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Jews, Muslims, and North African Music in the Twentieth Century

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA 94115 (map)

Free program with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets. 

For much of the twentieth century, Jewish musicians came to dominate the Arabic-language music scene in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Their repertoire was at once conservative and innovative, folkloric and popular, and sacred and scandalous. Much of that music remains embedded in North African popular imagination. Utilizing rare documents, photos, and recordings, Chris Silver will revisit North Africa’s Jewish superstars of yesteryear and explore their enduring impact.

Chris Silver is a Ph.D. candidate in the history department at UCLA. His dissertation explores the outsized role played by Jewish music-makers and music-purveyors in shaping North African culture in the twentieth century. He has contributed to or been featured on outlets as diverse as Afropop Worldwide, Vox Tablet, Dublab, and NPR. Silver writes the blog Jewish Maghrib Jukebox featuring rare 33 and 78 rpm recordings of North African Jewish music, and tweets at @JewishMorocco.

Program made possible, in part, by Jane and Michael Rice.
Program co-sponsored by
JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa. Program co-presented by Be’chol Lashon and Gramophoney Baloney radio show, and