Black and Kosha Dillz, Jewish hip-hop royalty, remix Adam Sandler’s ‘Chanukah song’ on the streets of New York

By PHILISSA CRAMER

(JTA) — Two leading Jewish hip-hop artists have adapted Adam Sandler’s 1995 breakout hit, “The Chanukah Song,” for the present moment.

Nissim Black and Kosha Dillz dropped the video for “The Hanukkah Song 2.0” just before the holiday began on Sunday evening. It features the musicians galavanting around New York City, riding the subway and hobnobbing with sidewalk vendors in Times Square.

The pair are two of...

2022 Grammy Awards: The Jewish nominees, from Doja Cat to Drake to an Israeli cellist

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — Some of the music industry’s most popular Jewish artists were included in the 2022 Grammy Award nominations unveiled on Tuesday.

Here’s a roundup:

Doja Cat, a Black and Jewish pop star-rapper hybrid who has become one of the most listened-to artists in the world — Spotify lists her as the 7th-most-streamed musician on its platform as of Wednesday morning — racked up nominations in in...

Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ Jewish manager, to be honored with a statue in Liverpool

By SHIRA HANAU

(JTA) — The Beatles’ Jewish manager who was credited with ushering the band to global fame and success will be memorialized with a statue in Liverpool, according to the BBC.

Brian Epstein, born on Yom Kippur to a family of Russian and Lithuanian Jewish descent, first discovered The Beatles in 1961 at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. He became the band’s manager in 1962, overseeing the group’s...

Jay Black of ‘Jay and The Americans’ dies at 82

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — When Jay Black wanted The New York Times to understand that he was a hell-raiser, he said he was thrown out of New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn.

When he made the same point to The Forward, he added that he was subsequently tossed out of three yeshivahs.

“Three yeshivas,” Black said twice for emphasis in a 2014 interview. “I was a bad kid.”

Black,...

Daveed Diggs, Rachel Bloom, Sue Bird and more: The Almas award 5781’s top Jewish pop culture contributors

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — It’s not just the High Holidays, the time of year when Jews reflect on their past year and atone for their sins. For the third time now, it’s also time to appreciate the Jewish moments that helped define the year in pop culture — in the form of The Almas.

Alma, which like the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is part of 70 Faces Media, released its...

Ezra Furman has sung about God in her indie rock. Now she’s going to rabbinical school.

By ELLA ROCKART

(JTA) — “How would I describe myself?” Ezra Furman said wryly, tearing a corner off of her slice of pizza in a shop in Somerville, Mass. “I try to avoid it.” 

There’s certainly a lot to cover. The 34-year-old musician is an acclaimed indie rocker, an observant Jew, a transgender woman, a mother, and — as of this fall — a rabbinical student. 

“I would say I’m...