Navigate to Arts & Letters section

Sway to the Music

Bluesman Jeremiah Lockwood finds his voice in his grandfather’s liturgical repertoire

by
Sara Ivry
September 26, 2006

Jeremiah Lockwood earned his musical chops playing the New York subway circuit with blues musician Carolina Slim. He was thirteen when they first collaborated.

But Lockwood’s music training stretches much further back. As a child, he regularly listened to the musical recordings of his grandfather, Jacob Konigsberg, a renowned cantor from Cleveland. Later, his grandfather began teaching Lockwood his interpretations of traditional prayers. Now, Lockwood is featuring that music in his fusion jazz-rock-klezmer band, The Sway Machinery.

He talks with us about his grandfather’s pedagogical method, the Sway’s innovations, and the connections between chazzanut and the blues.

Your browser does not support the audio element.

Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast. Follow her on Twitter @saraivry.

Sara Ivry is the host of Vox Tablet, Tablet Magazine’s weekly podcast. Follow her on Twitter@saraivry.

Become a Member of Tablet

Get access to exclusive conversations, our custom app, and special perks from our favorite Jewish artists, creators, and businesses. You’ll not only join our community of editors, writers, and friends—you’ll be helping us rebuild this broken world.