European Cantors Association Report

Against the backdrop of the distinct possibility that chazanut and Jewish
liturgical music will become a fading remnant of a once traditional world
within Anglo Jewry, European and UK cantors assembled in Manchester for the
7th Annual European Cantors Convention. This took place from 2 – 5 July
2012, and hosted the launch of the European Cantors Association (ECA).

This new platform gave young cantors fresh resolve to engage with the
challenges they face. Working ECA Groups are being established in the North,
in London and in Europe to deal with local issues. A study day on the High
Holidays has been held in Manchester. The 2013 Convention is being planned
for London possibly with Dudu Fisher as guest. There is a growing group of
rabbinic supporters.…

JDub Records Spin Out of Business

The Forward carries a good article about the closing of JDub Records, the independent Jewish music label that helped set the tone of Jewish music in the US in the last decade with a wave of recordings by new artists. Unfortunately, due to a combination of financial factors, including the slowdown of the music industry, JDub will close its doors. For those who help promote young artists, this is a blow. You can read about it here:

Forgotten Woman Cantor in Jewish Week

The New York Jewish Week ran an article at the end of March on Julie Rosewald, the “Forgotten Cantor”. George Robinson, a long-time music critic and observer of Jewish religious culture, interviewed Judith Pinnolis about her article on Julie Rosewald that appeared in the American Jewish Archives Journal. It seems that a woman served as a cantor during the 1880s in California at the Reform Temple. To read the article in Jewish Week:

To read the original article in AJAJ:

Kay Shelemay wins Jaap Kunst Prize

An article written by Dr. Kay Kaufman Shelemay won the Jaap Kunst Prize of the Society for
Ethnomusicology, which is given to: “The most significant article published by a member of the Society for
Ethnomusicology in the previous year.” The title of this article is “The Power of Silent Voices: Women in the Syrian Jewish Musical Tradition.” It is published in a volume in the SOAS
Musicology Series
, edited by Laudan Nooshin, titled Music and the Play of
Power in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia
, 2009.

Dr. Shelemay is the G. Gordon Watts Professor of Music, a Professor of African and African American Studies and Ethnomusicology at Harvard University . She is a member of the Editorial Board of Musica Judaica and was the inaugural speaker for the first session of the Jewish Music Forum in 2004.…

Association for Canadian Jewish Studies Call for Papers

The Association for Canadian Jewish Studies/L’Association des études juives canadiennes (ACJS /l’AÉJC) will be holding its 34th Annual Conference May 30-June 1, 2010 at Concordia University in Montreal as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. The conference provides a platform for original scholarly research in Canadian Jewish history, life and culture. Individuals are invited to send proposals for learned paper presentations in either English or French twenty minutes in
length (approximately 2,000 words) that concern some aspect of the Canadian Jewish experience.

Potential presenters are asked to submit a paper
proposal by Tuesday, January 5, 2010. The paper proposal should comprise a
400-word abstract formulated to clearly and concisely state the main argument
of the scholarly paper and indicate how it will contribute to existing
scholarship in the field of Canadian Jewish Studies.…

Hadassah Magazine Features Klezmer

Veretzki PassA terrific picture by Jean Fruth of Cookie Segelstein, klezmer violinist, graces the front cover of Hadassah Magazine this month with a feature article on traditional klezmer music, written by George Robinson. There are lots of photos including Cookie, Josh Horowitz, Stu Brotman, Andy Statman, Alicia Svigals, Pete Rushefsky, Joel Rubin, Michael Winograd, Yale Strom, and others. George does a good job of explaining the branch of klezmer that focuses on traditional folk and how it differs from other groups. Cookie, Josh and Stu have a group called Veretzki Pass, which is an amazing group, especially to hear in person. It might be noted, as his article touches on the topic of sources, that we owe a debt of gratitude to klezmer musicians such as Josh Horowitz and Bob Cohen for years and years of dedicated research in Europe on recovering as much authentic music as possible.…

All About Women Cantors

The Journal of Synagogue Music Fall 2007 issue features articles celebrating 25 years of women as Conservative cantors. There are articles about, by, and for women and Jewish music in this issue (vol. 32) and will be of interest to many who may want to know more women and Jewish music. There are many excellent articles of interest, including a biographical sketch of Barbara Ostfeld by Bruce Ruben (readers are also invited to take a look at my article on Barbara in Encyclopedia Judaica), histories of women in the cantorate, a history of the Khazntes, (women who sang cantorial music albeit not in synagogue), issues of Kol Isha, and an especially interesting piece by Victor Tunkel on the music of the first women composer, Leonora Duarte (1610-1678).…

DYB tells the story their way

This might not be the way some musicologists might tell the story, but those invested in this topic should read it.

Here’s the pitch and how they tell it::

What do Matisyahu, Blue Fringe, Klezmatics, Moshav Band, and Soul Farm all
have in common?

Their direct connection to The Diaspora Yeshiva Band, the band that invented
Jewish Rock!

The Diaspora Yeshiva Band¹s recordings signify, perhaps, the most
influential change in modern Jewish music history.
Here is an exclusive, fascinating and informative article about a
history-making group, and the major fore-runners of today¹s Jewish music by
one of the original founding members.

A fascinating article about the history of modern Jewish music and the
influence of The Diaspora Yeshiva Band on most of today¹s Jewish music
groups can be found by clicking on this link: ”…

Nine Luminaries of Jewish Liturgical Song published by Klezmershack

Cantor Sam Weiss has published a series of articles called “Nine Luminaries of Jewish Liturgical Song” on the Klezmershack.
This articles outline biographical sketches of some famous cantors along with song leaders –all together “the biographies tell the story of how the role of cantor in American public life has changed over the century, and of the new musical influences on the Shaliach Tsibur leading traditional prayers.”

IndiePulse Article on Reboot Stereophonic

“The project is grounded in a belief that music creates conversations otherwise impossible in daily life,” says Katznelson. “The mission of the label is to trigger a new conversation about the present by listening anew to the Jewish past.” So quotes an article : online in indiepulse . We find out that the music holds the message. Reboot Stereophonic is a non-profit record label dedicated to finding all sorts of Jewish music from the past and interviewing the musicians examining “generational changes in identity, community and meaning.” Part of the object of this project has been rereleases of of old recordings such as the Irving Field “Bagels and Bongos”


Inaugural volume in book series on Jewish Cultural Studies, edited by Simon J. Bronner, Distinguished University Professor, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Publisher: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, Oxford, UK

Format and Guidelines: 8,000-word essays in English, prepared electronically
in Word, following Oxford Guide to Style (humanistic style with endnotes)
Deadline: May 1, 2006

Contact: Professor Simon J. Bronner, School of Humanities, The Pennsylvania
State University, 777 West Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057-4898, USA,

Journal of Synagogue Music Fall 2005 Issue on Congregational Singing

We’ve just received the library issue of The Journal of Synagogue Music, published by the Cantor’s Assembly and it looks like a particularly special issue: Vol. 30, No. 1, for Fall, 2005. There are theoretical articles by Samuel Rosenbaum, Max Wohlberg (excerpt from a talk from 1980), Geoffrey Goldberg, Akiva Zimmermann, Benjie Ellen Schiller and Boaz Tarsi, … and that’s just the first section. Better get your copy.

European Association for Jewish Culture Online

Review of the performances of new compositions commissioned by the
European Association for Jewish Culture are in the latest edition of their Review bulletin available in pdf format. It includes ‘Destination Unknown’ by Adam Heidemann in Krakow, ‘Stenclmusic’ by Rachel Stott in London, ‘Alphabet Music’ by Giovanni Mancuso in Venice and others, as well as reports of new drama and films. A 16-page illustrated Review is available at:

DONA FEST-2005 success in February

Polina Shepherd writes to us about the Dona-Fest just held in Moscow:

February 17-20 The Shalom Theater hosted a gala concert of the first Moscow International Festival-Seminar of Jewish music DONA FEST-2005.

The leading Jewish bands from Russia and the CIS countries, as well as European stars, clarinetist Merlin Shepherd, composer and choir leader Polina Achkinazi-Shepherd and violinist Mark Kovnatsky, took part in the festival.

European Klezmer stars and Russian and CIS leading Jewish bands, folk quartet Askenazim, The Kharkov Klezmer Band, Dona, Klezmasters, Arkady Gendler, Alina Ivakh, Psoi Korolenko, and many others took part in the gala concert. The book “The Yiddishkait Music” book was presented at the concert. The East European Jewish wedding music, Klezmer, was forgotten for a long time. It comes back to Russia today.…