In the News

Author, Musican Ben Sidran to Speak at Lunch for Libraries, June 11

A man of many talents, Ben Sidran is an internationally-known musician, award-winning show host, and acclaimed author with a PhD in philosophy and musicology. His thesis on African-American culture and music in the United States became his first book, Black Talk, published in 1971. Many years, dozens of albums, and a few books later, Sidran began writing There was a Fire: Jews, Music, and the American Dream.

Nearly 10 years in the making, this latest book focuses on the musical contributions of American Jews during the 20th century. Sidran was inspired by the fact that this small group, less than 2% of the population, seemed to provide 80% of the American songbook.

Sidran will discuss There was a Fire at the foundation’s Lunch for Libraries: Off-beat with Ben fundraiser in support of the Wisconsin Book Festival. 

“Having a book festival in Madison is essential because it gathers so many different perspectives in one space,” said Sidran, who spoke at last year’s event. “These individual voices contribute collectively to the Wisconsin idea that we value so much.”

Hear what else Ben has to say at Lunch for Libraries. A limited number of tickets are available at mplfoundation.org. 

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