Arts & Culture Music

From Vaudeville to Rock: How Jewish Songwriters and Performers Shaped Popular Music

Experience a journey through Jewish musical history and trivia during the multimedia program, From Vaudeville to Rock: How Jewish Songwriters and Performers Shaped Popular Music.  The event will be presented on Sunday, January 6 at 2:00 pm in the Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre, JCC Benderson Family Building, 2640 N. Forest Rd. in Amherst.

This program conceived and created by JCC member, local photographer, and musician Marty Kerker, includes a slide presentation, complete with musical renditions by a live band, featuring Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee, Joe Rozler and Jamie Sunshine.

Did you know that Arlo Guthrie’s Bar Mitzvah teacher was the infamous Jewish Defense League Rabbi, Meir Kahane? Or that all the members of west coast-psychedelic band, Country Joe and the Fish were Jewish, including Country Joe, himself? During the event questions like these will be answered, and the inclusion of live music will help to engage the audience further. “People should be familiar with just about all of the songs and everyone will be encouraged to sing along — maybe even do a little dancing once we break into some good old fashioned rock and roll. I think the vibe in the room will be amazing and people will go home feeling very energized and happy, says Kerker.”

The event is in conjunction with “The Amazing Legacy of Jewish Singers, Songwriters & Musicians… 50 Original Album Covers” gallery exhibit that will be on display in the Bunis Family Art Gallery, Benderson Family Building from January 4 – February 26, 2019.The Exhibit will display 50 original vinyl album covers highlighting such Jewish musical luminaries as George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, Burt Bacharach, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and numerous others.

 Immediately following the event on Sunday, January 6 there will be a reception in the Lippman Lounge, 2nd Floor of the JCC Benderson Family Building and attendees will have the opportunity to tour the exhibit that inspired the event. Be sure not to miss this fun-filled walk down memory lane!

Tickets $18/General $10/Student

Tickets may be purchased at either JCC Member Services Desk or at

For more information please visit or contact Katie Wzontek, Cultural Arts Director at

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