Ode to a Golden Age
It was the time of speakeasies and prohibition. It was the era of the
flappers and the big Broadway follies. World War 1 was just over, and
America was irrepressible. And, it was also the time when the Jews of
Eastern Europe who came there made their indelible mark.
The late 1910s and 1920s were a time of incredible creativity and cultural awakening in the New World. Two men, each in their own musical and cultural quarter, stood head and shoulders above all else in their generation. They were Yossele Rosenblatt, King of the Cantors, and George Gershwin, the young King of Broadway.
Rosenblatt & Gershwin: The Charedi Cantor and the Secular Songwriter
These two vastly different men conquered a continent. George Gershwin and Yossele Rosenblatt were the giants of the Jewish musical world of the 1920s and 30s. One, the son of recent immigrants, became the toast of the town, the King of Broadway. The other, an immigrant himself, was feted by presidents and opera greats for bringing his Jewishness to America's greatest stages. He was the King of the Cantors.
It is hard to believe just how big Yossele Rosenblatt was, even, and maybe especially, among non-Jewish audiences. When was the last time a non-Jewish culture critic came to write a rave review of a Yom Kippur service, taking place in one of the most historic venues in Chicago? When Yossele was singing, that's when. Yossele's art was legendary, as was his piety. In the concert, we will hear about how he refused an offer-he-couldn't-refuse, how his generosity was his undoing, and how he helped make motion picture history.
Gershwin became the King of Broadway at an incredibly young age. His rise to prominence was meteoric, as his talent was so far beyond anything the New York scene had seen. He achieved the incredible feat of bridging the worlds of popular and classical music. His fans included Ravel, Stravinsky, Shonberg and Rachmaninoff. He wrote some of the most haunting, fun and inspired music of all time. And he left us far too soon.
Yisrael Lutnick tells their riveting stories with humor and reverence, while singing an eclectic mix of Yossele's chazzanut, George's songs, and a touch of opera.
Bringing Musical History to Life
Yisrael Lutnick, cantor and musical theater performer, has created a new type of performance, the Storytelling Historical Concert. He initiated the concept with his acclaimed "Frankly, Sinatra..", and now brings it to full fruition with the extraordinary stories and music of Yossele Rosenblatt and George Gershwin. Yisrael has performed in New York's theater district, in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, the Catskills and across Israel. He has been featured on Channel 10's "The Professionals", Channel 33's "Sheva Arbaim", and Channel 2's "Yetzira Mekomit".