“Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay”… so begins what might be the best known piece of Jewish music in contemporary Canadian culture, as close as Hanukkah gets to a “Jingle Bells” or a “Frosty the Snowman”.
But the Jewish tradition, both religious and secular, offers an incredibly rich, varied and diverse body of musical expression. From ancient sacred melodies, tothe myriad syncretic hybrids that emerged wherever the Jewish diaspora set foot, Jewish musical sensibilities have had a profound influence on the development of Western music from classical to jazz, avant garde to pop, and beyond.
Part of the inspiration for tonight’s conversation was my own recent discovery of some deeply unexpected facets of Jewish music, from Black female cantors in 1920’s NYC to Hasidic rappers, Jewish reggae to techno remixes of Yiddish show tunes… Clearly I had a LOT to learn about Jewish music!
So tonight, as Jewish communities the world over celebrate Hanukkah with candles, fried foods and family, I have invited two acquaintances, both deeply connected to Jewish music, to engage in a fun and fascinating conversation exploring the the further reaches of music and Jewish identity.
Josh “Socalled” Dolgin is a Juno-nominated pianist, singer, accordionist, producer, composer, artist and rapper based in Montreal, Quebec. With 8 solo albums and 5 musical comedies to his credit, he also tours extensively with his band, as well as performing programs of Yiddish songs around the world. socalledmusic.com
Tobaron Waxman is a critically acclaimed interdisciplinary artist and curator, working between Brooklyn and Toronto. Traditionally trained in cantorial music and ultra-orthodox Judaism, Tobaron also leads the Trans Collections at The Arquives, and is the founder/artistic director of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency. tobaron.com
This will be an online event held via Zoom, hosted by Len Senater (owner of The Depanneur); it will run approx 1 hr with an opportunity for Q&A
Want to enjoy this fascinating discussion with a belly full of delicious Hanukkah latkes?
You’re in luck! This event is hosted in conjunction with The Depanneur’s Pick-Up Dinner: A Greco-Jewish Hanukkah by Alissa Kondogiannis