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."