Radical Jewish Culture

The New York Music Scene Since 1990

Radical Jewish Culture. The New York Music Scene Since 1990

In the early 1990s, the New York underground music scene sprouted an avant garde movement of Jewish musicians dubbed "Radical Jewish Culture." Its development was a result, in no small part, of confronting the Nazis’ mass murder of European Jews, a history that the previous generations of survivors and immigrants had repressed.

Past exhibition

Old Building, level 1

Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Their music blended free jazz with Klezmer improvisation, experimental music, rock, blues, and punk. Musicians such as John Zorn, David Krakauer, Marc Ribot, Anthony Coleman, and Frank London passionately explored the possibilities for a new form of Jewish music, emancipating themselves from conformity and inconspicuousness. They played in clubs and at festivals and founded their own music labels.

The exhibition Radical Jewish Culture presented this music scene through audiovisual documents, numerous music samples, and largely unpublished material.

An exhibition by the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme, Paris at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Guided Tours through the Exhibition

During the exhibition, an hour-long guided tour was given every Sunday introducing the 1990s New York music scene around the musician John Zorn. Music samples and documents from the musicians’ private archives gave visitors insight into the music-making process as well as the musicians’ own ideas about what sets music by Jewish artists apart.

Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When

    8 April to 24 July 2011

  • Where

    Old Building, level 1
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin See Location on Map


Old Building, level 1

Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Exhibition journal


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