What We’re Listening To: Yemen Blues

In case you weren’t at globalFEST in New York City last night to catch Yemen Blues, we’ve got the next best thing.

Started by Yemeni Jew Ravid Kahalani, Yemen Blues is jazz and funk and West African and bluesy. With only a few hundred Jews believed to be left in Yemen, this music keeps alive the beautiful melodies, not simply for preservation’s sake, but because it’s just a lot of fun.

He says, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, your language is my language.” Apparently our language makes me want to dance.

What We’re Listening To: Leonard Bernstein’s East Side Story

Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Harold Prince, Robert E. Griffith, Leonard Bernstein, and Jerome Robbins in 1957.

This week, Leonard Bernstein would’ve turned 93.

West Side Story, for which Bernstein composed the famous music, showcased the early collaboration of three nice Jewish boys – with Stephen Sondheim doing the lyrics, and Arthur Laurents writing the script.

See if you can imagine the show as originally conceived, as East Side Story: the conflicted love story between a Jewish girl from a family of Holocaust survivors and an Italian boy from a Catholic family on the Lower East Side.

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