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]
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!
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]
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.
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
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).
What a great idea! Everything from lists of local bands, where to find the local klezmer jams, where/how to learn more about klezmer, etc.
Appears to be sponsored by the local Seattle, WA klezmer band, Klezmer Chaos.
A song used in variant forms to memorialize tragedies befalling early 20th century Jewish communities in Kishinev, Bialystock and Volodarka. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman, now on Center for Traditional Music and Dance's Yiddish Song of the Week...
A project of CTMD's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture
Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 4 levels, led by world renowned Yiddish Lecturer Helen Khayele Beer and her distinguished team of fellow Yiddishists, Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa, Annick Prime-Margules, Lily Kahn and Barry Davis. Shura Lipovsky, Director of The Golden Peacock, will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song.
Sun Aug 9 - Fri Aug 14, 2015
SOAS Vernon Square Campus,
London WC1X 9EW, UK
Full rate £245
Discount rate £230 (if paid in full by 1 May)
Student / Senior rate £145
Discount Student / Senior rate £130 (if paid in full by 1 May)
More info: www.jmi.org.uk/event/ot-azoy-2015/
Tuesday, 18 Aug 2015 -- Friday, 21 Aug 2015
Vernon Square, Campus
WC1X 9EW London, UK
We are very happy to announce that our world famous Klezmer summer school is star is back again for 2015.
Join the world famous music school and learn klezmer this summer at KlezFest 2015. Here is a a peek into what you can expect:
• Traditional klezmer; history, melodies, ornamentation, dance and accompaniment
• Play music in ensembles and delve into improvisational techniques
• Interpret scores, jam and perform to the public.
• Lectures from the cutting edge of academic research
The international faculty will feature some of the very best klezmer musicians from around the world:
Dr Alan Bern (piano/accordion - Germany)
Ilana Cravitz (violin - UK),
Joel Rubin (clarinet - USA)
More info: www.jmi.org.uk/event/klezfest2015/
From generation to generation/ Fun dor tsu dor "
19th of april until 25th of April 2015
Reserved for families this week of immersion in Yiddish culture offers parents and children to share common activities: singing, klezmer music, dance, cooking, introduction to Yiddish, evening shows, concerts, tales and lullabies ... and tourism , tasting of local products, rest, read ...
The smallest are welcome in the kindershul for animations adapted to their age.
The team is led by Marthe Desrosières, flutist.
Members include: Lloica Czackis singer; Andreas Schmitges, dancer, mandolin, guitar; Eleonore Biezunski, violinist, singer.
The stay is in residence, in a magnificent nineteenth
located 17 km from Limoges: Château de Ligoure.
For further information do not hesitate to contact Marthe Desrosieres.
Posted by Michael Winograd to FacebookCantor Yanky Lemmer, Frank London & Michael Winograd - Project Ahava Raba - Studio Session A prayer, a Nusach and most importantly an invocation of the the abundant love between man and his Creator. It is through this project that Cantor Yaakov Lemmer, trumpeter Frank London and clarinetist Michael Winograd elicit these emotions. The project was conceived while touring Europe and performing at various Jewish Culture festivals. It is a marriage of Klezmer, Chazzanut, with an old school feel yet a refreshening energy and vibe.
Yiddish song of the week:yiddishsong.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/a-polish-khad-gadyo-performed-by-mordkhe-schaechter/ A Polish "Khad-gadyo" Performed by Mordkhe Schaechter A Polish Khad-gadyo Sung by Mordkhe Schaechter Recorded by Leybl Kahn in 1954 New York. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman Though not in Yiddish, we present this week's short ditty in the spirit of celebrating the upcoming holiday of Passover and as a contrast to last week's Yiddish Khad-Gadyo. This is either the beginning of a longer Khad-gadyo song or perhaps simply a children's rhyme based on khad-gadyo.