Kristyn Coral Botic
Arts Roundup

Jews Who Rock — And Role Model

Jewish Museum Milwaukee traces 60 years of Jews rocking us out.

By - May 12th, 2014 03:57 pm

Jews Who RockAmerica’s creation of the Broadway musical might not have been possible without the contribution of Jewish Americans. Among the many Jewish composers were Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Kurt Weill, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Schwartz and Jule Styn.

Their impact on rock music is not quite as profound. Still, as this list suggests, there have been plenty of Jewish rockers, including Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Lenny Kravitz, Carly Simon, Mark Knopfler and Paul Simon, not to mention more recent names like Drake, P!nk, and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend.

Which brings to the new show, “Jews Who Rock,” at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. Created by its curator Molly Dubin, the show goes back to the Jewish immigrants to America. “Arrangements and beats originating in Eastern Europe and Russia crossed the Atlantic to America where they found footing at Tin Pan Alley and fused with diverse sounds to create scores to delight theater and movie going audiences on both coasts,” the museum’s notes for this exhibition tell us. The exhibit shows the transition in Tin Pan Alley, starting with Broadway composers like Irving Berlin and moving to later rock composers like Carole King, all of whom worked to craft classic songs, and takes us up to today’s alt rock and hip hop stars. Through photographs, artifacts, memorabilia, and informative panels, the exhibit is a stroll through years of pop culture.

The show includes a chapter on Howie Epstein, the Milwaukee-born former bassist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers who died from a drug use complications in 2003. Epstein’s family donated some artifacts, including one of the bassist’s limited edition guitars.

April 27-August 10, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, at the Helfaer Community Service Building, 1360 N. Prospect Ave. Monday through Thursday from 10am to 4 pm, 10am to 2pm on Fridays, and 12pm to 4pm on Sundays. For the Jewish Museum members, admission is free. Non-members pricing: Adult $6, Senior $5, Students $3, Families $15 For tickets or more information on this exhibit, you can go to

Other Events This Week:


Belmont Tavern: Open Mic Night with Joe Wray Tuesday May 13th. Call 414-988-6161 for pricing and other details.

Mason Street Grill: Jamie Breiwick Group Tuesday May 13th. Doors open at 5:30pm. Tickets are available online or by calling 414-298-3131.

Nice Ash Cigar Bar in Waukesha: The Original Blues Jam with host Robert Allen Jr., Tuesday, May 13th. Doors open at 5:30pm. Tickets and other information is available online.

The Jazz Gallery center for the Arts: Jazz Jam @ Jazz Gallery, Tuesday May 13th. Doors open at 6:00pm. Ticketing information is available online.

Pitches Baby Grand: Drake at the Piano, Wednesday, May 14th at 7:30pm. For tickets and other information, call 414-443-2706.

Jazz Estate: Evan Christian, Wednesday, May 14th at 10:00pm – May 15th, at 1:15am. Tickets are $5 at the door, online, or by calling 414-964-9923.

Club Garbaldi: The Carpetbaggers with The Incorruptibles, Friday May 16th at 9:00pm. Cover is $6.

Wisconsin Conservatory of Music: 99-year-old classical pianist Frank Glazer performs, Sunday, May 18, information here.



 Marcus Center for the Performing Arts: Letters Home, May 16th – 18th at 2pm and 8pm. Tickets start at $35 and are available online.

Milwaukee Repertory Theatre: Noises Off, by Michael Frayn Friday May 16th. Times and ticket information is available online.

Rosa Parks Auditorium: Romeo & Juliet, performed by First Stage Young Company, May 16th-May 17th.



Milwaukee Ballet: Mirror Mirror, May 15th- May 18th at 7:30pm., Marcus Center for Performing Arts. Ticket information here.

UWM Mitchell Hall: Summation Dance, Friday May 16th and Saturday May 17th at 8:00pm. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students, and are available online.


Visual Art

Haggerty Museum of Art: Spring Exhibitions, Tuesday, May 13th. More information is available online.

UWM Golda Meir Library: Exhibit: Art from the Ashes, Tuesday May 13th.


Museums & Tours

Mitchell Park Domes: Dinos Under Glass, Wednesday, May 14th. More information is available online.



Pabst Theatre: Tracey Morgan, Thursday May 15th. Doors open at 7:00pm. Tickets are $31.75 and are available online or by calling 414-286-3663.

Jazz Estate: Courageous Endeavors, Thursday, May 15that 9:30pm. Information is available online.


Ongoing Events

Katie Gingrass Gallery: From Heaven and Earth: Ceramic Exhibition though June 2014.

The Fine Art Gallery : Creative Forces, through July 19th.


Closing This Week

 Sunset Playhouse: I Hate Hamlet through May 18th.

Theatre Gigante: New farce, Midsummer in Midwinter, through May 17th.

Haggerty Museum of Art: Brian Ulrich: Copia-Retail, Thrift and Dark Stores 2001-2011, through May 18.

Haggerty Museum of Art: Between Critique and Absorption: Contemporary Art and Consumer Culture, through May 18.

Haggerty Museum of Art: Aesthetic Afterlife: An Exhibition by the Chipstone Foundation, through May 18.

Harley-Davidson Museum: Living Lost: Photographs by Josh Kurplus, through May 18.

Inova: Lisa Selby: Must Come Down, through May 18.

Inova: Benjamin DeMott: Teeter Jam, through May 18.

Marian Gallery, Mount Mary University: Fine Art Senior Exhibition, through May 13.

UWM Union Art Gallery: 41st Annual Juried Show, through May 16.

Jazz Gallery: Raise Your Voice, through May 17.

0 thoughts on “Arts Roundup: Jews Who Rock — And Role Model”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Does Dial Urban Milwaukee replace Third Coast Daily? I saw Jews Who Rock on Milwaukee Mile Sunday, and was amazed at all the musicians who are Jewish (like Pink, and Twisted Sister)!

  2. Anonymous says:

    @Christina Yes. Urban Milwaukee Dial will build on TCDs great work and continue to cover the Arts & Entertainment in Milwaukee.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “not quite as profound”?

    Any list that includes Bob Dylan and Lou Reed means a pretty damned profound influence on rock’n’roll!

    (Also: please tell me the poster doesn’t really misspell “Steely Dan”…sad, if so…)

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