Monday, July 10, 2017

Benny Friedman and Meir Kay chart "Evolution of Jewish Music"

Possibly inspired by the Pentatonix "Evolution of Music" video, Benny Friedman and YouTube producer Meir Kay have created their own tribute to the long history of Jewish popular music, extending from the 1920s to now. Besides for Kay and Friedman, the project also utilizes the talents of director Mendy Leonorvitz of On Time Studios, co-producer Sruly Meyer, composer Avrumi Berko, and Danny Flam's New York Brass, among others.

What's really impressive about the video is the range of songs implemented. Not only do they acknowledge historically important forefathers like Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt and the late R' Benzion Shenker, but they also don't shy away from the more unconventional hits one might expect them to overlook. (Even Black Hattitude gets a nod - yeah, give yourself some time to remember that one.) And while not all of the impressions are spot-on (Moshav Band, Blue Fringe, and Matisyahu are especially iffy), anyone who's had to sit through a HASC concert will certainly find joy in the good-natured takedowns of some of the event's more eccentric performers (renditions of Shwekey's "Rachem" and Miami Boys Choir's "Lo Yisa Goy" are particularly spot-on and satisfying).

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