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
Jewlia Eisenberg shared these on Facebook. These were recorded in 2011 with Charming Hostess, then in 2015 with Book of J (Jewlia, Cynthia Taylor, and Jeremiah Lockwood)
This is the best reason to spend the end of December in NYC, EVER
Yiddish 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!
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT REGISTERING!
"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
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.
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
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
Here's a new one from Mike Regenstreif
The Happy Prince is my favourite album of Jewish music for 2015Nov 28, 2015 by Mike Regenstreifproduct
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.
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.
Stories about women from the Bible, from Vashti and Sarah to the Daughters of Tzelofchad, set to excellent AmericanaNov 29, 2015 by Ari Davidowproduct
"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.0.3
I am so proud to have helped this project, and hope to be there in December
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.
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
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!
The 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.
From Brian Bender:
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.
Just in time for Rosh Hashana, Michael Regenstreif reviews three significant and refreshing new Jewish music recordings for the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin
From Bert Stratton, whose band, is the true inheritor of the Mickey Katz-inspired mashup. This one has a bit of bite. Timely:
Posted to Facebook by Francesco Spagnolo
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]
Very 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.
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.
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."
Dobe Ressler spotted this in the Forverts and passed it along. Congrats, Jane!:
Coolidge 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!
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.
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]