Here’s some circular logic: I want to write a blog post about the Jewish Arts Collaborative spring season. Spring always brings to mind Betty Carter’s version of “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” But does that have anything to do with being Jewish? Quick, let’s Google it. AHA! What do you know, the lyrics were written by Fran Landesman. So here’s a song you can listen to while you read about the 10 programs I am personally most excited about.
In chronological order:
Al Kooper and the Funky Faculty, Feb 25 at The Center for the Arts in Natick
A chance to hear a true rock legend, up close and personal. By the way, I used his lyrics, “I’m not trying to be any kind of man. I’m trying to be somebody you can love trust and understand,” as my high school yearbook quote.
Odessa Havana Project, March 3 at Villa Victoria and March 5 at Unity Hall in Worcester
An amazing multi-cultural ensemble from Toronto that fuses Latin, Klezmer and jazz. And in the spirit of fusing cultures, both concerts are co-sponsored by leading Latin American non-profits.
Moon of Israel, March 5 at the Somerville Theater
This may be the first time this Austrian silent film has been shown in Boston. A 1923 silent classic about a Jewish slave girl who falls in love with Pharaoh’s son. We’ll enjoy a never before seen restored 35 mm print and live piano accompaniment by pianist Gerhard Gruber.
Guy Mendilow with the Philadelphia Girls Choir, March 6, at Temple Israel, Portsmouth NH
A fascinating program combining Ladino songs, stories and Holocaust poetry by one Boston’s shining stars in Jewish music in collaboration with on the country’s finest girls’ choirs.
Sidra Bell Dance Company, March 12+13, at the Reimer Goldstein Theater
This should be fascinating. Bell is black, Jewish, and lots of other things and her work explores issues of beauty and identity. She’ll be performing Triumph with music composed by her dad, Dennis Bell, and performed by the Boston Public Quartet. Post concert discussion with Sidra.
Beyond Bubbie’s Kitchen, March 13, at the Back Bay Event Center
Even a former Jewish Music Festival director does not live by music alone. Pass the kreplach please.
Shylock is My Name, March 22
Nothing like spending time with gifted writers and thinkers like Howard Jacobson and Stephen Greenblatt.
A-Wa, March 24 at The Somerville Armory
Yemenite Israeli funk and fun with three sisters who are international phenoms and one of NPR’s favorites.
Shabbat Dinner with Yair Dalal, April 1
Last year’s niggun dinner was so wonderful, we’re going to do it again. This time, we’ll break challah together and learn some beautiful Middle Eastern melodies with an Israeli musical master.
Shalom Aleichem Family Puppet Show
Expect the unexpected in this journey into the life and stories of the revered Yiddish writer, Sholom Aleichem. What better way to honor his 100th Yartzeit than by introducing a new generation of families to his artistry.
And just think, this is only the beginning for the Jewish Arts Collaborative. I can’t wait to see what the future is going to bring.
See you soon.
Joey Baron is the Artistic Director of the Jewish Arts Collaborative.