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Adrienne Cooper

News Blog

New CD (in post-production), new arranger, new ensemble:

I am thrilled to be working with Michael Winograd in a new recording and concert project. Clarinet virtuoso, composer, arranger, bandleader, Michael is at the heart of the Yiddish youth conspiracy – a bunch of steeped-in-tradition and out-at-the-cutting-edge 20 and 30 somethings, taking their turn at forging a link in the chain of Yiddish culture. Michael wrote all new big band arrangements of some old Yiddish songs but mostly new work by me, Frank London, Fima Chorny, Josh Waletzky and others. This hugely joyful project bridges generations of Yiddish performers and styles – and will include a breathtaking sound collage by Marilyn Lerner – weaving my voice with the voices of my grandparents and my mother (recorded in 1947 on a home wax disc machine). You can listen to a preview here. Look for our CD release to be celebrated with a concert at the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, Labor Day weekend, 2010. 

Spoken Word:

The National Yiddish Book Center producing a new spoken word recording of The Best Jewish Children’s Stories in its Nimoy Library of Recorded Jewish Books series. I am honored to be featured reading in the company of  Leonard Nimoy, Ed Asner, Isaiah Sheffer, children’s author Erica Silverman,  and others.

Film:

Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner

The soundtrack of the award-winning film Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner, by Oscar-winning director Freida Lee Mock, features a song Tony heard me sing at a benefit for Kolot Chayeynu Synagogue in Brooklyn, where both he and I appeared.

Making Trouble!

The Jewish Women’s Archive has gone into the movie business and I contributed research and was interviewed for the terrific documentary – Making Trouble!  On Jewish women and comedy – from Molly Picon (that’s where my work focused) to Gilda Radner.  Check out the wonderful JWA site for this and their great women’s oral history project.

Where Neon Goes to Die

I am a talking head in Where Neon Goes to Die, the documentary film chronicling the Yiddish cultural legacy of Miami Beach, produced and directed by David Weintraub.

A Healthy Baby Girl

2010 is the 20th anniversary of Judith Helfand’s recovery from cancer and her subsequent groundbreaking, Peabody Award winning film, Healthy Baby Girl.  The film is an exploration of family, illness and drug company malfeasance, Judy enlisted her circle of friends and creative colleagues for the filmscore. I sing on the soundtrack that also features music of The Klezmatics and Alicia Svigals. Judy has gone on to make more films that matter and to teach and empower other filmmakers – especially women.

Tony had asked me to jot down the lyrics of my adaptation of a khasidic song – Volt ikh gehat koyekh (If I had strength, I would tear through the streets shouting, “Peace, peace, peace!”) in the notebook he carries with him everywhere.  A couple of years later, the filmmakers phoned, asking me to record it for the film. Tony recalled the song as “Peace in the Streets”, and now I call it that too.