“An incredible night of all styles of music. It began at the Spanish Portuguesse Synogogue. The Hebrew Mamita blasted away with words that flirted with sephardic experience and spoken word meters. The crowd was on the older side, so it was interesting to see them get into a new art form (spoken word) influenced so much by hip hop. I imagine them reading their poetry by candle light with a hot drink. As The Hebrew Mamita left the stage, Alana Shultz who currates the evening every year along with dj handler, took the stage to introduce the famed Gerard Edary. Gerard and his two back up musicians took the stage and it felt like a soundtrack trip through the diaspora. Well, a diaspora without the ashkenaz. Gerard sounds exactly liek Steve Martin, so it took a little bit of time for me to get over that and really take it all seriously, but once I did, i learned a lot. He really got the audience into all the different styles of music that spanned centuries. I think the highlight was when he had the audinece singing in Ladino.”
“Esther, What is a Balagan Boogaloo?”
“Someone asked me that yesterday. And balagan, I had no problem explaining. But a Boogaloo? Best I could come up with was, “It’s like boogieing, sort of. It’s the same root. You know ‘Breakin”? That movie about breakdancing? Well, there was a sequel called ‘Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo’…” but that didn’t seem to help.
But about a hundred people found out last night what a Boogaloo can be, as they attended a Hanukkah party/Sephardic Music Festival event/community synagogue celebration at the with the partnership of PresenTense Magazine and the 14th Street Y.
All the partners united to create an original atmosphere with an eclectic sound, and the party’s guests matched the hosts’ enthusiasm and originality. Wine flowed, and drinks sponsor He’brew provided the beer, while heaps of donuts and latkes aplenty made sure that visitors kept their energy high (sugar and music can do that). Shemspeed was in charge of the music, with DJ-mixed tunes and a surprise live performance from Y-Love after midnight. One visitor called it “an awesome jam with a relaxed atmosphere and no-pressure, no-sleaze dancehall,” noting that only at Jerusalem’s famous “Boogie” is there an experience like this.
So you missed it. Don’t beat yourself up. Shemspeed’s got more Sephardic Music Festival if you’re down for it (see schedule here). Light another candle for Hanukkah and promise that next time, you’ll be with us. Because really, how many times in your life can you say you were at a Boogaloo?
Shabbat shalom and hag Hanukkah sameah!”
– Esther from PresenTense Magazine!
– Balagan Boogaloo Crowd