An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry
To everyone who was a part of this concert, audience, workshop participant, performer, I just have to say, "thank you". It was sold out. The band was fabulous. The workshops were crowded and had a lot of fun (especially the one that I was co-moderating). Wow!
The energy in the workshops blew me away. Michael Alpert leading the dance workshop with Jeff Warschauer and Dobe Ressler providing the music; Deborah Strauss and her fidl-kapelye; Hankus performing magic with his instant klezmer; the rapt interest in Yiddish in the "Taste of Yiddish" made for a diverse, exciting, and crowded first series. Then the musicians joined me for a great discussion on Yiddish music and where it might be going—that deserves its own post. In the second round of workshps, Nancy Weisman, taking pictures for me, was unable to even get into the room where Lisa Gallatin's Yiddish sing thing happened, and the jam session, led by Barry Shapiro was outstanding.
But then came the concert. From the opening chords through original drummer Charlie Berg's introduction of Hankus at the end, complete with a long, wonderful story about meeting Hankus in 9th grade and the music they have made in the 37 years since, it was just one of those memorable, special evenings. Many of the people who made the klezmer revival were on stage tonight—a damn good representation of the people who inspired the KlezmerShack and made it worth doing—there were five fiddles, three banjos, a double-drum section (and, speaking of "whew", Grant Smith and Charlie Berg did a double-drum solo that was matched only by the double bass medley performed by Jim Guttman and Andy Blickendorfer) that turned this ensemble into the Allman Brothers, or Grateful Dead, or Doobie Brothers of Klezmer.
Many thanks to the JCC for the organizing and faith that this could work, to Norman and Claire Sherman for providing essential funding, and to Workman's Circle for support, leading the Yiddish and singing workshops, and for just being there. Let's make this a habit.
More (and pix, if any came out) later. Too much wine and overwhelmed feeling for now.