Before September comes and I get totally wrapped up in fundraising and planning the 2011 festival, I wanted to share some of the music that has excited me this summer.
Lets start with Rob Rudin’s Half Jewish Project. I met Rob at his niece’s Bat Mitzvah where he told me about a musical suite he was working on in tribute to Joey Cornblit, one of the world’s greatest jai alai players and family friend. Joey’s life is the stuff of legend..with roots in Quebec, time spent in Miami, Basque Spain, and even a stint in Israel. Between segments, Rob’s dad showed photos and told stories about Joey. With a little more refinement, this program should really be recorded and shared with music lovers across the country.
Klezwoods is another local band worthy of attention. I saw them at Johnny D’s in Somerville and they were FABULOUS. A butt-kicking rhythm section, great soloists, and a really intriguing mix of pop and klezmer sensibilities. I hear they have a CD coming out in the fall. Trust me, see them if you have the chance.
Then, last week, I got to hear Frank London’s Brass All Stars at the MFA. It was SMOKING! Frank has such beautiful tone and is such an innovative arranger and just an inspiringly eclectic guy. While we can’t reveal the details, we are planning a fascinating project with Frank for the 2011 Festival. If you want to experience how innovation and tradition can combine to create inspiration, plan on being at Berklee Performance Center on March 12. Details will be revealed this fall.
Lastly, I must give some praise to a CD that I just can’t get off my mind or out of my player: The Kohane of Newark. Picture a Leonard Cohen playing with Lou Reed and you’ll get a sense of what this sounds like. The lyrics are amazing, The arrangements really stripped down rock. Then again, maybe a song called New Mid-Life Crisis is just what I’ve been waiting for. If you like literary, smart rock with a New York edge, check it out.
Well, that’s my Jewish music summer seen and scene. On August 31, it’s back to Johnny D’s for Alan Bern’s Other Europeans Project featuring Klezmer and Roma musicians. Should be simply fabu!
Hope you’re having a great summer. Let us know what you’ve been listening to. And be forewarned; the Second Annual BJMF is shaping up to be even better that the first!