Tanlines Drummer Jesse Cohen Moonlights as a Jewish History Expert

Lots of famous musicians get their starts doing something else – bartending, working in a record store, teaching kids to play guitar, whatever. But Jesse Cohen, percussionist for the band Tanlines, has a more unusual day job. He works at Yivo, the Institute for Jewish Research, which was originally founded in Vilna, Lithuania, and is now housed in New York City.

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Cohen told Spin that the job made perfect sense for him. “In college I studied Eastern European History and Jewish history. hen I finished college, I got a job working at this library as a researcher, and from there I became a photo archivist. Basically, if you’re looking for [photographs] from Poland in the 1920s or Jewish immigrants in New York or the Yiddish Theater — anything that touches on that world — we are the main place and I am the expert.”

Right now, Cohen is working on a project for the Russian Jewish History Museum in Moscow.


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