What naches! The artists making Yiddish cool

By Alexandra Mankowitz and Lemez Lovas, August 14, 2008

Musicians in the UK and Germany explain why they are taking the language of the shtetl on to the hippest stages

I learnt Yiddish not just from my parents and grandparents, but from the whole town. We had plays, drama, reading and songs, all in Yiddish, all around us. I realise now how privileged I was."


The James Bond hitman whose lyrics fire hearts

By Paul Lester, August 7, 2008

Don Black is responsible for several classic 007 film themes, as well as a host of hot soundtracks in his 44-year career as one of the world's finest lyricists.

Did you know that James Bond was born in Mill Hill? Well, not the secret agent, but certainly some of his most famous songs. Because Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With The Golden Gun were all written by Don Black, one of the most prolific and successful lyricists in the history of British popular music, when he was living in that quiet north London suburb.


The trumpeter who blew up klezmer

By Miranda Hinkley, July 31, 2008

Frank London's fresh approach to klezmer sparked a global explosion in traditional Jewish music, rejuvenating an entire culture in the process



Two talents to listen for

By Paul Lester, July 24, 2008

Rachael Sage and Natasha Panas are singer-songwriters ready to hit the big time. They are also proud of their very different roots.


Review: Leonard Cohen

By Jean Hannah Edelstein, July 24, 2008

O2 Arena, SE10

Age has not affected the ability of the legendary Canadian to hit the same four notes

Age can be a scourge on the best singers, with years of strain and heavy use the cause of notable deterioration in range and tone.


The cantors spiriting a comeback

By Lawrence Joffe, July 3, 2008

Chazanut are convening in London in a bid to safeguard the future of Jewish religious music.

Judaism has a long and glorious tradition of songful prayer going back centuries, to the time of the Temple itself. But that cantorial tradition may well be becoming an endangered practice.


Hope’s hit

June 19, 2008

A video to promote Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks’s CD, Home of Hope, marking Israel’s 60th anniversary, has received more than 134,000 hits on YouTube since its launch last month. Sir Jonathan sings on one track, Oseh Shalom.



Singing the praises of choral works old and new

By Roderic Dunnett, June 12, 2008

It was working in Jerusalem with the Ankor Children’s Choir which prompted Gregory Rose to compose Sha’alu Shlom Yerushalayim, his new 23-minute choral work for upper voices and harp, which receives its world premiere in London next week.

The choir — attached to the Jerusalem Rubin Conservatory of Music and Dance and run by Dafna Ben-Yohanan — is made up of children aged roughly 8 to 16. They have appeared with most Israeli orchestras as well as with major orchestras abroad.


Review: Hear O Israel — A prayer ceremony in Jazz

By Gerald Aaron, June 5, 2008

Herbie Hancock

At the heart of one of the most unusual Jewish releases in years is a problem that will be familiar to every urban rabbi — how to get young people into shul on a Friday night when the big city is full of funkier temptations.


Review: Idan Raichel Project / Noa

By Jenni Frazer, May 29, 2008

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London SE1 

There are not many acts, one imagines, which can bring Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor to his feet, swaying, clapping and dancing with the crowd. But the Idan Raichel Project managed just that on Monday night at the South Bank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, when the ambassador joined a capacity audience for a feelgood show of Israeli world music, brought to London by the Jewish Community Centre for London and programmed by YaD Arts.