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Jewish Music

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.

Sweeping Away Nostalgia with Songs for the New Year

Recently, I saw Eleanor Reissa, a talented and well-known Yiddish actress and performer, sing "My Yiddishe Momme" to a standing ovation. Mind you, the crowd was entirely over seventy and the children of Polish Jewish immigrants to North and South America. To help pass the time, I thought about that nice tough character, Sophie Tucker, who made the song into a bi-lingual top five hit in 1928.

Jews and African Americans: Siblings in Oppression?

Explore and interrogate the identification between Jews and African-Americans against the backdrop of the Passover seder.

The Klezmatics' performance of Aliza Greenblatt's work, set to music by Woody Guthrie

December 20, 2003

"Holy Ground: The Jewish Songs of Woody Guthrie," a Klezmatics performance at the 92nd Street Y, featured songs inspired or written by Guthrie's mother-in-law, Aliza Greenblatt.

Roberta Peters debuts at the Met

November 17, 1950

Soprano Roberta Peters debuted at the Metropolitan Opera when she replaced a colleague on six hours notice; she achieved the longest tenure of any Met soprano.

Award for Yiddish actress, Molly Picon

June 28, 1980

Yiddish superstar comedienne Molly Picon received the Creative Achievement Award of the Performing Arts Unit of B'nai B'rith.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Music." (Viewed on January 30, 2015) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-music>.

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