On the night of April 28, 2019, Rockdale Temple’s chapel became a stage for Jewish-American musical excellence.
The gentle trill of cymbals and seemingly effortless chord progressions began a rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s iconic song, “The Sound of Music.” Vocalist Eugene Goss joined in, his voice stretching over the melody and bringing life to an already reverent homage. One need only close their eyes and bask in the beauty of the medley, a cascade of jazz standards and insightful lyricism.
Goss was joined by talented Cincinnati-based musicians: Steve Hoskins (saxophone), Pat Kelly (piano), Mike Sharf (bassist), Camille Saba Smith (vocals), George Simon (guitar) and Marc Wolfley (drums). Each offered solos and individual character that shined through to create an event showcasing the talents of Jewish-American songwriters and composers throughout history.
The concert featured pieces by Gershwin, Berlin, Berstein, and Rodgers and Hammerstein, all of whom were titans in world of Broadway and Jazz music. These artists not only intermingled the two worlds but redefined the genres and opened doors for various groups to enter a scene that usually shut them out. As melodies cascaded over the walls, attendees were reminded of the giants that cemented their place in history.
Rockdale’s Jazz Standards from the Jewish American Songbook was a tribute to Jewish composers, showcasing the talent of the Jewish community and its contributions to the arts.