Get your sweet eating, vodka swilling, Jew-cool musical groove on Saturday at http://www.nextat19th.org/. Everybody’s favorite (well, my favorite, anyways) stretch-your-yarmulke-bound-brain-into-the-21stcentury Jewish culture center hosts a music and history feast with performances by uber-trombonist Chad Bernstein (of Spam AllStars and Suenalo) and a celebration of the book In Their Own Image: New York Jews in Jazz Age Popular Culture.
Call it two expressions of a longtime Jewish talent for swing. Bernstein is a terrific talent, an anchor musician in the deeply funky grooves and free-ranging creative spirit of Spam and Suenalo. He’s also a major mensch, creator and teacher of a music and mentoring program at North Miami Middle School which has cost him immense time, effort and sacrifice. And he’s just received his Ph.D from the University of Miami School of Music. (This is the kind of guy who either makes you want to get out on the dancefloor or give up and go back to bed). On Saturday he performs with the Second Avenue Jewish Chorale, a community chorus put together by Next@19th. Author and professor Ted Merwin’s book looks at Jewish influence on one of the wildest eras of American culture and music, another chapter in the saga of genre-defining American Jewish composers, from Tin Pan Alley to Broadway to Bob Dylan.
There’s also guava rugelach (the emblem for Next@19th’s tropical unconventional take on Jewish culture) and L’Chaim vodka cocktails. Good times commence at 8 p.m. at Next@19th, 137 NE 19th St, Miami (between Wynwood & the Arsht). Tix are $12 ($10 for students, seniors and artists) at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/242019. More info at http://www.nextat19th.org/.