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December 01, 2015
Yiddish New York is coming! Dec 24-29

This is the best reason to spend the end of December in NYC, EVER

festival logoYiddish New York
Thursday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Yiddish New York (YNY) is a new festival/cultural immersion gathering for Yiddish music, language and culture combining workshops, lectures and performances from Thursday, December 24 - Tuesday, December 29, 2015. With its hub at the 14th St. Y and adjacent Town and Village Synagogue, Yiddish New York will take place at a variety of venues in Manhattan's vibrant and historic Lower East Side/East Village. Faculty/speakers represent many of the leading figures in Yiddish culture today. Open to individuals of all ages, backgrounds and families with children!

Daily Programs in.... Klezmer Music - Yiddish Song - Yiddish Dance - Theater - Yiddish Language - Yiddish Culture and History - Visual Arts - Foodways - Master Classes - Ensembles - Dance Parties - Jam Sessions - Concerts - Lectures - Films - Spirituality and Religion - Neighborhood Walking Tours - Youth and Teen Programs - and More!


Posted by adavidow at 09:38 PM | Permalink
Alicia Svigals on cover of "Fiddler" magazine

"In the world of klezmer music, Alicia Svigals is a household name. Ever since her band The Klezmatics came on the scene in 1986 with its unique take on traditional klezmer music (she remained a member until 2002), Alicia has been the go-to person for klezmer fiddle."

Alicia Svigals: A New Role, by Matt Merta, Fiddler Magazine, 2015-11-20

Posted by adavidow at 12:11 PM | Permalink
"Yerushe" crowd-funding project nears deadline

Here is a neat project from Eléonore Biezunski in Paris:

"Yerushe" is Yiddish for "heritage" or "inheritance". The musical project originates from our discovery of repertoire of little known Yiddish songs and Klezmer music in the folklore archives (Ruth Rubin, Moshe Beregovski, Zusman Kisselgof). Each of these songs is a short story in a great history of lived experiences, of battles fought, of hopes for the future. The album will be published under the prestigious label of the Institut Européen des Musiques Juives (European Institute for Jewish Music), but we still need to produce the audio master.

Check Yerushe: Watch, listen, read about the project by following this THIS LINK.

How can you help? Contribute to our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo until December 11, 2015. Tell you friends: share the link, forward this project.

Posted by adavidow at 08:20 AM | Permalink
Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus: "Rumania, Rumania"

A bit overblown and symphonic? Putting a suit on the blues? From Binyumen Schaechter

Performed by The Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus, Binyumen Schaechter, Conductor and Temma Schaechter, Soloist

Posted by adavidow at 07:44 AM | Permalink
November 30, 2015
Yiddish song of the week: Sonyetshka

How shameless you are Sonye.
Are you afraid of people?
Come out Sonyetchke
We will see each other from a distance.

This week … a humorous Russian/Yiddish song performed by Feigl Yudin, with commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at Center for Traditional Music and Dance's Yiddish Song of the Week:


A program of CTMD's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture

Posted by adavidow at 09:42 PM | Permalink
November 29, 2015
Mike Regenstreif: The Brothers Nazaroff / The Happy Prince

Here's a new one from Mike Regenstreif

photo of 'cd cover'

The Happy Prince is my favourite album of Jewish music for 2015

Nov 28, 2015 by Mike Regenstreif

About six decades after the release of Jewish Freilach Songs, some of today's most accomplished klezmer musicians - including Michael Alpert, Daniel Kahn, Bob Cohen (not to be confused with Bob Cohen, the Canadian guitarist), Psoy Korolenko, Jake Shulman-Ment and Hampus Melin—gathered as The Brothers Nazaroff to record The Happy Prince, a joyous tribute album to Nazaroff. [review continues on Mike's blog]

Get your copy/download of the CD from Smithsonian Folkways, or wherever fine music is purveyed.

This hReview brought to you by the hReview Creator.

Posted by adavidow at 06:14 PM | Permalink
Quick review: Girls in Trouble / Open the Ground

It's almost Khannike. I'm trying to get reviews of several new recordings online. Time. Girls in Trouble were here just a couple of weeks ago, so with that pleasure fresh in my mind, let me at least get some information about this recording online.

photo of 'Girls in Trouble / Open the Ground'

Stories about women from the Bible, from Vashti and Sarah to the Daughters of Tzelofchad, set to excellent Americana

Nov 29, 2015 by Ari Davidow

"Girls in Trouble" began life as a thesis project at JTA. Poet/musician Alicia Jo Rabins was stuck, and her advisor suggested that a song cycle would be an appropriate substitute for a paper. The first collection was stunning. It was released two kids (?) and six years ago, and introduced songs about several known and less-known women from the TaNaKh. Musically, the songs are wide-ranging "Americana." Three collections in, I find myself listening and relistening. The stories and music resonate. Some, such as a new song about Sarah, focusing on Isaac's near sacrifice, make the incident personal in a way that Bible class never did. Vashti's story, "I'm Done Dressing Up" is perfect bluegrass, and highlights what we all think every Purim. Others are more obscure, as in "New Arithmetic," about the Daughters of Tzelofchad—a story from the Talmud in which women demanded the right to portions in the Land of Israel. For those, I visit the Jewish Women's Encyclopedia at the Jewish Women's Archive to get the whole story. Rabins is a treasure, musically and poetically, and for giving us reason to dig into the TaNaKh. To get your own copy, check out Bandcamp.

This hReview brought to you by the hReview Creator.

Posted by adavidow at 05:35 PM | Permalink
November 27, 2015
Support Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish

I am so proud to have helped this project, and hope to be there in December

Dear Friends,

We are very excited to announce the fourth annual Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Legacy Concert taking place on December 26, 2015. Save the date! Be there!

The event will take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, hosted by Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater in partnership with YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, keepers of the Adrienne Cooper Archives, GOH Productions, and presented in association with Yiddish New York's inaugural year.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate the life, work and influence of Adrienne, Yiddish singer, scholar, teacher, educator/activist, Executive Director of Programming at the Workmen's Circle, and former Assistant Director at YIVO. Beloved stars of the klezmer and Yiddish world will present an evening of music from In Love and In Struggle: The Musical Legacy of the Jewish Labor Bund (YIVO, 1999), an album that features Adrienne and was reflective of her passion for social justice and Yiddish. This inspired musical choice came out of the Cooper Archives and is a direct result of your support for the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish. We thank you.

The recipient of this year's Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award goes to the wild, wonderful Canadian artist, Josh Dolgin aka Socalled, for his work as a klezmer/hip-hop artist, composer, record producer, puppeteer and multi-facetted, kind, inclusive, creative genius always pushing the edges of possibility.

The Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish is appealing to YOU anew to help us raise the resources needed to produce this award and concert event. Please donate generously. And quickly! Please help!

We must raise $6,000 by December 13 (last candle of Chanukah). Spread the light!

All proceeds go to the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish, which supports artists as they embark on the timeless, boundless, utterly unexpected adventure of working in Yiddish.

To donate, use this link HERE or copy this url npo.justgive.org/gohproductions

For tickets, use this link TICKETS or copy this url dreaminginyiddish2015.bpt.me

Please send your contribution today.  Donations can also be made by check payable to GOH Productions, earmarked AC DIY/Artist Award and mailed to: GOH Productions /Seven Loaves Inc., 239 E. 5th St. Suite 1D,  New York, NY 10003-8544.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Sholem, sholem, sholem. A hartsikn dank.
Marsha Gildin, ACDIY Development Committee & Bonnie Stein, GOH Productions

Posted by adavidow at 05:40 PM | Permalink
Seminal "Brave Old World" now on iTunes

Catching up on last week's news from Alan Bern:

After five years of email correspondence with our publisher and slowdown tactics that would astonish a turtle, I'm happy and relieved to say that the three Brave Old World albums on the Pinorrekk label - Beyond the Pale, Blood Oranges and Bless the Fire—are finally available on iTunes to download. To all Brave Old World fans who don't know this music, or who acquired it through somewhat dubious means (ahem...), this is your chance to download groundbreaking, beautiful music. Please share this post, thanks!

Posted by adavidow at 05:26 PM | Permalink
November 09, 2015
"On the Banks of the Tigris," BJFF, Sat, Boston, Nov 14, 2015

publicity still from movieThe Boston Jewish Film Festival is one of the places where I get to explore an always mind-blowing array of Jewish experience and history. I look forward to it each year. This year is light on the music films, but breadth is traded for depth—a very special music about Iraqi Jewish music plays this coming Saturday night in Boston, at the MFA.

Tix and more info at: www.mfa.org/programs/film/on-the-banks-of-the-tigris. While you're there, check out other films playing between now and the 16th. What I've seen so far has been inspiring and wonderful. You are sure to find even more to tickle your fancy and help keep an important local Jewish institution thriving.

Posted by adavidow at 08:30 PM | Permalink
October 15, 2015
David Tasgal, z"l

From Brian Bender:

photo of David Tasgal from Wholesale Klezmer website, http://www.ganeydn.com/wkb.html

It is with a heavy heart that I want to announce the passing of one of my closest friends and favorite musical collaborators, David Tasgal. David was killed in a bicycle accident this past Monday near his home in Greenfield, MA.

David was a brilliant musician (clarinet, violin, cello, piano) and composer. He was a kind, generous and creative teacher of many, many students over a long teaching career. He led and composed for numerous youth orchestras, and published a very innovative series of string method books.

David was just beginning one of the happiest periods of his life. He was married to Faith Ann Kaufman a little over a year ago. Faith's son Jake was starting to really bond with David. I can't help feeling that all three of them were robbed of many beautiful years together as a family.

I had the pleasure of playing with David for the past 15 years in the Wholesale Klezmer Band, as well as for the past 4-5 years in the Yiddishkeit Klezmer Ensemble with my wife Anna Sobel.

David and I had an incredible rapport with each other both as friends and as bandmates. We knew each other's repertoire (and original compositions) inside and out, and we could play for many hours together without reading a note of music. I view playing music as entering a sacred space, and I shared that space with David more than any other musician, especially during the last 5-6 years.

My last memory of David is the weekend we spent together (with my family) just over a week ago traveling to Bristol, VT, where our klezmer trio performed a concert/dance at a Sukkot festival. It was one of our best shows ever, and we had a great time simply enjoying each other's company.

I sat down to play the piano last night and I could swear that David was there with me! Then the tears flowed.

Posted by adavidow at 07:58 AM | Permalink
September 07, 2015
Michael Regenstreif reviews: Alpert/Kytasty, Litvakus, Henley

Just in time for Rosh Hashana, Michael Regenstreif reviews three significant and refreshing new Jewish music recordings for the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin

Music: CDs highlight cultural and musical commonalities

Posted by adavidow at 05:09 PM | Permalink
August 23, 2015
A Besere Velt open rehearsals, Brookline, MA A Besere Velt--A Better World--is a multi-generational chorus, sponsored by the Boston Workmen's Circle, singing in Yiddish and other languages to preserve culture and fight for social justice. We are looking for new members this fall. Open rehearsals are Saturday, September 12 and Saturday, September 26, from 3:30 to 5:30 at the Boston Workmen's Circle, 1762 Beacon Street, Brookline. No auditions, no knowledge of Yiddish required. Open rehearsals offer an opportunity to participate in a working rehearsal before deciding whether to make a commitment for the year. Membership opens only once a year.
Posted by adavidow at 09:55 PM | Permalink
Supergroup, "Brothers Nazaroff" to release Prince Nazaroff tribute 10/23/15

Posted to Facebook by Francesco Spagnolo

Klezmer Supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff Revive "Yiddish Pendant to the Anthology of American Folk Music" (out 10/23/15)

On October 23, Smithsonian Folkways will release The Brothers Nazaroff: The Happy Prince, a boisterous, high-energy tribute to cult Yiddish troubadour Nathan "Prince" Nazaroff, who recorded the mysterious Folkways 10-inch record Jewish Freilach Songs in 1954. International klezmer supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff, composed of Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko, Michael Alpert, Jake Shulman-Ment, Bob Cohen, and Hampus Melin, breathe new life into the discordant, obscure, jubilant legacy of their Happy Prince. [More, including audio sample]

Posted by adavidow at 08:53 PM | Permalink
July 25, 2015
Theo Bikel, "Di zun vet aruntergeyn" Theodore Bikel (1924 - 2015) sings "Di zun vet aruntergeyn" at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research 13th Annual Heritage Luncheon in his honor on June 18, 2015. Accompanied by Daniel Kahn and Lorin Sklamberg. Video shared by YIVO. I believe that this was his last public performance.
Posted by adavidow at 08:26 AM | Permalink
July 21, 2015
Theo Bikel, z"l

John-Keith, Theo Bikel, & Tamara BrooksVery sad news. I have fond memories of encountering him here and there in NYC and at KlezKanada. Certainly never had more than a passing acquaintanceship, but he seemed to be generous with his time and supportive to my wife who took a workshop with him at KlezKanada. His albums of world folk music opened the door to countless singers, including those reclaiming Yiddish culture, starting in the 1950s.


Posted by adavidow at 04:24 PM | Permalink
July 03, 2015
Podcast: album launch: "Chekov's Band"

From Joel Rubin, who has been behind so many excellent anthologies of historic Jewish music:

"Our famous, Jewish orchestra, you remember, four violins, a flute and a double bass" (Gayev in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, 1904)


Renair records are proud to announce the fourth of their series of issues exploring the story of Jewish recorded music. For more than one-hundred years the recordings on this CD had lain forgotten and unheard in the EMI archives. This ground breaking release of these extraordinary early recordings rewrites the story of Jewish instrumental music. Their exuberance and life affirming feeling allow us a glimpse into a world that has completely vanished. We interview Joel Rubin and Julian Futter to find out more.

Posted by adavidow at 06:21 PM | Permalink
ShirimKhadashim is made new - blog active again

From George Robinson to the Jewish-Music list:

"I'm on hiatus from Jewish Week for the summer, but there is so much going on in the Jewish music world that I feel compelled to revive my Jewish music blog. As you can see from the archives of the blog, this was a sputtering, misfiring venue ("I had a car like that"), and I can't promise it won't be more of the same, except that I feel a strong responsibility to the community to get the news out there."


Posted by adavidow at 01:58 PM | Permalink
June 18, 2015
Musician Jane Peppler Wins 1st Place at "Yiddish Idol"

Dobe Ressler spotted this in the Forverts and passed it along. Congrats, Jane!:

Musician Jane Peppler Wins 1st Place at "Yiddish Idol"

דעם פֿאַרגאַנגענעם זונטיק האָט דזשיין פּעפּלער, אַ מוזיקערין פֿון צפֿון־קאַראָלײַנע, געוווּנען דעם ערשטן פּריז אינעם יערלעכן מעקסיקאַנער פֿאַרמעסט פֿון אַליין־געשאַפֿענע ייִדישע לידער, „דער ייִדישער אײַדאָל‟, פֿאַר איר ליד, „איך קען שוין ניט מיטהאַלטן‟. בעקי קאָכאָקאַרו, פֿון מעקסיקע, האָט געוווּנען דעם צווייטן פּריז.
Posted by adavidow at 04:41 PM | Permalink
June 03, 2015
Coolidge Corner Cafe Crawl rescheduled: tomorrow night, Jun 4, 2015, Brookline, MA

festival logoCoolidge Corner Cafe Crawl
Rescheduled from last spring!

June 4, 2015, 8-10pm

Ehud Ettun & Haruka Yabuno at Panera Bread
299 Harvard Street

Two of Boston's outstanding jazz artists, Israeli-born bassist
Ehud Ettun & pianist
Haruko Yabuno bring their prodigious talent together for an unforgettable evening.
Here's a taste:

Thalia Zedek at 16 Handles
1309 Beacon Street

Boston indie legend
Thalia Zedek brings her soulful, poignant sound and guitar to this gig--to be joined by a cellist! Don't miss something different at a yogurt/smoothie joint.

The Rosenthals at Blue Hills Bank
1337 Beacon Street

Bluegrass meets jazz. Dan and Phil Rosenthal bring unique their mix to our sponsor's location, Blue Hills Bank. When's the last time you heard a banjo and a trumpet together? Or heard really great music at a bank, for that matter.

Di Bostoner Klezmer at Kolbo
437 Harvard Street

Well-known Boston musicians Dena Ressler and Corey Pesaturo bring their lively and wonderful music to one of Boston's favorite Judaica stores. A shidduch made in heaven.

Part of the Boston Jewish Music Festival—who can always use your contributions, your help as volunteers, and heck, don't forget to attend this coming spring!

Posted by adavidow at 01:54 PM | Permalink
Ger Mandolin Orchestra, NYC, June 18, 2015

You begin to sense when an event really matters when you realize how many people have forwarded notices to you about it. I've gotten a slew about this one. What I don't understand is why this is being promoted as a klezmer concert—I mean, I assume there will be lots of klezmer, but if I had an assembly of world mandolin masters this good playing anything from kid's songs to the Sun Ra songbook, I'd probably reach out to the broadest possible audience, from bluegrass to acoustic music fans, on out. If you live anywhere that can reach this concert, you will kick yourself if you don't attend:

The Ger Mandolin Orchestra will make its NYC debut on June 18, at Skirball Center NYU, as part of KulturfestNYC. This is a really unique ensemble representing a little-known but quintessential Jewish musical tradition. Sheesh, this was popular entertainment even in this country with dozens of Workmen's Circle-sponsored mandolin orchestras a century ago. Ger Mandolin Orchestra features an amazing all-star cast of musicians from North America and Europe whose specialties include klezmer, Yiddish, bluegrass, jazz, classical, Brazilian music and much more. It is very rare for this group to come together and we're looking forward to sharing this amazing story and our unique music with NY audiences. Best way to get a taste of what they're about is to check this mini-doc about their Toronto show two years ago, or this short AFP news piece from the band's trip to Poland in 2011. Like them on Facebook to keep up with latest news.

Posted by adavidow at 01:32 PM | Permalink
Jewish rapper Y-Love defies stereotypes

Via Clare Kinberg on Facebook. The KlezmerShack reviewed Y-Loves first album, This is Babylon, in 2008:

Jewish rapper Y-Love defines stereotypes: Baltimore native says that just "blending in" was never an option, Elaine Durbach, NJJN, May 27, 2015

Blending in "was never an option," Yitz Jordan says. From the start, beginning his journey to Judaism as a brown-skinned seven-year-old, then becoming a hasidic hip-hop performer, and finally coming out as gay, he was unlike anyone around him.

Better known as Y-Love, the 37-year-old, New York-based performer who describes himself as "trans-Semitic," is sharing what he has learned with young people facing similar challenges. [more]

Posted by adavidow at 11:06 AM | Permalink
May 19, 2015
Intensive Dance track at KlezKanada

From Steve Weintraub, posted to the Jewish-Music list. I have long maintained that dance (and people teaching/evolving the dance) is critical to the continued relevance of klezmer. He's been making that possible, one group of students at a time, for many years. Now this:

With all the recent discussion of Yiddish dance history and practice, it seems the right moment to announce a first ever intensive dance leader's track at KlezKanada this summer. The course will take 3 periods a day, while you absorb the musicial and Yiddish culture of camp. I'm very excited to be spearheading this initiative:


Please pass on this information to anyone you think might be interested. And also check out the other offerings this big, 25th year!

Posted by adavidow at 10:43 AM | Permalink
May 15, 2015

For those of us in my adopted home of Boston, MA, this is not a new subject. Dance leader Jacob Bloom has been fusing klezmer music and contradance for years (he also led the dance at our wedding). But, for those elsewhere, perhaps a fun introduction to the subject:

Klezmephonic and Drake Meadow: Bringing Jewish Music and Dance together the Ann Arbor Way, May 13, 2015 By Clare Kinberg

Can a Contra dance caller lead a Yiddish sher (scissors dance)? Darn right, if it's Drake Meadow! We will all get to experience the fun of it on Friday May 22nd as we gather to honor Rabbi Michal and appreciate her leadership of our community over the past two years. A special Kabbalat Shabbat beginning at 6:30 will be followed by a potluck dinner and entertainment by Klezmephonic, a new Ann Arbor klezmer band. [more]

Posted by adavidow at 03:48 PM | Permalink
Interview w/SoCalled about "five essential albums" cd cover

For the few people who have missed the release of the prolific hiphop artist SoCalled's new "Peoplewatching" album, here is a rather interesting accompaniment to the music, in which Dolgin connects his own work to concepts of community, and illustrates the idea by describing "five essential recordings" that reflect those values. A rather good interview, and lots of nice embedded clips:

ESSENTIAL ALBUMS: Socalled talks five albums that exemplify "community". In this boundary-expanding chat, Montreal-based musician/arranger/scene-uniter talks five albums that exemplify his rich cultural, musical and social circle. by Richard Trapunski, Chart Attack, May 15, 2015.

Posted by adavidow at 03:41 PM | Permalink
May 05, 2015
Roshel and Yakov Rubinov Ensemble, Live From Pete Rushefsky, on Facebook (for details see the KlezmerShack calendar): Central Asian maqom masters Roshel and Yakov Rubinov will be performing tomorrow (Wednesday, May 6) at a free show open to the public at the New School Event Space - Lower level of 65 5th Ave. at 13th St. in Manhattan. 6PM start.
Posted by adavidow at 05:29 PM | Permalink
Music for a Jewish wedding, radio from 2004 Denis Wilen just sent me this link from the Internet Archive: Music of the Klezmer Wedding by Eric Fixler and Craig Harwood Usage Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Topics klezmer, wedding, jewish, yiddish, socalled This is the Oy Mendele! episode from December 2004, when we were still on KALX. It features music historian Craig Harwood and myself walking through the sequence of a traditional Eastern European Jewish wedding, with music of then and now. It's worth listening to just to hear Craig say 'groovin' archive.org/details/EricFixlerandCraigHarwood
Posted by adavidow at 05:22 PM | Permalink
26th North American Jewish Choral Fest, Jul 12-16, 2015

Find Your Joy
at the 26th Annual North American Jewish Choral Festival

* Inspiring Conductors
* New Workshops and Presenters
* Musical Memorial Tributes to
Gil Aldema z"l and Yehezkel Braun z"l
* Special Track for Young Singers 18-30
* Fascinating Focus on Ladino Music

and the 12th Annual Hallel V'Zimrah Award to

Join our Community July 12 - 16, 2015

If you Love Jewish Music, You've Got to Be There!

More info and registration: www.wizevents.com/register/landing.php?id=3192

Posted by adavidow at 03:58 PM | Permalink
Celebrate launch of online Stonehill Jewish Music Collection, NYC, May 13, 2015

Wednesday, May 13: Special Launch Event for the Stonehill Jewish Music Collection. Mark your calendar for an event celebrating the launch of a new website http://www.ctmd.org/stonehill.htm) for the Ben Stonehill Jewish Song Collection!

In 1948, only 3 years after the war, Ben Stonehill recorded over a thousand songs from Holocaust survivors temporarily housed at the Hotel Marseilles after arriving in America. And on May 13, at this very hotel, we will be able to listen to some of the rare and important songs Stonehill captured for posterity. Though Stonehill passed away in 1964, we will hear his voice describing what he saw and heard in that lobby.

The evening will feature a presentation by Yiddish specialist and scholar Miriam Isaacs, Ph.D., herself born in a German DP camp. She has worked with CTMD to create a website which makes available the recordings and lyrics to many of these songs. Isaacs will describe the history and contents of the site and will play a few excerpts of the original songs, sung by men, women and children, mainly in Yiddish, but also Russian and Hebrew. Collectively, this body of song constitutes a haunting testimony to survivors' resilience, courage and humor.

We are thrilled that Masha Leon, one of the singers recorded at the time by Stonehill, will be joining us to share her experience and grace us with a song! A number of the songs will come alive as we will listen to contemporary singers in a zingeray (song-sharing session), featuring several wonderful exponents of traditional Yiddish and Russian song, including Isaacs, Carol Freeman, Esther Gottesman, Craig Packard, and Binyumen Schaechter.

The event will be followed by a reception with light refreshments. Programmed in partnership with the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center. We are grateful for the assistance of ethnomusicologist Bret Werb of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lorin Sklamberg of the YIVO Institute, Paula Teitelbaum, Binyumin Schaechter, Craig Packard and Itzik Gottesman for their assistance with this project, as well as the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation and the Atran Foundation.

At the Hotel Marseilles, 230 West 103 Street in Manhattan (SW corner of West 103rd Street and Broadway). Admission is free! (7:00PM-8:30PM).

Posted by adavidow at 02:03 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:

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!