Shalom Life | October 23, 2014

Swaying to Jewish Tradition

Front man Jeremiah Lockwood knows how to combine good music with his Jewish culture.

By: Christal Gardiola

Published: August 16th, 2010 in Culture » Music » Interviews

Swaying to Jewish Tradition

The Sway Machinery’s sound is a fusion of different genres: Afrobeat, blues, electric, folk and rock. The unique mix of music is a testament to the different backgrounds of its band members. The Sway Machinery consists of six members who hail from separate successful music acts. For example, drummer Brian Chase is a part of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs while bass saxophonist Colin Stetson is from Arcade Fire.

But the presence of Jewish cantorial music is one of the heaviest influences in the New York-based band’s sound. And that’s all thanks to front man Jeremiah Lockwood. Lockwood, who moonlights as a part of the Balkan Beat Box, is the only Jewish member in The Sway Machinery. The New York native’s musical talent is one that runs deep in his family. His father is composer Larry Lockwood, while his grandfather is legendary cantor Jacob Konigsberg.

This year, Lockwood and The Sway Machinery will be performing for the first time at one of the biggest gatherings of Jewish-Canadian music, the Ashkenaz Festival. “I've always been an admirer of what the Ashkenaz Festival is achieving as a major music festival bringing really quality acts together with Jewish culture as its organizing feature, but not trumping aesthetic concerns. I think it's one of the few Jewish festivals that can really claim that distinction,” Lockwood says. “It's a great honour to be playing at Ashkenaz.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Lockwood has taken the opportunity to incorporate his music into his Jewish culture. In 2007, The Sway Machinery premiered the song “Hidden Melodies Revealed” (also the title of their debut album), which was a single that celebrates Rosh HaShanah. The band has also performed and recorded songs in Hebrew.

Lockwood, who describes the band’s aesthetic as action-oriented, plans to continue staying true to his Jewish roots in exploring cantorial music tradition. In The Sway Machinery’s upcoming second album, The House of Friendly Ghosts, Vol. 1, Lockwood penned most of the songs. He promises it to be more “personal and self-probing,” featuring singles in English, Hebrew, Songai, Tamashek and Arabic.

The House of Friendly Ghosts, Vol. 1 is expected to be released in 2011. For more information, visit www.swaymachinery.com.

Anthony Rose: The Chef on Dupont Street Anthony Rose: The Chef on Dupont Street TrendingThe Love Jewce: Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce The Love Jewce: Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce TrendingEarly Brooke Burke Nude Photos Featured in Art Gallery Early Brooke Burke Nude Photos Featured in Art Gallery Trending
 

LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
LeBron James Would Like to Visit Israel

The Cleveland Cavaliers star told Israeli reporters that he looks forward to visiting the country.

Read More

Mac Miller Signs With Major Label

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Mac Miller Signs With Major Label

The indie rapper has signed on with Warner Music

Read More

Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero

October 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Canadian Sergeant Kevin Vickers Hailed as National Hero

The 58-year-old New Brunswick native credited with saving lives of Canadians on Parliament Hill after this morning's shooting; President Obama has since offered his condolences to the victim's family

Read More

Shia LaBeouf Explains Crazy Behavior Before Exhibiting More Crazy Behavior

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Shia LaBeouf Explains Crazy Behavior Before Exhibiting More Crazy Behavior

The 'Fury' actor was spotted in a Los Angeles gym ranting and mumbling to himself.

Read More

Maya Rudolph and Sarah Silverman Star in Animated Alpaca Film About Economic Inequality

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Maya Rudolph and Sarah Silverman Star in Animated Alpaca Film About Economic Inequality

Adam McKay has directed a series of short films entitled 'We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss'

Read More

Lizzy Caplan to Join 'Now You See Me' Sequel

October 22, 2014 | By Ashley Ramnarain
Lizzy Caplan to Join 'Now You See Me' Sequel

The 'Masters of Sex' star will replace Isla Fisher.

Read More

Orthodox Jews Delay Flight, Again, For Refusing to Sit Next to Opposite Sex

October 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Orthodox Jews Delay Flight, Again, For Refusing to Sit Next to Opposite Sex

The passengers on the Delta Airlines flight eventually deplaned

Read More

Ferguson Protesters Shut Down CNN Because It's "Zionist" And "Supports Israel" [VIDEO]

October 22, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Ferguson Protesters Shut Down CNN Because It's "Zionist" And "Supports Israel" [VIDEO]

As tensions escalate once again in Ferguson, protesters shunned CNN reporters because they're "run by AIPAC"

Read More

More Headlines