SYRACUSE He’s called “The Prince of Kosher Gospel.” Syracusans will have three opportunities to hear “Prince” Joshua Nelson Friday through Sunday March 30-April 1, at Temple Concord, 319 Madison St., near Syracuse University. A native of New Jersey, Nelson transforms traditional Jewish tunes into powerful gospel music.
As Temple Concord’s Artist-in-Residence, Nelson will lead Friday Sabbath services at 7:30 p.m. March 30, following a 6 p.m. Carnegie Deli-style dinner. On Saturday, March 31, he’ll participate in a morning Sabbath service, lunch and a musical program. On Sunday, Temple Concord hosts a Gospel Brunch and concert.
Joshua Nelson is a black Jewish gospel singer in the tradition of Mahalia Jackson. He is also music director at a Baptist church in Newark, N.J. Born and raised Jewish, Nelson continued his Judaic studies in college and at a kibbutz program in Israel.
Now in his early-30s, Nelson has performed for presidents, Jewish congregations, major music festivals worldwide, and for Oprah Winfrey, who called him a “Next Big Thing.”
All are welcome to Nelson’s performances. There is a charge for the deli dinner and the Gospel Brunch; 475-9952; templeconcord.org.
‘Oh! Dat Low Bridge!’
Whether he’s picking a mandolin or twanging a jaw harp, David Ruch is one of the most entertaining folk musicians in the Empire State. The Buffalo-based troubadour plays a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd. East in downtown Syracuse. 471-0593; ErieCanalMuseum.org. [Editor’s note: the date for this event was incorrectly published as March 24 in last week’s edition of The Eagle.]
Equal parts historian, entertainer, educator, comedian and folklorist, Ruch finds his song material in dusty archives, obscure songbooks, diaries, old recordings. He occasionally sings a cappella but often accompanies his vocals on banjo, guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, bones, spoons and washboard.