A Message from Curator Jeff Janeczko
Greetings, and thank you for visiting the new www.milkenarchive.org. As Curator, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our extensive collection of music and documentary materials chronicling more than 350 years of Jewish musical life in America.
This virtual museum represents a new phase for the Milken Archive, and I am excited to be a part of what promises to be one of the 21st century’s most important contributions to both Jewish and American culture.
To begin with the Milken Archive has recorded or acquired more than 700 pieces of music related to the American Jewish experience, half of which have until now been unavailable to the public. This includes original world-premier recordings, previously released licensed recordings, and historical source recordings. This music is an important—often little known—expression of American Jewish history and culture, and a virtual museum offers an ideal forum both for making it available worldwide, and for presenting it in historical and cultural context.
Next, the Archive has amassed an ever-deepening well of cultural resources, which includes more than 800 hours of oral histories, nearly 50,000 photographs, videos, scores, historical documents, and memorabilia, many of which will gradually become part of the virtual museum. Available to the public at large for the first time, these materials are important testaments to the role that music has played in shaping Jewish (and non-Jewish) life in America and help to fill out the rich and multifaceted story told by the music.
Finally, the virtual museum’s technological platform will allow us to easily expand and grow the Archive in new directions. While we will continue to mine the expansive body of musical and ethnographic material we’ve collected over the past 20 years, we will also be exploring ways to include the vast and diverse body of American Jewish music outside the Milken Archive’s collection.
While I am excited to be digging more deeply into this vast collection of music, I am equally fascinated by the dynamic, unexpected, and sometimes tragic, stories it tells:
These are but a few of the stories housed within the Milken Archive. I look forward to discovering more, and to sharing them with you.
Jeff Janeczko, Ph.D.
Jeff Janeczko holds a B.A. in music from the Metropolitan State College of Denver, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. His publications include “A Tale of Four Diasporas: Case Studies on the Relevance of ‘Diaspora’ in Contemporary American Jewish Music” in Perspectives on Jewish Music: Sacred and Secular, edited by Jonathan L. Friedmann (Lexington Books, 2009), and "Negotiating Boundaries: Musical Hybridity in Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture Series" in The Jewish Role in American Life: An Annual Review, vo. 8 (Casden Institute/Purdue University Press, 2011), edited by Josh Kun. In addition to serviing as Curator at the Milken Archive, Jeff is a Lecturer in the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA.