The Idelsohn Society

The Idelsohn Society The Idelsohn Society For Musical Preservation: history sounds different when you know where to start listening.
The Idelsohn Society believes that music creates conversations otherwise impossible in daily life. Our goal is to incite a new conversation about the present by listening anew to the past. We will do this by unearthing lost classics from the archive, sounds that are languishing in thrift-store crates across the nation. The stories that accompany them have yet to be told: hybrid identities, eclectic communities, racial dialogue, and pioneering musical style. This is music that forces listeners to ask themselves who am I, what have I inherited, and what am I going to do about it? We are named for Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, legendary Jewish musicologist and writer of everybody's favorite classic, "Hava Nagila." Idelsohn devoted his life to studying, gathering, and classifying Jewish music in all of its forms in order to better understand the very nature of Jewishness itself.
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A lovely write-up for legendary composer Irving Fields, who sadly passed on Tuesday. The Idelsohn Society re-released Ir...
08/25/2016
Irving Fields, bandleader who fed postwar mania for Yiddish mambo, dies at 101

A lovely write-up for legendary composer Irving Fields, who sadly passed on Tuesday. The Idelsohn Society re-released Irving Fields “Bagels and Bongos” album in 2005--it was our first release as a label. We had the honor and privilege of working with Irving on many other occasions, including live shows at Joe’s Pub, Lincoln Center (for our Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos album release), and the Contemporary Jewish Museum (for our Jews on Vinyl Revue).

We will miss Irving! May his memory and music be a blessing.

Mr. Fields melded Jewish tunes and Latin rhythms in the 1959 album ‘Bagels and Bongos.’

The Idelsohn Society
08/25/2016

The Idelsohn Society

02/24/2014
Art Raymond - The Idelsohn Society Interview

We were sad to learn of the passing of Art "Pancho" Raymond, former Latin radio DJ and cofounder of Latin indie label Tico Records. Raymond hosted three popular Jewish music radio shows: "Sunday Simcha" and "Raisins and Almonds" on New York's WEVD and "Bagels and Lox" on Philadelphia's WHAT. He also curated Art Raymond Presents, released on Tikva Records, a compilation album including Moishe Oysher, Seymour Rexsite and Miriam Kressyn, The Sabras, and Sol and Paul Zim, and many others. We were honored to meet him a few years ago at his home in Florida and record his story for our digital archive.

This interview is part of The Idelsohn Society Digital Archive. For more interviews, videos and music, please visit us online: http://digitalarchive.idelsohn...

Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love: ‘It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba’
12/29/2013
Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love: ‘It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba’

Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love: ‘It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba’

You learn so much listening to It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba, the new two-CD set of mambos, rhumbas, and cha-cha-chas from the 1940s to the ’80s. For example, that Jews had a reputation as great dancers. Or maybe pretty good dancers. Or good enough at tapping our feet, and maybe if we...

If you missed Steve Berlin of Los Lobos talking about It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba on Weekend Edition, list ...
12/21/2013
A Jew And A Latino Walk Into A Recording Studio...

If you missed Steve Berlin of Los Lobos talking about It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba on Weekend Edition, list to it here.

It's an era of music that has faded from memory: Latin-Jewish collaboration in the mid-20th century.

From American Songwriter: "If you buy only one detailed historical set chronicling the musical connection between Jews a...
12/17/2013
Various Artists: It’s A Scream How Levine Does The Rhumba - American Songwriter

From American Songwriter: "If you buy only one detailed historical set chronicling the musical connection between Jews and Latinos in the US, make it this one."

Various Artists It’s A Scream How Levine Does The Rhumba (Idelsohn Society for Mutual Preservation) Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars If you buy only one detaile

Release party TONIGHT in San Francisco. Hope to see you there!
12/05/2013
New Jewish/Latin music compilation (and party in SF tonight!)

Release party TONIGHT in San Francisco. Hope to see you there!

Co-founded by my pal David Katznelson, the Idelsohn Society is a nonprofit dedicated to the musicology of great old Jewish music by the likes of Irving Fields, Gershon Kingsley, and The Barry Sisters.

Tickets still available for this Thursday night's record release mambo party at the CJM, featuring DJ Oro11 and DeeJay T...
12/02/2013
It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: A Record Release Mambo Party

Tickets still available for this Thursday night's record release mambo party at the CJM, featuring DJ Oro11 and DeeJay Theory of Tormenta Tropical- plus food by Wise Sons Deli.

showcase of the greatest Latin Jewish mash-ups of the twentieth century?by teaming up with DJ Oro11 and DeeJay Theory of the hot SF Latin club party, Tormenta Tropical.

It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba was featured in the New York Times' Holiday Gift Guide for boxed music sets.
12/02/2013
Holiday Gift Guide — Boxed Sets of Music

It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba was featured in the New York Times' Holiday Gift Guide for boxed music sets.

The outpouring of boxed sets of CDs make for easy gift-giving for music lovers.

ON SALE TODAY: It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story 1940s-1980s. Available on our we...
11/26/2013
Albums

ON SALE TODAY: It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story 1940s-1980s. Available on our website and through Amazon. All orders placed on our website before 5pm ET will ship today!

This two-disc set chronicles the musical confluence between Latinos and Jews in the U.S. Liner note contributors include Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill.

USA Today calls our latest release a "tchatchke magnifico." Preorder a copy on our website today and get it in time for ...
11/21/2013
Jewish and Latin music merge on 'It's a Scream' CD set

USA Today calls our latest release a "tchatchke magnifico." Preorder a copy on our website today and get it in time for Hanukkah.

Call it a tchatchke magnifico. ' It's A Scream The Way Levine Does the Rhumba: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story 1940s-1960s,' out Tuesday, examines a fringe corner of Jewish musical history.

The Idelsohn Society's cover photo
11/19/2013

The Idelsohn Society's cover photo

Our new Latin-Jewish CD set hits stores in one week! If you're in San Francisco, come out on December 5th to the CJM for...
11/19/2013
It’s a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba: A Record Release Mambo Party

Our new Latin-Jewish CD set hits stores in one week! If you're in San Francisco, come out on December 5th to the CJM for a special mambo dance party. Tickets on sale now.

Date/Time: Thursday, Dec 5 | 6:30–8:30pm Get Tickets Admission: $10 Members; $15 General (includes Museum admission; advance tickets recommended; 21

Hanukkah comes early this year: order your copy of 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah with one of our unique cards and get ...
11/05/2013
Albums

Hanukkah comes early this year: order your copy of 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah with one of our unique cards and get it in time for Thanksgivukkah.

This TWO DISC set is the first-ever history of the duel role of Hanukkah and Christmas music in the 20th century. It’s a musical songbook highlighting both rare and iconic holiday music across both faiths. The 34-tracks feature songs written and performed by Woody Guthrie, The Ramones, Bob Dylan, Di...

We're pleased to announce our new 2-CD set: IT'S A SCREAM HOW LEVINE DOES THE RHUMBA: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story 194...
10/11/2013
It's a Scream How Levine Does the Rhumba

We're pleased to announce our new 2-CD set: IT'S A SCREAM HOW LEVINE DOES THE RHUMBA: The Latin-Jewish Musical Story 1940s-1980s. Coming out November 23!

Our 2010 interview with Fred Katz from our digital archive. Hear his life story in his own words.
09/11/2013
Fred Katz | Idelsohn Digital Archive

Our 2010 interview with Fred Katz from our digital archive. Hear his life story in his own words.

Fred Katz was born on February 25, 1919. He was classically trained in the cello and piano and began his career in a number of classical and swing orchestras. Fred was also a student of the legendary cellist Pablo Casals. In the 1950s, he accompanied singers such as Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, and Fra...

Fred Katz passed away over the weekend. We are honored to have known him and proud to have been able to work with him.
09/10/2013
Jazz cellist and educator Fred Katz dies at 94

Fred Katz passed away over the weekend. We are honored to have known him and proud to have been able to work with him.

Musician, composer and educator Fred Katz, the man who helped take the cello into jazz, died in Santa Monica over the weekend from complications from kidney failure and liver cancer . He was 94 years old.

09/04/2013

L'Shana Tova! Coming up in the new year- our latest record release. Stay tuned for the big announcement!

Nat Hentoff writes about Black Sabbath in the latest issue of JAZZed, calling it an "indispensable collection," and refl...
03/28/2013
Current Issue

Nat Hentoff writes about Black Sabbath in the latest issue of JAZZed, calling it an "indispensable collection," and reflecting on his experience in the NYC jazz scene in the 1950s. Read the full article here, beginning on page 18.

Check out handwritten sheet music from the great Idelsohn himself- sent in by his grandson.
03/05/2013
Handwritten sheet music from Abraham Zevi Idelsohn

Check out handwritten sheet music from the great Idelsohn himself- sent in by his grandson.

We recently heard from the grandson of our namesake, Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, all the way from South Africa. Dr. Joseph Schmaman was kind enough to send in some great photos of Idelsohn’s handwritten sheet music, posted below. Click to enlarge.

Get your tickets for THIS SATURDAY's Purim party at the Paper Box, featuring The Sway Machinery, Ceci Bastida, and Joro ...
02/19/2013
The Sway Machinery, Ceci Bestida, Joro Boro

Get your tickets for THIS SATURDAY's Purim party at the Paper Box, featuring The Sway Machinery, Ceci Bastida, and Joro Boro.

For those who have seen The Sway Machinery in action, little explanation is needed. The band's combination of rhythmic power and potent folklore takes no prisoners. On stage the energy of submerged worlds is torn out into the light of day. And indeed, the historical tradition of Cantorial music, whi...

The Sway Machinery and Ceci Bastida are uniting for a one night Purim party like no other in Brooklyn on Feb 23. Get you...
01/23/2013

The Sway Machinery and Ceci Bastida are uniting for a one night Purim party like no other in Brooklyn on Feb 23. Get your tickets now: bit.ly/feb23sway

Our 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah app is available for iPhone and iPad- free! Download here.
01/02/2013
Twas the Night Before Hanukkah

Our 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah app is available for iPhone and iPad- free! Download here.

Get Twas the Night Before Hanukkah on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.

The Idelsohn Society's cover photo
12/18/2012

The Idelsohn Society's cover photo

Grand finale! Thanks to all of our performers, our funders, and to everyone else for coming out and making this such a g...
12/16/2012

Grand finale! Thanks to all of our performers, our funders, and to everyone else for coming out and making this such a great night!

Rehearsal for tonight's show at Brick and Mortar! Here is Sway Machinery, Luther Dickinson, Steve Berlin and Ethan Mille...
12/15/2012

Rehearsal for tonight's show at Brick and Mortar! Here is Sway Machinery, Luther Dickinson, Steve Berlin and Ethan Miller.

A Merry, Musical Hanukkah
12/13/2012
A Merry, Musical Hanukkah

A Merry, Musical Hanukkah

At the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, a group of Jewish-music enthusiasts wonders whether, in America, Jews singing Christmas songs are the most Jewish of all.

12/12/2012
Saturday in San Francisco: Twas the Last Night of Hanukkah concert

Looking forward to seeing you all THIS SATURDAY at Brick and Mortar for 'Twas the Last Night of Hanukkah. Tickets are $15 now, $18 at the door.

This Saturday night (12/15) in San Francisco is the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation's "Twas the Last Night of Hanukkah" concert! Boing Boing is proud to be a media sponsor for this event where you'll be treated to performances by Sway Machinery featuring Jeremiah Lockwood, Luther Dickinson...

Get your tickets now!
12/06/2012

Get your tickets now!

Holiday music:
12/04/2012
Holiday music:

Holiday music:

In their continuing fight against bad holiday music, our friends at the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation have released Twas the Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights. This new double-CD set explores "the relationship between (Hanukkah and Chr...

11/29/2012
Santa Monica Museum of Art - www.smmoa.org

For our LA supporters: This Saturday (12/1), Josh Kun will be hosting a listening party/CD signing for 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah at the Santa Monica Museum of Art's Holiday Shop Celebration from 2:30-4:30pm. The event is free!

Through its exhibitions, education, and outreach programs, the Santa Monica Museum of Art fosters diversity, innovation, and discovery in contemporary art - local, national, and international.

Holiday gift guide from the SF Bay Guardian featuring our Hanukkah album. Place your orders soon to ensure delivery for ...
11/28/2012
Gabba gabba buy - Page 2 | SF Bay Guardian

Holiday gift guide from the SF Bay Guardian featuring our Hanukkah album. Place your orders soon to ensure delivery for Hanukkah!

Now on to the music shops. The specialty records, box sets, and CDs in general that stuck out to me as great gifts this year — of course dependent on the listener — are Blackbird Blackbird's covers of Kate Bush on limited edition vinyl with origami, Castle Face Record's The Velvet Underground and Ni...

The LA Times calls 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah "easily the year's most informative, illuminating holiday release."
11/26/2012
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas

The LA Times calls 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah "easily the year's most informative, illuminating holiday release."

It's word association time. Say the first word that springs to mind: "holiday ----." Did you think "season"? "Sale"? "Hangover"?

“For us it’s the one Christmas album you can listen to without having to atone at Yom Kippur for playing it.” Order soon...
11/19/2012
‘ ’Twas the Night Before Hanukkah,’ From Idelsohn Society

“For us it’s the one Christmas album you can listen to without having to atone at Yom Kippur for playing it.” Order soon to get in time for Hanukkah (or Christmas)!

The double album “‘Twas the Night Before Hanukkah” highlights the history of Hanukkah in the United States and explores the influence of Jewish songwriters and singers on America’s Christmas canon.

11/13/2012
Albums

Today's the official release day for 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah! Order your copy now- it's the perfect gift for anyone who celebrates Hanukkah, Christmas, or both.

This TWO DISC set is the first-ever history of the duel role of Hanukkah and Christmas music in the 20th century. It’s a musical songbook highlighting both rare and iconic holiday music across both faiths. The 34-tracks feature songs written and performed by Woody Guthrie, The Ramones, Bob Dylan, Di...

One week until the official release of 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah. Head to our website for the full track list and ...
11/06/2012
Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation

One week until the official release of 'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah. Head to our website for the full track list and to place your pre-order.

The Idelsohn Society is proud to announce our latest release:‘Twas the Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Beween Christmas and the Festival of Lights.

Listen to the "Meet the Mamboniks" story on NPR Latino USA, with appearances from Irving Fields and Larry Harlow.
11/05/2012
MEET THE MAMBONIKS

Listen to the "Meet the Mamboniks" story on NPR Latino USA, with appearances from Irving Fields and Larry Harlow.

Back in the 1950s, when the mambo was the rage, some of its biggest fans were Jewish. Reporter Marlon Bishop brings us this story of a commu

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