In the 19th century Black spirituals were inspired by biblical stories in the Old Testament, especially those we remember during Passover. In the early decades of the 20th century, Black and Jewish musicians, often living side by side in the same impoverished neighborhoods, connected through legacies of oppression. With the music industry one of the few fields open to them both, it’s no surprise that blues and jazz became rich, crossover genres. Join Loren Schoenberg, senior scholar at The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Center and Nadine Epstein, Moment editor-in-chief, for a conversation about these musical connections, the bonds and tensions, and a taste of the music itself including Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho and Go Down Moses to Bei Mir Bist Du Shein.
This program is part of The Wide River Project, a yearlong, joint initiative of Western States Center and Moment that takes a deep dive—and fresh look—into the art, history and issues that both unite and divide the Black and Jewish communities.
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