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."
Rokhl Kafrissen with a short capsule review of Joel Grey's memoir, Master of Ceremonies:
Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir, by Rokhl Kafrissen
Joel Grey is much more than a consummate song-and-dance man with a career spanning an astonishing eight decades: he is also the intermediate link in a Jewish-American entertainment dynasty. [more]
From Alicia Svigals:
Klezmer Band coached by Alicia Svigals & Patrick Farrell play the Band Lab concert on Saturday JULY 9 2016 - Fiddle Tunes Festival - Port Townsend WA. Tunes: Broyges Tants, Patch Tants, Lebedik Freylakh, Kishinever Bulgar
I'm a month behind (and more, even behinder news to come), but this is too much fun to just ignore, despite the aging. From Alan Bern on Facebook, last month:
Weimar-Preis 2016 geht an Dr. Alan Bern, June 16, 2016
"Out of the blue today I got a call from the Lord Mayor of Weimar, Stefan Wolf, informing me that I've been awarded this year's Weimar Prize in recognition of my contribution to the culture and reputation of Weimar. I'm deeply honored by this recognition, which extends to the whole community of passionate, committed, brilliant people who have given so much of their lives to make the artistic, educational and ethical vision of Yiddish Summer, the Other Music Academy and other music e.V. a reality. I'm very proud to represent all of you in accepting this award!"
Jewlia Eisenberg has been talking up the poetry and stories of Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin since I've known her. I cannot tell you all how excited to hear this finally get recorded, and in such a superlative, avant-garde fashion. Check it out on Soundcloud. I can't tell, though—this might not be new, but rather, the 5-year anniversary since this was released. Dynamite, either way:
Dropkin is an avant-rock band with music by Roy Yarkoni. The lyrics are Hebrew translations of poems by the Yiddish modernist Celia Dropkin (1887-1956). Her work is intensely personal, rich with violent sexuality, intense longing, and strange explorations of family dynamics. The music, like her poetry, is ambitious, sensual, and a bit scary.
From my favorite San Francisco Jewish weekly:
Jewish Culture Festival showcases revival in Krakow, by liz harris, Thursday, July 7, 2016, j weekly
"Kazimierz, once the center of Jewish life in Krakow, Poland, has reclaimed its mantle. And nothing better tells the story -- or helped catalyze the revival of this historic district -- than the popular Jewish Culture Festival.
"Held this year from June 25 to July 3, the 26th annual festival brought an estimated 12,000 people to the streets of Krakow for nine days of workshops, concerts, panel discussions, dances, tours and more."[more]
Catching up with ages of posts from hither and yon. This is a great place to start:
How Alicia Svigals Helped Me Go Public With My Klezmer Obsession, Laura E. Adkins, The Forward, July 13, 2016
"… Perhaps it was the advertisement's additional promise that "whiskey and rugelach will be served" that hooked me. But more likely, it was the hope of overcoming my lingering fear of fully embracing the less easily justified aspects of Jewish life.…" [more]
Although the KlezmerShack has some serious catching up to do, what with Frank London's Hungarian knighthood and Alan Bern being honored by the city of Weimar for his decades of wonderful cultural work, priorities are priorities. I would like to remind readers that the City of Cleveland is home to some amazing and wonderful musicians like the Klezmer Guy, Walt Mahovlich, Steven Greenman, Lori Cahan-Simon. But now, even more extraordinarily, Cleveland is home to the NBA champions.
Congrats Cleveland Cavaliers!
May this be the first of many new honors as people recognize what a cool place Cleveland is (despite, or even with the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame).
Yes, there is a new Naftule's Dream CD, and NPR's Milo Miles is on it:
Naftule's Dream Returns, With A Fleshy, Folkie New Album, by Milo Miles, June 1, 2016
Like me, did you find 2012's debut Alpen Klezmer CD the most fun you'd heard in European klezmer in ages? A sort of marriage between Bavarian dance music and klezmer featuring vocalist Andrea Pancur and accordionist Ilya Shneyveys, it rocked (and still does). A host of klezmer veterans joined that effort (and are lined up for the new one) ranging from Lorin Sklamberg to Alan Bern, Joel Rubin, etc., etc., etc. If so, you're going to want to join me in helping the band record their new CD:
You have nothing to lose but ennui, boredom, and anomie. This is klezmer that rocks!
Here's what Andrea sent me:
Liebe Freunde und Freundinnen der handgemachten Musik,
es ist wieder so weit: ich bringe eine neue CD heraus. Und weil das alles immer so unsagbar viel kostet, nutze ich die Möglichkeit des Crowdfunding, was auf deutsch auch sehr hübsch klingt, nämlich „Schwarmfinanzierung".
Was passiert da genau? Ihr könnt diesem Link folgen, und dann vorab eine CD und viele andere ganz tolle Dinge bestellen, u.a. ein von Grammy-Gewinner und begnadetem Koch Lorin Sklamberg zusammengestelltes und gekochtes Abendessen oder eine Unterrichtsstunde bei musikalischem Mastermind Alan Bern höchstpersönlich. Schaut einfach auf die Seite, sucht euch das Passende aus und sehr gerne könnt ihr auch vielen, vielen anderen Menschen von ALPEN KLEZMER: ZUM MEER! erzählen.
Ich kann euch versprechen, ihr werdet es nicht bereuen, denn auf der CD versammeln sich wieder die musikalischen Meister der Klezmerwelt mit den Meistern der bayrischen Musikwelt und spielen Musik, die unter die Haut geht und die Füße zucken läßt: Alpen Klezmer vom Feinsten!
Hier nochmal der Link: igg.me/at/ZumMeerHerzlichen Dank für eure Unterstützung! Andrea
The Les Haïm Company, from Paris, in association with Footsteps, the New Yiddish Rep and the Workmen's Circle announces his summer theater workshop/performance experience Artistic Laboratory of Research and Creation towards an experimental theater between ultraorthodox and secular worlds is Looking for OTD (off the derech) artists ! From June 15 to July 10 in NYC
No prior experience or artistic background necessary, but a deep desire for learning, creating and immersing yourself into an artistic adventure.
More on Facebook
The Yiddish Book Center's annual program has gradually become a sort of "Eastern European Jewish Music AllStars" program, with lectures, workshops on dance and playing music and singing, as well as a host of great concerts. You won't actually hear much "new Yiddish music," but you will hear an awful lot of the best, performed by the best veterans around. This year, the UK's Polina and Merlin Shepherd are brought into the mix, which means even more great music. Paul Shapiro will bring back his delightful "Brisket 'n' Ribs Revue," one of my favorite excursions into the delightful world of Jewish/Black lyrics and music from the earlier part of the last century. Essen! It will all end in a mammoth AllStars concert honoring Shalom Aleichem's 100th yahrzeit.
Yidstock 2016: The Festival of New Yiddish Music, Thu July 14, 2016 - Sun July 17, 2016
YIDSTOCK 2016 will bring the best in klezmer and new Yiddish music to the stage at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. Don't miss out on what promises to be a great festival of music and related events.
Festival info from the Yiddish Book Center website
Send by the Boston Jewish Arts Collaborative during Passover, I am just catching up. This features the BatSheva Dance Troupe and Tractor's Revenge, and is a very neat visual take on the familiar Passover melody
Posted by Eva Broman to the Jewish Music mailing list:
t's been a long time since I posted the last time, but I really enjoyed these clips with Iraqi-Jewish singer Koko from Eilat, performing Iraqi classics at an Israeli haflah:
These "ethnic" Israeli singers remind me of Pontic singers in Greece, who often adapt original Turkish and Balkan songs in the Pontiac dialect, just like Israeli singers of Iraqi etc. descent adapt Arabic tunes in Hebrew:
From Michael Winograd, best known for the Yiddish Art Trio and other klezmer/yiddish masterworks. His other band is also receiving recognition. After watching Southeast Asians and others dancing in the aisles at the Vilna Shul, I can heartily recommend them. Some bits will sound more familiar than you expect:
Sandaraa is pleased to release the first single from our upcoming album, "Jegi Jegi Lailajan". US CD launch tour dates: /bit.ly/sandaraatour
Wish I'd spotted this yesterday—thanks to Sarah Gordon for sharing from the Yiddishkayt folks in LA:
It's the First of May! Come celebrate International Workers Day with our top 10 musical hits of the Jewish working masses from Morris Rosenfeld's Resting Place to classic Anarchist anthems. Share with all of your comrades for the arbeter-yontef! Zol lebn der ershter may! Long Live the First of May!
#WorkersDay #MayDay #ArbeterFunAleLender
Yosl Kurland writes:
A few of weeks ago I wrote to tell you about the Mak'hela concert at Keene, NH where my choral work, "Vezokharto&emdash;Remember that You Were Slaves in Egypt" was performed. The piece is now on youtube at this link:
Vezokharto is based on a prophetic call in the Torah for social justice. It carries a message that needs to be heard and I would appreciate your help in spreading it. Please share this link with people you know by email and by social media. If you know of any chorus that would like to perform it, please have them contact me and I will arrange for them to get the score.
The most frequently requested out of print music book has to be Pete Rushefsky's "Essentials of Klezmer Banjo." It's still essential, and Pete has graciously scanned it and made it available for free download as a PDF. Now available.
One of my favorite all-time recordings comes from the classic Austin Klezmorim album, East of Odessa. With the permission of the band's leader, Bill Averbach, I reprise an mp3 of their classic retelling of the story of Purim in jazz argot, "The Big Megillah." Enjoy.
Few bands have pushed the boundary of Jewish music as hard as Jeremy Lockwood and The Sway Machinery. 2011's The House of Friendly Ghosts was a collaboration between the band and North African Rai singer Khaira Arby. The opening horns in this new release, Purity and Danger reflect that collaboration, still. The album also reflects Lockwood's background as a street blues musician ("My dead lover's wedding," with its echoes of "St. James Infirmary" or the Hound Dog Taylor-inspired distorted guitar meeting North African music and jazz in "Longa"), and the cantorial legacy of his grandfather (including very new settings to Cantorial gems ranging from Ben Zion Kapov-Kagan's "Rachamana D'Onay" and Leib Glantz's "Al Tashlicheini." This is fertile territory, and at its best, this is a fusion as astonishing as the discovery of how well Arabic music fits piyyut 1500 years ago. Available as CD or digital download from 3rd generation recordings.
Want another view? Check out Adam Kivel's review on the "Consequences of Sound" website: The Sway Machinery - Purity and Danger
I should also mention that The Sway Machinery has a new cassette EP coming out. Those interested, should check out on 3rd Generation Recordings website.
It's the end of the year. It's smack in the middle of Yiddish New York. Time to catch up on some vital recordings that speak to that "new Yiddish culture."
For years, a select few of us have enjoyed the voice that reminds us most of a reincarnated Molly Picon. Now, Miryem-Khaye, whose voice has matured and taken on a strength all its own, has released a debut CD, Toyznt Tamen (a thousand flavors), celebrating Yiddish, theatre, and great Yiddish song. Joined by a stellar backup crew including Alicia Svigals, Carmen Staff, and the Yiddish Art Trio (Michael Winograd, Patrick Farrell, and Benjy Fox-Rosen), this recording is a delight—listening to Seigal let loose on the opening "New York, New York," a paean to NY yiddishkeit, quietly meditative on "Shteyner," or her and Fox-Rosen playing off each others voices in "Gikher, shvester" marks what a special recording this is. I also treasure the large number of songs written by Seigel, or gathered by her (although, in fairness, some songs also remind me of blues songs attributions: familiar as well as original verses pulled together in a new cohesive whole and credited to an author well-steeped in a deep folk tradition), as well as a fair sampler of traditional tunes. Get a copy of this one for the Yiddish (or yiddishkeit) lover in your household who loves tradition. Get your CD or download from bandcamp.
Have me mentioned that Yiddish New York event is taking place right now!? You can find out more at yiddishnewyork.org
Working To 'Construct' A 'New Yiddish Culture': Josh Waletzky is creating a new festival to celebrate a culture in the making., by Sandee Brawarsky, 15-Dec-2015
Q.: What the genesis of the idea for Yiddish New York?
A: It grew out of some discussions taking place informally among some artists who are veterans of the klezmer revival camp scene, the granddaddy being KlezKamp. There's a year-round rotation of festivals that include workshops, lectures, special events, concerts dedicated to Yiddish culture. KlezKamp, which ended its run after 30 very productive years, was on a number of people's minds. Last winter was its last session, and a number people were saying there would be a hole in the calendar. New York, which was the home base of KlezKamp (even though it was held an hour north of the city in the Catskills) is for all intents and purposes the world capital of Yiddish culture, both historically and in the concentration of individuals and institutions active in that scene. We couldn't just leave this hole in the schedule and not have New York represented, with all the world-class people actively engaged in creating Yiddish culture here. So we proceeded in tasking certain individuals in areas of their expertise and experience, like trumpeter, bandleader and composer Frank London, who has been the artistic director of KlezKanada for some time. We're had an embarrassment of riches putting together the faculty. [more]
Yeah, you would expect the KlezmerShack to have already done this, but, as usual, Bert Stratton has scooped us:
My desk is piled high with free CDs: Ezekiel's Wheels, Golem, Vulfpeck, Winograd, all kinds of Dutch and Polish bands, and the old standbys like Klezmer Conservatory Band and the Klezmatics.... [more]
Just a few days behind on this one:
I am writing to let you know that we have a new video for our song "Avre Los Ojos". It was shot live off the floor in studio, and I am really proud of how this video captures the dynamic range and electrifying improvisations that Jaffa Road brings to concert stages.
The song sings the pain felt by parents as they watch their children go to "Asker" - conscription into the army of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries.>
Posted by Benjamin Laden on Facebook. As he says, big hats ... and a big sound