An Oakland, Calif., native, Rosenthal, who performs under the stage moniker Becca Rose, found herself in Mississippi through a fellowship with the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, which she accepted in June 2015. She plans to move back to the West Coast when her fellowship ends this summer.
"I graduated from (Claremont McKenna) College with a degree in Middle East Studies, and I was burnt out on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict," Rosenthal says. "I heard about (the fellowship), and I said, 'That sounds like a fun adventure.'"
Due to regular travel with her ISJL fellowship, Rosenthal says she does not get to play as much as she would like, as her shifting work schedule and locations make it difficult to schedule shows.
"I'd love to be in a city full-time enough, meaning on weekends, where I could actually kind of dive into the scene and meet other musicians to play with," she says.
Still, she likes Jackson and enjoys local performances.
"Jackson has a really cool music scene," Rosenthal says. "The way I describe it to people who aren't here is it's kind of a 'big fish, small pond' kind of place. My hope is that people who want to get involved in the music scene here come to an open mic, start playing and meet the people. It's really easy to kind of get into it and meet some awesome folks."
Since coming to Jackson, Rosenthal has most often played for open-mic nights, Fondren After 5, and events at Lucky Town Brewing Company and Hops & Habanas in Fondren. She's also a regular at Fenian's Pub, playing gigs as well as open mics.
"When I play there, people know my songs," she says. "And to have people sing your diary back at you is insane."
One of the events that Rosenthal says that she enjoyed playing at the most was the Mississippi Pride Festival in 2016.
"The vibe of the crowd was really cool," she says of the festival. "It was the weekend after (the Pulse nightclub shooting), and so it was either going to be huge or tiny, and nobody really knew what the event was going to be. It was one of those really important moments where the show goes on, the world goes on, as sad as it is."
For Rosenthal, part of the joy of performing live is the live aspect itself. In performances, she often incorporates improvisation and spontaneity into her mix of original and cover material. She will ask the audience for random words or suggestions for song titles then freestyle a song based on the suggestions, trying to incorporate as many as she can.
"There's this freedom of everyone is looking at you, which means that nobody is," she says. "And if you mess up, literally your only option is to keep going. I just love that anything is possible in that moment live. And it happens once. It's right there for the people in the room, and sorry, everybody else."
For more information, find Becca Rose on Facebook or visit musicbybeccarose.com.