Blacks, Jews, Jazz & Blues with Loren Schoenberg, Eric K. Ward and Nadine Epstein

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.

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Paul Reiser Headshot

A Moment with Comedian Paul Reiser on His NYC Return

Comedian Paul Reiser, best known for the hit 1990s TV sitcom Mad About You, is returning to the New York City stage to perform a stand-up routine for the first time in more than two decades. The event, which will take place at the Kaufman Music Center, is to raise funds for the nonprofit JazzReach. Reiser speaks to Moment Senior Editor Marilyn Cooper about his return to performing live comedy. Can you tell me about your interest in music and how tonight’s event relates to that? Tonight’s event is for JazzReach, a New York nonprofit—they bring live jazz music to young people. Kids who have never heard live music before in their lives will have musicians brought to their classrooms. I love music, but it isn’t what I’ve ended up doing. I’m doing stand-up tonight. They're really different...

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Rav Kook Meets Jazz

by Matt Ponak It was a cold wintry day during Hannukah of 2007 when I first met Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein. While I was visiting a professor in the Canadian Rocky Mountains with a few other people, Itzchak  was passing through the area. He led us in lighting the Hannukah candles, took out his guitar, and we all came together in jubilant song and prayer. As we relaxed into the moment and tuned in to Marmorstein’s Kabbalistic teachings on Hannukah, he took out a book of poems. He began to read this poetry, written by Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, and I felt the entire room become alive with joy. Everyone was deeply moved by the words Itzchak read and accompanied with ecstatic movements. After working us all into a spiritual frenzy, Marmorstein announced that he was on...

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