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January 22, 2018
Yiddish song of the week: "Mirtseshem af shabes" Performed by Khave Rosenblatt

From Pete Rushefsky, on Facebook:

He whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles, and doesn't want to stop. With the Rebbe's power the train will be trounced. Performance by Khave Rosenblatt, with commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week!

yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/mirtseshem-af-shabes-performed-by-khave-rosenblatt/

Posted by adavidow at 04:27 PM | Permalink
Winograd klezmer dance set from 2008

From Michael Winograd:

Its always worth filming!! Inna Barmash-Zhurbin came across this dance set she filmed (I'm guessing Lev 'Ljova' was holding the camera?) from my 2008 "Bessarabian Hop" CD launch... amazing!!!

www.facebook.com/michael.winograd/videos/10159867513810176/

Posted by adavidow at 04:21 PM | Permalink
Ezekiel's Wheels, Fisher Lid, Live

Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band #rehearsing our arrangement of Fisher Lid. Enjoy!

www.facebook.com/groups/bostonmusic/permalink/10155956878339356/

#rehearsaltake of Fisherlid. We use the melody from The Klezmatics' setting of Aliza Greenblatt's words, combine it with a tune from the Amsterdam Klezmer Band and a whole lot of Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band magic. Enjoy! (And follow/like the page to stay up to date on the new recording as we take it from rehearsals into the studio. Lots more to come!)

Posted by adavidow at 04:15 PM | Permalink
2017 National Jewish Book Awards: And the winner is ... Joey Weisenberg!

Thanks to Lisa Mayer for posting this information on Facebook.

The National Jewish Book Awards have been announced, and the winner in the category of "Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice" (Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award) is Jewish Music maven Joey Weisenberg, with translations by Joshua Schwartz, for The Torah of Music, from Hadar Press.

A complete list of winners is available from the Jewish Book Council website.

Posted by adavidow at 04:10 PM | Permalink
Rokhl Kafrissen: No Yortsayts, Please. We're Yiddish.

Her first Tablet Magazine column of the new secular year, and apologies for taking so long to post it here.:

Yortsayt shmortsayt. Abi gezint! My first GOLDEN CITY of 2018 is here and friends, the prognosis is good. At least for Yiddish.

As always, please click and read. Share if you liked it. Share twice if you hated it. ❤️

No Yortsayts, Please. We're Yiddish. Rokhl's Golden City: Why reports of the death of Yiddish theater are greatly exaggerated, by Rokhl Kafrissen

Posted by adavidow at 04:05 PM | Permalink
January 04, 2018
Svigals & Geissendoerfer "Beregovski Suite" release show, NYC, Feb 4, 2018

twenty years ago, Alicia Svigals released her groundbreaking album, Fidl, the first contemporary recording of the deep and ecstatic klezmer fiddle music which had been beloved across Jewish Eastern Europe for hundreds of years.

On Sunday, February 4th, she follows up Fidl with Beregovski Suite: a project with Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer. Together they bring to life long-lost melodies from the early 20th-century fieldwork of Moshe Beregovski … and re-imagine them for the 21st century.

Sunday, Feb 4, 7pm (doors open at 6pm)
Joe's Pu, at the Public Theater
425 Lafayette St.
New York, NY

Purchase tickets/more info

Posted by adavidow at 03:39 PM | Permalink
series on "Radical Jewish Culture" at YIVO, NYC starts (may be delayed, given weather) today THURSDAYS, 1:30PM-4:00PM | January 4-18, 3 Sessions Radical Jewish Culture Instructors: John Zorn and Anthony Coleman | What is Jewish music? What will its future be in the 21st century and beyond? Featuring live performances by John Zorn, Anthony Coleman, and special guests, explore and reflect upon the origins, development, present, and future of Radical Jewish Music.
Posted by adavidow at 11:48 AM | Permalink
December 28, 2017
Latest "Rootless Cosmopolitan" post on Tablet Magazine I wanna be your Goyfriend (or at least your Berlin boo) - new GOLDEN CITY is here! Be a pal (or a bandmate or a lover or a groupie or a husband WHO NEEDS LABELS??) and click, read and share. Tis the reason for the squeezin of the season ❤️ www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/251803/i-wanna-be-your-goyfriend
Posted by adavidow at 04:18 PM | Permalink
December 26, 2017
French Yiddish Camp announced, Apr 15-21, 2018

FUN DOR TSU DOR
Week around yiddish culture from 0 to 120 years old in a French Castle !

15th to 21th of April 2018
Château de Ligoure
87110 Le Vigen
FRANCE

Yiddish songs, klezmer, danse,kindershul
With
Batia Baum, yiddish teacher, translator. Marthe Desrosières, coordinator, flute, clarinet. Diana Matut, singer, director. Hugo Proy, clarinet, guitar. Andreas Schmitges, Dance, mandolin, guitar.

More info/registration: www.yiddishweb.com/Ligoure

Posted by adavidow at 08:53 PM | Permalink
Isak Loberan klezmer books

From Guenther Schoeller, posting to the Jewish Music mailing list, following a discussion on the availability of the much-requested Isak Loberan klezmer books:

I promised to make a website where you can get more information about Loberans klezmer books and the CD. And where you can order. Here is the URL: www.loberan-klezmer.de.

Posted by adavidow at 07:50 PM | Permalink
December 22, 2017
Celebrating the Chanukah lights, and other solstice holiday thoughts

With Chanukah now past, and the solstice just slipped, I am running out of time to post some thoughts about the holiday.

Seems like every year I read interpretations focused on the miracle, on the Judaean's faith in G-d, and the like. In these times, I find myself retelling a drash that I wrote many years ago. It feels even more apt today.

In December 1984 I found myself headed to Israel as part of a Jewish "Witness for Peace" tour, initiated by New Jewish Agenda (z"l). "Jewish" being no less expansive in those days than now, our trip included neopagan activisit/author Starhawk, and a host of others with greater/lesser connections to Jewish practice. We'd begin our mornings with a tree meditation from Star's "The Spiral Dance," followed by a round of "Hine ma tov."

The trip overlapped with Chanukah, and we had brought a chanukiyah and candles so that we could celebrate each night of the holiday (although I have no memory of either latkes or sufganiyot). Sharing the ritual with our hosts, most of whom had no idea what a "Jew" was, much less an inkling of the story behind the holiday, meant that I had to write a short drash (especially short--each sentence needed to be translated into Spanish to share with our hosts) about the holiday and what it meant.

The drash =was= short. I talked about how we celebrated events that occurred 2000 years ago when Judah Maccabbee--our Sandino--along with his father and brothers had led a successful revolt against the ruling tyrant. But, I continued, we don't celebrate the military victory. Relatively speaking, a military victory is easy. The hard part is creating a just, sustainable society, something that began with the miracle of oil that burned for 8 days (explain story of miracle), but then needed ongoing efforts and vigilance.

We didn't talk about how the Maccabbees ended up Hellenized, themselves, nor the ensuing period of war, fratricide, and ultimately, takeover by the Romans. We were hopeful at the time that the Sandinistas would succeed where the Maccabbees had failed. This year, I reflect that our own society, here in America where I was born, and where I have lived most of my life. We need to rededicate ourselves to fulfilling that promise first made by the Maccabbees.

As the days lengthen, and as we move again towards Spring, may the lights of Chanukah provide us with inspiration to re-engage with each other and find ways to create that just, caring society.

Posted by adavidow at 10:30 AM | Permalink
November 20, 2017
Milken Archive - Ben Zion Shenker oral history project

One year ago today, the world lost Ben Zion Shenker, a rabbi, cantor and composer who had been dubbed "the greatest living figure of Hassidic music." Shenker devoted his life to niggunim--spiritual melodies used in Hassidic worship--in the Polish Modzitzer Hassidic tradition, starting with the melodies of Rabbi Saul Taub.

A new video from Milken's oral history project features Shenker's insights about the styles, inspirations and significance of niggunim in his own life, and in the various Hassidic traditions of Eastern Europe.

Posted by adavidow at 06:38 PM | Permalink
Yiddish song of the week: About a turnip and a horseradish

On a rock, on a rock, sit a turnip and a horseradish. I beg of you, says the horseradish: Why is the sky is so clear? Performance by Khave Rosenblatt, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week!

/yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/af-a-shteyn-zitst-a-reytekh-mit-a-khreyn-performed-by-khave-rosenblatt/

The Yiddish Song of the Week is presented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.

Posted by adavidow at 06:35 PM | Permalink
November 10, 2017
Yiddish Song of the Week: School song

All the children have to go to school. The "micro" (bus) takes us and brings us back. What a joy for the children! School, oy, oy, oy school…. A song for school performed by Ester Szulman, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week.

yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/shule-oy-oy-oy-shule-performed-by-ester-szulman/

Edited by Itzik Gottesman, the Yiddish Song of the Week is presented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.

Posted by adavidow at 06:59 PM | Permalink
July 17, 2017
Yet another amazing Yidstock

As a working person who gets no vacation and is paid by the hour, I haven't been able to take time off for the Yiddish Book Center's "Yidstock" festival, curated by Seth Rogovoy these past half dozen years. I may have to figure out a way to rethink. This year I missed Frank London's "A night in the old market," which I have yearned to see for years. I missed Hankus Netsky and Eden MacAdam-Somer (okay, I get the opportunity to see them almost often enough here in Boston—and same for Ezekiel's Wheels). I missed Frank, again, this time with the fabulous Eleanor Reissa and the Klezmer Brass AllStars. I missed Frank, this time with Lorin Sklamberg and Rob Schwimmer in the Nigunim Trio.

I did, however, see Alicia Svigals and Lauren Brody in their first Yidstock appearance, reprising material from Mikveh, their late-1990s/early 2000s supergroup, and surprising us with amazing new material—not just klezmer, but also new-to-us Yiddish poetry, often with sharp, germane, and obvious addressing of women's issues, reminding us why the Yiddish revival isn't just a linguistic tic, but for many, represents fighting for social justice.

The day ended with Andy Statman, also in his first Yidstock appearance. It has been a rough, tired day after breaking my rule about never staying for the last Yidstock show, but we were well-rewarded. The last few years, wherever I have seen Statman, he never fails to deliver klezmer, nign, bluegrass, and "Statman-music." Last night, though, he was just on fire, delivering almost two hours of nearly non-stop music, punctuated only by occasional intros to special nigunim. He was backed by his usual trio: Larry Eagle on drums, and Jim Whitney on bass. An old friend, Bob Weiner (sp?) joined on percussion for several numbers.

Kudos to the Yiddish Book Center for another excellent festival. 2018 has already been scheduled: July 12–15, 2018. Put it on your calendar now.

Posted by adavidow at 06:39 PM | Permalink
"Hassidic New Wave" continues to delight

Just a quick note a propos of nothing. Was hanging out with spouse at a performance of Mahler's 8th out in Tanglewood this past weekend. One of the singers in the mammoth choir was talking about music that she loved. "Hassidic New Wave!" she enthused. "Been in my car for years. The kids got tired of it, but I still love it."

The KlezmerShack notes that this is one more reason why Sir Frank earned the "Knight's Cross" Order of Merit from the Hungarian government last year. Not bad for a Jewish kid from NYC. And we regret that we have once again missed the opportunity to hear/see a performance of his "A night at the old market" which appeared at Yidstock this weekend. Mahler. What can we say? Joey Baron, or anyone else from Boston's Jewish Arts Collaborative, can you make this a bit easier for me and just bring the production to Boston already?

Posted by adavidow at 06:29 PM | Permalink
May 24, 2017
Arkady Gendler, z"l

From Jim Rebhan this morning comes this sad news:

One of the warmest human beings, and warmest voices in Yiddish song, passed away May 22, 2017. More on Facebook, search for "Recording Arkady Gendler", and from Tablet magazine: Arkady Gendler, a Paragon of the Yiddish Revival Movement, Dead at 95

Posted by adavidow at 06:45 AM | Permalink
May 16, 2017
Milken Archive: Intimate Voices: Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit"

Our virtual exhibit "Intimate Voices: Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit" continues its multimedia exploration of Jewish chamber music, from its roots to its fully mature--and still evolving--art form. Drawing on Jewish traditions, rites and folklore, the included works use the medium to evoke history and push boundaries, all on an intimate scale, all with a personal connection.

Follow this musical journey from Jerusalem to Odessa, with works by:

  • Meyer Kupferman
  • Richard Wernick
  • Samuel Adler
  • Michael Shapiro
  • Leo Ornstein
  • Ofer Ben-Amots
  • Aaron Copland
  • Jan Radzynski

Experience the History and Hear the Music in Part Two of Intimate Voices Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit

Posted by adavidow at 06:27 PM | Permalink
May 14, 2017
Frank London and students of Seoul National University

Michael Winograd spotted this one:

Posted by adavidow at 06:47 PM | Permalink
May 08, 2017
Yiddish song on Mongolia's American Idol

From Leonard Koenick on the Jewish-Music list:

We Can't Make This Up: Yiddish Song Performed On Mongolia's American Idol May 1, 2017, by Jordan Kutzik

Posted by adavidow at 06:42 PM | Permalink
May 07, 2017
Review: Klezmatics / אַפיקורסים Apikorsim (Heretics)

This may be the first time since Jews with Horns or Di Krenitse (The Well), their collaboration with Chava Alberstein (who also has a song on this recording), that the focus is on Yiddish and Klezmer—not a single waltz or bit of Americana. No collaborations with english-authoring song-writers (at least, not writing english-language songs here). Lots of old-world themes and very current perspectives. Lots of contemporary Yiddish poetry—even an old Catalan song now translated into Yiddish. We may not have changed the world as much as we might have hoped, except for the music, which is still, very much, the Klezmatics very own blend of powerfully good. The Klezmatics / אַפיקורסים Apikorsim (Heretics)

Posted by adavidow at 05:38 PM | Permalink
May 03, 2017
Video: Klezmer in MA's Pioneer Valley

From flautist extraordinaire, Adrianne Greenbaum, on the Jewish-Music list:

A student of mine in the Mount Holyoke College klezmer band just finished this project:ww.pioneervalleysoundscapes.org/building-klez-munity-the-diverse-klezmer-music-scene-in-the-pioneer-valley-2017

Posted by adavidow at 07:08 AM | Permalink
April 30, 2017
Mark Rubin, "Songs for the Hangman's Daughter," now, GoFundIt! Friends. Do you like bluegrass? (What sort of person doesn't like bluegrass?) Do you like damn good bluegrass? Do you like damn good bluegrass songs with attitude? Jewish, no less? I suggest you try Mark Rubin's recent "Songs for the Hangman's Daughter" as reviewed herein. Spread the word@mdash;and then hit his GoFundMe campaign to help get the word out further.

Posted by adavidow at 05:50 PM | Permalink
April 25, 2017
KlezKanada 2017, Aug 21-27: Scholarship deadline. Register Now!

Register now at klezkanada.org/registration
Scholarship Application Deadline now extended to May 15!
Apply at klezkanada.org/scholarships
KlezKanada's Laurentian Retreat - Monday, August 21 - Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Applications for the 2017 KlezKanada Scholarship Program are online and are due very soon! Our scholarship students come to KlezKanada to study and then take art, confidence, and community back out into their world, where they shine year after year. We have extended our deadline to May 15th. Don't miss it.

Find out more at klezkanada.org

Posted by adavidow at 07:46 AM | Permalink
April 16, 2017
Fleytmuzik, 26-Apr-2017, NYC

Adriane Greenbaum is the most amazing flute player I know. Pete Rushefsky posted this video on facebook: "Some of the amazing Edward Alpern's hi-def footage of Fleytmuzik's show at Museum at Eldridge Street this past Sunday. Ed's making a documentary film about our Poyln project called www.miracleofthemusic.com and contributions are welcome. Congrats to Adrianne Greenbaum on putting the musical parts of this wide-ranging project together."

Posted by adavidow at 01:23 PM | Permalink
Pete Rushefsky interview

Pete Rushefsky is a leading revivalist of the tsimbl--a Yiddish instrument in the same family as the hammered dulcimer. Neil visited Pete at his apartment in Brooklyn to learn about a part of the Klezmer music tradition that was nearly lost to the world. Pete shares the his approach to European Klezmer traditions--simultaneously historic/academic and freshly creative--and reflects on a musical journey that began with a blues band at a Bar Mitzvah in Rochester, NY and has led most recently to performances with Itzhak Perlman and the most iconic musicians of the Klezmer revival.

www.tradcafe.org/blog-1/2017/2/15/episode-16-pete-rushefsky

Posted by adavidow at 01:14 PM | Permalink
Yiddish Summer Weimar: The Bobe Mayses Project video

Posted by Alan Bern on Facebook: "A short, beautiful documentary video about the Bobe Mayses project created during Yiddish Summer Weimar 2016, directed by Jenny Romaine with a wonderful team of artists (see the credits for a complete list). Thanks again to all who helped make this possible, from concept through grant application through administration through realization and presentation! It was an amazing and enriching experience!"

The Bobe Mayses project

More about Yiddish Summer Weimar

Posted by adavidow at 12:54 PM | Permalink
April 02, 2017
Greek songstress, Katerina Stanisi

From Eva Broman on the Jewish-Music mailing list:

To return to one of my favourite themes, here is a lovely video with Greek songstress Katerina Stanisi, whose 1986 hit "Den axizi ton kopo" ("It's not worth the effort/pain") become a huge hit in Israel it's Hebrew-language version "Ha-kolot shel Pireus" with Haim Moshe. Here she appears in an Israeli "taverna" show, sometime in the late 80's, together with Haim Moshe:

Katerina is what you'd call a "skiladiko"/heavy laika singer, but she has IMHO a fine voice, and "Den axizi ton kopo" is a really nice tune. She also recorded a duet with Stelios Kazantzidis that was covered by Itzik Kalah and Etti Levi.... I personally like both versions a lot:

Posted by adavidow at 05:46 PM | Permalink
March 25, 2017
Yiddish song of the week: Beymer hakt men fun veldl aroys

Trees are chopped down in the woods. Stars fall and are extinguished. And hard is the path through the sand; But how good we feel when we're together.

Performance by Zelig Schnadover, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week! yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/beymer-hakt-men-fun-veldl-aroys-performed-by-zelig-schnadover/

The Yiddish Song of the Week is a project of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.

Posted by adavidow at 05:28 PM | Permalink
KlezKanada registration now open

Registration and Scholarship Applications now open

KlezKanada's Laurentian Retreat - Monday, August 21 - Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Register Now for KlezKanada 2017

Click here to open the KlezKanada 2017 registration form.

Posted by adavidow at 05:21 PM | Permalink
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    About Klezmer Music

    The Klezmer revival (article revised 9/97) sparked a renaissance in Jewish music and culture. Nowadays, the revival is over--klezmer is a popular music form that is no longer exclusively Jewish, and other forms of Jewish music are also gaining in popularity. And no one questions the place of klezmer in both Jewish and popular cultures. Well, no one we care about. Meanwhile, the edges of musical and cultural boundaries continue to change, expand, and morph onward, fueled by the imperatives to explore new music on the one hand, and by the shifting sense of Jewish identity on another, not always related, hand. So I find myself, in these pages, moving both directions at once: trying to expand access to all Jewish music materials, and happily exploring musical edges, some of which have nothing to do with Jewish music.

    Klezmer is the music that speaks to me. It's balkans and blues, ancient Jewish culture and prayer and history, spirit and jazz all mixed together. Good klezmer, and the music inspired by it, demands that one dance. In the words immortalized by Emma Goldman: "If your revolution doesn't include klezmer, I don't want it." I sometimes envision the Holy One, Blessed Be Whatever He/She/It May Be, who knows all history before its time, sitting on the throne in heaven, watching new music and cultural excitement unfold, turning and declaring to the assembled angels and saints and sinners, "ahhhh, now I can hear it live."

    KlezmerShack FAQ
    (Frequently Asked Questions)

    We have klezmer news and the latest reviews. For new musicians, we've added a FAQ on "Essential klezmer repertoire" culled from the Jewish-music mailing list.

    If you want to be listed here, or to get advice on putting together your own web page or CD, read this short "how-to" page.

    If you are looking for sources of sheet music, several online vendors carry books and music. If you are looking for album recommendations, browse the reviews and try what sounds like you. Be aware that I don't know which , and will never recommend any band for your simkha--contact your local Jewish community newspaper, book store, or federation--or any of the bands from your area. And, mazel tov! Oh, and don't forget to browse the "klezcontacts" page. The Klezclassified's is the place to check to advertise, find other's ads, jamming partners, whatever. If you'd like to be listed, on any of these pages (or more than one) just send me e-mail, or use the semi-convenient form, telling me a bit about yourself. (Don't send me a web URL and expect me to extract info. Don't even get me started about incoherent web pages--look over my notes on designing a usable web page, and then, still, send me a paragraph of text about yourself, your band, or just to say 'hello'.)

    Search the KlezmerShack:
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    Note that the latest stuff may not yet be indexed.

    As I said, I never make any recommendations beyond what is listed here. For recommendations of any sort, or for gossip, discussion, or even to ask about stuff that I clearly don't know about, the best place to ask is the jewish-music mailing list. I specifically never make recommendations or suggestions about bands for your wedding or bar mitzvah (see above for similar rant). To repeat, you always want to be consulting local Jewish newspapers, federations, and other community organizations and services. They survive only because you use them. Please do.

    If you have a klez story to tell, comments, reviews to add, or just want to let people know about your band, or have something else to say that I haven't already mentioned (and especially about bad links or other mistakes)--send me e-mail. I'll get it all online as I have time. It's a pleasure!