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Jews, Music and the American West: Portraits of Pioneers

Jonathan L Friedmann

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ISBN 10: 1935604821 / ISBN 13: 9781935604822
Published by Gaon Books, 2016
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Jews, Music and the American West: Portraits...

Publisher: Gaon Books

Publication Date: 2016

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

Edition: Paper ed..

About this title


Jews, Music and the American West is based on research the author pursued as historical music editor of the Western States Jewish History journal and the Jewish Museum of the American West, both organs of the Western States Jewish History Association. The book highlights musicians who reflected and helped shape the unique cultural landscape of the Western United States. Most of the men and women profiled made their marks in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, with a few remaining active beyond that time frame. As a group, they typify the freedom of opportunity and creative expression characteristic of the region. As individuals, they represent multiple areas of the musical experience: commercial, sacred, performing, conducting, composition, criticism, education, enrichment, vocal, and instrumental.

There is a growing body of literature on popular and film musicians of Jewish heritage who worked in the West, chiefly in Hollywood and its surrounding environs. Such writings tend to treat Jewish identity as a side topic, if at all. The purpose of the present volume is to explore the lives and contributions of lesser-known personalities, and in so doing weave music into the larger story of Jewish life in the American West.

The biographical sketches were pieced together from a variety of sources, including archival documents, trade journals, local histories, old newspapers, out-of-print books, and interviews.


"This book brings together unsung voices of composers, performers, and music enthusiasts who helped pave our Jewish cultural landscape in the Western States. Well researched and engagingly told, their stories shed light on two areas historians of American Judaism often overlook: our music and the American West." David W. Epstein, Publisher, Western States Jewish History Director, Jewish Museum of the American West, "Jonathan Friedmann has made a most welcome and admirable contribution to Western American Judaica with these selected case studies of Jewish music in the West...Friedmann's scholarship is impeccable and the narratives he has recounted with such care and fidelity are about the dedication of men and women in the world of Jewish music who should serve as an enduring source of inspiration to us all." William H. Rosar Editor, The Journal of Film Music "An interesting and delightfully readable look at the various-and varied-musical activities that shaped the lives of the Jews (and non-Jews) of the American West." Jeff Janeczko Curator, Milken Archive of Jewish Music

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