Roman Grinberg writes the Jewish-Music list:
European Jewish Choirs Festival
May 9 - 12, 2013
18 Jewish Choirs - over 400 singers from 16 European cities celebrating Jewish Song. Workshops for Yiddish, Yemenite and Chassidic songs led by European Choirmasters:
- Musical Kabbalat Shabbat
- Jam Session
- Klezmer Dance Party
Gala concert with closing ceremony in the famous Austria Center Vienna on Sunday, May 12, starting 6 PM
Under the patronage of Austria Federal President Heinz Fischer
Main Sponsor: EJP - European Jewish Parliament www.ejp.eu
More info: www.wjchor.at
With some follow-up to a recent Kickstarter project I was pushing, here is an interview with Arkady Gendler on Tablet Magazine: 91-Year-Old Yiddish Rock Star, by Vladislav Davidzon. I can get behind that headline.
You can hear some music samples, and get your copy of the CD directly from the esteemed Ates, at Golden Horn Records. Tell him I sent you.
Wex isn't cracking a joke with this project. If he says it's important, I say, time to make it happen (but I always say that when I hear "Polish pagan ritual" in Yiddish).
Hasidic wife-swapping in honour of false messiah Shabbetai Zvi is the least of the attractions of Joseph Opatoshu's incredible Yiddish novel, In Poylishe Velder (In The Forests of Poland), but with no decent translation available, most of the English-speaking world doesn't know that.
I'm trying to change the situation with an Indiegogo campaign to fund a translation of Opatoshu's classic into the kind of living English that I'm already known for writing and then make it available for free, forever. This book's got just about everything: plot, character, hasidic rebbes, Polish pagan rituals, and plenty of things that you wouldn't expect.
If you love literature, Yiddish, or books that will change your view of Jewish life in Poland, just click on the link to go to the site: www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-authorized-translation-of-a-classic-yiddish-novel-into-english/x/3046674
Here's how you can help:
- Go to the site and donate: www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-authorized-translation-of-a-classic-yiddish-novel-into-english/x/3046674
- Share this link (www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-authorized-translation-of-a-classic-yiddish-novel-into-english/x/3046674) on Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Forward this email to everyone you think might be interested in supporting this project.
Don't let this classic novel be lost to history—I am one of only a handful of people still alive who can make sure that this book is available in English for everyone, for free, forever!
Hasidic doom jazz? Meet Deveykus, by Lincoln Eddy, Alarm Magazine, April 24, 2013.
Trombonist Dan Blacksberg has recruited four other musicians and combined traditional wordless melodies with doom metal for a new project called Deveykus. [Their] first track, "Wordless Ecstasy," is a slow burn, built of trombone, electricity, and weighty, slow-motion beats. Moments of complexity flirt with the ear, building a deceptive drone. It's a Zen kōan through a Jewish lens. [more (includes track recording)]
There is no better place to be as the summer winds to an end, than in the Canadian Laurentians, at a B'nai Brith camp only an hour north of Montreal, with just a few hundred of your favorite klezmorim and friends.
KlezKanada's Laurentian Retreat for 2013, the Chai Year, will be Monday August 19 to Sunday August 25. You can get the program from the KlezKanada website, and most important, if you are between 16 and 35, check out the Scholarship Application. According to the website, KlezKanada looks for "individuals with an interest in learning about Yiddish/Jewish culture and its artistic traditions and a desire to develop as artists within these rich traditions, exploring both the roots and contemporary innovations of the culture. We welcome students with interest in a wide variety of areas including music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film, writing and Yiddish studies. Although actual numbers will vary according to the applications received, there are a number of spots reserved for each area of interest."
Kleztival—the 4th edition of the Brazilian Jewish Music Festival will be held in São Paulo, from September 28th to October 6th, 2013. Major concerts and workshops all around Brazil. For further info:
IMJ Brasil—Jewish Music Institute
tel: +5511 3159-1997
São Paulo, Brazil
This just in from Alan Bern regarding Adam Stinga, about whom I posted a week or two ago. Good new!
Dear Friends & Supporters of the Adam Stinga Recovery Fund,
I'm delighted to send you a wonderful update about Adam's recovery. Yesterday, he was released from the rehab clinic. I picked up him there and found him looking "like a million bucks" as we say in English. He looked strong and healthy, in other words. The trip from the rehab clinic in Marburg back to the clinic where the operation was originally performed turned out to be a little more tiring than we thought, but that's to be expected when someone moves from a protected environment to the real world. This morning, Dr. Beqiri, Adam's surgeon, looked into his bronchia with an endoscope (I had the honor of being there and Dr. Beqiri explained everything we were seeing) and the result was very clear: the wounds have healed completely. When Adam came out of the anesthetic, Dr. Beqiri told him that he should start practicing trumpet again in two weeks! Unbelievable! Adam is supposed to take it easy for a while (no Doc Severinson licks), but the expectation is that he'll be back to normal in three months. It's an amazing result, beyond expectations and beyond words...
Thank you to all of you who helped make this happen! This whole thing is just an incredible example of how people can come together to help when it really counts.
Warmest greetings from Adam and Alan!
If you or anyone you know can help, there's a paypal link on the other european's website for the Adam Stinga Recovery Fund: www.theothereuropeans.eu [ari]
Enjoy! This was a very special concert. Claudia Harris showed up with an Irish harp, which Betty used through much of the concert; otherwise she accompanied herself on guitar. Songs ranged from Ladino to Yiddish to Hebrew.
From David Chevan
Some music for Yom HaShoah-Holocaust Memorial Day. "Yizkor for Martyrs" Recorded in the studio with Cantor Alberto Mizrahi and the Afro-Semitic Experience.
From Ilana Cravitz:
Klezmer at SOAS Summer Music School 24-28 June, 7-9pm each day. A week-long course with Ilana Cravitz. Click here for info & registration
Judy and I had so much fun last year that we actually stayed out at a B&B in the area and spent a few days tooling around. Of course, last year we got to skip to a local folk festival and celebrate Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday with Arlo and his family before retiring back to the Yiddish Book Center for a high-energy finish to the weekend. This year, a dynamite lineup of workshops, lectures, and concerts, including a double bill Saturday night with Klezperanto and Margot Leverett & her Klezmer Mountain Boys. Holy Crossover, Batman! Don't miss it.
Yidstock 2013: The Festival of New Yiddish Music
July 18 - 21, 2013 at the Yiddish Book Center
Join us for Yidstock 2013: The Festival of New Yiddish Music! Continuing with the theme established in our inaugural year, Yidstock 2013 will bring the best in klezmer and new Yiddish music to the stage at the Yiddish Book Center. Don't miss out on what promises to be a great festival of music and related events.
More info: www.yiddishbookcenter.org/yidstock
This is really nice—a review and video clips from Tim Sparks concert at Club Passim in Cambridge as part of the Boston Jewish Music Festival last month. As you will discover for yourselves, Sparks is just one of the warmest, bestest, and fastest pair of hands playing good music on this planet. Glad I caught the show:
You know, I don't even care if the movie is significant or not (it is). The chance to hear Alicia Svigal and Marilyn Lerner perform, live? Priceless.
Alicia Svigal's original score to the 1918 silent film classic, "the Yellow Ticket," starring Pola Negri, performed live by Klezmer Unfettered: Marilyn Lerner and Alicia Svigals
April 29, 2013 (7:30 pm)
Coolidge Corner Theatre
290 Harvard St.
Tel: (617) 734-2501
A panel discussion will follow the film. Tickets are on sale now for $25.
The Yellow Ticket is a live multimedia concert event featuring the eponymous 1918 Pola Negri silent film with a performance of an original score by Alicia Svigals, one of the world's foremost klezmer fiddlers. The score is the newest commission from the Foundation's New Jewish Culture Network (NJCN) and marks the first feature-length film composition by Svigals who will perform live with virtuoso pianist Marilyn Lerner at each of the screenings of this cinema classic. Set in Poland and Tsarist Russia, the film portrays a woman's struggle to overcome adversity in a story of secret identifies, heroic measures, and triumphant love.
Catching up on Jewish-Music list discussions, I note this exchange regarding the Ruth Rubin collection. Huzzah!
From Jane Peppler
The librarian I contacted about the Ruth Rubin tapes in their collection told me YIVO is digitizing them. Is that true?
Response from Lorin Sklamberg
We have indeed begun the work of digitizing Ruth Rubin's collection of field recordings. A large portion of the materials were transferred and databased by Bay Area singer/instrumentalist Jeanette Lewicki over the summer with the support of New York's Center for Traditional Music and Dance. Though far from completed, the tracks that have been processed are currently being prepared for on-site use in the not-too-distant future by YIVO Sound Archives consultant Matt Temkin.
Renewed interest in these treasures can be partially attributed to the posthumous publication of Yiddish Folksongs from the Ruth Rubin Archives edited by Chana Mlotek and Mark Slobin (Wayne University Press, 2007). Recent projects that utilize the songs include my own Saints and Tzadiks (songs from the Irish and Yiddish traditions developed together with Susan McKeown), Voices of Ashkenaz (German-Jewish song connections explored by Andreas Schmitges, Deborah Strauss, Svetlana Kundish and Thomas Fritze) and Alpen Klezmer (Bavarian and Yiddish songs with Andrea Pancur & Ilya Shneyveys). I should also mention here the continued cultural activism and encouragement of Pete Rushefsky, Itzik Gottesman, Ethel Raim and Sandy Wolofsky, without whom we wouldn't have gotten this work started.
Please contact me directly if you are interested in these or other Sound Archives holdings.
Mr. Lorin Sklamberg, Sound Archivist
The Max and Frieda Weinstein Archives of YIVO Sound Recordings
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 294-6169 phone
(917) 606-8289 fax
Yup. New Koby Israelite CD coming out next week. This first clip offers a nice crunchy guitar/accordion take on a Dylan classic with a stunning voice doing the singing. I'm excited.
Adorable, and better late than never—just in time for any last-night seders!
Dick Rosenberg found this last week and posted to the Jewish-Music list; it's now too late for your seders, but we're at least still in Passover!
I want to share this. We played in an assisted living residence last night and our singer, who is a devout Yiddishist, brought a Yiddish Passover song, 'Zog Maran. I had never heard it before and was very moved by it. It is in Yiddish but tells the story of a Marrano in Spain (a Jew who had on the surface converted after the Spanish Inquisition but who secretly practiced Judaism). The first version, by Martha Schlamme, has the words and the translation.
The second version, by Linda Hirshhorn and Vocolot, is extremely moving.
A zisn pesakh,
I have taken too long to post this. The wonderful trumpeter and member of Alan Bern's Other Europeans project has been undergoing cancer treatment. He has no insurance. Please help. Here is Alan's last update from early March:
Apr 1, 2013
Adam is in a rehab clinic in Marburg. The doctors say that he's making excellent progress. I'm speaking to him daily, and his mood is very good. He'd like to get back to trumpet playing very soon but the medical advice is that he should wait at least another month before risking that much air pressure on the repaired bronchia. Adam and I are very grateful to the generous response of so many friends far and wide. About 8,000 Euros have come together so far, an enormous help.
Best wishes, Alan Bern
Mar 8, 2013
Well, sometimes miracles still happen. Adam Stinga's operation was a complete success, and he'll start rehab next week, working towards the goal of playing trumpet again, which now seems very likely. Think about it: a Moldavian Gypsy trumpet player with lung cancer connects to a network of German doctors and a clinic in Bad Nauheim via his Jewish musician friends, Facebook and German pop music stars, is treated by an Albanian surgeon assisted by Syrian and Egyptian doctors and a Turkish anesthesiologist! This is the world in 2013, it's even Germany in the year 2013. Progress, no? We're deeply grateful to everyone who has given moral and/or financial support! You helped save Adam's life, it's that simple. We're still sitting on some very heavy expenses, though. If you or anyone you know can help, there's a paypal link on the other european's website: www.theothereuropeans.eu please share this posting as widely as possible, and thanks again to everyone.
Holger Berger, a klezmer from Germany, sends this more recent update:
I am from Germany and a regular and enthusiastic reader of your blog … I have met with a message about a trumpet player fallen ill from Moldavia this week which has made me very sad. By his illness (lung cancer) he can perhaps never play the trumpet again.
It is the Roma musician Adam Stinga and he has lung cancer. Because you can treat the lung cancer in Moldova probably not so good, it will be treated in Germany. Due to the lack of health insurance, the operation is of course priceless expensive for him. And even if he survives the cancer, maybe he will never again have the clearance to play his trumpet and earn money with his music.
Here exists also a very touching cinema movie about the [Other Europeans] called "Broken sound". When you download or stream the movie by following this link, the filmmaker donate half of the money on an Adam Stinga Fund:
I've seen the movie and I can only say it is a must-have for any musician, no matter what music genre he belongs to.
On this German Website you can read many reviews of other viewers: www.other-europeans-film.de/index.php?id=70
Perhaps your other readers are also interested in it. I would be glad if you would pass on the story of Adam Stinga and the links. You can find more also on the facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/The-Other-Europeans-in-Broken-Sound/139352856081941
From Geraldine Auerbach, allegedly retired, but still making good things happen:
We have newly established the European Cantors Association. Its aim is to focus the attention of synagogal bodies, lay leaders as well as prayer leaders on the situation and possible consequences of what is happening to synagogue music today. A big part of the problem is that congregations are ignorant of what the cantor does. Our aim is education of children and those who attend synagogues. Its all about communication....
We have created a newsletter—its called 'Cantors Banter' and you can read it here on the ECA website, www.cantors.eu
You can see details of the 2013 European Cantors Convention. it takes place in London June 17 - 20 with guest cantors Yehezkel Klang and Sol Zim. We welcome attendees form all over the world. here are the details, www.cantors.eu/8thConvention.html
One of the most meaningful parts of the KCB reunion held for KlezmerShack's 10th birthday about five years ago, was listening to Don Byron show how much he had absorbed of Klezmer, and then to spin it with his own magical sense of jazz. Truth be told, that mixing of jazz and Jewish is so different from the European klezmer that it is really another genre, entirely. But, I digress. What Byron does with jazz and klezmer is his own, and a treat. Here, he talks with folks at the Forward about his Mickey Katz discovery:
How Don Byron Brought Klezmer Music And Mickey Katz Back To Life: Clarinetist Looks Back At His Triumph, by Jake Marmer, published Mar 29, 2013
"… If you were trying to be hip, and hip meant being assimilated, it was going to be hard to face the thing you ran away from, especially at first. I know many of the downtown types had never seriously thought about doing that music, though many would deny my impact on them; however, you couldn't really argue with the crowds we were getting. That probably broke the ice for many of them. The first anniversary of the premiere of 'Mick at the Knit' suddenly became a downtown festival, including all the revival acts and the downtown folks.…" [More]
Oh, this is cool. Longtime klezmer Andrea Pancur has teamed up with Latvian Ilya Shneyveys to do this new Bavarian project (kind of south for a Latvian, no?) looking at the roots of shared Jewish and Bavarian tunes. It's Alpine Klezmer: Bavarian and Yiddish and not quite kosher.
I'll let them tell their story their way—check it out at Indiegogo.com
Judy and I have been out every night for days. The Boston Jewish Music Festival is that good. Last night was my first opportunity to see the current incarnation of "The Painted Bird" and my first opportunity to visit Jamaica's "Milky Way Lounge" in its new setting. Major success all around.
For those who don't know Kahn's work, think of a cross between Brecht and badchaness—wonderful, topical rock, folk, cabaret songs about the (generally, ill) state of the world with facile, pointed lyrics, in Yiddish and English, backed up by a talented rhythm team (Michael Tuttle on bass and Hampus Melin on drums) and the always-scintillating Jake Shulmen-Ment on violin. At times you think of a young Leonard Cohen, but less caught in the glare of his love life and more caught up in the ways in which we live together as a society. Other times, I could clearly hear the influences of bands such as the Pogues, whom Kahn cited at dinner preceding the concert as among his influences.
One aspect of the concert that I especially enjoyed was the mix of the expected younger attendees with a large group of older yiddishists. All of us seemed to be having a good time.
Kahn is touring to support his most recent CD, Bad Old Songs, featuring the Brechtian "Good Old Bad Old Days," Leonard Cohen's "Story of Isaac" and much more. If you are lucky enough to be in NYC, you can catch him on tour starting Saturday night in Ithaca, NY, and on Monday night at the Grammercy Theatre; thence off to the left coast.
Such an amazing official kickoff to the Boston Jewish Music Festival last night. The first half was a heimish, wonderfully played tour of familiar klezmer from Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein--The Tarras Band--complete with Pete Sokolow, David Licht, Jim Gutmann, Ben Holmes, and Michael Winograd. Pete's comments on Tarras and the bad old days remain a big part of the fun, as was his final solo at the end of the set where he unleashed his inner "Klezmer Fats."
Anywhere else, that would have been enough, but then Lerner and Moguilevsky took to the stage and we realized that listening to the Tarras Band was in part so that we'd be able to associate the intense and wonderful improvisational music we were now hearing with the originals. I haven't seen the band for a couple of years (Ashkenaz, Toronto, as usual). Such a wonderful feeling to see them on a local stage. But then, Shura Lipovsky took the stage with a big, wonderful voice and Yiddish originals and Cesar and Marcelo were the perfect accompaniment. Talk about three musicians in one mind and performing intimately, flawlessly.
Lerner and Moguilevsky are in New Hampshire today. Lipovsky is off to Berkeley where she will perform with Theo Bikel. Check out the full schedule at http://bostonjewishmusicfestival.org/events/
This is a big week coming up. But, first, today is Purim—if you take a look at the KlezmerShack Calendar you'll see a host of events (and not a few that were on for last night, the traditional reading of the megillah). This is not my favorite holiday. As a child, and still as an adult, I find Vashti the only character I admire, and all the rabbinic stories I have heard so far fail to change that. And the last few chapters of the megillah as we read about the revenge wrought by the Jews? I may understand it psychologically given our history, but it makes for grim reading.
Still, those of us lucky enough to live in Boston can celebrate today with a wonderful Purim Show created by Hankus Netsky. It will take place out in Waltham and features a Purimspiel—a Purim play in Yiddish and English—and some wonderful performers. Worth braving the cold rain and snow for, indeed.
Starting Thursday of this week, we have the preview of Boston's Jewish Music Festival, and this year is a killer. From the pairing of Cantor Isaac Helfgot and violinist Itzhak Perlman, to dance parties, kid events, Mizrahi and Sephardic music, and of course, lots of klezmer, I am going to find myself doing a lot more socializing than usual.
I have to give a special mention to Argentina's Lerner & Moguilevsky. For years I tried to champion their appearance here to no effect. But Joey and Jim made it happen. The duo will be appearing several times in the area, starting with the festival preview Thursday night in Newburyport. If you can physically make it, do. You will be blown away.
I also want to mention a special show Tuesday week: on Mar 5 one of my long-time guitar heroes, Tim Sparks, will appear at Club Passim with Noah Lubin. I don't know from Lubin, but I'd be inclined to trust the Festival. Sparks, however, is one of the best, warmest guitarists I have ever had the pleasure of hearing. His work with traditional Jewish music, from cantorial to klezmer to sephardic and other folk traditions, is just magical. Not to be missed.
The night after Tim's and Noah's show, Daniel Kahn brings his "The Painted Bird" ensemble to one of our favorite holes in the wall: The Milky Way Lounge in Jamaica Plain. For those unfamiliar with Kahn's work, he has created a yiddish cabaret for the 20th century—topic songs for our times in the tradition of old world badchanim married to Woody Guthrie. His most recent album is "Bad Old Songs." This is music for the 99%. In keeping with the political dimension, Dan and long-time writer/activist Leonard Fein will discuss/enjoy "Pizza and the Progressives." Reserve your spot now.
And, finally, I have to mention the Klezmer bash next Saturday night. Lerner & Moguilevsky will be there. The Tarras Band (Michael Winograd, Pete Sokolow, Boston's own Jim Guttman, and others), and the amazing Shura Lipovsky, a European singer of wonderful, wonderful voice. If she has appeared in Boston, it hasn't been since I moved here 15 years ago. Again, not to be missed.
But, suppose you live on the left coast, my former home. In that case, you will be in different, if related ecstasy, as the 28th Jewish Music Festival kicks off there. Shura Lipovsky will be there, as will Daniel Kahn, as will an extensive cast of characters from Michael Alpert to the folks in Veretski Pass, and so much more. You'll find entries from the Festival on the Calendar, or, better yet, peruse the Festival website, yourself. Enjoy!
Roxane Martin, harpe celtique accompagnée de Pascal Thorel duo Anwynn - interprètent et arrangent musique d'Europe de l'Est et de l'Ouest. Plus d'infos : compagniebalagan.com
One of my favorite bands, The Sway Machinery, offers this free tribute to the sentiments often attributed to a Christian saint on this day. It's from their forthcoming EP, "Monsters of the Ancient World". (We live in a remixed world!). It won't be online long. Grab it today and play it for your sweetie!
Happy Valentines Day! Our gift to you: LIMITED TIME FREE DOWNLOAD SNEAK PEAK from our upcoming EP entitled MONSTERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD.
Follow the link below and click on the downward facing arrow to download...be our guest, share with your lovers and friends...
DON"T FORGET...The Sway Machinery/Ceci Bastida showdown on Feb 23...Brooklyn's fiercest music making/partying for the Purim Carnival! Get your tickets now for a better price (I think you save 5 bucks):
A Klezmerizing Performer: Clarinetist Winograd Transcends Tradition, by Jake Marmer (week of January 25, 2013)
"Thirty-year-old clarinetist and composer Michael Winograd is … [t]horoughly at home with traditional klezmer repertoire, he is able to powerfully summon the wild tragicomic essence of this music in his original compositions. His newest album, "Storm Game," is a complex and not easily classifiable record that not only showcases Winograd's impressive chops, but also grapples with fundamental questions about the very nature of contemporary American klezmer." [more]
I have been threatening to unleash a new KlezmerShack for several years now. Last weekend, while I was down in NYC attending the memorial concert for Adrienne Cooper I discovered that some behind-the-scenes changes at the service provider where this website is hosted had rendered code last updated in 2007 inoperable.
My bad. Different from paper in a book or shelf, when computer code is put on the Internet, it gradually changes--new vulnerabilities are found; people fix things that may (or may not) have required fixing. The neat package of instructions that worked so well stops fitting its wrapper so well. Leaks develop. Things work less well. The website increasingly resembles the jeans I purchased in 2007--it doesn't look new any more, and sad to say, things no longer fit. In the case of this website, I don't particularly want to put it on a diet, either (analogies take you only so far).
So, things are patched up, but hopefully for the last time. You will see few klezmer updates over the next couple of weeks as I frantically try to figure out how to get things into a new virtual home. Please bear with me.
And for the next couple of weeks, you can share the concert to remember Adrienne and carry on her work, on Livestream.
And here's the accompanying video of Mazel Tov! Kocktail Hour, recorded by a 16 year old kid (his dad is Ian Hancock, Roma professor who teaches Yiddish and works for Romany rights), with Semper Phonograph Company onto Wax Cylinder, Austin, TX, Nov 2012:
Jon Madof's current project, the Fela-Shlomo Carlebach tune mashup, Zion-80 has started to hit the studio. Here is a video of them performing Tov L'hodot: