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January 17, 2011

Pro Musica Hebraica Classical Music Blog

"As our February 10 concert approaches, Pro Musica Hebraica is pleased to announce a new feature to our website—a blog devoted to Jewish classical music: www.promusicahebraica.org/blog

In the first post, PMH contributor and British bass baritone Mark Glanville describes his personal journey to A Yiddishe Winterreise:

“A Yiddishe Winterreise reminds me that the culture of the people I was encouraged to reject is also part of who they are, that for every Goerring who would reach for his revolver when he heard the word culture, there is a Schubert who set a Hebrew psalm for the Jewish friend who sang his Lied.” [More]

In the second post, PMH contributor and cellist Jason Calloway describes his experience playing Jewish music in Budapest::

“…knowing as I played Eli Zion or the heartbreaking slow movement of the Shostakovich trio (which is a conscious monument by its composer to these victims) that I was truly communing with those lost spirits, is a feeling I will cherish forever. I only hope that I will be able to repeat it and to see the day when the Rumbach Synagogue is once again a living and vibrant house of worship.” [more]

Die Grine Kuzine on tour - the video

Touring hasn't gotten any saner since the days of "Hard Days Night." This is what it looked like to Die Grine Kuzine this year:

Devla, from Boban Markovic

Not klezmer. Not even Jewish. Just a very fun video of a lovely song from Frank London's Klezmer Brass AllStars collaborator and Balkan superstar Boban Markovic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vdELAOvpIQ As a friend says, "Yes, the simple love story of a boy and his trumpet, definitely worth a chuckle. Pay no attention to the fact that the first flourish-y bit near the beginning is played on sax, not trumpet. Details, details...."

January 9, 2011

Debbie Friedman, z"l, changed how American Jews pray

From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

Debbie Friedman, Jewish songwriter and performer, dies

(JTA) -- Debbie Friedman, a popular singer and songwriter who is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music, has died.

Friedman died Sunday after being hospitalized in Southern California for several days with pneumonia. She was in her late 50s. [more]

Yiddish Song of the Week

Posted to the Jewish-Music list by Pete Rushefsky:

A fire burns dimly … an angry wind blows … the news from Amerika is not good. Performance by Jacob Gorelik, commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at the Yiddish Song of the Week: yiddishsong.wordpress.com

Presented by Center for Traditional Music and Dance's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture

January 8, 2011

Debbie Friedman hospitalized in ICU; nation-wide online service motzei-Shabbat

Singer Debbie Friedman Is Hospitalized
By Ben Harris (JTA
Published January 06, 2011.

Breaking News
Songwriter Debbie Friedman has been hospitalized in Orange County, Calif.

Friedman is reportedly sedated and on a respirator, according to an email sent Wednesday from the West Coast office of the Union for Reform Judaism. The email asked that prayers be said on Friedman¹s behalf, as well as for her mother, sister and aunt.

A spokesperson for the URJ told JTA the union has received no further updates on Friedman¹s condition.

An immensely popular singer and songwriter, Friedman, who is in her late fifties, is widely credited with reinvigorating synagogue music by introducing a more folksy, sing-along style to American congregations. In 2007, she was appointed to the faculty of the Reform movement¹s cantorial school in a sign that her style had gained mainstream acceptance.

She is best known for her composition "Mi Shebeirach," a prayer for healing that is sung in many North American congregations.

David Morgenstern reports to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

"I would like to pass on a request to all members of the community neither to send emails to Debbie or her family nor to call the hospital, which has been inundated already beyond their capacity to receive them. We will be sure keep you up-to-date on her progress until such time as she can receive visits and communications."

Cantor Lois Welber adds:

"There will be a nation-wide online service for Debbie Friedman tomorrow night, after Shabbat at 6:00 pm PST actually 6:12PST, 9:12 EST), at the following UTube link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbgtVBaT2i4"

January 7, 2011

Abraham, Inc video released

of all the incredible CDs on my "review or die" list, the top CD is absolutely the new collaboration between SoCall, David Krakauer, and Fred Wesley, Abraham, Inc. News to you? Check out the first video off the recording, as described by David Krakauer, himself:

"Just wanted to give you a quick heads up about my Band Abraham Inc.'s video "Tweet Tweet."You can see it in advance on Youtube on my channel which is: www.youtube.com/user/davidkrakauermusic.

I'm extremely proud of this video which is a cutting edge animated piece with artists from around the world contributing their considerable skills to it's production. I hope you take a moment to check it out and comment and hopefully give it a thumbs up.

If you have a YouTube account please subscribe as we're touring Europe in the Spring and should have lots of great videos to share. I'm looking forward to reading your posts in this New Year.

January 3, 2011

Interview w/Flory Jagoda online in Sephardic Horizons

Credit Joel Bresler for spotting this article:

"Rosine Nussenblatt Flory Jagoda, a Jewish folk singer, has devoted her career as a musician to transmit her Sephardic Judeo-Spanish culture from Bosnia through her music and songs. She has told the history of her family in several venues, including in her songbook entitled: The Flory Jagoda Songbook: Memories of Sarajevo (1996). Here, she has recreated for us the life of her family in Vlasenica, a picturesque Bosnian mountain village where she grew up.

This interview was very informal, being conducted at Flory Jagoda’s apartment, in Arlington, Virginia, on February 19, 2010, around a cup of coffee and delicious homemade Sephardic delicacies, a real Sephardic vijita [visit]. "

Read the entire text of: Interview with American Sephardic Singer Flory Jagoda, by Rosine Nussenblatt in Sephardic Horizons

January 2, 2011

Harold Seletsky, z"l

Michael Winograd posts to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Harold Seletskysad to have to report some bad news, i just heard that Harold Seletsky has passed away.

while a great clarinetist, harold was also an innovative composer and thinker, dealing with abstract musical concepts and microtonal theory

while i only had a few interactions with the man, mostly when i was a teenager, he was the one who introduced me to the music of Joe Maneri, and the idea of attending NEC, where i ended up....

i found out later, from a friend who studied composition with him, that he had indeed composed a 24-tone freilach for two pianos, tuned a quarter tone from each other

im sure he's already playing clarinet trios with Joe Maneri and Naftule Brandwein

RIP harold


ps... learn more about his work at haroldseletsky.com

Book review: Israeli Mediterranean Music

From Eva Broman, on the Jewish-Music mailing list:

book coverHere is a review of Amy Horowitz's book on Israeli Mediterranean music that might be of interest:

Mediterranean Israeli Music and the Politics of the Aesthetic, reviewed by Motti Regev, Aug 30, 2010

Musiqa mizrahit, aka Israeli Mediterranean Music, is a category of popular music mostly known for its strong Middle Eastern and Greek tinges. It has been at the center of Israeli public discourse on popular music since the late 1970s. By 2010, the leading theme of this discourse is the "triumph" of the genre in the field of Israeli popular music. With prominent performers such as Sarit Hadad, Eyal Golan, Kobi Peretz, Moshe Peretz, Shlomi Shabat, Lior Narkis and others filling up the largest music venues in Israel, leading the sale charts and ruling the radio airwaves, Israeli Mediterranean Music is by 2010 the "mainstream" of Israeli popular music.

Translator looking to market Russian-Israeli CD in US

From Roman Litovsky:

cd cover"Merhavim is Russian-Jewish band from Beer Sheva (Israel). The leader of the band—Boris Blahman is a poet, composer, musician and brilliant performer. Marina Gershman - lead vocals, Elina Milkina - violin and vocals. They perform original songs and music based on Eastern European Jewish music tradition, rich poetic Russian-Jewish culture in mixed genre of Folk/Bard/Klezmer/City Romance (Chanson).

This group was founded long ago in Vitebsk (Belorussia), later they emigrated to Israel. By now they published 15 original CD's!

They perform in Russian with some Yiddish elements, therefore their audience was limited in US to Russan-Jewish community.

I am a friend of Merhavim and their devoted fan—so I decided to translate their songs into English. Merhavim liked the translation—Marina and Elina speak English professionally, and they decided to make it live. So, they published this new CD "Wandering Songs" that is in part inspired by famous novel of Sholom Aleyhem "Wandering Stars" and gives pretty broad picture of Jewish life in old Russia and Israel of today. I am an exclusive distributor of Merhavim CD's in US. Though I am not looking for commercial interest for myself,—I am trying to do whatever is possible to help Merhavim—to promote their art—to help them somehow to perform in the US.

For more information, email Roman Litovsky.

January 1, 2011

Catching up - wonderful tablet article about two afro-klez jazz bands

This past year has been one of the busiest of my life. There are hundreds of emails to the KlezmerShack that are sitting in a folder, dated from 2009 and even earlier. One of the articles I missed, from the often-excellent Tablet covers two fascinating bands, one long-known to me (the Afro-Semitic Experience), and one, entirely new to me—Atlanta's 4th Ward Afro-Klezmer Orchestra. Read on:

Hyphenated Sounds: Two bands cultivate the ‘Afro-Judaic’ aesthetic, by Alexander Gelfand, Jan 28, 2010

Rainlore's World of Music returns!

Helen Winkler passed on this announcement from Richard Sharma. Many of us remember his prolific reviews, often of British bands that don't get covered much elsewhere, from a few years ago. Welcome back, Richard:

"I re-launched my web site in its own domain in Oct. 08, 2008: www.rainloresworldofmusic.net

"I am now able to accept a limited number of submissions for reviews again. People can get in touch via the Review form on my site at www.rainloresworldofmusic.net/forms/internal/review-form.html

Jews and Sufis: A Sacred Bride - Online video link

From Noam Sender, from the bowels of the black hole that has been the KlezmerShack mail folder:

I am delighted to announce that the "Jews and Sufis: A Sacred Bridge" panel discussion and recital held at Temple Beth Zion on October 29, 2009 is now available for viewing online.

Since at least the 16th century, the Maftirim repertoire - Hebrew liturgical poetry set to Turkish makam music for use in the synagogue—demonstrates the deep relationships Ottoman Jews established with members of Muslim mystical brotherhoods.

There are two separate links, the first for the panel discussion and the second for the recital.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
A panel of scholars moderated by Reb Moshe Waldoks speaks on cultural, historical, religious, and musical aspects of the Jewish-Sufi collaborations in Turkey from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Following a panel discussion, an ensemble of Jewish, Muslim and Christian vocalists and instrumentalists, including yours truly, play examples of relevant musical repertoire. Attached you will also find the program notes for the recital.

Klezical Tradition video

And even more from the amazing klezmer flautist and teacher, Adrianne Greenbaum—this time from her regular band, Klezical Tradition:

A couple standards, non-standards, and that adds up to four - but there are three … for your listening pleasure - I hope:

Wedding Hora

The sound of the 19th century wooden klezmer flute

Firn di Mekhuttonim

From, Adrianne, who wishes everyone a freylekhn Khanike and warm weather and thoughts if you're out on the east coast in the US or any other cold climate. Can't wait for Spring and we haven't even started….