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Conductor of the Year

Gerard Schwarz, conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 2011 (he built the subscription base from 5,000 to 35,000) and of Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart festival between 1982 and 2001, was born in Weehawken, New Jersey on this date in 1947. Schwarz graduated from New York’s High School of Performing Arts and Juilliard School of Music […]

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June 5: Kenny G.

The much-maligned and fantastically successful “smooth jazz” saxophonist Kenny G (Gorelick) was born in Seattle on this date in 1956. He began his career as a sideman to soul singer Barry White and climbed his way through several collaborations to become one of the best-selling musicians of all time. On his At Last… The Duets […]

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Labor in the On-Demand Economy

by Seth Sandronsky IT’S ANOTHER TALE of rich companies and poor workers. Uber is a mobile app-based ride-hailing firm, valued at $51 billion. Lyft is its business competitor, valued at $2.5 billion. Investors from America to China have skin in this game. Meanwhile, Takele Gobena, 26, is an Ethiopian immigrant in Seattle, Washington who transports […]

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June 5: Faygele ben Miriam

Faygele ben Miriam (John F. Singer, pictured here in a photo by Geoff Manasse), who filed one of the first gay marriage lawsuits in the U.S. after being denied a marriage license in Seattle in 1971, died of cancer at 56 on this date in 2000. The New York born-and-raised Singer came out in the […]

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Tuesday’s Progressive Victories: The Tide is Turning

by Peter Dreier On Tuesday, Bill de Blasio won a landslide victory to become the mayor of New York City, voters in New Jersey and Seatac, Washington supported minimum wage hikes, and the Illinois legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage. These are among the progressive victories that swept across the country. Despite a few setbacks, […]

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October 15: The Women's Torah

The first complete Torah scroll scribed by women was dedicated on this date in 2010 at the Kadima Reconstructionist Community in Seattle. Notwithstanding Orthodox Jewish legal injunctions against women scribing (or touching) a Torah scroll, the Kadima community had launched the Women’s Torah Project in 2000 and facilitated the training of two women members as […]

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February 20: Jimi Hendrix in Shul

Jimi Hendrix, a 16-year-old high school student, played his first public gig with an unnamed band in the basement of Temple De Hirsch, a Reform synagogue in Seattle, Washington, on this date in 1959. Hendrix was actually auditioning for the band, and his wild playing and show-off style (dropping to his knees, sticking out his […]

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