Sam Glaser – The Jewish Music Man

David Suissa writes a beautiful column about a beautiful man who lives in a beautiful neighborhood:

If you want to upset a Jewish musician who makes Jewish music, just call him a Jewish musician who makes Jewish music. Like it or not, the term “Jewish music” is not flattering to Jewish musicians. It’s got connotations of old-time schmaltz, of Zionist choirs singing “Heveinu Shalom Aleichem,” of fringe music written for a very specific — and very small — audience.

Musicians have fragile egos — the last thing they want to hear is that their music is of no interest to 99 percent of the listening public.

Well, I’m happy to say that I hung out the other day with a Jewish musician who’ll tell you flat out that he makes Jewish music. That he writes specifically for a Jewish audience. That he doesn’t dream of being in the Billboard Top 40 or performing at the Grammys. And that he’s happiest when his work inspires that miniscule slice of the buying public called the Jews.

His name is Sam Glaser.

For the past couple of decades, Glaser has been Mr. Jewish Music. Each year, he performs in Reform, Conservative and Orthodox communities in about 50 different cities. When he’s not performing or leading Shabbatons, he’s in his recording studio, where he recently completed his 20th album. His music is known for its spiritual ballads and solid rock beats, but there’s nothing wild and crazy about Glaser — the man or the musician.

Nothing, that is, except for his attachment to his neighborhood. If Springsteen had New Jersey and Dylan had Greenwich Village, Glaser has Pico-Robertson.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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