Noa’s arc, from Bronx to South Bank

By Nick Johnstone, May 23, 2008

Israel’s most famous singer is back with a new album and a rare London concert.

Seventeen years into her career as Israel’s best- known musical export, Achinoam Nini (aka Noa) is showing no signs of slowing down. To date, she has sung for the Pope at the Vatican, for President Clinton at the White House, toured with Sting, witnessed first-hand the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, and released roughly a dozen albums, all featuring her trademark Joni-Mitchell-in-Tel-Aviv songwriting style. And now comes her latest offering, Genes and Jeans.


It's Sacks, bagels and rock 'n roll

By Simon Rocker, May 2, 2008

In the same London studio in which the cream of British pop urged us to feed the world for Band Aid 24 years ago, a new anthem was being prepared this week.

But instead of Bob Geldof, George Michael and Sting, cue a trio of chazans, the men of the Shabbaton Choir, a couple of dozen pupils from the Moriah Jewish Day School from Harrow and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks.

For an Anglo-Jewish gathering, the studios of leading producer Trevor Horn in bohemian Ladbroke Grove may have been off the beaten track.


Chief joins Trevor Horn for a kosher Live Aid

By Candice Krieger, April 18, 2008

Look out, Sir Bob Geldof. The Chief Rabbi is to make a live recording of his recently released CD, Israel — Home of Hope, in the original studio used to record Live Aid.


Ladino's young flame

By Lawrence Joffe, April 18, 2008

Mor Karbasi chooses to sing in a dying tongue — but her performance is powerfully life-affirming


Review: Israel - Home Of Hope

By Paul Lester, April 11, 2008

He chose the music, wrote the words and even does (spoken) vocals. The Chief Rabbi plays a huge role in making the Israel tribute CD a success

Various Artists

The Office of The Chief Rabbi


Maria friedman re-arranged

April 11, 2008

Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1

Down-to-earth diva Maria Friedman — a refugee from big-production musicals like Chicago — performs a personal selection of show tunes and ballads, including numbers by Sondheim, Bernstein, and even Kate Bush. “I just want to find pockets of emotion,” she says. They are not so much pockets as fathom-deep wells.

Until May 4; Tel: 020 7907 7060


The hippies whp are hip

By Paul Lester, March 20, 2008

MGMT, aka Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, are — despite themselves — this year’s hottest US rock band


Klezmer Idol: And the winner is...

August 2, 2007

The votes have been cast and counted, and we can announce (drumroll, please) that JC readers have chosen Stewart Curtis's K-Groove as the winner of our Klemzer Idol competition.

In what turned out to be a close contest, the votes of hundreds of readers, cast via the JC's website at, put K-Groove just ahead of second-placed band Shir, with Klezmer Gourmet in third position. The seven other bands taking part were all well supported.


A very brief history of Klezmer

July 6, 2007

Klezmer as we now know it was originally just referred to as Jewish music and was played by Jewish musicians in Eastern Europe for several hundred years prior to the Second World War.

After the Russian pogroms, many klezmer musicians (or klezmorim) fled to America, and there, from about 1910, klezmer began to flourish.


Klezmer Idol - You decide who wins

July 5, 2007

Listen to klezmer music files here and vote in The JC's Klezmer Idol competition. We have been working with 10 of the best British klezmer bands, and want you to help choose which one will perform at KlezFest in the Park in London next month. To listen, click on the links below and tell us your favourite.

Ten groups are vying for the title of Britain's best klezmer band, and JC readers are invited to pick the winner. Listen to them here and vote for your favourite.

NOTE: Voting for Kelzmer Idol has now closed.