JDub closure a loss to Jews

JDub closure a loss to Jews

For a few years there, it seemed like Jewish music had really found a home.
JDub Records, founded nine years ago, provided a refreshing blast of Jewish music — rock, rap, folk, funk and more — and gave more than 20 Jewish artists a global forum to push their music forward. So it was sad to hear that this week, JDub is shutting its doors.
The New York-based nonprofit record label and Jewish music and events promoter announced this week that the closing was “entirely financial” in a statement reported by JTA.
The statement continued: “The collapse of the music business in the decade that JDub has existed, combined with recessionary effects and aging out of the cohort of Jewish ‘start-ups,’ made securing the necessary operating support an insurmountable challenge.”
In other words, like so many other small businesses — especially music or arts related organizations — the sinking economy has finally taken its toll.
For those unfamiliar with the JDub name, you may be more familiar with the label’s artists. The Chronicle has covered JDub artists including DeLeon, Girls in Trouble, Balkan Beat Box and Clare Burson. The label is probably best known for launching the career of Chasidic reggae star Matisyahu, who shot to stardom in 2005 with his album “Live at Stubb’s,” which sold over 500,000 copies. (Note: Matisyahu plays Pittsburgh this Sunday, July 16, at Stage AE).
To date, JDub sold about 1.6 million records. Unlike many other small record labels that have shuttered their doors in recent years, JDub also spread out its influence, absorbing jewcy.com, a young, Jewish adult website, as well as consulting for almost three dozen (double-chai, no less) Jewish organizations.
So what does this teach us?
It tells us that the harsh economy doesn’t discriminate, and, sadly, no organization is immune. It’s with news like this that it becomes more important than ever to support Jewish organizations in Pittsburgh and around the country. Buy records; attend events and (sorry, we had to) read the Chronicle.
JDub was home to music that was both Jewish and cool, and we’re sad to see it go. Let’s hope we can help prevent news like this in the future.