New coast-to-coast series brings trailblazing Jewish musicians to audiences everywhere

2 min read
New Moon Rising

On Wednesday, June 1, the first season of Secret Chord Concerts, a new series spotlighting top Jewish musicians worldwide today, will launch.

Secret Chord Concerts is a free on-demand video series featuring 15-25 minute performances from celebrated Jewish musicians representing a broad range of styles, heritages, and histories and recorded live in front of intimate audiences in Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Season 1 episodes will air the first Wednesday of every month from June until October.

A cross-country partnership between the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History (The Weitzman) on historic Independence Mall in Philadelphia, and the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music (Lowell Milken Center) in Los Angeles, generated this new online offering. Both presenting organizations are committed to inspiring in people of all backgrounds a greater appreciation for the diversity of the American Jewish experience. This season’s episodes were filmed at The Weitzman, against the striking backdrop of Independence Hall, and in UCLA’s beautiful recording studio.

The first Secret Chord Concert will air on June 1 at 12:00 p.m. PT / 3:00 p.m. ET on the Facebook pages of The Weitzman, the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The series will be available on-demand after the event on the above Facebook pages, The Weitzman’s website, and on the Lowell Milken Center’s YouTube page.

“I’ve had the idea of a Jewish ‘Tiny Desk’ style series in my head for years,” said Dan Samuels, The Weitzman’s Director of Public Programs. “When people think of ‘Jewish music’, they tend to think of klezmer, which itself is deeper, more nuanced, and less monolithic than many believe. With the expertise and support of the Lowell Milken Center, Secret Chord Concerts will spotlight the latest in Jewish music across genres, which truly reflects the diversity and complex cultural landscape not only of the Jewish community, but of America.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased to partner with The Weitzman once again in presenting this new endeavor,” said Lorry Black, Associate Director of the Lowell Milken Center. “Our shared vision of how music reflects all aspects of the American Jewish experience, from East Coast to West, guides this joint effort. We’re excited to expand audiences for these outstanding musical artists and introduce new people to their incredible music.”

Inaugural Season Line-Up
Episode 1
June 1
New Moon Rising, a trio of powerhouse female voices in Jewish music. Original spiritual music with lush, powerful harmonies interwoven with violin, mandolin and guitar. The audio from which will be released as a debut album this summer.
Program: The Other Side of Fear” by Elana Arian, “Dodi Li”, by Deborah Sacks Mintz, “What If” by Chava Mirel, “Sunrise Nigun”, by Deborah Sacks Mintz, and “Oseh Shalom” by Elana Arian.

Details of subsequent episodes will be included when they launch.

Episode 2
July 6
Mostly Kosher
Jewish cultural revival music

Episode 3
August 3
Neta Elkayam
Moroccan-Jewish fusion
Community partner: Jews in ALL Hues

Episode 4
September 7
Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell with the Baymele ensemble
Yiddish art and folk songs

Episode 5
October 6*
Andy Statman
NEA National Heritage Award-winning Klezmer and Bluegrass multi-instrumentalist
*Wednesday, October 5 is the Jewish High Holy Day of Yom Kippur; therefore, the episode will be released on Thursday, October 6.