Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shavua Tov, Rabbi...and All That Jazz!

No, it's not a shofar. It's a saxophone.

That's what newly installed Senior Rabbi Greg Wall was playing at the Sixth Street Community Synagogue after Shabbat ended on October 31.

Rabbi Wall, a well-known jazz musician and a leading figure on the avant-garde music scene, received his rabbinic ordination in 2006 from two Orthodox rabbis in Jerusalem. He traveled a long and winding road from observance to non-observance, with a few encounters with Chassidim in the world of music leading him back to observance, study, and ordination. As Senior Rabbi of the Modern Orthodox, OU-affiliated shul in Manhattan's East Village, Rabbi Wall has found a way to combine his two greatest passions, music and religious study.

As reported by the New York Times,
Rabbi Wall brought his manic energy to what amounted to the convergence of a decadeslong career of artistic projects on the downtown avant-garde scene. The concert included performances by Unity Orchestra, a seven-piece ensemble that played electronically influenced world music; Klezmerfest, an effusive Klezmer band featuring accordion, trumpet and clarinet; and an elegiac saxophone-guitar duet of “Sunrise, Sunset,” on which Rabbi Wall collaborated with Gary Lucas, who played with Captain Beefheart and also leads the psychedelic rock band Gods and Monsters. Rabbi Wall is also a leading figure on the avant-garde Jewish music scene. The week before, he was a featured soloist at Carnegie Hall with the famed Israeli cantor Dudu Fisher. He had also rehearsed original compositions with the choreographer Carolyn Dorfman and her 10-piece repertory company, and still managed to get to daily prayer services and prepare a sermon on Abraham’s journey to Israel. The morning after his installation, he and Mr. Fisher took a train to Boston for a Sunday night performance at Symphony Hall.
(Photo by Aidan Levy for The New York Times)

1 comment:

  1. you should hear his cds...
    the one on Ha'Orot..the lights of Rav Kook is awesome...