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Jewish Music

Adrienne Cooper, 1946 - 2011

I first met Adrienne on erev Nitl, Christmas Eve, 1987, and saw her for the last time on khamishi shel khanike, the night of December 24 of the calendar year just ended. Jeffrey Shandler has written in an obituary that he published last week that “Adrienne taught us all to sing.” I was one of her less successful experiments. I don’t sing, I could speak Yiddish long before I met her.

Remembering Adrienne Cooper, mother of the Klezmer/Yiddish revival

Adrienne Cooper passed away on Sunday evening at the age of 65 after a long fight with cancer.

Julie Rosewald becomes the first woman to lead services in an American synagogue

September 20, 1884

Julie Rosewald became the first woman known to have led services at an American synagogue when she led the music, chanted portions of the worship normally reserved for a cantor, and directed the choir at San Francisco's Temple Emanu-El following the death of the congregation's cantor.

Julie Rosewald: America's first woman cantor

She wrote a book. She was an actress. She sang opera. She became a professor. She toured the world by herself. She paid her own way. She was a musical superstar.

Girls in Trouble: Telling women’s stories in a ‘language’ I understand

“The world is woven through us/I swear I wont forget/how her fingers hold the thread.” This is the final line of the song “Rubies,” off the amazing sophomore album "Half You Half Me" by the group Girls in Trouble, released on JDUB records earlier this month.

By Spirit Alone: Remembering Debbie Friedman

Tonight I drove home to Boston with Debbie Friedman's memorial service streaming live on my phone.

Debbie Friedman: In our thoughts

Fifteen years ago today, Debbie Friedman gave a sold out concert at Carnegie Hall, commemorating 25 years as one of the Jewish community's most beloved singers. Yesterday, Friedman was hospitalized for pnemonia. JTA reports that she is currently sedated and on a respirator.

Judith Wachs, 1938 - 2008

Judith Wachs was the founder and Artistic Director of Voice of the Turtle, one of the premier Sephardic music groups in the U.S. Founded in 1978, Voice of the Turtle, consisted of the same four members who, for three decades, made recordings and performed throughout the US, Europe, and Israel. Judith Wachs was the visionary-researcher-linguist-historian-musical anthropologist and fellow performer who lit their musical spark.

Johanna Spector, 1915 - 2008

It was 1973. I was pursuing my doctoral studies at New York University, majoring in Music Education. As part of the course requirements, I was expected to give a piano recital: I chose to present an all-Chinese program composed in the western style. Nixon had just been to Mainland China and anything Chinese was quite newsworthy. I was going to be the pianist who would perform western-style Mainland Chinese music in the Free World for the first time. It was exciting. It was, in fact, a major coup.

Judy Frankel, 1942 - 2008

Like so many other people in the Jewish music world and beyond, I was astonished, before disbelief gave way to sadness, to read a brief note in a Ladino discussion group about the death of Judy Frankel on March 20, 2008 at age 65. She left no immediate family, but many friends who had become her family over the years. A gentle, gracious and discreet person, she had, I learned a little later, not told many people besides her close friends about her illness, cancer.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Music." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-music>.

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