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February 15, 2009

Josh Horowitz: Klezmer and the Hungarian Tanchaz scene

From Josh Horowitz, who's articles on the KlezmerShack, and in recent years, on his own website, are always worth reading:

If you're interested, I've just posted a partly self-critical pdf article I wrote for the Hungarian Studies Journal on the relationship of the Klezmer scene and the Hungarian Tanchaz scene. If you'd like to know some of the down and dirty, its called "If the Tune is Jewish, Why is the Style Hungarian?". Please download it for your pleasure.

The article is the published form of a paper I gave at last years' symposium at the University of Indiana. Enjoy. Josh Horowitz

February 14, 2009

Valentine's Lecha Dodi

From our friends at shemspeed

Diwon Valentine remix coverValentine's is here and we thought the best way to celebrate was to give you a free download to the "i heart mixtape" of Love Songs mixed by Diwon. Feel free to pass the direct download link to everyone you know, as it is really really good: - mediafire.com/?3mz5lm2wmd5. Diwon has also just finished his club mix of Akon vs. Benyamin Brody. The song is Lecha Dodi and it's blazin hot, download that below. Besides that, next month we will be releasing "Shir Ha Shirim" by Benyamin Brody, Diwon, & Dugans. The record is an hour long meditation of Moroccan, hip hop, mizrachi music, and rock. We haven't taken it out of our rotation yet and it's been 3 weeks!

Diwon is influenced heavily by his family's roots in Yemen, Ethiopia, and Israel. His musical taste seems to also have been subconsciously influenced by the the different countries in which he lived while growing up as a Navy brat, including Japan where he lived for 3 years as a child.

This multicultural maestro is always full of surprises, and his latest release is no exception. The fresh aesthetic of the Asian region has somehow stuck with him since and so, for February 14th, Diwon presents a mix devoted to what pop music is made of, LOVE...just in time for the day devoted to it. In this mix, Diwon mixes various languages and genres as well as some of his own sounds into the music of which love is made.

Included on the mix are sounds from; The Concretes, Cat Power, Finley Quaye, Buju Banton, Blur, Smokey Robinson, and Anounshka Shankar to name a few. DOWNLOAD NOW FOR FREE

more info at shemspeed.com/iheart

American Yiddish Instrumental Fusion Music in the 1950s and 1960s

Drummer Matt Temkin writes:

I am pleased to announce to the list that I have published my masters thesis online. It is entitled American-Yiddish Fusion Music in the 1950s and '60s. 30 second musical clips are provided of the tracks that are looked into in depth. Photographs of record covers can also be seen.

Cantor Susan Wehle, z"l

Alan Sisselman writes to the Jewish Music list on Friday:

I was saddened to learn that Cantor Susan Wehle of Temple Beth Am, Amherst NY was listed as a passenger on the Continental Airlines flight out of Newark that crashed in Clarence, NY near Buffalo last night.

She produced a CD entitled "Songs of Healing and Hope" inspired by her visits to the sick and dying. She had beautiful voice, performed at many community functions and was very active in the interfaith community. I am sure that an appropriate and complete summary of her accomplishments will be published. She will be greatly missed by many in the Buffalo community as well as Jewish music circles throughout the world.

It is truly amazing to see the human cost of this mishap as it has taken from us people who have influenced many facets of life ranging from music to human rights in Rwanda to keeping the memories of 9/11 victims alive. There may have been other artists lost but I don't have adequate information to verify anything further.

Alan Rubin adds this information from CNN:

CNN is reporting that Cantor Susan Wehle of Temple Beth Am (Williamsville, NY) was among the 50 people killed in last night's plane crash in Buffalo—www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/13/plane.crash.victims

Alan Sisselman notes this lovely memorial in the Jewish Week:

A Voice For Healing, by by Rabbi Irwin A. Tanenbaum, Feb 18, 2009

February 9, 2009

Memorial Service for Pesakh Fiszman, z"l, Feb 18, 2009

Pesakh Fiszman photo, courtesy Bob BlacksbergMemorial Evening for Pesakh Fiszman z"l,
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 6-8 pm

Cosponsored by The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring and The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
at The Center for Jewish History,
15 West 16th Street, New York, New York.
(Photo id required for entry)

For additional information, phone 212.889-6800, ext. 203.

To submit photos or text for the event, please email Kolya Borodulin at the Workmen's Circle.

Di shloyshim far Pesach Fiszman z"l veln forkumen mitvokh dem 18tn february, 2009 fun 6-8 in ovnt, in dem "Center for Jewish History", 15 W. 16te gas (tsvishn 5ter un 6ter evenyu) in Manhetn.

Az ir vilt araynshikn a tekst tsi a bild, farbindt zikh mit
Kolya Borodulin in Arbeter-Ring.

Yiddishe Cup Ann Arbor performance reviewed

The lucky Jack Zaentz catches Yiddishe Cup in their annual foray to Ann Arbor, MI and writes a wonderful, detailed review. http://teruah-jewishmusic.blogspot.com/2009/02/yiddishe-cup-at-ann-arbor-ark.html

February 7, 2009

Brazilian Klezmer band, "Zemer" on YouTube

This trio are from the Zemer group, from Rio de Janeiro. You can see also a reharsal joining samba and klezmer music. We, from Zemer, met percussionists from the School of Samba Beija Flor, one of the greatest groups of samba in Rio de Janeiro. This meeting was recorded for a documentary about a neighborhood were the first jews settled when arrived in Rio, in the 40s.

1st Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival, Jun 17-25, 2009

Segal Center LogoThe Segal Centre for Performing Arts proudly announces the 1st Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival, June 17-25, 2009

The Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival will bring together Yiddish theatres from Israel, France, Romania, Poland, Australia, the USA and, of course, Canada.

This Festival will have something for everyone. For audiences, a diversity of exciting formal and impromptu events will entertain, educate, and inspire. For theatre professionals, the Festival offers a unique opportunity for artistic exchange.

This Festival marks the 50th Anniversary of the award-winning Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre.

This Festival will include:

  • performances of plays—both dramas and musicals
  • a film series
  • continual music
  • exhibits
  • a scholarly symposium organized y McGill University’s Jewish Studies Department
  • public lectures
  • an outdoor event
  • workshops for theatre professionals

all related to Yiddish theatre and sub-titled to ensure accessibility. For further information, please contact:

Bryna Wasserman, Artistic & Executive Director
Segal Centre for Performing Arts
5170 Cote Ste-Catherine Road
Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3W 1M7

There is also a neat article at All About Jewish Theatre

"The Real Arab Book" now available from OrTav

book coverYossi Zucker writes that "The Real Arab Book," described last month on this blog, is now available directly from Or Tav in Israel. Regarding the question of translation to English he also writes:

To clarify the issue of the English translation of the text in "The Real Arab Book:"

There are two sections with text in Hebrew:

  • A two page introduction, with very short descriptions (not even full sentences sometimes)
  • The addendum, which is a discussion of the scales of the maqamat, which has partly Hebrew titles and again extremely short Hebrew descriptions/definitions.

In the body of the book, all titles and the names of composers are given in English as well.

Quickly going over the texts, I see that I could, with the author's permission, translate the introduction and insert the page. Providing a translation of the section on the scales of the maqamat is problematic. First of all, I would need to receive the original music files from the authors and insert the texts. Secondly, I am not sure how useful this section is, or (more importantly) how accurate. The authors have chosen to list the scales for the maqamat, but the scales are not the maqamat. Also, some of the divisions into families of scales that they have made may not be the most accurate. We are working very hard to be able to issue our English translation of David Muallem's "The Scale and Maqam in the Arabic Musical Tradition," and there you will find a much more detailed and accurate description of the scales and the maqamat that are based on the scales, along with a demonstration CD played on kanun. This book should be ready in several months.

I think that we should see "The Real Arab Book" as a collection of melodies and songs, and leave the business of explaining the maqamat to those who do it better.

new Yiddish rap: Gey nisht avek

Lori Cahan-Simon spotted this one:

A Yiddish rap song by German/Israeli singer Zionlight. The aim is to keep Yiddish alive amongst the younger generation. "Gey nisht avek" (don't go away) is a song dedicated to the Yiddish language, saying don't go away. Read more: Zionlight on MySpace

Music site on Algerian Jewish music

Peter of the Aaron Lebedeff site spotted this French-language site about Judeo-Arabic music from Algeria: yafil.free.fr. It contains pictures, biographies, old recordings, MIDI files, sheet music.

new video from DeScribe and Y-Love

So, what do you get from two Orthodox Jewish rappers of different backgrounds? A familiar-sounding pitch in new clothing:

Erez, of Shemspeed writes: "we will be releasing one song per month from DeScribe & Y-Love, preview "Make It" which comes out Feb 24th, click to the myspace.com/describeylove

February 6, 2009

Shirim at the Lilypad this Sunday, Feb 8, 2009

Speaking of concerts not to be missed, this is the kid-friendly local one we intend to ensure we attend this weekend: shirimShirim Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009, 2:00pm The Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, MA Wash away your midwinter blues with some klezmer music, this Sunday afternoon, Feb. 8, 2:00-4:00pm at the Lilypad, 1353 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, MA . Suggested donation, $10, $7/kids. Bring the kids, bring your mother! Be ready to move. This is music for the soul. Come see us, you won’t regret it in this intimate venue. This performance will be more music, less talk, with a few non-klezmer gems thrown in for good measure. The band will feature: me on clarinet; Gary Bohan, trumpet; Michael Mclaughlin, accordion & piano; Dan Fox, trombone; Jim Gray on tuba; Eric Rosenthal on drums! The Lilypad is not big, so get there a little early to make sure you get in (and parked). See you soon!

Debut: Ha-Orot: The lights of Rav Cook, NYC, Feb 7, 2009

Anyone who has heard Greg Wall's and Aaron Alexander's work with "Later Prophets" knows that this is the critical NYC event of the weekend. Don't blame me if you miss it:

This Satuday nite—You are invited to the debut of HAOROT:The Lights Of Rav Kook Concert Feb 7th in NYC

"Give me, give me rays of light, Enough for me, enough, these pits of darkness."
(Rav Kook)

Shalom friends:
In these challenging days, the profound insights and inspirational poetry of Rav Kook offer us illumination in the darkness.

Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein and Rabbi Greg Wall's Later Prophets have collaborated in creating a powerful jazz presentation of Rav Kook's poetry in Hebrew and English. Their debut concert is Saturday, Feb. 7 at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun at 7:00 p.m. (257 W. 88 St.)

The lineup will include:
Rabbi Itzchak- spoken word
Rabbi Greg Wall-saxophone, flute, shofar
Pablo Vergara-keyboards
Dave Richards-bass
Aaron Alexander-drums.

This evening is sponsored by Romemu and Bnai BJ members. It will begin with a Tu b'Shvat celebration.

Sephardic Music Class at Longy starts Feb 10, 2009, Cambridge, MA

Okay, danger Will Robinson. There is no such thing as "Medieval Music of the Jews of Spain"—there is no record of what it might have sounded like, much made up history, and contrary to the course description, a general scholarly agreement that much of what passes for same is significantly recent. Ed Seroussi of Hebrew U. gives a fascinating talk on same. But I am an optimist and choose to believe that the class will hew closer to what is known and will cover some neat texts and interesting, if more recent, melodies. It is very cool that Longy is offering this class, and I hope that enough enroll to make it happen. There need to be more Jewish music classes, and more classes in more diverse areas of Jewish music. This could be very good:

New Course this Spring!
at the Longy School of Music
27 Garden Street
Cambridge MA 02138

Medieval Music of the Jews of Spain
Cristi Catt and Na'ama Lion, instructors.

The music of the Jews of Spain, also called the Sephardim, has continued to fascinate throughout the centuries. Pieces of this tradition survive in many forms: some songs survive through oral tradition, some are part of the liturgy and some come down to us in ancient manuscripts. Rising from the medieval courts of Spain, where Jews, Muslims and Christians lived side by side in peace and prosperity, these songs reveal a rich cultural web of influences. Following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the 15th century, the song tradition made its way to the Balkans to Israel and the US, and is beloved throughout the world. This class explores repertory of the Ladino songs, put in their context with music traditions of the same time including Gallego-Portuguese cantigas and Mozarabic muwashas. This is a performance class open to singers, string, wind and percussion players, by permission of the instructors.

Fee: $325
Meets Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 PM, 10 meetings starting February 10, 2009.

For more information: www.longy.edu/cont_studies/cs_class_instruct.htm#earlymusic