Explore a little-known, bountiful music canon

The little-known history of music shared by black, Hispanic and Jewish communities is featured in a new show at the Contemporary Jewish Museum called “Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations.”

Opening today, the largely audio exhibit — in which visitors may access playlists and videos in the gallery — explores black-Jewish musical encounters in 20th-century America.

Examples of Johnny Mathis singing “Kol Nidre,” Cab Calloway speaking Yiddish, Aretha Franklin doing a 1960s take on “Swanee,” Lena Horne recordings and the Temptations singing from “Fiddler on the Roof” lead to a larger picture of the connection between black artists and Jewish and Yiddish music.

“We’ve created an engaging and fun nightclub environment where visitors can experience a particular moment in musical history — a time when African-Americans and Jews came together to explore, share, borrow and create new musical understandings of their cultures,” Museum Director Connie Wolf says.

The show was created by the Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation, a group of people from  the music industry and academia focused on exploring Jewish history through music that has been “loved and lost.”

A CD with the same title that accompanies the exhibit will be released Sept. 14, and a related concert called “Yiddish Favorites in Latin Tempo” is at Yoshi’s in San Francisco on Monday.

Additional events include Idelsohn Society co-founder David Katznelson and University of Southern California professor Josh Kun lecturing on the exhibit at the museum Dec. 7 in a talk about what they call “one of the richest and least understood cultural conversations of the postwar years.”

IF YOU GO

Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations

Where: Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., San Francisco

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except closed Wednesdays; exhibit closes March 22

Tickets: $8 to $10

Contact: (415) 655-7800, www.thecjm.org

Note: “Mazeltov Mis Amigos” concert is 8 p.m. Monday at Yoshi’s, 1330 Fillmore St., San Francisco

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A construction worker watches a load for a crane operator at the site of the future Chinatown Muni station for the Central Subway on Tuesday, March 3, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Major construction on Central Subway to end by March 31

SFMTA board approves renegotiated contract with new deadline, more contractor payments

Neighbors and environmental advocates have found the Ferris wheel in Golden Gate Park noisy and inappropriate for its natural setting. <ins>(</ins>
Golden Gate Park wheel wins extension, but for how long?

Supervisors move to limit contract under City Charter provision requiring two-thirds approval

San Francisco school teachers and staff will be able to get vaccinations without delay with the recent distribution of priority codes. 
Shutterstock
SF distributes vaccine priority codes to city schools

San Francisco has received its first vaccine priority access codes from the… Continue reading

Charles Joseph, who is represented by the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, is facing deportation to Fiji. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Giving immigrants a second chance after incarceration

Legislation would allow some faced with deportation a chance to challenge their old convictions

The San Francisco Police Department released body camera footage of the alleged assault on Dacari Spiers. (Via SFPD Body Cam)
SF police officer to stand trial for assault over baton beating

A San Francisco police officer who prosecutors say unnecessarily beat a man… Continue reading

Most Read