Gospel is a word that usually brings to mind Christian New Testament writings or associated music. On Sunday, March 14, Joshua Nelson, the “Prince of Kosher Gospel,” brings his vocal stylings—Jewish lyrics set to the music of African slaves—to the 8th Annual Adolf & Sara van der Walde-Rosenbloum Music Festival.
Nelson’s performance, titled “Good for the Soul,” will be held at Congregation Adath Jeshurun, 2401 Woodbourne Ave. in the Highlands. The festival marks the 50th anniversary of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.
New Jersey cantor Nelson prides himself on his Jewish-African American heritage and has been known to refer to himself as “the KKK’s greatest nightmare” and his music as “Hebrew soul.”
Discovered by Oprah Winfrey, Nelson’s voice has been compared to Mahalia Jackson’s. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Jamie Fox, Cab Calloway and neo-klezmer group the Klezmatics. He has also sung for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
The West Louisville Boys and Girls Choir will also perform.
The Commission on Human Rights, established in 1960 and expanded with the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act, enforces the policies set forth in the U.S. Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Fair Housing Act, the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal civil rights laws.
Tickets for the 7:00 p.m. show are $12.50 in advance, or $15 at the door. Students and seniors may attend for $10. To order, call the AJ office at 4585359 or visit http://ajmusicfestival.eventbrite.com.
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Photo: Courtesy joshuanelson.com