The holiday season is upon us and addition to Yo La Tengo's eight-night run of annual Hanukkah shows at Hoboken, NJ venue Maxwell's (12/8 - 12/15), there are a number of other Hanukkah celebrations, parties, and shows happening in the NYC area this December.
The eighth annual Sephardic Music Festival is going down in NYC from December 8 - 15 across multiple venues. Shows announced so far include Copal, Pharaoh's Daughter, Animal Machine, and Sway Machinery at Knitting Factory (12/8) (tickets); Sephardic Story Slam at Lolita Bar (12/9); the Sephardic Scholar Series at CUNY Grad Center (12/10) (365 5th Ave); Vanessa Paloma and Lev-Yulzari Duo and friends at The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (2 W 70 St); Zion 80, Mika Karny, and Hasidic New Wave with Yakar Rhythms at Le Poisson Rouge (12/12) (tickets); and more TBA.
The Schlep Sisters are also teaming up with Thirsty Girl Productions to present the sixth annual Menorah Horah! at Highline Ballroom on December 9. The Hannukah burlesque show will be hosted by Sherry Vine and tickets are on sale now.
92YTribeca is hosting a 'Beer + Latkes Hanukkah Celebration' on December 13. Tickets for that are on sale now.
On December 23 at BB King's, Ray Ellin is presenting "A Jewish Christmas Extraganza" with "standup comedy from four and a half Jews," Lenny Marcus (Letterman Show), Brian Scott McFadden (Letterman show, Craig Ferguson Show), Dan Naturman (Letterman Show, Conan O'Brien, Tonight Show), and Gregg Rogell (Louie, Comedy Central special, Tonight Show). Tickets for that one are on sale now.
In more Hanukkah news, The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation recently released 'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah: The Musical Battle Between Christmas and the Festival of Lights, a double disc compilation album with Hanukkah music on disc 1 and Christmas music recorded (or in some cases, written) by Jews. The album features tracks by Woody Guthrie, The Klezmatics, and more on the Hanukkah disc and Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Ramones, Sammy Davis Jr. and more on the Christmas side. That's the cover art above and the tracklist is below. You can order the album HERE.
In more related news, Matisyahu released a new song called "Happy Hanukkah," which you can stream below. As mentioned, he brings his "Festival of Light" tour to NYC on December 15 at Terminal 5. Tickets for that show are still available.
Matisyahu - "Happy Hanukkah"
'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah Tracklist:
Disc 1 - Happy Hanukkah
1. "Hanukah" (Gerald Marks), 2. "Hanukkah Dance" (Woody Guthrie), 3. "Yevonim" (Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt), 4. "Rock of Ages" (Cantor David Putterman, 5. "Klezzified" (Klezmer Conservatory Band), 6. "A Chanukah Quiz" (Gladys Gewirtz) 7. "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" (Ella Jenkins) 8. "Svivon Sov Sov Sov" (Temple B'Nai Abraham of Essex County Children's Choir) 9. "'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah" (Stanley Adams and Sid Wayne) 10. "Ocho Kandelikas" (Flory Jagoda) 11. "Grandma's Dreidel" (Mickey Katz) 12. "The Latke Song" (Debbie Friedman) 13. "Hanukah Tree" (The Klezmatics) 14. "Maccabee March" (Shirley Cohen) 15. "Mo'Oz Tsur" (Sol Zim) 16. "Dreidel" (Don McLean) 17. "Dreidel" (Jeremiah Lockwood, Ethan Miller and Luther Dickinson)
Disc 2 - Merry Christmas
1. "Holiday I.D." (Lou Reed) 2. "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)" (The Ramones) 3. "The Christmas Song" (Mel Torme) 4. "Little Drummer Boy" (Bob Dylan) 5. "Sweetest Dreams Be Thine" (Theodore Bikel) 6. "O Little Town of Bethlehem" (Richard Tucker) 7. "The Problem" (Ray and Barry E. Blitzer 8. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (Dinah Shore) 9. "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" 10. "El Dia de la Navidad" (Larry Harlow) 11. "O Come All Ye Faithful" (Danny Kaye) 12. "The Only Thing I Want For Christmas" (Eddie Cantor) 13. "It's Christmas All Over The World" (Sammy Davis Jr.) 14. I Got a Cold for Christmas (The Ames Brothers) 15. "Christmas Eve in My Hometown" (Eddie Fischer) 16. "Jingle Bells" (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass) 17. "White Christmas" (Mitch Miller)