'Twas the Night Before Hanukkah, Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservatio
The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation (www.idelsohnsociety.com) announced today, a San Francisco record release party at Bricks and Mortar on December 15 in celebration of ‘Twas The Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights, a 2xCD and digital release exploring the evolving musical role of both Hanukkah and Christmas music in the 20th Century. The publishing entity Boing Boing is the evening’s media sponsor.
Recently featured in the New York Times Arts section, the 2xCD ‘Twas The Night Before Hanukkah tells a uniquely American story of the rise of Hanukkah contrasted with the popularity of Christmas. To help tell this tale in a live setting, the Idelsohn Society has curated a one night-only lineup including Sway Machinery Featuring Jeremiah Lockwood, Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars, Black Crowes), Thao, Rebecca Bortman, Ethan Miller (Howlin’ Rain, Comets on Fire), Lyn Burton (of the Burton Sisters), Zach Rogue, Ceci Bastida, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and members of Antibalas. The show will feature an ensemble cast performing songs from the CD as well as their holiday themed choices including a song composed and to be performed specifically for this event by Thao.
Just last year, the Idelsohn Society arranged for a month-long event in San Francisco’s Mission District with the first-ever Jewish pop-up store Tikva Records in support of Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set. The store was part performance space, part gallery, and served as a mecca for Jewish vinyl collectors in celebration of the independent record label, Tikva Records. For more than three decades beginning in 1947, Tikva Records (aka The Jewish Motown), released an eclectic range of Jewish-American songs including klezmer pop, cantorial singing Catskills medley and Israeli folk tunes.
This year, the Idelsohn Society has compiled a stunning collection of both Hanukkah songs as well as Christmas music sung (and in many cases written) by Jews, furthering its mission to educate, edify and promote Jewish musical history. Each disc in the 2 CD set features 17 tracks, compiled from a wide array of performers, musical styles and genres, from the 1930s to present. Disc One (Happy Hanukkah) highlights both well-known and somewhat lost Hanukkah classics from the past. Disc two (Merry Christmas) features Christmas songs – sung by and in some cases written by Jewish performers – both secular and holy.