What's in a name?
A lot, in fact–if the name in question is klezmer, and the thing it purports to describe is Eastern European Jewish folk music.
For most of its life, the word “klezmer” meant no such thing. A Yiddishized version of the Hebrew phrase for “musical instrument” (k’li zemer, lit. “vessel of song”), the term instead referred to the kind of musician (pl., “klezmorim”) who played at wedding celebrations and various secular Jewish events in Eastern Europe from the Mi...
Think of Jewish liturgical music–the music of the synagogue, of the High Holidays and the Sabbath service–and many words come to mind. Words like "majestic," "stirring," and "meditative."
But words like "funky," "bluesy," or "swingin'"?
Well, let's be honest: not so much.
Yet based on the evidence presented by the Milken Archive, perhaps they should. Exhibit A: Volume 15: "Swing His Praises," a collection of sacred works that owe as much to blues, rock, and jazz as they do to the grand tradi...
Intimate. Expressive. Profound.
If you had to pick just a few defining characteristics of chamber music, these would surely top the list. They certainly apply to the music of "Intimate Voices: Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit," Volume 10 in the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience.
Written for solo performers and small ensembles, demanding a high degree of technical virtuosity and musical sensitivity, these compact works pack an outsized wallop. Though crafted with gre...
Murder. Sex. Mayhem.
These are just a few of the topics that have for centuries drawn audiences to the opera. Topics that feature prominently in "Heroes and Heroines: Jewish Opera," Volume 16 of the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience.
All of the works included herein bear a strong connection to some aspect of the Jewish experience–whether that means a libretto based on an episode from Jewish history, characters that express typically Jewish attitudes, or music that draws e...
Dave Brubeck. Leonard Bernstein. Igor Stravinsky. John Zorn.
What do these four men have in common, aside from being four of the most famous names in music?
If you said, “they're Jewish,” you'd be wrong. (Bernstein and Zorn, yes; Brubeck and Stravinsky, no.)
But if you said, “they're all represented in the Milken Archive of Jewish Music: the American Experience,” you'd be right.
And thereby hangs a tale.
Founded by philanthropist Lowell Milken–chairman and co-founder of the Milken Fami...
Jewish and Polish cultures, once interwoven for centuries, reunite for an unprecedented and poignant event of remembrance, healing, resilience and rebirth in 100 Voices: A Journey Home, a compelling and musical film opening in Los Angeles at the AMC Century City and NYC at the Empire 25 on September 22-28, 2010 to qualify for Academy Award consideration.
This qualifying run follows a one night exclusive Fathom event in over 500 theaters nationwide on Tuesday, September 21, at 7:00 pm. To see t...
Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.