From the Desk Of: Eugene Marlow
International Exhibitors at APAP: “You Have to Show Up to Be Credible!”

APAP 2020 LogoMarlowsphere (Blog #146)

The saying “Eighty per cent of success in life is showing up” has long been attributed to actor, comedian, writer, director, and filmmaker Woody Allen. Whether the number is 75% or 90% or some number in between, the fact remains that if you want to have success in your life—personal or professional, whatever the endeavor—you have to show up and be present in the milieu and community you’re interested in.

This has never been more true than at the recent Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) conference at the Hilton Hotel (53rd Street/Avenue of the Americas, New York City) held January 10-14, 2020. The EXPO Hall at the APAP|NYC conference is the largest global performing arts marketplace of its kind with more than 370 booths, serving more than 3,600 attendees and 1,600 performing arts organizations.

According to Mario Garcia Durham, APAP president: “It pulsates with energy, making it an essential stop for building your business. Our dynamic ability to convene a global performing arts marketplace to APAP President Mario Garcia Durham talking with a Shanghai Opera House representative APAP 2020 Photo Adam Kissickdrive critical business decisions for every segment of our field makes APAP|NYC an extraordinary way to start the year.”

In other words, it’s a place to be seen, to network, to make and do business.

Durham’s emphasis on “a global performing arts marketplace to drive critical business decisions” is no exaggeration. Clearly, the vast majority of exhibitors are from all over the United States. However, a modest cadre of exhibitors hail from beyond America’s borders, from such countries as: New Zealand, Mainland China, Taiwan, Poland, Ireland, Canada, and France. Moreover, several American-based exhibitors are also in the “international” presenters camp, so to speak, because they mainly represent artists from other countries.

Exhibiting at APAP is no inexpensive investment, especially for the international exhibitors. But without exception, when asked “Why do you exhibit at APAP?” the consistent refrain expressed in one way or another was “You have to show up to be credible. And you have to show up year after year.”

One international exhibitor, Heidi Fleming, CEO of the Montréal (Quebec, Canada) based FAM Group pointed out she had been exhibiting at APAP for over 25 years. When asked “Is there a return on the investment?” she mentioned that sometimes she is able to book one of her clients while walking from her hotel to the Hilton location by bumping into a presenter she had met several times at previous APAP conferences. “If I hadn’t known that person for some time because of the APAP connection and hadn’t met that person while walking to APAP my client wouldn’t have gotten that gig!”

She added: “Every year you meet someone new who can add something extra to one of our artists, bring them to another level. It’s kind of slow and steady. You just have to keep showing up.”

APAP 2020 Photo Adam KissickShona McCullagh is the Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the New Zealand Dance Company, a full time contemporary dance company founded in 2012 located in Auckland. They had their North American debut in October 2019 in Toronto, but they have never been to the United States. Ms. McCullagh mentioned this was her second APAP. She has two main goals: “To learn. The Professional Development Sessions are enriching, inspiring, and provocative. The whole conference is very well planned and thought through. All of us in the arts work incredibly hard. The opportunity to be here nourishes our hearts and minds. And being in this space we can share experiences with others. And, of course, we’re here to market our work.”

Other exhibitors from the so-called Pacific Rim included several from Mainland China, including C-Musicals, the China Arts and Entertainment Group, the Shanghai Grand Theatre, and the Shanghai Opera House. Carol Cai is part of the Foreign Affairs General Office of the Shanghai Opera House. 2020 was the third year in a row that the Shanghai Opera House has exhibited at APAP. She observed: “Being here is a chance to get to know people. It’s also important for us to get to know what’s going on in America and the global market. We would like to present to the world our excellent performances. It’s also helpful for us to know what is trending now in this global market. This information will be very useful to us when we plan our next tour.”

Ms. Haley Yang works as part of the “C-Musicals” (Shanghai, China) Marketing and Public Relations function. She pointed out: “The C-Musicals organization presents original musicals in Mandarin, a departure from classical Chinese music presentations, such as those from the China National Peking Opera Company.” They exhibited at APAP for the first time in 2020. They decided to exhibit in order to show the United States what they’re capable of.

The Junta de Andalucia from Sevilla, Spain, also a first time exhibitor at APAP in 2020, perceived there is a market for the various flamenco dance companies in their roster, including the Anabel Veloso Flamenco Company, the Sonia Olla & Ismael Fernandez Duo, the Flamencos Por El Mundo, the Fundacion Cristina Heeren de Arte Flamenco, and the Marcat Dance Company. Their message is “Discover the Dance and Music from Spain.” They also exhibited at APAP to present their wares, so to speak, to prospective presenters and to get to know the market.

The Japan Foundation takes a broad approach. In addition to a headquarters office in Tokyo, and affiliated offices in Urawa, Kansai, and Kyoto, it has offices in two dozen countries in The Americas (New APAP 2020 Photo Christy KissickYork, Los Angeles, Toronto, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo), Asia and Oceania, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Founded in 1972, its mission is “. . . to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries.” With respect to APAP, Koji Nozaki, Program Director of the Arts and Cultural Exchange in its New York office: “We’re here at APAP to talk about various aspects. But we’re also here to network.”

Barbara Nowak, International Relations Manager for the Polish “Slask” Song and Dance Ensemble, echoed the double sentiment of most if not all the international exhibitors: “We’re here to present our performances, and, you have to show up to be credible.” The company was established 66 years ago to promote Polish Culture worldwide. The company has not only performed in Poland, but also in the whole world to show Polish culture.

Nowak added: “In our minds APAP is one of the most important places where people in the performing arts industry meet. It’s a serious conference where you can meet serious people and have serious discussions. And this is why we appreciate coming here all the way from Poland spending a lot of money. This is our 10th year coming to APAP. Over the years the benefit to us is establishing contacts. It is not possible to do business or become one of the real members accepted by the community by exhibiting here for one year. This conference gives us an opportunity to show the group our company’s abilities. We’re also looking for reliable partners. We have to be here to verify our credibility.”

While the international exhibitors consistently voiced the need “to be at APAP to be credible” theme, Olga Romanova of Peganov Entertainment, a German theatrical company, expressed the need to expand: “The producer and founder of our company, Alexey Peganov, decided to go outside of Germany and go international and tour in the United States also. He decided to start with APAP and the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) which is also a conference for theatre professionals to move things forward. ISPA [it meets right after APAP in New York City], however, has no exhibit possibilities, just a lot of meetings, so APAP was the only choice. Here we’re trying to find agents. We want to expand more. Our shows are mainly for children.” The company was founded 12 APAP 2020 Photo Christy Kissickyears ago. They have seven productions including “Alice in Wonderland” and “Treasure Island.” 2020 is the second year Peganov Entertainment has exhibited at APAP.

Oisin Mac Diarmada of Ceol Productions out of Coolaney, County Sligo, Ireland, has been coming to APAP for 10 years. He offered a slightly difference perspective: “We’ve been coming here for some time and the central reason is you have to be here to do business. You can’t do it long distance. But I can also tell you that things have improved over time. Just looking at the graphics at each exhibit, they have improved. Visually the booths are more interesting and professional. Also, because of technology you don’t have to bring so many materials anymore. It’s all electronic, digital. But the overall purpose is still simply meeting people, nurturing relationships, doing business. And you have to be here to do that.”

© Eugene Marlow 2020

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Veterans Day in Music

veterans-day-poster-2019-The Marlowsphere Blog (#145)

Monday, November 11, 2019 is Veterans Day. While Veterans Day is usually associated with those who have fallen in battle and those who have served their country, of men and women in uniform, weapons of land, sea, and air, and “the art of war,” the United States military is more than that. The various branches of the military—Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard—also guard America’s walls through music.
This 2019 Veterans Day blog is dedicated to the men and women who not only serve in uniform, but also serve, not with a weapon in their hands, but with musical instruments. I have chosen this perspective this year because I am also a musician and a military veteran. I served as an Air Force historian for most of my four-year hitch during the Vietnam War era. I also got a lot more involved with music while serving my adopted country. (See Marlowsphere Blogs: Under the Influence of. . . Frank and Butch and Sonny and Rudy: Part I  and  Under the Influence of. . . Frank and Butch and Sonny and Rudy: Part II”.)

Each branch of the United States military has several bands—traditional military, ceremonial, classical, jazz, and in one instance, rock. Each musician is required to go through basic training and, if called upon, to carry a weapon. Even though it could be perceived that performing in a military band would not require as much training or discipline as in a civilian band, quite the opposite is true. Military musicians are held to a high standard. You just need to go listen to the many albums and performances these bands collectively have recorded and you realize very quickly the high quality of the performance.

What follows, then, are descriptions of the military bands by branch. Most of the material has been drawn directly from each military branch’s “band” website:

The Marine Bands

Established by an Act of Congress in 1798, the Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Its mission is unique—to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Because of the demands of this unique mission, “The President’s Own” is known to have included strings when performing for major White House events as far back as 1878 and during the directorship of John Philip Sousa, composer of “Stars and Stripes Forever.” An orchestra taken from within the Marine Band also gave regular concerts at the Marine Barracks music hall in Washington, D.C., as early as 1893.

On April 14, 2019, the Marine Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Assistant Director Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin, performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s Suite No. 4 in D, BWV 1069; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat, K. 417; and Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 103, Drum Roll. The concert took place at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Master Sgt. Kristin duBois/released)

The U.S. Marine Symphony Orchestra officially emerged as a concert ensemble under the leadership of William H. Santelmann, Marine Band Director from 1898-1927, composed of band musicians who doubled on a string instrument. The doubling requirement ended in 1955, and a chamber orchestra staffed by full-time string players was formed. That model has continued to the present and the musicians of today’s Marine Chamber Orchestra musicians hail from some of the nation’s most prestigious universities and conservatories. More than 60 percent hold advanced degrees in music. Musicians are selected at auditions much like those of major symphony orchestras, and they enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps for permanent duty with the Marine Band.

(Above photo: The Marine Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Assistant Director Capt. Ryan J. Nowlin. Photo by: Master Sgt. Kristin duBois/released)

Marine Chamber Orchestra musicians appear at the White House an average of 200 times each year, performing for State Dinners, ceremonies, receptions and other events of national significance. These performances range from small ensembles such as a solo pianist or string quartet to events that feature the full chamber orchestra, making versatility an important requirement for members.

In addition to its regular appearances at the White House, the Marine Chamber Orchestra performs concerts during both an annual showcase series and summer series. Performing a wide variety of music from the staples of the orchestral repertoire to modern works, Broadway and light classical selections, these concerts give patrons a virtual glimpse inside the Executive Mansion. The musicians of the Marine Chamber Orchestra are frequently highlighted in solo performances and also participate in chamber ensemble recitals and educational outreach programs that feature a variety of smaller instrumental groups.

The Marine Band performs a varied repertoire including new works for wind ensemble, traditional concert band literature, challenging orchestral transcriptions, and the patriotic marches that made it famous. The band frequently features its members in solo performances that highlight their virtuosity and artistry.

The Marine Band performs at the White House, at the Presidential Inauguration, State Funerals, full honors funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, and the Marine Barracks Washington, Friday Evening Parades. A 42-piece Marine Band is used for all Pentagon and formal military arrivals and patriotic openers for large events. Patriotic openers consist of 15 minutes of patriotic music, the presentation and retirement of the colors, and performances of the National Anthem and The Marines Hymn. Patriotic openers are performed throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area at a variety of events for military organizations, federal agencies, and associations.


The United States Army Bands

United States Army bands provide music throughout the entire spectrum of operations to instill in American forces the will to fight and win, foster the support of our citizens, and promote America’s interests at home and abroad. The Army has 21 Regional Bands stationed around the country and the world. The mission of each band varies, but they often tour regionally and nationally to perform for the public during parades, concerts and other events.

399th Army Band Ft. Leonard Wood, MissouriThe United States Army has bands in various categories: Active Bands, Army Reserve Bands, and National Guard Bands. It even has its own music school, the United States Army School of Music located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where musicians are put through a 10-week training course.

There are 15 Active Army Bands: 1st Armored Division Band (Fort Bliss, Texas), 1st Cavalry Division Band (For Hood, Texas), 1st Infantry Division Band (Fort Riley, Kansas), 3rd Infantry Division Band (Fort Stewart, Georgia), 4th Infantry Division Band (Fort Carson, Colorado), 9th Army Band (Anchorage, Alaska), 10th Mountain Division Band (Fort Drum, New York), 25th Infantry Division Band (Wahiawa, Hawaii), 56th Army Band (Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington), 77th Army Band (Fort Sill, Oklahoma), 82nd Airborne Division Band (Fort Bragg, North Carolina), 101st Airborne Division Band (Fort Campbell, Kentucky), 282nd Army Band (Fort Jackson, South Carolina), 282nd Army Band, Detachment I (Fort Gordon, Georgia), and the 323nd Army Band “Fort Sam’s Own” (Fort Sam Houston, Texas).


The United States Navy Band

Its mission is to provide musical support to the President of the United States, the Department of the Navy (DON), and other senior military and government officials. Through ceremonies, national and regional tours, public concerts, and recordings, the U.S. Navy Band inspires patriotism, elevates esprit de corps, enhances Navy awareness and public relations, supports recruiting and retention efforts, preserves the Nation’s musical heritage, and projects a positive image at home and abroad.

U.S. Navy BandThe United States Navy Band is the premier musical organization of the U.S. Navy. Comprised of six primary performing groups as well as a host of smaller ensembles, “The World’s Finest” is capable of playing any style of music in any setting.

Since its inception in 1925, the Navy Band has been entertaining audiences and supporting the Navy with some of the best musicians in the country. From national concert tours to presidential inaugurals to memorial services at Arlington National Cemetery, the Navy Band proudly represents the men and women of the largest, most versatile, most capable naval force on the planet today: America’s Navy.

One hundred seventy enlisted musicians, recruited from the finest music schools and professional musical organizations, perform over 270 public concerts and 1,300 ceremonies each year. In addition to their demanding performance and rehearsal schedules, band members are responsible for the daily administration of the organization, including operations, public affairs, a large music library, information systems and supply. As the Navy’s musical ambassadors, band members maintain the highest standards of appearance, military bearing and physical fitness.

The United States Navy Band, nationally and internationally, stands for musical and military excellence. Whether performing at Carnegie Hall, the White House or a rural civic auditorium; sharing the stage with Ernest Borgnine, Itzhak Perlman, Branford Marsalis or Vince Gill; or appearing on television programs like “Today,” “Meet the Press” and “Good Morning America” and in films like “Clear and Present Danger.”


United States Air Force Bands

Air Force Strings: The Air Force Strings is the official string ensemble of The United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The U.S. Air Force Band. The Air Force Strings consists of 20 active duty Airmen musicians performing a wide range of musical styles, from classical symphonic selections and Broadway show tunes to classic rock, bluegrass and patriotic compositions. The ensemble often entertains audiences at high-level military and government events in a formation known as the Strolling Strings. Providing a multi-dimensional experience, the instrumentalists surround the audience performing from memory without the aid of a conductor.

The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller’s Army Air Corps dance band, the current band consists of 18 active duty Airmen musicians including one vocalist.

The Ceremonial Brass is the official ceremonial ensemble of The United States Air Force. Featuring 38 active duty Airmen musicians, the Ceremonial Brass includes brass and percussion instrumentalists, a bagpiper and a drum major. The ensemble provides musical support for funerals at Arlington National Cemetery in various configurations to include 16-member ensembles for full-honor funerals and individual buglers to render taps. Additionally, the Ceremonial Brass supports state arrivals at the White House, full-honor arrivals for foreign dignitaries at the Pentagon, patriotic programs, and change of command, retirement and awards ceremonies.

The United States Air Force Concert Band is the premier symphonic wind ensemble of the United States Air Force. It is the largest of Air Force’s six musical ensembles. Air-Force-Band-Collegiate-SymposiumFeaturing 53 active duty Airmen musicians, the Concert Band performs throughout the United States via biannual tours, live radio, television and Internet broadcasts, as well as at local concerts across metropolitan Washington, D.C. Additionally, Concert Band members perform in smaller chamber ensembles at official military and civilian functions, education outreach events and local concert venues.

Max Impact is the premier rock band of the United States Air Force. This six-piece band performs classic and current rock and country hits, as well as patriotic favorites and original music. Through national tours, local performances and digital audio and video recordings, Max Impact showcases Air Force excellence to millions each year. Back at home, they support events for the White House, State Department, Department of Defense and numerous other high-level military and civilian functions, using music to advance international diplomacy with America’s allies and strategic partners.

The Singing Sergeants is the official chorus of the United States Air Force. Featuring 23 active duty Airmen musicians, the Singing Sergeants presents more than 200 performances annually performing a wide range of musical styles, from traditional Americana, opera, and choral standards to modern Broadway and jazz. The Singing Sergeants regularly perform with their instrumental combo and in smaller configurations, such as duets, Barbershop quartets and specialized musical ensembles, at military and civilian ceremonial and diplomatic functions, education outreach events and local concerts throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C.


The United States Coast Guard Band

The United States Coast Guard Band is a military band maintained by the United States Coast Guard. Established in 1925 and classified as a “premier ensemble”, the Coast Guard Band is stationed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and is responsible for providing musical support to the Coast Guard Academy’s corps of cadets, as well as other official Coast Guard events and ceremonies. During the summer months it undertakes national and international tours to promote the Coast Guard.

As of 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard Band is the Coast Guard’s only professional musical ensemble (a second branch band, the U.S. Coast Guard Pipe Band, is an auxiliary-staffed organization).

In 1989 the Coast Guard Band became the first U.S. military band to perform in the Soviet Union and, in 2016 the Coast Guard Band performed at the debut of “The Finest Hours” at Mann’s Chinese Theater, the first time the band had performed at the debut of major motion picture.

In late 2015 the Coast Guard began another study about the feasibility of relocating the band from its traditional station in New London, Connecticut to Washington, DC. The proposal to relocate the band has been opposed by United States Senator Richard Blumenthal.

Almost all personnel of the Coast Guard Band are assigned to the ceremonial and concert bands, the group’s primary performance units. The band, however, maintains several chamber music groups to provide specialized performance capabilities to which some personnel are co-assigned. This includes a woodwind quintet, a brass quintet, and a jazz band.

According to the Coast Guard, competition for its limited vacancies is fierce, and many new Coast Guardsmen enlisting as musicians are conservatory-trained with degrees from elite institutions including the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, and the New England Conservatory. A number of its members also perform with the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony, and the New Haven Symphony.

Operationally located at Leamy Hall at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (New London, Connecticut), the band has billets for 54 instrumentalists and command staff, and one vocalist.

Eugene Marlow, Ph.D. teaches courses in media and culture at Baruch College (City University of New York). He is a four-year United States Air Force veteran who served during the Vietnam War.  He co-founded the Annual Veterans Day Luncheon at Baruch College, CUNY in 1998. He is a composer/arranger of approximately 300 pieces of music, 32 albums and single tracks, and founder/leader of the Eugene Marlow Heritage Ensemble.

© Eugene Marlow 2019

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What Is Jewish Music?

CantorMarlowsphere Blog (#144)

What is Jewish music? At its essence, Jewish music, like music of any identified culture, reflects Jewish values and experiences.

For example, an obvious, partial answer to the question “What is Jewish music?” is music of the synagogue, the schul: cantorial music, liturgical music, and cantillation. Melodies such as “Halleluyah,” “Heine Ma Tov,” “V’Taher Lebeinu,” “Yis Ma Chu,” “L’Cha Dodi,” “Avinu Malkeinu,” and “Kol Nidre.”

Then there are melodies sung and played at various Jewish celebrations—Chanukah, Passover, and Purim—in the synagogue and in Jewish homes, such as “Moaz Tsur,” “Chanukah, O, Chanukah,” “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” “Sevivon,” “Mishenichnas Adar Marbim Be-Simecha,” “Layehudim Haitah Orah Ve-Simechah, Ve-Sasson, Ve-Yakar,” “Adon Olam,” “Mah Nishtanah Halaylah Haze,” and “Eliyahu Hanavi.”

And there are countless folk melodies, for example “Ata Hu Hashem,” “Lahadam,” and “Erev Shel Shoshanim.” This catalog of Jewish music must also include Israel’s national anthem “Hatikva” and the most covered Jewish melody of all “Hava Nagila.”

There is also Klezmer: a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim in ensembles known as kapelye, the Klezmer Musicgenre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. In the United States the genre evolved considerably as Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, who arrived between 1880 and 1924, came into contact with American jazz.

And there is nigunim: A nigun (singular of nigunim) (Hebrew: meaning “tune” or “melody”) is a form of Jewish religious song or tune sung by groups. It is vocal music, often with repetitive sounds such as “Bim-Bim-Bam”, “Lai-Lai-Lai”, “Yai-Yai-Yai” or “” Ai-Ai-Ai” instead of formal lyrics. Nigunim are especially central to worship in Hasidic Judaism.

In the 20th and 21st centuries the advent of Jewish music and music based on Jewish culture and themes extended beyond the synagogue and Jewish home, as in Broadway musicals, such as:

Fiddler on the RoofAmerike—The Golden Land (1982), Cabaret (1966), Falsettos (1992), Fiddler on the Roof (1964), I Can Get It For You Wholesale (1962), Milk and Honey (1961), Ragtime (1998), The Immigrant (2004), The People in the Picture (2011), The Zulu and the Zayda (1965), and War Paint (2017).

Films with Jewish “sounding” music and Jewish culture and themes are just as numerous, and include most famously “The Jazz Singer” (1927), “The 10 Commandments” (1956), “Ben Hur” (1959),  “Exodus” (1960), “Funny Girl” (1968), “Oliver” (1968), “Fiddler on the Roof” (1968), “Yentl” (1983), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “Eight Crazy Nights” (2002), “Munich” (2005), and “Defiance” (2008).

In the genre of jazz, the inventory of “jazz Jews” inspired British author and radio show host Mike Gerber to pen a 656-page volume titled Jazz Jews (published in 2009). Some of these Jews wrote a treasure trove of Yiddish music that found its way into the popular culture, such as Sholem Secunda’s “Bay mir bistu sheyn”

The list of Jewish composers and performers who contributed to the “Great American Songbook” is very long and includes such notables as Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, Neil Sedaka, Carole King, and Bob Dylan. Berlin, who wrote close to 2,000 Neil Sedakatunes, famously wrote the most popular Christmas song ever, “I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas.” And Neil Sedaka, who wrote, among many others songs, “Stairway to Heaven” and “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” is aptly named. In Hebrew Sedaka means “righteousness” or more popularly “charity.”

Clearly, while Jewish music has its origins in religious observance in the schul and in the Jewish home and is a significant cultural glue that bounds the Jewish community in the diaspora, Jewish music as a reflection of Jewish culture and themes has spread globally thanks to information, communications, and transportation technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries..

So, what then is Jewish music in contemporaneous terms? Is it strictly the music of the synagogue, Jewish melodies sung in the home, or Israeli folksongs, et al? In the context of globalism these definitions, while correct, are too constrained. Can we not define Jewish music as music based on Jewish sounds, culture, and themes?

A.Z. Idelsohn We must now also define Jewish music in the current cultural context, which is: no culture is pure; all cultures are a mixture. And it has been this way for thousands of years. Cultures are influenced by other cultures. No less than the father of Jewish musicology A.Z. Idelsohn in his seminal work Jewish Music in Its Historical Development (1929) in the very first sentence of Chapter I “The Song of the Synagogue,” states: “In surveying the development of music in ancient Israel it is essential to consider the music of Israel’s ancient neighbors.” In other words, no culture, let alone musical culture stands alone. Outside influences have an impact.

For the Jews in the diaspora and even now in Israel, outside musical cultures must be taken into account. And the cultural flow goes both ways. Earlier I referenced “Hava Nagila,” the most covered Jewish melody ever. Quite apart from Harry Belafonte’s rendition, Machito, one of the progenitors of Latin-jazz in New York City, also covered this same melody. On a 1951 recording he called the tune “Mambo Holiday.” My own Heritage Ensemble Quintet has taken two dozen Hebraic melodies and morphed them into arrangements using various jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, and classical genres.

All in all, Jewish music—while born in religious observance—has clearly evolved and incorporated the cultural diaspora into its musical catalog.

© Eugene Marlow 2019

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Marlow’s “Jazz in China” Book Nominated for “Best Jazz Book” by the Jazz Journalists Association

BREAKING NEWS! April 15, 2019: Dr. Eugene Marlow’s book Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression (University Press of Mississippi August 2018) has been nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association in the
“Best Jazz Book” category. Voting ends April 28.Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression by Eugene Marlow, Ph.D.

January 2019: The New York City Jazz Record names Dr. Marlow’s Jazz in China book one of the “five best books on jazz in 2018.”

November 2018: Reviewer Kevin Canfield writes: “Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression is a sweeping, informative work of history.” (New York City Jazz Record).

October 2018: Tom Cunniffe (Jazz History Online) calls the Jazz in China “a pioneering study.”

August 2018: University Press of Mississippi publishes Jazz in China: From Dance Hall Music to Individual Freedom of Expression.

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Record of the Year: West Side Story Reimagined

Album of the Year: "West Side Story Reimagined" Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band

Eugene Marlow’s bembé arrangement of
“Maria” kicks off the second CD
of the two-set album.


According to the JazzHeads label “Maria”
is one of the top 3 tracks streamed from this album.


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