From Sephardic songs to Zmiros* and all the Jazz in between: Lewis Franco in concert
November 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join the JCC for a music experience that combines Jewish music tradition with jazz.
According to Dan Bolles of SevenDaysVT, “Precious few hepcatamounts swing like Lewis Franco. The central Vermont guitarist, songwriter and bandleader has almost single-handedly kept the jump and jive alive in the Green Mountains, wailing away with swagger and unimpeachable cool for nearly two decades.”
But Franco says he’s finally noticing that most of the jazz tunes he’d been playing for years were not just written by Jews – Berlin, the Gershwin’s, Rodgers & Hart, Kern, Arlen, Harburg and so forth – but were informed by Jewish values and concerns.
“I so relate to these songwriters as nervous outsiders, observing American life while looking for a sense of belonging. And they weren’t looking casually. They had either been persecuted themselves or they felt the effects of centuries of European anti-Semitism. For them, the question of whether somewhere over the rainbow the American dream of a multicultural democracy really does come true, or if it’s only a paper moon, was high stakes.”
“Yes, my experience is different from theirs. By the time I came along, Jews in the US were far more secure. However, being born and raised in Atlanta, to Ashkenazi and Sephardi families during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960’s, I too felt like an outsider. And I felt similar anxieties and yearnings to the ones expressed in those amazing songs.”
Through music, storytelling, and humor, Franco explores these themes in his concerts. “If it’s not too grandiose, I consider this to be doing my part to fulfill the promise of America. And music has been my favorite form of Jewish observance ever since childhood, when we sang zmiros around my beloved Bubbe and Zeda’s Shabbat table every Friday night. So this is super meaningful and super fun for me. Maybe we should rebrand the Missing Cats as the Mitzvah Cats?”
For more information visit https://www.lewisfrancosongs.com/