Archives for posts with tag: presentations

Jerusalem of Gold
Presentation and Performance Outline
Adam Kuphaldt and William Li

Naomi Shemer was commissioned by Teddy Kollek, then mayor of Jerusalem, to write a songfor the 1967 Israel Song Contest in the noncompetitive portion. This event was sponsored by the national radio station, Kol Israel–the voice of Israel.
Gil Adema, producer of the event, searched through archives and found that there were less than a few dozen songs about Jerusalem, and so requested that she write about Jerusalem.
Naomi Shemer was hesitant at first, and after all, no one at that time would ever say Jerusalem was of gold; the city was divided by a buffer zone between Israelis and Jordanians filled with land mines and barbed fences, with soldiers guarding the border. She eventually agreed, realizing Jerusalem held a special place in her heart.
Shemer’s song was later found to have been plagiarized off a traditional Navarrese song called Pello Joxepe from the Basque country (in the western Pyrenees between France and Spain along the coast). The song was originally written by Juan Francisco Petriarena Xenpelar back in the nineteenth century, and the version Shemer copied was a cover by Paco Ibanez. Mr. Ibanez later said no harm was done.

Lyrics – Symbolism and Meaning
Though the song traditionally has a very Jewish-centric take, a deeper analysis reveals much more. In fact, the song links together Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
The song gained popularity because it pervaded every facet of Jewish life. Militarily the song was the rallying cry for the Israeli Defense Force when they prepared for war. In regards to spirituality, the song has many religious references and metaphors.

Jerusalem of Gold, today
We were able to find some interesting ways the song is still performed, demonstrating its popularity even nearly fifty years since it debuted:
The Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps based in La Crosse, Wisconsin has Yerushalayim Shel Zahav as their corps song, and they play it before every competition.
Jewish musician Sam Glaser realizes that “many of the standards, the absolute birthright of Jewish kids, are being forgotten. Those songs–they include… “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav”– were the great common denominator songs of [his] childhood.”
During President Shimon Peres’ birthday celebration, with a lot of important people from the international community, Mizrahi singer Eyal Golan was asked to perform Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.

About the performance
Adam and William are avid vocalists, drawing experience from 2-A.M.-in-the-morning-shower singing. That, of course, has not stopped them from taking stage at the Magnes. The arrangement is performed in the modified key of C minor. The lyrics are that of Ofra Haza’s original performance.


Jazz in Israel – Outline
Jimmy Yin

The main purpose of this presentation is to provide a broad overview of Israel’s burgeoning jazz scene, as well as the institutions that have contributed to their success.

My hope is that at my presentation gets people excited about Israeli jazz (or jazz in general)! The global nature of the genre makes it particularly relevant to the themes we discuss in this class, and Israeli artists make use of many of the musical motifs which we have encountered thus far.

The outline below covers the people and main topics that I’ll be covering in my presentation. Attached at the end are the recordings and resources that I referenced and used in the course of research for my paper.

I. Introduction

II. Beginnings

– Zvi Keren

– Arnie Lawrence

III. Today’s Scene

– Avishai Cohen, bassist

  • Recording: Madrid

– Gilad Atzmon

– Eli Degibri

  • Recording: Israeli Song

– Gadi Lehavi

  • Recording: Gadi Lehavi Quartet with Eli Degibri

IV. Festivals and Institutions

– Red Sea Jazz Festival

– Educational institutions

  • Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music

– Recording companies

– The role of the West

Links to recordings:

Avishai Cohen Band – Madrid (requires Spotify)

Eli Degibri – Israeli Song

Gadi Lehavi Quartet with Eli Degibri

References/further reading:

Davis, Francis. “Music: Chiri Biri Bim, Chiri Biri Bop – the Israel-New York Pipeline

Yields a Fresh Crop of Serious Jazz Talent.” The Village Voice May 2007: 119. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013 .

Goldsby, John. “GLOBAL PLAYER: AVISHAI COHEN.” Bass Player 07 2010: 26, 30, 32, 34. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013 .

Greenberg, H. (1996, Sep 13). Hitting high sea: At the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat, poolside jams start after midnight and the rhythms roll until dawn. Baltimore Jewish Times, 231, 60.

Keren-Sagee, Alona. “Joseph Schillinger – A Disciple’s Reminiscences of the Man and  His Theories: An Interview with Prof. Zvi Keren.” Tempo – A Quarterly Review of Modern Music 64 (2010): 17-26. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Keren-Sagee, Alona. “Zvi Keren: His Contribution to Israel’s Music Scene.” Min-ad: Israel Studies in Musicology Online 2 (2002)ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

Lehavi, Avner. “Gadi Lehavi: Jazz Pianist” Lehavi, Avner. 2013. Web. 12 Nov. 2013. <;.

Ratliff, Ben. “Watching Musicians Evolve Onstage.” New York Times. May 20 2013. ProQuest. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

A group of students of Music in Israel devoted their class project to mapping the relationship between popular music and military conflicts in Israel since 1948.

Here’s a summary of their team efforts:

As I announced in class last week, the conflict with another event that had been previously scheduled at The Magnes for tomorrow, Tuesday April 17, 2012, is providing us with the welcome opportunity to be the guests of our neighbors across the street, The Marsh Arts Center.

Class will meet there (2120 Allston Way), at the usual time. Please be punctual, so that we can all enjoy some of the student performances planned for this semester:

  • Hannah Glass will present her research on creating a new fusion genre based on the various musical cultures explored in class
  • Steven Yang (violin) and Michelle Lin (cello) will present their work on klezmer genres
  • Ran Zhang will present her work on cross-cultural performance practice, and play two Israeli songs on the gu zheng (the link only works with a UC Berkeley secure connection)

This all looks (and sounds) quite promising, and we are indeed very fortunate to be able to use a fully equipped art performance space this week.

See you tomorrow!

P.S. I will be posting specific listening assignments for this week’s lecture (Thursday) on bspace and the blog as usual. As you recall, there is no longer a need to submit written responses at this point. I graded all assignments last week. Instead, we will be discussing plans for the upcoming Final (refer to the syllabus for the date).

Here is a slideshow for today’s class presentation by two students in Music in Israel. I look forward to post more students’ work for this semester.
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