After spending more than a decade as an opera singer, Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell made some changes in his life. In 2011 he converted to Judaism and, encouraged by his rabbi husband, started learning to sing in Yiddish. Russell has since become a fixture in the Yiddish music scene, as this Jewish Telegraphic Agency article details.
Performing for congregations and cultural festivals, Russell has traveled the world. He’s also been making new music blending Yiddish with pop, cabaret and African-American spirituals. Last year he was crowned the winner of Der Yidisher Idol 2017, perhaps the world’s premier American Idol-inspired Yiddish singing contest.
Now Russell has a new album out called Convergence that he describes this way:
“The whole ethos of the project, at least for me was, if there was a historic African-American-Jewish music, if that was a real thing, what would it sound like?”
We think it sounds amazing but check it out for yourself:
Tablet’s afternoon newsletter edited by Jacob Siegel.