Jewish Music

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Molly Bajgot Headshot

7 Questions For Molly Bajgot

Sarah Biskowitz

JWA chats with Jewish musician, educator, and activist Molly Bajgot. 

Julie Johanna Engel

Julie Johanna Isner Engel dreamed of becoming a professional opera singer in Germany in the 1930s, but the rise of the Nazis interrupted that dream. Escaping to the United States, she trained her voice in synagogue choirs and local opera performances. In the 1970s, she took a cantorial position at a synagogue in Queens, one of a pioneering generation of women cantors.

Episode 108: Queer Klezmer with Isle of Klezbos

A lot of people love klezmer music and know that it made a big comeback a few decades ago. But not a lot of people know that the klezmer revival of the '70s and '80s was connected to queer Jewish liberation. In this episode of Can We Talk?, we’ll hear about how queer activism fits into the klezmer revival story from Eve Sicular, the drummer and leader of the all-female klezmer sextet Isle of Klezbos. And of course, we’ll hear some great klezmer.

Bonus Episode: The Nightingale of Iran

Last time on Can We Talk?, we spoke with Danielle and Galeet Dardashti about their new podcast, The Nightingale of Iran, which tells the story of their Persian family's musical legacy. Now, we're sharing the whole first episode with you. Enjoy!  

Episode 107: A Persian Family's Musical Legacy

Danielle and Galeet Dardashti grew up in a very musical family—they had a family band, their father was a cantor, their mother was a folk singer, and their grandfather was a famous singer in “the golden age” of Iran in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, with his own show on Iranian national radio. But growing up, they didn’t know much about the Persian side of their musical legacy. In this episode of Can We Talk?, Nahanni speaks with Galeet, an anthropologist, musician, and composer, and Danielle, a journalist and storyteller, about uncovering that legacy in their new podcast series, The Nightingale of Iran. They talk about what it was like to connect with their family’s Persian musical tradition—and what happened to that tradition when the family left Iran.

Album cover showing two faces and the words Monajat: Galeet Dardashti featuring Younes Dardashti

7 Questions For Galeet Dardashti

Mirushe "Mira" Zylali

JWA talks to Dr. Galeet Dardashti, cultural anthropologist and singer, about her new album Monajat.

Blue record player on black background with white Jewish stars

My Search for Meaningful Mainstream Jewish Music

Sonia Freedman

While I can bop to a prayer in the right setting, my playlists have a dismal lack of casual English music that reflects my Judaism. 

Album cover featuring a woman standing in a snowy field with tree, flowers

From the Archive: Cover of Adrienne Cooper’s Album, "Enchanted: A New Generation of Yiddishsong"

Carole Renard

The Yiddish Book Center shares the cover of Adrienne Cooper's final album. 

Topics: Jewish Music
Photo of Daniela Gesundheit and her album cover, featuring a woman with her face in her hands and the words "Alphabet of Wrongdoing" in jumbled letters

Q & A with Daniela Gesundheit About her New Album, "Alphabet of Wrongdoing"

Sarah Jae Leiber

JWA talks with musician, vocalist, and composer Daniela Gesundheit about how her new album, Alphabet of Wrongdoing, makes the sacred accessible. 

Brazilian singer Carla Sitton Berg releases “NES (Miracle),” a Ladino Hanukkah song

November 18, 2021

Brazilian musician and singer Carla Sitton Berg grew up singing Ladino songs in Jewish youth choirs. After moving to the United States and building a career in music, Sitton Berg reconnected to her roots and recorded her first song in Ladino, “NES (Miracle).” The song was released on all platforms on November 18, 2021, just in time for Hanukkah.

"Ora de Despertar," First Ladino Children’s Music Album, Released

March 25, 2016

On March 25, 2016, Sarah Aroeste, a Sephardi singer-songwriter, released the first Ladino music album for children, called Ora de Despertar (Time to Wake Up). Soon after, she adapted it into a project including a children’s book and animated video series.

Adrienne Cooper

A versatile performer, scholar, administrator, and activist who worked in the fields of Yiddish culture, Jewish music, social justice, and feminism, Adrienne Cooper inspired international audiences with her compelling performances and nurtured a generation of musicians, academics, and advocates.

Rezadeiras among Bene Anusim in Portugal

The rezadeiras, prayer-women, began to play an important role in crypto-Jewish practice after the late fifteenth-century Expulsions from Spain and then Portugal forced anyone who wanted to live as a Jew to do so in secret.  

Album Cover for "If Not Now, When?" by Debbie Friedman

Inspired by Debbie Friedman: Building Inclusive Movements

Maddy Pollack

I hope that contemporary feminists can learn from Debbie Friedman and bring people together through interactive art.


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