Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast

The Israel Beat Jewish Music Podcast interviews the latest Israeli and Jewish artists and covers a wide range of styles from Carlebach, cantorial, klezmer, Israeli trance, Mizrachi, rock, Sephardic, hasidic and everything in between. Past interviews have included Matisyahu, Avraham Fried, and Miri Ben-Ari. IsraelBeat broadcasts live every Sunday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Israel time on

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Show - Shay Gabso, Neshama Carlebach, Zohar Argov and more

Sep. 17, 2006

  • Streaming Audio

  • MP3 Download

  • * Shay Gabso - Walking - from his new album Instead of Me. The singer from the Kohav Nolad (A Star is Born) contest comes back with his second album. Great soft, driving music.
    * Arkadi Duchin - Last year's double best-of album was a huge top seller. This new album from the former leader of HaHaverim Shel Natasha mixes electric rock guitars with his great voice.
    * Aaron Razel- Two Songs and Two Weeks in Gush Katif. A new 2-song disc. Lots of piano. Light music with heavy subject matter.
    * Ari Chwat - A debut album of guitar based hasidic pop.* Looney Tunes in Hebrew - Congradulations to the contest winners who guessed this. "Ehhh, ma nishma, Doc?" was a dead giveaway.
    * Neshama Carlebach - Great piano on this request from her latest album, Journey.
    * Nurit Hirsh - You may not know her name, but you definately know her classic Bashana Haba'ah. We were forced to sing this in Sunday School, but I still like it.
    * Avraham Fried - Yerushalayim - This is the only song my friend David likes.
    * Zohar Argov - Elinora - I have another frind who hates all music but he loves Zohar Argov. Next time you're at a festival or at the beach, look for the Zohar Argov temporary tattoos next to the Jewish stars, hearts and dragons.
    * Miri Ben-Ari with Nochum Stark - Little did I know that the the Grammy award winning hip-hop violinist came out with a hareidi style album featuring Piamenta and more.
    * Ernest Bloch - Yom Kippur from Israel Symphony - I am obsessed with this classical composer and his Jewish themed music.

    Thursday, September 14, 2006

    NY Music Festival Promotes Jewish Identity, Diversity

    NY Music Festival Promotes Jewish Identity, Diversity
    by Benyamin Bresky

    The third annual New York Jewish Music and Culture Festival is taking place this week culminating in a large free concert this Sunday featuring Neshama Carlebach, Hadag Nahash, David Broza, Yossi Piamenta, a Yiddish and klezmer set and more. The festival began on September 10th and is consisting of over 60 shows throughout 17 different theaters, synagogues and parks around New York. One of the highlights of the festival was a conference, which took place on Tuesday, about new developments in the Jewish culture and entertainment industry. Other events have been participatory workshops, women’s only events, and discussions featuring some of the top names in Jewish music such as Soulfarm, Moshav, Blue Fringe and more.

    The brains behind the festival is Michael Dorf, the successful founder of the Knitting Factory theater in New York and a major advocate for development of Jewish arts and culture. Now in his early 40's, Dorf founded the Knitting Factory in 1986. The club hosted a variety of rock groups and other acts but more significantly, became a center for New York downtown Jewish jazz musicians. Longtime collaborator John Zorn, the influential founder of Tzadik Records, was a regular and helped build a scene of jazz musicians who explored their Jewish roots through their music. Zorn is also a performer at the festival this year.

    The success of the Knitting Factory led Dorf to expand his horizons and start the festival. The first two years of the festival were headlined by Matisyahu, the Jewish-American singer who went on to hit the Billboard top ten charts this year with his Hasidic influenced reggae.

    For Dorf, diversity has always been part of his philosophy. The finale concert's line-up includes musicians from every walk of Jewish life and every musical genre imaginable.

    “There's a lot more then what I think most people would define as Jewish music." says Dorf. "In the early days, I produced a big jazz festival called the What Is Jazz Festival. At the same token, I wouldn't mind if this was subtitled the What Is Jewish Music Festival."

    Issues of music and identity are a main theme of the conferences. “Sometimes there’s a paradox or a contradiction in calling something Jewish music when its not necessarily at all based in religion or even done by Jews.” comments Dorf. “You don’t have to be a Latino musician to perform Latin music. The same holds in you don’t have to be Jewish to get into klezmer or Sephardic or liturgical music. In Israel, there are great artists who are making music that might be based on religion but it’s not something they’re pushing. For me, the most interesting thing is to ask, ‘what is this music‘? Where is it coming from? What were the artistic impulses of the creator of the music that went into it? How much of it is their Jewish identity, their national identity, their gender identity? These are the more interesting questions.”

    As for Dorf’s personal experiences, he grew up in a semi-traditional Conservative Jewish synagogue “When I went to college, I rejected it all.” His interest in his own identity grew after he failed as a record producer in New York and opened the Knitting Factory as a last minute way to make some money. The results have been overwhelmingly positive. “Over the years we've seen a much stronger Jewish cultural set of offerings. More synagogues and Jewish community centers feel that music is a great way to reach a young audience”

    For Dorf one of the most exciting aspects of the festival is the opportunity to bring different Jewish people together. “To see in New York, outdoors, a bunch of Hasids with their tzitzit flying and a bunch of people who don't wear yamulkahs or even know what a yamulkah is, all together dancing as one community, that's very powerful.”

    The festival finale is called the Jewzapalooza and Dorf envisions it as a parallel to Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo or some of the other popular mainstream rock festivals in the United States. He is expecting over 10,000 people, a significant increase from last year. For the entire eight days of the festival organizers are expecting over 25,000.

    The finale concert is free and will take place Sunday Sep. 17th, 2006 at Riverside park at 72nd Street in Manhattan. For more information visit

    Benyamin Bresky is recording engineer in Israel and the host of The Beat on Israel National Radio. He is a frequent writer on Jewish and Israeli culture. He maintains a blog on music and culture at


    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    New York Jewish Music & Heritage Festival

    Interview with New York Jewish Music & Heritage Festival Organizer

    Michael Dorf, founder of the Knitting Factory theater and organizer of this week's New York Jewish Heritage & Music Festival discusses Jewish identity, music and more.

    The last concert of the festival will be Sunday Sep. 17th.

    Featuring music by:

    * Basya Schechter & Pharaoh's Daughter
    * David Broza
    * Yossi Piamenta
    * David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness with MC SoCalled
    * C Lanzbom & Noah Solomon
    * Blue Fringe
    * John Zorn

    Click Here for streaming audio
    Click here for MP3 Download
    Click here for RSS feed

    Thursday, September 07, 2006

    This Sunday! - New York Jewish Music & Heritage Festival

    Stay tuned this Sunday for an interview with Michael Dorf, founder of the Knitting Factory concert club and organizer of
    Oy!hoo - The New York Jewish Music and Heritage Festival which will feature Neshama Carlebach, John Zorn, David Broza, Yosi Piamenta, Pharaoh’s Daughter and more.

    Sunday September 10, 2006
    6:00PM Israel time, 11:00AM Eastern Standard Time

    Tune in by clicking here
    Join us in the Virtual Studio

    Or call us live:
    US & Canada: 1-800-270-4288
    Israel: 1-800-270-428
    England: 00-800-3-700-7000
    Elsewhere: +972-2-997-2425

    To send an instant message:
    AOL: INR18
    Yahoo: inr18
    MSN: INR18
    ICQ: 191965205

    Movie Review - Ushpizin

    Movie Review
    2004 Picturehouse
    Rated PG

    A poor husband and wife want nothing more but to have a nice Sukkot holiday with the traditional holy guests, or Ushpizin in Hebrew, so they can show their hospitality just like Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. What they get instead are escaped convicts.

    Ushpizin mixes light drama and light comedy. The movie was filmed on location in Jerusalem and stars real life husband and wife Shuli and Michal Bat-Sheva Rand who live in Jerusalem.

    There are strong themes of religious versus secular Israelis but in general, this is an enjoyable movie with many humorous scenes. In the end, which is happy, the religious are still religious and the secular are still secular and that's depicted as OK.

    I saw this in the theater in Jerusalem and the audience laughed out loud during several scenes. The wife's reacting to the surprise donation of a large sum of money is charming as well as when the husband takes the escaped convicts to the yeshiva with him. The message of the movie is one of faith and the power of prayer. It seems to be enjoyed by a broad audience. The film won the 2004 Israeli Film Academy best actor award.

    For an interview with singer Adi Ran who is featured in the movies’ soundtrack click here:

    * Adi Ran article

    Sunday, September 03, 2006

    Interview with Astral Projection - Sep. 3, 2006

    New Show - Sep. 3, 2006

    Interview with Astral Projection

    Israel continues to be a top purveyor of electronic trance music. One of the pioneers, Lior Perlmutter of Astral Projection talks about their forthcoming album with tracks influenced by Sept. 11th, and their past hits, Kabbalah, Amen and more.

    * Click here for Streaming Audio
    * Click here for MP3 download (Right-click and select Save Target As...)
    * RSS/Podcast feed

    This show will be available for one week until next week's show on Sunday. After that it will be available upon request. Email