Living at the Chicago RSJ Moishe House is a portal to everything Jewish; both traditional and New Age. This blog post will explore three very different avenues of Jewish music culture in both Chicago and across the country.
KFAR Jewish Arts Center stimulates, promotes and produces the next generation of Jewish musical expression. This non-for profit is a portal for hip fun Jewish entertainment. Director Adam Davis is very passionate about preserving the energy of the Jewish musical spirit and adds a cool element for all ages. We have had the pleasure to work with KFAR for a couple of events and each times it’s a kosher version of a rock star fiasco. I would describe the experience as Barbra Streisand meets Infected Mushroom with a side order of missing Lox on a Sunday afternoon brunch.
Through all of the historical hardships, to table pounding Shabbat & high-holiday dinners, Jews love to chant. Oftentimes, there are no words, merely heart vocals. Rabbi Andrew Hahn Ph.D takes chanting to a higher vibration by blending Hebrew messages with a call and response style called Kirtan. This musical experience merges the musician and audience into an unspoken musical conversation. By the time the musical journey is complete, your body may be thirsty but your spirit is quenched. Dr. Hann and I share a similar teacher Swami Satchianda whose message is “paths are many but truth is one,” Rabbi has been able to embrace that message and create a new expression for Jewish Ancient musical wisdom that is truly COOL , especially for my fellow Jewish Yogi’s.
How could I talk about Jewish music without mentioning the 21st Jewish Bar/Bat Mitzvah DJ? (CHAMPAGNE SNOWBALL SWITCH). I mean common on, what is Hava Nagila without a 4 part Tiesto beat. JJtheDj recently played at a Chanukah event that I went to and all the sudden I was looking for the Go Go dancers wearing modest clothes; oy! His beats are legit and he is able to take secular songs and blend them with kosher lyrics. I would highly recommend him for a PG party.
All of these Musical avenues have a different flavor that appeals to various Jewish audiences and communities. This comparison is yet another example that Jewish expression is more diverse than Baskin Robbins 31 flavors. So find your Jewish sound, explore your personal melody and remember that music has no language but one love. For more information about these musical outlets please click on links below.
By: Franklin S. Drob