Browsing Tag



The Jews Who Adopted Louis Armstrong

By On September 21, 2016

International jazz legend. Radio and film star…raised by Jews? Yup. Well, sort of. Louis Armstrong, also known as “Ambassador Satch,” was unofficially adopted by a family of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania who had a… Read More


The Jewish Louis Armstrong Died in Obscurity 40 Years Ago Today

By On August 8, 2016

Forty years ago today, the world lost a little swing in its step. The swing belonged to a remarkable jazz musician named Adolph “Eddie” Ignatievich Rosner. Rosner was known for playing two… Read More


The Jewish Lyricist Behind Brian Wilson And The Beach Boys

By On July 28, 2016

It’s been fifty years since the Beach Boys released the pop masterpiece Pet Sounds. The album contained brooding, intensely romantic ballads like “God Only Knows,” “Caroline, No” and “You Still Believe In… Read More

The Russian Jazz Starlet Who Sings in a Brooklyn Basement

Meet the Russian Jazz Starlet Who Now Sings in a Brooklyn Basement

By On July 22, 2016

Some dentists spruce up their offices with a potted plant or a TV. But if you chance to get a root canal in Brighton Beach, NY, you could get treated to a… Read More


A New Book Remembers The Italian Orchestra Conductor Who Fought Nazism

By On July 13, 2016

In 1936, famed conductor Arturo Toscanini was distressed by the rise of Nazism and fascism. Though not Jewish himself, he wanted to help Jews avoid persecution. That year he met with the… Read More

The 81-Year-Old Jewish Kid From L.A. Whose Mariachi Band Topped the Charts

The 81-Year-Old Jewish Kid From L.A. Whose Mariachi Band Once Topped the Charts

By On June 30, 2016

In the 1960s, there was no escaping the mellifluous sounds of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The band’s Whipped Cream & Other Delights (and its infamous image of a cream-covered model)… Read More

That Time Princess Leia Married Paul Simon

That Time Princess Leia Married Paul Simon

By On December 17, 2015

Let’s do some math. “One and one-half wandering Jews / Free to wander wherever they choose” begins the title track of Paul Simon’s album Hearts and Bones. Simon himself makes up one… Read More

Jay Ungar

The Jew Behind the Famous Civil War Lament

By On October 13, 2015

If you’ve ever had aspirations to play in an old-time string band, you know it: “Ashokan Farewell,” the iconic lament featured over and over in Ken Burns’s Civil War documentary. Like the… Read More

The Amy Winehouse Tracks No One Will Ever Hear

The Amy Winehouse Tracks No One Will Ever Hear

By On July 8, 2015

The new documentary Amy offers a heartbreaking look at the rise and fall of an extraordinarily gifted young singer. Amy Winehouse was a “Jewish girl from North London” (as she put it)… Read More

Ethan Hawke's Jewish Piano Teacher

Meet Ethan Hawke’s Jewish Piano Teacher

By On April 7, 2015

Seymour Bernstein is a musical genius. He is 88 years old and lives in a charmingly cluttered studio apartment in Manhattan, where he teaches piano and sleeps on a pullout couch. This… Read More


The Other Kabbalah-Loving L.A. Musician

By On November 11, 2013

LA-based singer-songwriter Mikey Pauker’s inspirations come from across the map. From contemporary pop music to Jewish liturgy, hasidut, kabbalah, and his own Jewish experiences, Pauker skillfully combines upbeat folk songs with classical Jewish texts. Check out,… Read More


The Shondes: The Coney Island of rock bands?

By On December 27, 2012

Coney Island — home of legendary knishes, Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs, and that historic roller coaster — is rich with Jewish spirit. A similar thing could be said of the Brooklyn band The Shondes, who so… Read More