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The Lost World of African-American Cantors with Henry Sapoznik

Sunday, November 7, 2021 3 Kislev 5782

7:30 PM - 9:00 PMZoom

The history of Black-Jewish cultural interaction primarily focuses on how Jews adopted and adapted Black vernacular music. However, what has never before been explored were the African-Americans who performed Yiddish and cantorial music in and for the Jewish community, in theaters on record, radio and in concert between the World Wars. The talk will honor the memory of now forgotten Black cantors: Mendele der Shvartzer Khazn, Reb Dovid Kalistrita, Abraham Ben Benjamin Franklin, Thomas LaRue Jones and Goldye di Shvartze Khaznte the first and only Black woman cantor. The talk will feature dozens of graphics and translations of Yiddish newspaper previews, reviews, and the playing of the one known 1923 Yiddish and Hebrew recording of Thomas Jones LaRue.

Henry Sapoznik is an award-winning producer, musicologist and performer, and writer in the fields of traditional and popular Yiddish and American music and culture. He is a native Yiddish speaker and child of Holocaust survivors. Sapoznik founded and directed the internationally acclaimed KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program beginning in 1985. He is a five-time Grammy-nominated producer/performer. In 2002 Henry Sapoznik received the Peabody award for co-producing the NPR series “The Yiddish Radio Project.” Presently he is co-producing for Smithsonian-Folkways records an anthology of American folk music from California recorded in the 1960s and a blog series on African-American cantors of the 1920s and 1930s.

Cosponsored by the S.E.A. Change Coalition.

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Tue, September 28 2021 22 Tishrei 5782