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November 16, 2006 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-11-16

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Arts & Entertainment

All-Ages Music

Entertainer Dan
Zanes performs for
adults and children

Suzanne Chessler
Special to the Jewish News

an Zanes is planning one show
for Detroit and another for Ann
Arbor, but his goal remains the
same for both — invite the audience to
join the singing and dancing.
Zanes, a family entertainer whose photo
is part of the exhibit "Annie Leibovitz:
American Music;' will supplement its
viewing at the Detroit Institute of Arts as
he and his band take the stage 6-9 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 17, for what is anticipated as a
generally adult crowd.
The troupe will focus on a younger gath-
ering, sponsored by the University Musical

Dan Zanes: Songs of inclusion.

Society, for two performances, 11 a.m.
and 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, at Rackham
Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Selections from
this year's Catch That Train! recording
will be included.
"I'm thinking of the evening perfor-
mance as social music leaning more
toward grownups, but if they bring the
kids along, that will be fine says Zanes,
45, who wants everyone to connect and
have fun with his shows and defines
"social" as hanging around and having a
good time with each other.
"We'll do a lot of old English songs that
I think are particularly well-fitted for
sing-alongs. We'll get a little naughty and
humorous along the lines of what we've
done on the CDs Sea Music and Parades
and Panoramas and what I learned at
summer camp when I was a kid in New
"The Ann Arbor concert will be drawing
from our five family CDs. There also will
be a lot of singing along, but we'll be end-
ing with a family dance party!'
Zanes, who has entertained in both cit-

ies, likes the company of diverse people as
he vocalizes and plays guitar. His record-
ings generally have one-third original
music with the rest traditional music
that's been updated to celebrate different
"The songs we pick are fun, and I have
an emotional connection to them all:'
Zanes says. "I don't think of any of it as
children's music because it's not at all par-
ticular to the experiences of children.
"I actually think of my music as all-ages
music, and this is what makes us different
from other people in the children's field. I
believe that grandparents and parents are
just as important in all this as the kids!'
Zanes started playing guitar when he
was 8 and got caught up with rock 'n' roll
in junior high school. Soon after starting
Oberlin College in Ohio, he teamed up
with Tom Lloyd, and they toured as Del
Rolling Stone named Del Fuegos the
best new band in 1984, and they made
several recordings with "Don't Run Wild"
as their hit single. In 1987, Zanes married

at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. The
entertainer, who describes his sport as
"big ball golf" invented by him and a
South Carolina rabbi, has competed at
Andover High School, which has the only
course in the state.
"We last performed for Temple Israel in
2000:' says Nichols, 37, who has worked
with other area congregations. "I regularly
help lead an informal Jewish educational
program called Madrichim for seventh-
and eighth-graders at Temple Shir Shalom.
"I have been coming to West Bloomfield
for 11 years, and I have been provided
with the opportunity to experiment with
new music and new educational pro-
grams. Temple Shir Shalom has become.a
holy laboratory for me!'

Nichols, based in North Carolina, stud-
ied voice in high school and soon decided
to pursue an entertainment career. He
fronted the alternative rock band the
Olskies for six years and earned a bache-
lor's degree in music at the University of
North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
"I started Eighteen in 1996 after a
friend and founder of the band, Mason
Cooper, suggested that the Jewish world
had no modern rock music with Jewish
values:' Nichols says. "I write music and
lyrics with Mason and with Rabbi Michael
Moskowitz of Shir Shalom!'
In the years that the band has been
together, members have released several
recordings — Life, Be Strong and Kol
HaShabbat ("The Voice of the Sabbath").

Modern Jewish Rock

Dan Nichols links
teens to their
religion, culture.

Suzanne Chessler
Special to the Jewish News


Dan Nichols, upper right, and his band
Eighteen perform modern Jewish rock at

Jewish summer camps, temples and commu-
nity centers throughout the country.

an Nichols has two ways of
playing in Michigan — per-
formances with his Jewish
rock band Eighteen and competition
with the sport Bbolf.
Nichols, who describes his band
as "high-energy fun:' will present a
free show 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 19,

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