Working to construct a "new Yiddish culture"
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]