Friday, January 15th 2021   |

Music

Little Richard loved Judaism

(JTA) — Little Richard, a founding architect of rock ‘n’ roll who died Saturday at 87, was fascinated with Judaism for decades — so much so that he might have even observed Shabbat.

As detailed in an article published in the Forward after the flamboyant singer’s death, Little Richard mentioned his interest in Judaism several times over the course of his career.

In 1972, he shocked a BBC interviewer by...

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons learns about his Holocaust survivor mother’s ordeal

(JTA) — Kiss frontman Gene Simmons said his mother almost never spoke about her Holocaust ordeal, including time in Nazi camps.

A German newspaper has provided him with plenty more information. Bild am Sonntag presented the Israel-born rock star with 100 pages of documents about his mother’s ordeal, including her impact statement, to mark the 75th anniversary of her liberation.

Flora Klein, a native of Hungary, was 19 when American...

Taylor Swift calls out Soros family for ‘shameless greed’ in Instagram beef with record company

By EMILY BURACK

(JTA) — Taylor Swift is drawing criticism — and apparent applause among her neo-Nazi fan base — for calling out “the Soros family” in an Instagram post. It’s the latest salvo in the pop superstar’s ongoing battle with her former record label.

The family long has been at the center of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish domination of global banking. George Soros, a Hungarian billionaire and liberal...

Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne and ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ songwriter, dies from coronavirus at 52

(JTA) — Adam Schlesinger, known as one of the lead songwriters of the pop rock band Fountains of Wayne and the musical series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died Wednesday morning at 52 from coronavirus complications, Variety reported.

Schlesinger, who grew up in a secular Jewish home, had been in an unnamed hospital in upstate New York for over a week.

Fountains of Wayne’s most famous song was “Stacy’s Mom,” for which Schlesinger...

Louis Moreau Society to present ‘8 Songs for a Mad King’ Monday night

The Louis Moreau Society, a group that annually presents new performers and new classical music, holds the first of its concert offerings tomorrow night,  March 9, 2020, when they present “Eight Songs for a Mad King” by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies at 730 p.m. at the Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferninand St.

“Eight Songs for a Mad King” features a libretto by Randolph Stow.

The performance will feature the...

Cantor Colman to headline New Orleans Opera event tonight

Cantor Joel Colman’s booming bass-baritone voice will be heard in the sanctuary tonight at Temple Sinai, but not in his usual fashion, providing hazanuth for his congregation’s worship services.

Instead, the cantor will be a featured performer in an Opera Nouvelle presentation of the New Orleans Opera Association titled “Opera Americana: Music to Lift the Spirit.”

The event being held at Temple Sinai, 6227 St Charles Ave, will begin at...

Orthodox rapper Nissim Black reintroduces himself to the world

By EMILY BURACK

Nissim Black knows that wherever he goes, he’s going to turn heads.

“There’s always these questions,” the rapper explains to me from his home in Israel. “Like, ‘Well, are you still black? How black are you? How does that work? But you’re also Jewish? Jews are white?’ No they’re not!”

The questions annoy him, and rightfully so. Yes, he’s black and Jewish and Orthodox. No, that combination...

He’s Jewish, she’s Muslim. His jazz band’s song ‘Date a Jew’ talks about the pressures surrounding their relationship.

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Sammy Miller and his girlfriend Misha grew up in vastly different cultures: Sammy was raised Jewish in suburban Los Angeles, while Misha was raised Muslim in Karachi, Pakistan, moving to the United States when she was 12.

Miller also happens to be a musician — he leads Sammy Miller and the Congregation, an up-and-coming poppy jazz group that sounds like a cross between the Preservation...

Harold Rome subject of Dansker lecture tonight at Touro

George Dansker will be holding his annual lecture tonight on a Jewish composer tonight following services at Touro Synagogue, 4238 St. Charles Avenue. This time, though,  the subject is not nearly as well known as those for whom he has held previous tributes (Bernstein, Berlin, Weill, Rodgers, the Gershwins etc.).

Harold Rome, a composer and lyricist who was at one time a golden-haired boy of Broadway, will be the focus...

Kanye West created an opera based on a Babylonian king who enslaved Jews

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Love him or hate him, rapper Kanye West has done nothing if not evolve over the course of his career. He has cycled through mainstream hip-hop, auto-tuned singing, soulful sampling, epic egotistical commentary and — as he would happily tell you — much more.

At the moment, West is in the midst of an intensely religious phase.

Since the beginning of the year he has...