"JEWISH MUSIC" >Page 1, 2, 3Contemporary Jewish Music Contemporary Jewish music is where the lines begin to blur. Much like World Fusion, it's a little bit of everything, with some other stuff thrown in just for fun. Confused yet? Some bands, like Vancouver's Tzimmes, combine Klezmer, Sephardic, and other musical styles, to create a unique combination of sound. A band like Yom Hadash takes traditional Jewish melodies and liturgy, and puts them to a modern back beat. Artists like Peter Himmelman and David Broza, while drawing on their Jewish heritage lyrically, musically are as straight-ahead pop and folk as their Gentile colleagues. Even Bob Dylan has a Jewish element to some of his songs (OK, we'll forget about his Christian phase for now!). Being Jewish affects one's life in so many different ways -- culturally, spiritually, philosophically -- that in many cases it is difficult to completely separate a musician's Jewishness from his or her work. This raises the question: does the mere fact of an artist being Jewish make his or her work "Jewish Music?" If the artist's work is completely removed from having any Jewish aspects to it, either in terms of sound or lyrically (à la Counting Crows, "Weird Al," David Lee Roth, the list goes on . . . ) it is no more "Jewish Music" than calling the work of an artist who professes Christian beliefs, but writes and performs entirely secular songs, Christian Music. However, one thing is for sure: as its popularity continues to grow, so will the number of artists and the breadth of musical genres within the framework of Jewish Music. From out of the synagogues and Jewish Community Centres and into the mainstream, Jewish Music will become even more of a defining characteristic of a vibrant religion and culture.
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