Radio Free Nachlaot Celebrates its Second Birthday

December 21, 2011

Jerusalem’s Radio Free Nachlaot turned two this month. The Internet-only radio station, whose slogan is that it broadcasts from “an undisclosed location somewhere deep in the heart of Nachlaot” plays a mix of Grateful Dead (and Dead-inspired) music, mixed with Shlomo Carlebach and Torah talks “24/6” (the station rests on Shabbat). Except on Wednesday nights, […]

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From Rothschild Boulevard to a Jerusalem Living Room

September 22, 2011

We first met Niv Kaikov a few months back at Tel Aviv’s White Night celebration. We were strolling on Rothschild Boulevard – yes the same one that’s been filled with tents all summer – which, during White Night, is instead filled with musicians. Every block, sometimes even every half a block, there is another band […]

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Announcing a House Concert with Niv Kaikov

September 1, 2011

For those of you living in Israel, we are very excited to invite you to an intimate house concert with Niv Kaikov, a dynamic young Israeli musician, on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, at 8:00 PM. Jody and I met Niv while he was playing outside on Rothschild Boulevard (yes, the same street at the center of […]

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Modern Minimalist Train Brings Steve Reich’s Music to Jerusalem

July 11, 2011

Steve Reich’s Different Trains rumbled into town this past week and the results were stunning – one of the must-see concerts of an already overflowing Jerusalem summer. Reich is the godfather of the modern minimalist music scene, patron saint to more art/pop-oriented artists like Phillip Glass and Brian Eno. His compositions are highly repetitive: the […]

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Jacob’s Ladder Review: The Evolution of the Abrams Brothers

May 24, 2011

When Yehudit and Menachem Vinegrad booked the Abrams Brothers to appear as the main act at this year’s Jacob’s Ladder festival, they probably thought they were treating the audience at Israel’s (and one of the world’s) pre-eminent folk shows to the Brothers’ down home bluegrass and country stylings. Instead, they got Coldplay…with a fiddle. This […]

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Even the Roosters Crow for RebbeSoul

February 24, 2011

Why would a successful Hollywood musician and Jewish music pioneer leave behind a lucrative career and pack it all up to make aliyah? Bruce Burger, who goes by the stage name of RebbeSoul, can’t quite put his finger on it. Maybe it’s his Jewish soul, or that he fell in love with the people of […]

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The Top Ten Music Festivals in Israel

February 17, 2011

Israel is too often perceived through an exclusively political, religious or historical lens. An equally compelling current for locals is music. The country is chock-a-block full of music festivals. Whether your preference runs to jazz, rock, classical, choral, rap or klezmer; whether you enjoy the desert, the mountains or the heart of the city, you’ll […]

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You Say Basya, I Say Batya, It’s all Great Music

January 12, 2011

Basya Schechter has long been one of my favorite Jewish musicians. Whether with her seven piece band, Pharaoh’s Daughter, or stripped down (metaphorically, please) in an acoustic show, Schechter offers an intriguing mashup of ethnically tinged Shabbat zemirot, Ladino love songs, and wistful Yiddish poetry. Her playlist ranges from neo-Klezmer to Egyptian-tinged Middle Eastern rhythms. […]

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Gaza: a Rock and Roll Response

July 14, 2010

With another ship of questionable humanitarian aid and activists on its way to Gaza this week, I thought I’d take a look back at what my wife Jody and I did during the original “Free Gaza flotilla” and near lynching of Israeli troops six weeks ago: we went to a concert. Not just any concert, […]

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Memorial for Walter Blum – Oseh Shalom

June 23, 2010

(מן התפילה) This is the eighth and final post in the series from the memorial for my father, Walter Blum, who passed away last year. The event mixed music and humanistic interpretations of Jewish texts to try to share what my father was like and what he was passionate about. The verses to this final […]

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