The Hip Hop Violinist
Reading about the Washington Jewish Music Festival (which, incidentally, sounds fabulous), I learned about Miri Ben-Ari, aka the Hip Hop Violinist. Classically trained on the violin, at age 18 she decided to explore a different way to use her music. She moved to New York City, added some bling to her instrument, and began collaborating with artists including Kanye West (with whom she earned a Grammy), Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean, Jay-Z, and others.
I like how this self-proclaimed "bad girl of violin" has found her own voice and joined it to a musical community that would not be an obvious place for her. I also like how she uses her talent and particular mode of expression to make political statements (somewhat hackneyed as they are), like in these videos below, the first in support of Obama's candidacy and the second using historical clips of Martin Luther King, Jr., to make a more general statement about a "symphony of brotherhood" -- a message which makes sense for a white Jewish chick who has found her musical home in the hip hop community. She's hot, she's savvy, and as we say here in Boston, she's "wicked talented." I love this hip hop Jewess! If you're in DC, check out Miri Ben-Ari at the Washington Jewish Music Festival!