JEWISH MUSIC FESTIVALa fiscally-sponsored project of JCC East Bay


Jews & the Great American Songbook

7:00 pm-10:00 pm Sun, Mar 30, 2014

Ben Sidran

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Ben Sidran’s “Jews and the Great American Songbook”

Sunday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave, Berkeley
Tickets – $25 General / $22 Seniors, Students, JCCEB Members
29th JMF Festival Pass applies

There Was a FireA jazz pianist and singer, record producer, National Public Radio host and scholar, Ben Sidran presents a concert program based on his critically acclaimed book, There Was a Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream. The show demonstrates the many important ways that Jewish immigrants drove American popular music output and tastes.

Sidran has recorded more than 30 solo albums, including the Grammy-nominated “Concert for Garcia Lorca,” and produced recordings for such noted artists as Van Morrison, Diana Ross, Rickie Lee Jones, Mose Allison and Steve Miller (with whom he co-wrote the hit song “Space Cowboy”). He is the composer of the soundtrack for the acclaimed film “Hoop Dreams,” and scored the documentary “Vietnam: Long Time Coming.”

Sidran has authored two books on the subject of jazz, Black Talk, a cultural history of the music, and Talking Jazz, a series of conversations with inspirational musicians. He holds a PhD. in American Studies from Sussex University, Brighton, England, but has studiously avoided the academic life, preferring to spend his time performing, producing and writing. In addition to There Was a Fire, his latest works include the memoir A Life in the Music and the recordings “Dylan Different” and “Don’t Cry For No Hipster.”

Ben Sidran will also be giving a free performance/lecture on “Jews and the Great American Songbook”
Tuesday, April 1st, 6 p.m. at San Francisco Public Library.

Ben Sidran Official Website