Recordings for a new secular year - Happy 2022, everyone
As we get ready for a new secular year, and most important, after yet another stupdendous Yiddish New York, I have been on overdrive trying to catch up with new recordings. Many of these feature YNY participants. A reminder to those thinking to maximize impact to the artists: This Friday will be a "Bandcamp Friday," (first Friday of the month) where Bandcamp gives up its cut from the sale of music and funnels it all to the artists:
- Christian Dawid is one of my favorite clarinet players, a long-time band-leader from early revival bands such as Khupe and Sukke, clarinet-player-about-town on a host of other recordings including recent Daniel Kahn. Isolated by the pandemic, this new solo recording has fun with his name, and provides lots of fun music, running the gamut from brassy ensemble music to straight-ahead clarinets (all instruments played by Dawid): Christian plays Jewish
- I took so long in reviewing the first Forshpil album, that the band got impatient and released a second one (in 2020, I am way behind). If anything, it is even better than the first as the band infused Yiddish with heavy metal psychedlia, played by an incredible group of musicians and propelled by Sasha Lurje's powerhouse of a voice: Tsvey.
- This is the album that Ezekiel's Wheels was promoting when we got hit by the pandemic. If you explore Bandcamp, you'll see that they have been most busy since them. In the meantime, this is a wonderful place to start: די פאָדעם The Thread
- Zach Mayer comes from a lot of yiches. This latest solo recording of nigunim from earlier this year showcases his multi-instrumental virtuosity and warm voice: Zamru
- As one might say of any Frank London recording, this new one is different. In this case, we go from renaissance Italy to American and South African dance music. At a time when too many people around us are becoming more tribal, this may help serve as a corrective: Ghetto Songs
- I apologize for waiting so long to catch up on this bluegrass-focused Andy Statman release from 2019. Monroe Bus, has been one of the listening pleasures of the pandemic
- As is the case with so many musicians, the pandemic hasn't slowed Michael Winograd down a bit. But this is what he was touring as the pandemic hit, and it is one of the recordings that has sustained me this year: Kosher Style. Explore bandcamp—he's been busy.
- Finally, I would not have made it through the last two years without Abraham, Inc's 2019 release, Together we stand. If you don't already have a copy, get one, and don't leave home without it.
More to come, I hope—still trying to catch up with newer recordings by YNY musicians and teachers.
Bandcamp Friday - the post-KlezKanada edition
It's the first Friday of the month, which means that Bandcamp takes no cut and gives it all to the artists. I'm going to focus this month on artists who taught at the recently concluded KlezKanada, including one new review. I've taken the "Boutique" list from KlezKanada, and supplemented it with some obvious extras—I'll follow up soon with other goodies that don't happen to be on Bandcamp:
- Latest release from my favorite Jew of Oklahoma (seen at KlezKanada, when not teaching, as part of David Buchbinder's new Klezmer/New Orleans ensemble on Monday night)—Mark Rubin, Jew of Oklahoma / The triumph of Assimilation, 2021 (review 8/29/21) (or go straight to Bandcamp)
- Most-mentioned new release at KlezKanada: Brivele / Cradle songs, grave songs: https://www.klezmershack.com/bands/brivele/songs/ (or go straight to Bandcamp: https://brivele.bandcamp.com/album/cradle-songs-grave-songs)
- Frank London isn't listed on the Boutique page (and his most recent release, Ghetto Songs, is not on Bandcamp), but there is no end to great music starting with his bandcamp page. That also gives me an excuse to mention the newly released 13th Klezmatics recording, Letters to Afar—and I'll extend a shoutout to Chant Records, one of my favorite labels, for helping to make this possible.
- Another incredible performer (we got to see him, as well as Veretski Pass), and leader of some great song classes: Anthony Russell & Veretski Pass / Convergence (or go straight to Bandcamp)
- Kirsten Lamb, the amazing vocalist/bassist from Ezekiel's Wheels was there. I have a review of the band's debut recording, Ezekiel's Wheels / Transported, but they keep getting better—check out their just-before-covid-hit release, The Thread, and I love the band live, so stop by the band's bandcamp page.
- Clarinetist Christian Dawid has a host of albums, several reviewed on the KlezmerShack, but he also has this very apropo new release on Bandcamp: Christian plays Jewish
- I am a big fan of Toronto drummer Lorie Wolf. You will be pretty happy if you check out a few singles recordings from her "Queen Kong" ensemble—a nice klezmer-tinged, radical Jewish culture set of tracks.
- Saxophonist Ariane Morin taught klezmer during KlezKanada, but she and Yoni Kaston have a wonderful Bulgarian/Turkish, band, Ihtimanska, and a Bandcamp release, Yüz Yüze
- Philadelphia trombonist Dan Blacksberg has a double offering on Bandcamp: His solo Radiant Others, as well as the covid-19 release of his hardcore-ish Jewish music band, Electric Simcha. There's more of his music on Bandcamp, as well. Explore. You'll be happy you did.
- Freed fellows Susi Evans and Szilvia Csaranko have their own traditional klezmer release: Klezmer from the New World
- Finally, I will mention Michael Winograd. You can find his most recent covid-19 (and just prior) recordings at Bandcamp. Special mention to his Tarras band recording, Kosher Style, and its companion "Winograd plays Brandwine". But, in KlezKanada mode, you way want to dip into his "Michael Winograd plays by himself ... and you can too" series. Get the whole set and make your ears happy (and get ready for KlezKanada 2022, or #klezkanada27 in twitterspeak). (You can find lots of earlier Winograd recordings reviewed on the KlezmerShack, of course. I'll be catching up, soon, I hope.)
Remember: It is a mitzvah to support the musicians who make the music that keeps you going! (And this being almost Shabbes, it's a double mitzve.)
It's the first Friday of the month, which means that Bandcamp takes no cut and gives it all to the artists. As it happens, this month there are a couple of new KlezmerShack reviews of bands that have new(ish, in one case) reviews on Bandcamp:
- Brivele / Cradle songs, grave songs: https://www.klezmershack.com/bands/brivele/songs/ (or go straight to Bandcamp: https://brivele.bandcamp.com/album/cradle-songs-grave-songs)
- Ruthless Cosmopolitans: https://www.klezmershack.com/bands/madof/ruthlesscosmopolitans/ (or go straight to Bandcamp: https://ruthlesscosmopolitans.bandcamp.com)
Remember: It is a mitzvah to support the musicians who make the music that keeps you going!
Jewlia Eisenberg, amazing human being, wonderful and inventive musician, passed away from a rare autoimmune disorder on Mar 11. She leaves behind friendships from around the world, and much good music. I have written a short memorial and am gathering what articles I can. Do please contact me via email or facebook or the JewishMusic list if you have more to add.
As I stumble towards making the KlezmerShack useful and working again, have addressed a couple of technical issues. "Search" works again, although since I last added Google search code, I see that the results now include Google ads. Will keep my eye open for a good search that avoids that. I do happily carry ads, but I want to make search work better, not put more stuff in the way of people looking for results on the Klezmershack.
I have also made the KlezmerShack work with current web security. This never mattered in one sense—there was nothing on the KlezmerShack that needs to be encrypted for anyone but me, as the maintainer. But it will make browsers happier when they visit the site, which is probably a good thing. Let me know if you spot problems.
From Pete Rushefsky, on Facebook:
He whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles, and doesn't want to stop. With the Rebbe's power the train will be trounced. Performance by Khave Rosenblatt, with commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week!
From Michael Winograd:
Its always worth filming!! Inna Barmash-Zhurbin came across this dance set she filmed (I'm guessing Lev 'Ljova' was holding the camera?) from my 2008 "Bessarabian Hop" CD launch... amazing!!!
Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band #rehearsing our arrangement of Fisher Lid. Enjoy!
#rehearsaltake of Fisherlid. We use the melody from The Klezmatics' setting of Aliza Greenblatt's words, combine it with a tune from the Amsterdam Klezmer Band and a whole lot of Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band magic. Enjoy! (And follow/like the page to stay up to date on the new recording as we take it from rehearsals into the studio. Lots more to come!)
Thanks to Lisa Mayer for posting this information on Facebook.
The National Jewish Book Awards have been announced, and the winner in the category of "Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice" (Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award) is Jewish Music maven Joey Weisenberg, with translations by Joshua Schwartz, for The Torah of Music, from Hadar Press.
A complete list of winners is available from the Jewish Book Council website.
Her first Tablet Magazine column of the new secular year, and apologies for taking so long to post it here.:
Yortsayt shmortsayt. Abi gezint! My first GOLDEN CITY of 2018 is here and friends, the prognosis is good. At least for Yiddish.
As always, please click and read. Share if you liked it. Share twice if you hated it. ❤️
twenty years ago, Alicia Svigals released her groundbreaking album, Fidl, the first contemporary recording of the deep and ecstatic klezmer fiddle music which had been beloved across Jewish Eastern Europe for hundreds of years.
On Sunday, February 4th, she follows up Fidl with Beregovski Suite: a project with Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer. Together they bring to life long-lost melodies from the early 20th-century fieldwork of Moshe Beregovski … and re-imagine them for the 21st century.
Sunday, Feb 4, 7pm (doors open at 6pm)
Joe's Pu, at the Public Theater
425 Lafayette St.
New York, NY
FUN DOR TSU DOR
Week around yiddish culture from 0 to 120 years old in a French Castle !
15th to 21th of April 2018
Château de Ligoure
87110 Le Vigen
Yiddish songs, klezmer, danse,kindershul
Batia Baum, yiddish teacher, translator. Marthe Desrosières, coordinator, flute, clarinet. Diana Matut, singer, director. Hugo Proy, clarinet, guitar. Andreas Schmitges, Dance, mandolin, guitar.
More info/registration: www.yiddishweb.com/Ligoure
From Guenther Schoeller, posting to the Jewish Music mailing list, following a discussion on the availability of the much-requested Isak Loberan klezmer books:
I promised to make a website where you can get more information about Loberans klezmer books and the CD. And where you can order. Here is the URL: www.loberan-klezmer.de.
With Chanukah now past, and the solstice just slipped, I am running out of time to post some thoughts about the holiday.
Seems like every year I read interpretations focused on the miracle, on the Judaean's faith in G-d, and the like. In these times, I find myself retelling a drash that I wrote many years ago. It feels even more apt today.
In December 1984 I found myself headed to Israel as part of a Jewish "Witness for Peace" tour, initiated by New Jewish Agenda (z"l). "Jewish" being no less expansive in those days than now, our trip included neopagan activisit/author Starhawk, and a host of others with greater/lesser connections to Jewish practice. We'd begin our mornings with a tree meditation from Star's "The Spiral Dance," followed by a round of "Hine ma tov."
The trip overlapped with Chanukah, and we had brought a chanukiyah and candles so that we could celebrate each night of the holiday (although I have no memory of either latkes or sufganiyot). Sharing the ritual with our hosts, most of whom had no idea what a "Jew" was, much less an inkling of the story behind the holiday, meant that I had to write a short drash (especially short--each sentence needed to be translated into Spanish to share with our hosts) about the holiday and what it meant.
The drash =was= short. I talked about how we celebrated events that occurred 2000 years ago when Judah Maccabbee--our Sandino--along with his father and brothers had led a successful revolt against the ruling tyrant. But, I continued, we don't celebrate the military victory. Relatively speaking, a military victory is easy. The hard part is creating a just, sustainable society, something that began with the miracle of oil that burned for 8 days (explain story of miracle), but then needed ongoing efforts and vigilance.
We didn't talk about how the Maccabbees ended up Hellenized, themselves, nor the ensuing period of war, fratricide, and ultimately, takeover by the Romans. We were hopeful at the time that the Sandinistas would succeed where the Maccabbees had failed. This year, I reflect that our own society, here in America where I was born, and where I have lived most of my life. We need to rededicate ourselves to fulfilling that promise first made by the Maccabbees.
As the days lengthen, and as we move again towards Spring, may the lights of Chanukah provide us with inspiration to re-engage with each other and find ways to create that just, caring society.
One year ago today, the world lost Ben Zion Shenker, a rabbi, cantor and composer who had been dubbed "the greatest living figure of Hassidic music." Shenker devoted his life to niggunim--spiritual melodies used in Hassidic worship--in the Polish Modzitzer Hassidic tradition, starting with the melodies of Rabbi Saul Taub.
A new video from Milken's oral history project features Shenker's insights about the styles, inspirations and significance of niggunim in his own life, and in the various Hassidic traditions of Eastern Europe.
On a rock, on a rock, sit a turnip and a horseradish. I beg of you, says the horseradish: Why is the sky is so clear? Performance by Khave Rosenblatt, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week!
The Yiddish Song of the Week is presented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.
All the children have to go to school. The "micro" (bus) takes us and brings us back. What a joy for the children! School, oy, oy, oy school…. A song for school performed by Ester Szulman, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week.
Edited by Itzik Gottesman, the Yiddish Song of the Week is presented by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and the Sholem Aleichem Cultural Center's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.
As a working person who gets no vacation and is paid by the hour, I haven't been able to take time off for the Yiddish Book Center's "Yidstock" festival, curated by Seth Rogovoy these past half dozen years. I may have to figure out a way to rethink. This year I missed Frank London's "A night in the old market," which I have yearned to see for years. I missed Hankus Netsky and Eden MacAdam-Somer (okay, I get the opportunity to see them almost often enough here in Boston—and same for Ezekiel's Wheels). I missed Frank, again, this time with the fabulous Eleanor Reissa and the Klezmer Brass AllStars. I missed Frank, this time with Lorin Sklamberg and Rob Schwimmer in the Nigunim Trio.
I did, however, see Alicia Svigals and Lauren Brody in their first Yidstock appearance, reprising material from Mikveh, their late-1990s/early 2000s supergroup, and surprising us with amazing new material—not just klezmer, but also new-to-us Yiddish poetry, often with sharp, germane, and obvious addressing of women's issues, reminding us why the Yiddish revival isn't just a linguistic tic, but for many, represents fighting for social justice.
The day ended with Andy Statman, also in his first Yidstock appearance. It has been a rough, tired day after breaking my rule about never staying for the last Yidstock show, but we were well-rewarded. The last few years, wherever I have seen Statman, he never fails to deliver klezmer, nign, bluegrass, and "Statman-music." Last night, though, he was just on fire, delivering almost two hours of nearly non-stop music, punctuated only by occasional intros to special nigunim. He was backed by his usual trio: Larry Eagle on drums, and Jim Whitney on bass. An old friend, Bob Weiner (sp?) joined on percussion for several numbers.
Kudos to the Yiddish Book Center for another excellent festival. 2018 has already been scheduled: July 12–15, 2018. Put it on your calendar now.
Just a quick note a propos of nothing. Was hanging out with spouse at a performance of Mahler's 8th out in Tanglewood this past weekend. One of the singers in the mammoth choir was talking about music that she loved. "Hassidic New Wave!" she enthused. "Been in my car for years. The kids got tired of it, but I still love it."
The KlezmerShack notes that this is one more reason why Sir Frank earned the "Knight's Cross" Order of Merit from the Hungarian government last year. Not bad for a Jewish kid from NYC. And we regret that we have once again missed the opportunity to hear/see a performance of his "A night at the old market" which appeared at Yidstock this weekend. Mahler. What can we say? Joey Baron, or anyone else from Boston's Jewish Arts Collaborative, can you make this a bit easier for me and just bring the production to Boston already?
From Jim Rebhan this morning comes this sad news:
One of the warmest human beings, and warmest voices in Yiddish song, passed away May 22, 2017. More on Facebook, search for "Recording Arkady Gendler", and from Tablet magazine: Arkady Gendler, a Paragon of the Yiddish Revival Movement, Dead at 95
Our virtual exhibit "Intimate Voices: Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit" continues its multimedia exploration of Jewish chamber music, from its roots to its fully mature--and still evolving--art form. Drawing on Jewish traditions, rites and folklore, the included works use the medium to evoke history and push boundaries, all on an intimate scale, all with a personal connection.
Follow this musical journey from Jerusalem to Odessa, with works by:
- Meyer Kupferman
- Richard Wernick
- Samuel Adler
- Michael Shapiro
- Leo Ornstein
- Ofer Ben-Amots
- Aaron Copland
- Jan Radzynski
Experience the History and Hear the Music in Part Two of Intimate Voices Solo and Ensemble Music of Jewish Spirit
Michael Winograd spotted this one:
From Leonard Koenick on the Jewish-Music list:
We Can't Make This Up: Yiddish Song Performed On Mongolia's American Idol May 1, 2017, by Jordan Kutzik
This may be the first time since Jews with Horns or Di Krenitse (The Well), their collaboration with Chava Alberstein (who also has a song on this recording), that the focus is on Yiddish and Klezmer—not a single waltz or bit of Americana. No collaborations with english-authoring song-writers (at least, not writing english-language songs here). Lots of old-world themes and very current perspectives. Lots of contemporary Yiddish poetry—even an old Catalan song now translated into Yiddish. We may not have changed the world as much as we might have hoped, except for the music, which is still, very much, the Klezmatics very own blend of powerfully good. The Klezmatics / אַפיקורסים Apikorsim (Heretics)
From flautist extraordinaire, Adrianne Greenbaum, on the Jewish-Music list:
A student of mine in the Mount Holyoke College klezmer band just finished this project:ww.pioneervalleysoundscapes.org/building-klez-munity-the-diverse-klezmer-music-scene-in-the-pioneer-valley-2017
Register now at klezkanada.org/registration
Scholarship Application Deadline now extended to May 15!
Apply at klezkanada.org/scholarships
KlezKanada's Laurentian Retreat - Monday, August 21 - Sunday, August 27, 2017.
Applications for the 2017 KlezKanada Scholarship Program are online and are due very soon! Our scholarship students come to KlezKanada to study and then take art, confidence, and community back out into their world, where they shine year after year. We have extended our deadline to May 15th. Don't miss it.
Find out more at klezkanada.org
Adriane Greenbaum is the most amazing flute player I know. Pete Rushefsky posted this video on facebook: "Some of the amazing Edward Alpern's hi-def footage of Fleytmuzik's show at Museum at Eldridge Street this past Sunday. Ed's making a documentary film about our Poyln project called www.miracleofthemusic.com and contributions are welcome. Congrats to Adrianne Greenbaum on putting the musical parts of this wide-ranging project together."
Pete Rushefsky is a leading revivalist of the tsimbl--a Yiddish instrument in the same family as the hammered dulcimer. Neil visited Pete at his apartment in Brooklyn to learn about a part of the Klezmer music tradition that was nearly lost to the world. Pete shares the his approach to European Klezmer traditions--simultaneously historic/academic and freshly creative--and reflects on a musical journey that began with a blues band at a Bar Mitzvah in Rochester, NY and has led most recently to performances with Itzhak Perlman and the most iconic musicians of the Klezmer revival.
Posted by Alan Bern on Facebook: "A short, beautiful documentary video about the Bobe Mayses project created during Yiddish Summer Weimar 2016, directed by Jenny Romaine with a wonderful team of artists (see the credits for a complete list). Thanks again to all who helped make this possible, from concept through grant application through administration through realization and presentation! It was an amazing and enriching experience!"
More about Yiddish Summer Weimar
From Eva Broman on the Jewish-Music mailing list:
To return to one of my favourite themes, here is a lovely video with Greek songstress Katerina Stanisi, whose 1986 hit "Den axizi ton kopo" ("It's not worth the effort/pain") become a huge hit in Israel it's Hebrew-language version "Ha-kolot shel Pireus" with Haim Moshe. Here she appears in an Israeli "taverna" show, sometime in the late 80's, together with Haim Moshe:
Katerina is what you'd call a "skiladiko"/heavy laika singer, but she has IMHO a fine voice, and "Den axizi ton kopo" is a really nice tune. She also recorded a duet with Stelios Kazantzidis that was covered by Itzik Kalah and Etti Levi.... I personally like both versions a lot:
Trees are chopped down in the woods. Stars fall and are extinguished. And hard is the path through the sand; But how good we feel when we're together.
Performance by Zelig Schnadover, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week! yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2017/03/22/beymer-hakt-men-fun-veldl-aroys-performed-by-zelig-schnadover/
The Yiddish Song of the Week is a project of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture.
Registration and Scholarship Applications now open
KlezKanada's Laurentian Retreat - Monday, August 21 - Sunday, August 27, 2017.
Register Now for KlezKanada 2017
Global Calendar of Jewish Music Events
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Music (or often about music)
Jewish Music WebCenter
Bella e Perduta: Music, Italy, & the Jews
Blog in Dm
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Inna's Musings, Memories, Meanderings
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Klezmer Guy: Real Music & Real Estate
Klezmer Podcast Blog
Matisyahu, best of UK Jewish Music & Culture
Shirim Khadashim—New Jewish Songs
Teruah Jewish Music
Yiddish Song of the Week
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Got klezmer photos you'd like me to include on the KlezmerShack? Upload them to flickr with the label "klezmer" and they'll be in rotation here!
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."
(Frequently Asked Questions)
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!