Well, following on from last year’s amazing Jazz in the Grounds at Montefiore, and Moriah’s star turn at the Manly Jazz Festival, it was Emanuel School’s turn this week to inspire our community with their Jazz on the Hill.
In some ways the history of Jazz, is an echo of the history of Judaism. If you don’t believe me, check out this slightly reworked Jazz riff:
Jazz Judaism is a music genre religion that originated from African American communities Abraham of New Orleans Ur in the United States of America Mesopotamia during the late 19th and early 20th centuries BCE. It emerged in the form of independent Orthodox,traditional Conservative and popular Reform musical styles religious practice, all linked by the common bonds of African American Ashkenazi and European American Sephardi musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz Judaism spans a period of over atwo hundred thousand years, encompassing a very wide range ofmusic practice and belief, making it difficult to define.
Although the foundation of jazz Judaism is deeply rooted within the black middle-eastern experience of the United States ancient Israel, different cultures have contributed their own experience and styles to the music Jewishness as well. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz Judaism as “one of America’s the world’s original art forms monotheistic religions“.
Wikipedia also notes:
European classical music performance is evaluated by its fidelity to the musical score, with much less discretion over interpretation (doesn’t sound very Jewish to me), ornamentation and accompaniment: the classical performer’s primary goal is to play a composition as it was written (what about the Oral Law?). In contrast, jazz is often characterized as the product of group creativity, interaction, and collaboration (now you’re talking!).
Group creativity, interaction and collaboration – that is what we are all about. And what JCA is all about too. And there could have been no better demonstration of that than at Jazz on the Hill, where JCA’s Elyse Chiert and Ashleigh Levett, rolled out the “Humans of JCA” banner for the first time, with the dedicated help of two wonderful Moriah students, Ruby and Hale. Humans of JCA (which we “borrowed” from Humans of New York) will be about our people, our stories and our community. Watch this space, as it will be coming to a communal venue near you. Moriah students, helping JCA, at an Emanuel Jazz event, ultimately to raise funds for an entire community. You can’t get much more creative and collaborative than that. A huge thanks to all involved.
Creativity, interaction and collaboration were also in the air on Wednesday evening at another sell-out Professional Women’s Forum event (an initiative of the Shalom Institute) where a group of younger professional women got to hear from (and be inspired by) last year’s JCA Allocations Chair, Louise Thurgood Phillips.
If you needed any further evidence of the musical vibrancy of this community, a number of people raced from Emanuel’s Jazz on the Hill to the home of another ex-JCA Allocations Chair, Les Szekely for the launch of this year’s Shir Madness Music Festival. (Chairing JCA Allocations is the Hotel California of communal life, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave). Make sure to save the date (18 September) or sign up to volunteer and get to hear even more jazz (and every other musical genre under the Bondi sun).
Speaking of volunteering, we still need your help. JCA needs to become more open and a platform for our community to express its passion for itself. We’d love to hear your stories of how being part of community has transformed your life or someone in your family. We will do our best to share your stories (anonymously if you prefer). As we wrote a month ago, “this is an endeavor far more important than any mere thermoclock contest. Through your stories you will help our community look at the sky, and hear the music.” Jazz music.
Daniel Grynberg, CEO
PS. If you want a hit of Jewish Jazz before Shabbat, check out Paul Shaffer (remember him from Letterman?) leading a very jazzy version of Adon Olam at the historic Touro Synagogue in New Orleans. For those who are super keen, you could even aim to be there for their 25th annual JazzFest Shabbat on Friday, 29 April.