Bay area folks may enjoy this article about Jeanette Lewicki and tonight's performance, "Comedienne in a Hasid's Pants: Pepi Litman."
Local singer brings to life cross-dressing Yiddish vaudevillian, Hannah Rubin, Jan 12, 2017, J Weekly
epi Litman may have been born in the 1800s, but from reading the details of her life, you wouldn't know it. A cross-dressing performer with undeniable Yiddish swagger, Litman toured Eastern Europe with her vaudeville theater troupe, singing songs about politics, archaic religious traditions and the death of bureaucracy.… [more]
This was posted last month, but it's a great story involving Michael Aylward and Joel Rubin. Enjoy!
Recently, after almost a decade of sleuthing, a rogue British hobbyist and one of the greatest living klezmer musicians uncovered a lost trove of vinyl records from the earliest days of the Jewish music industry. This week, we follow in their footsteps and revise musical history. We talk to the discoverers of klezmer's "lost vault", Michael Aylward and Joel Rubin, and we take a look at how the American working class fell out of love with opera. Plus, we indulge in some happy memories of holiday music.
I try to find ways to explain what little I understand about Mark Rubin's music, but most tend to distract. He's been the linchpin of several Klezmer ensembles—that's how I first encountered him. But, he's also been the linchpin of a host of Americana bands, from Texas polka to bluegrass. He plays honest music astonishingly well, and he takes no bullshit from fellow musicians, so the whole damn thing tends to sound astonishingly well. An Ashkenaz performance where he played bass with Andy Statman (the always excellent Larry Eagle was on drums) remains one of my peak Andy Statman performances (and for that matter, a peak Ashkenaz concert). His first solo recording, "Southern Discomfort" featured his uncomfortable take on Leo Frank and other misfortunes, as well as some very fine picking. His appearance at the most recent Ashkenaz was wonderful, although I got a sense that people were looking for something a bit more … safe. By "safe," of course, I don't mean that this is avant garde music, but that it comes with the sort of chip on your shoulder you get when you are used to being the only Jew in a crowd of mostly non-Jewish folks full of their own tribal identities. I'd compare him to Kinky Friedman, but other than being Jewish and being associated with Texas, I'm not sure there is much else in common—although it is easy to compare "The Murder of Leo Frank" with "Ride 'em Jewboy" and "They don't make Jews like Jesus anymore."
Too many words. There is a new Mark Rubin recording coming. You can help make it happen:
This came from a post by a friend on The WELL. Sounds fascinating:
Koukias brings opera "Before the Flame Goes Out" to Hobart, by Matthew Westwood, The Australian, January 14, 2017
"… [H]is new multimedia concert piece, Before the Flame Goes Out, will be performed at Hobart Town Hall this month and Koukias is thrilled that it will have its premiere in his home town. [Th]e piece is about a region of northwestern Greece that was the land of his forebears: a place of hard light and mountainous beauty, of religious and cultural diversity, and with a terrible episode in its history. Ioannina was home to the Romaniote community of Hellenic Jews: people with their own religious customs and a distinctive Greek-Hebrew dialect. They are said to have lived and worshipped in Ioannina since the 9th century, possibly earlier, and endured under a long sequence of Byzantine, Norman and Ottoman rulers, and then the Greek kingdom.…
This one was captured by Margot Leverett, leader of the Klezmer Mountain Boys. Not sure the headline writer knows the difference between "blues" and "bluegrass", so think of this as a paean to Jewish "Americana" music. But, don't let the headline put you off—good article:
The Unexpected Smash Success of Jewish Bluegrass Music, by Gabe Friedman, January 12, 2017, The Forward
Saul Kaye never wanted to be a "Jewish blues" player. In his opinion, the Jewish music he had heard growing up in Northern California's Bay Area ranged from "really bad to horrible." In 2009, he was touring as a rock musician, playing hundreds of shows a year with various bands at bars and clubs. And though he had never been very religious, he experienced a bad breakup and felt the need to do something spiritually "radical." …[more]
From Joel Rubin:
"Here's a podcast of the Dec. 13 broadcast of "With Good Reason" radio, which interviewed me in the first segment on the anthology Chekhov's Band: Eastern European Klezmer Music 1908-1913, and the recent CD with Veretski Pass, Poyln: A Gilgul:
"Heavy Shtetl" is the second installment in ePRHYME'S series of Rap/Duets, which pair his densely packed poetic rhymes with a solo master instrumentalist.
***Warning from ePRHYME: Acquired taste! Not for everyone.
Just caught a post on Facebook by Hankus Netsky with the sad news: Ben Zion Shenker, the composer of hundreds of melodies, including 'Eishes Chayil' and 'Mizmor L'Dovid,' passed away Sunday morning.
From Fishel Bresler:
I had the incredible privilege and honor of getting to know Reb Ben Zion a bit through davenen with him at Modzitz in Brooklyn over the years. A real gentleman, and a pleasure to talk to (and laugh with) about music. The last time I spoke with him and heard him lead the service was just a month ago, at Shmini Atzeres/Simchas Torah. His voice was still beautiful, sweet and clear. The way he lived exemplified a life of modest, sincere avodah.
May he enjoy a lictign Gan Eden!
A video of Ben Zion Shenker singing "Yedid Nefesh" (posted to Jewish-Music by Moussa Berlin)
We are excited to open registration for Yiddish New York (YNY) and to announce this year's programs and faculty. YNY is a 6-day workshop/festival that will run from Thursday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 29, 2016.
YNY's daytime programs at the 14th Street Y and adjacent Town and Village Synagogue include workshops in klezmer music, Yiddish song, language and theater, as well as lectures, panel discussions, films, walking tours and more, all led by a faculty of the Yiddish world's leading contemporary artists and scholars. YNY evenings will be filled with concerts, dance parties, a visual arts exhibition and jam sessions at venues around Manhattan's Lower East Side & East Village, neighborhoods steeped in Yiddish cultural history. We have great programs for kids and teens, and family members of all ages!
More info: www.yiddishnewyork.com
The 5th International Jewish Music Festival competition 2017 will be held from May 4-8th, 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is a double celebration year as this will mark the 20th International Jewish Music Festival is held in Amsterdam. Preliminary rounds and semi-finals of the Music Competition will be held in the redesigned Uilenburger Synagoge with the Grand Finale taking place on May 8th at the spectacular DeLaMar theater holding a 1000 audience.
More info, registration, at ijmf.wordpress.com
This announcement is over a year old, but I have no record of having shared it. About time! From Pete Rushefsky, Executive Director of the CTMD.
Center for Traditional Music and Dance is pleased to make available footage from a landmark November 1978 concert by the Dave Tarras Trio which also featured a youthful Andy Statman & Zev Feldman in their public debut, plus Yiddish singers Feigl Yudin and Ethel Raim. We're grateful for the work of Clara Byom (U. New Mexico) making this material available...
I am late to post this
The European Cantors association is happy to announce that booking is open for the 11th European Cantors Convention taking place in Prague from Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 November 2016.
Guest lecturers will be Cantor Naftali Herstik and maestro Raymond Goldstein as well as a choir from the Tel Aviv Academy of Cantorial studies
All those interested in Jewish prayer music based on the orthodox tradition are welcome to attend. As well as lectures and masterclasses there will be a gala concert on one of the most beautiful synagogues in Prague and a tour of Jewish Prague. And best of all cantos and choir will illuminate two beautiful Prague synagogues with memorable music and prayer over Shabbat.
More details, a flyer that you can download and print off and the registration form can be found on the website www.cantors.eu.
I'm not sure if this is new, or simply new to me—the KlezmerShack has been mightily distracted for a while. In all events, it's a great site:
Klezmer Academy, curated by clarinetist Sherry Mayrent, has klezmer tunes, discussions of klezmer theory, practical lessons on style, musings on current and past trends in the music and its performance, and other topics on all aspects of klezmer and its history.
Two last reviews before I hit the road to Toronto and the Ashkenaz Festival. It's been 20 years of New Jewish Music, and I'm excited—but not so excited that I want to forget to tell you about these:
I have no idea why I haven't reviewed this release yet. It is exactly the kind of music I look forward to, created by three of my favorite young-ish musicians--KlezKanada and KlezKamp alumni, hurrah!, making music for their generation, and celebrating hundreds of years of Yiddish culture: Yiddish Art Trio, 2014.
And, in the same vein, drawing on veterans from the former USSR, from the UK and USA, we have the holy musical trinity of: Sklamberg & the Shepherds / Aheym, 2015. Just beautiful
It's a Yiddish-lover's world. Enjoy. As for me, I'm off to my own aheym at Ashkenaz!
This week's "Yiddish Song of the Week" features the original (two originals, in fact) of a song that was remixed as part of the WAKS recording that I reviewed this week.
"Ver es vil kayn tate-mame folgn" Performed by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman, recorded in 1954
From Simon of Hatikva Music
The Barry Sisters performing live...Amazing!!! "Nu, Zug Mir Schoin Ven" (Live! With lyrics)
Does anyone have the translation to this song????
Just heard about this new release in the UK:
My respondent notes that there is a lot of variation in levels between the cuts--it sounds more like a paste-together compilation than something someone tried to make work together. But, minor cavils—the material is now available outside of collectors' shops.
The compilation appears to be released by Jasmine Records
I am once again looking for a next gig (if you know someone in the Boston area who needs a cloud computing consultant/Project Manager/Scrum Master, do contact meAshkenaz Festival in a few days:
This is one of the most interesting and successful "re-mix" efforts I've heard. A group of musicians in Germany has pulled archival recordings and integrated into their covers. The material is wonderful and nicely extends our repertoire, and encourages more to consult the same sources: Waks / Yiddish Voices, 2015. Highly recommended.
I always look forward to concerts and recordings by klezmer flautist Adrianne Greenbaum. This new one is especially noteworthy as it brings a klezmer family repertoire back to life: Fleytmuzik / Poyln, 2016
Recordings like this remind us why we miss the late Franka Lampe (and how wonderful it is that her partner on this recording, Fabian Schnedler, is just hitting his stride—see him next weekend with Semer Ensemble in Ashkenaz!). In this case, the duo mine field recordings amongst Jewish criminals (an obvious place to look for those who know of the reputation of klezmorim back in the day). Check out Schikker Wi Lot / Ganovim-Lider, 2016 and enjoy.
Local (to me, here in Boston) avant-garde-istas return to the recording world after an absence of several years to remind us all why we miss them and how great it is to hear new material: Naftule's Dream / Blood, 2016. Sure to bring a smile to your ears.
If there is a better Jewish band actively creating new traditional klezmer, I don't know of them. In this new recording, they include Joel Rubin, an equally acclaimed klezmer revival pioneer and professor. Just marvellous. Polish rural folk traditions klezmerified. Veretski Pass w/Joel Rubin / Poyln, 2015. Buy a few copies—you'll be handing them out to friends and family.
Jeremiah Lockwood sings the Yiddish folksong "Surele iz in vald avek"
Little Sarah is off in the woods picking flowers for a bouquet.
In the forest a little bird comes to her and says: Tweet.
-Tell me little bird, how long will my life be?
-Forty, eighty, one hundred years.
-Thank you, little bird, very much.
Thank you, Pete Rushefsky for turning me onto this one. It's a murder mystery set in mid-19th century Russia and the hero is a tsimbl player—just like Pete! (although, other than musicianship and being people you'd like to hang out with, there are no other resemblances). Written by Big Galut(e) fiddler Sasha Margolis, the mystery provides a good, if occasionally idealized look at Jewish life in that place and time (not so idealized that there aren't anti-Jewish mob confrontations, mind you). The mystery is reasonably good, the characters are sympathetic, and the novel ends with a wonderful description of an old-style wedding. Best of all, the seeds are sown for a sequel. I would look forward to reading another one. If you don't want to order via Amazon, I am sure your local bookstore could be convinced to order it, and perhaps even to stock it for the convenience of your friends.
For a few minutes, as the opening bit on the first video embedded in this article opens, I am reminded of Ehud Banai, in his punk phase. On other tracks, I am reminded of Yehuda Poliker--both Israeli musicians who have grounded their music in their roots. What I really love here is that mixing of piyyut and modern music forms (just as the original piyyut melodies mixed devotional poetry with the music of times 1500 years ago (give or take a few hundred years?) in the Islamic world. Conceptually, it's like listening to Abraham Inc., but starting from a Mizrahi world instead of an Ashkenazic one.
Shai Tsabari Storms the Heavens, From Bat Yam to New York, by Tal Kra-Oz, The Tablet
Shai Tsabari is an Israeli singer whose music has been called Mizrahi-indie. His debut album and live performances, fusing traditional oriental music with rock, pop, electronic and world music, have attracted some of the most enthusiastic audiences to be found both in Israel and abroad. Tsabari and his band, the aptly named Middle East Groove All Stars, are now embarking on their first mini-tour of the United States. They will perform at Joe's Pub in New York on Aug. 23, and give a free concert at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles two days later. [more]
PREßBURGER KLEZMER BAND feat. DJ CLICK & DJ GALLETAS CALIENTES - Maramuresi Khsidim
ENJOY THE SUMMER!!!
Copied from a post on Facebook by Corey Breier, shared by Sarah Gordon
The Yiddish Artists & Friends-Actors Club and the Yiddish Theatrical Alliance mourn the loss of our beloved board member, the Emmy award winning star of television, radio, film, Broadway and most of all Yiddish theater, our beloved Fyvush Finkel Z'L. Fyvush passed away early this morning at his apartment in Manhattan. Fyvush served as the number one resource for questions about the Yiddish theater in America and the actors, producers, directors, and theater owners who were part of its history. He knew them all. His passing is a tremendous loss for our "teater velt" (theater world). To know him was to love him.
The funeral service will take place this Wednesday, August 17 at 12 noon at the Sutton Place Synagogue,225 East 51 Street NYC. (Between 2 & 3 Ave).
Koved zayn ondenk.
Corey (Gedalye) Breier
Lori Lippitz, of Maxwell St. Klezmer, adds a link to this video:
The has excerpts from Fyvush Finkel, in English and Yiddish as part of their Wexner Oral History project.
Rokhl Kafrissen shares her memories (and blog posts) about Fyvush on rokhl.blogspot.com
I think this was recorded at Klezfactor
The "KlezFactor Trio" (Mike Anklewicz - cl, Brian Katz - gtr, Jim Sexton - bass) had a fan of our performance at Toronto's Jewish Music Week who posted some videos of our performance on May 30, 2016.
Here's a medley of Mayn Tayere Odessa and a couple of Nigunim from the Beregovski Collection. >
The "KlezFactor Trio" (Mike Anklewicz - cl, Brian Katz - gtr, Jim Sexton - bass) had a fan of our performance at Toronto's Jewish Music Week who posted some videos of our performance on May 30, 2016. Here's a medley of Mayn Tayere Odessa and a couple of Nigunim from the Beregovski Collection. >
Our old friends from Shirim Klezmer Orchestra at a recent wedding:
Bandleader Glenn Dickson posts: "This set went on for at least 45 minutes of intense dancing (as you can see), and was a heck of a lot of fun. In addition to myself on clarinet, Michael McLaughlin; accordion; Eric Rosenthal, drums; we had guest members Jim Guttmann, bass; and Tev Stevig, guitar.
A Neon Jazz Interview with Boston Jazz Clarinetist Glenn Dickson of Naftule's Dream
Thank you Alicia Svigals for linking to this:
Wouldn't it be nice if this were less timely?
Published on Jul 19, 2016
Voice: Jewlia Eisenberg
Accordion: Dan Cantrell
"The trees of my country are apprentices of greenness
and I an apprentice of memory."