(LONDON, U.K.) – Bob Dylan turns 80 years old on Monday, May 24, 2021, and to celebrate and pay tribute to the Nobel Prize-winning rock poet, Seth Rogovoy will produce and host a global, all-star, Jewish-oriented virtual tribute concert, featuring Socalled (Montreal), Niki Jacobs (Amsterdam), Daniel Kahn (Berlin/Hamburg), and Lail Arad (London).
In “Happy Birthday Bob,” streaming free on May 24 at 3pm (EDT) (8pm London time) by presenting organization JW3, Rogovoy will weave his scholarly commentary through performances of two songs each by these well-known Jewish music artists, who will appear in self-recorded videos in which they explore their own artistic connection to Dylan. The event promises to make you hear Bob Dylan with newfound appreciation for his profoundly Jewish soul.
Josh “Socalled” Dolgin is an unemployed musician who has been living in his parents’ house in Montreal since March 2020. Before what he calls the “end-times,” Josh was an active producer, rapper, pianist, composer, artist, magician, photographer and theater creator who toured the world and worked with many legends and luminaries in a spectacular range of styles. Dolgin admits to approaching Bob Dylan’s music for the first time in preparation for this project.
Niki Jacobs has been singing Yiddish since 1999. She is a well-known performer within the Jewish music scene in Europe and the USA. Inspired by her family history, she developed a deep love and passion for Yiddish culture. During the last two decades she has released eight albums, including “Don’t Think Twice” (2019), a tribute to American Jewish singer-songwriters.
Detroit-born troubadour, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and translator Daniel Kahn’s music mixes Yiddish, English, klezmer, and punk-folk. His groups include The Painted Bird, Brothers Nazaroff, Semer Ensemble, and The Unternationale. Formerly based in Berlin and now residing in Hamburg, Kahn is a co-founder of the Earthwork music collective and the Shtetl Berlin festival, works regularly as a theater artist, and was featured in Carnegie Hall’s 2019 program, “From Shtetl to Stage: A Celebration of Yiddish Music and Culture.”
Lail Arad is a London-born singer and writer. She has released two solo albums to critical acclaim (Someone New, 2011 and The Onion, 2016) and will soon be releasing a duo album with Canadian songwriter JF Robitaille. She is currently working on her debut novel, for which she is represented by Janklow & Nesbit UK.
Seth Rogovoy is the author of Bob Dylan: Prophet Mystic Poet, the only full-length analysis of Dylan’s life and career through a Jewish lens. Rogovoy is a contributing editor at the Forward and the artistic director of YIDSTOCK: The Festival of New Yiddish Music. He publishes a biweekly Substack column called Reflections and Illuminations.
JW3 describes its mission as “Helping to create a vibrant, diverse and proud community, inspired by and engaged in Jewish arts, culture and community.”