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March 19, 2017

Times of Israel on Pepi Littman

This turn-of-the-century crossdressing feminist proves that Yiddish theater ain't no drag, Mar 12, 2017

With a modern revival 100 years after Pepi Littman donned Hasidic garb, the irreverent, nearly forgotten performer is even more relevant

Frank London's "Hatuey Memoria de Fuego" premieres in Cuba

The KlezmerShack is embarrassed to be a month behind the times, but we'd rather be late than not acknowledge this neat new Frank London project

Yiddish Opera to premiere in Havana, by Miranda Cooper

'Hatuey: Memory of Fire,' written by composer Frank London of the Klezmatics, tells the story of a Ukrainian refugee who falls in love with a revolutionary Taíno singer

Hatuey: del cabaret a la colonización

El próximo viernes 3 de marzo, la compañía Ópera de la Calle estrenará Hatuey, obra que—además de haber captado la atención de los medios internacionales—promete un espectáculo singular en dos tiempos: el siglo XVI cubano y la vida social de los años treinta.

Basada en el poema épico del ucraniano Oscar Pinis: Hatuey, memorias de fuego, y adaptada al teatro musical por la dramaturga Elise Thoron y el compositor Sir. Frank London, la ópera mezcla ritmos judíos y afrocubanos en compases irregulares, muy diferentes a los acostumbrados en el género.

January 24, 2017

Registration open for 28th North American Jewish Choir Festival, to be held July 16-20, 2017, Catskills, NY

North American Jewish Choir Festival

July 16–20, 2017
Hudson Valley Resort and Spa,
400 Granite Road
Kerhonkson NY 12446

* Instant Choirs for All Singers
* Daily Community Sings
* Workshops Galore
* Outstanding Performers
* Opportunities

This Summer Also Features a
SPECIAL TRACK FOR
SYNAGOGUE CHORAL SINGERS

* Learn Contemporary and Traditional Synagogue Classics
* Improve Your Skills
* Bring New Inspiration to Next Year's Holidays

More information
Registration
Fellowship applications

January 19, 2017

You can help fund new Mark Rubin recording, "Songs for the Hangman's Daughter"

I try to find ways to explain what little I understand about Mark Rubin's music, but most tend to distract. He's been the linchpin of several Klezmer ensembles—that's how I first encountered him. But, he's also been the linchpin of a host of Americana bands, from Texas polka to bluegrass. He plays honest music astonishingly well, and he takes no bullshit from fellow musicians, so the whole damn thing tends to sound astonishingly well. An Ashkenaz performance where he played bass with Andy Statman (the always excellent Larry Eagle was on drums) remains one of my peak Andy Statman performances (and for that matter, a peak Ashkenaz concert). His first solo recording, "Southern Discomfort" featured his uncomfortable take on Leo Frank and other misfortunes, as well as some very fine picking. His appearance at the most recent Ashkenaz was wonderful, although I got a sense that people were looking for something a bit more … safe. By "safe," of course, I don't mean that this is avant garde music, but that it comes with the sort of chip on your shoulder you get when you are used to being the only Jew in a crowd of mostly non-Jewish folks full of their own tribal identities. I'd compare him to Kinky Friedman, but other than being Jewish and being associated with Texas, I'm not sure there is much else in common—although it is easy to compare "The Murder of Leo Frank" with "Ride 'em Jewboy" and "They don't make Jews like Jesus anymore."

Too many words. There is a new Mark Rubin recording coming. You can help make it happen:

GoFundMe for "Songs for the Hangman's Daughter"

August 31, 2016

Mickey Katz singles released in UK

cd cover

Just heard about this new release in the UK:

Mickey Katz and his Orchestra / Strictly Kosher Singles

My respondent notes that there is a lot of variation in levels between the cuts--it sounds more like a paste-together compilation than something someone tried to make work together. But, minor cavils—the material is now available outside of collectors' shops.

The compilation appears to be released by Jasmine Records

July 13, 2016

Alan Bern, organizer of "Yiddish Weimar" receives this year's Weimar prize!

I'm a month behind (and more, even behinder news to come), but this is too much fun to just ignore, despite the aging. From Alan Bern on Facebook, last month:

Weimar-Preis 2016 geht an Dr. Alan Bern, June 16, 2016

"Out of the blue today I got a call from the Lord Mayor of Weimar, Stefan Wolf, informing me that I've been awarded this year's Weimar Prize in recognition of my contribution to the culture and reputation of Weimar. I'm deeply honored by this recognition, which extends to the whole community of passionate, committed, brilliant people who have given so much of their lives to make the artistic, educational and ethical vision of Yiddish Summer, the Other Music Academy and other music e.V. a reality. I'm very proud to represent all of you in accepting this award!"

Jewish Culture Festival showcases revival in Krakow

From my favorite San Francisco Jewish weekly:

Jewish Culture Festival showcases revival in Krakow, by liz harris, Thursday, July 7, 2016, j weekly

"Kazimierz, once the center of Jewish life in Krakow, Poland, has reclaimed its mantle. And nothing better tells the story -- or helped catalyze the revival of this historic district -- than the popular Jewish Culture Festival.

"Held this year from June 25 to July 3, the 26th annual festival brought an estimated 12,000 people to the streets of Krakow for nine days of workshops, concerts, panel discussions, dances, tours and more."[more]

May 21, 2016

new Alpen CD - needs kickstarter help

Like me, did you find 2012's debut Alpen Klezmer CD the most fun you'd heard in European klezmer in ages? A sort of marriage between Bavarian dance music and klezmer featuring vocalist Andrea Pancur and accordionist Ilya Shneyveys, it rocked (and still does). A host of klezmer veterans joined that effort (and are lined up for the new one) ranging from Lorin Sklamberg to Alan Bern, Joel Rubin, etc., etc., etc. If so, you're going to want to join me in helping the band record their new CD:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/recording-alpen-klezmer-zum-meer--2#/

You have nothing to lose but ennui, boredom, and anomie. This is klezmer that rocks!

Here's what Andrea sent me:

Liebe Freunde und Freundinnen der handgemachten Musik,

es ist wieder so weit: ich bringe eine neue CD heraus. Und weil das alles immer so unsagbar viel kostet, nutze ich die Möglichkeit des Crowdfunding, was auf deutsch auch sehr hübsch klingt, nämlich „Schwarmfinanzierung".

Was passiert da genau? Ihr könnt diesem Link folgen, und dann vorab eine CD und viele andere ganz tolle Dinge bestellen, u.a. ein von Grammy-Gewinner und begnadetem Koch Lorin Sklamberg zusammengestelltes und gekochtes Abendessen oder eine Unterrichtsstunde bei musikalischem Mastermind Alan Bern höchstpersönlich. Schaut einfach auf die Seite, sucht euch das Passende aus und sehr gerne könnt ihr auch vielen, vielen anderen Menschen von ALPEN KLEZMER: ZUM MEER! erzählen.

Ich kann euch versprechen, ihr werdet es nicht bereuen, denn auf der CD versammeln sich wieder die musikalischen Meister der Klezmerwelt mit den Meistern der bayrischen Musikwelt und spielen Musik, die unter die Haut geht und die Füße zucken läßt: Alpen Klezmer vom Feinsten!

Hier nochmal der Link: igg.me/at/ZumMeer

Herzlichen Dank für eure Unterstützung! Andrea

May 9, 2016

Experimental theater between ultraorthodox and secular worlds is looking for OTD artists in NYC

The Les Haïm Company, from Paris, in association with Footsteps, the New Yiddish Rep and the Workmen's Circle announces his summer theater workshop/performance experience Artistic Laboratory of Research and Creation towards an experimental theater between ultraorthodox and secular worlds is Looking for OTD (off the derech) artists ! From June 15 to July 10 in NYC

No prior experience or artistic background necessary, but a deep desire for learning, creating and immersing yourself into an artistic adventure.

More on Facebook

December 1, 2015

"Yerushe" crowd-funding project nears deadline

Here is a neat project from Eléonore Biezunski in Paris:

"Yerushe" is Yiddish for "heritage" or "inheritance". The musical project originates from our discovery of repertoire of little known Yiddish songs and Klezmer music in the folklore archives (Ruth Rubin, Moshe Beregovski, Zusman Kisselgof). Each of these songs is a short story in a great history of lived experiences, of battles fought, of hopes for the future. The album will be published under the prestigious label of the Institut Européen des Musiques Juives (European Institute for Jewish Music), but we still need to produce the audio master.

Check Yerushe: Watch, listen, read about the project by following this THIS LINK.

How can you help? Contribute to our crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo until December 11, 2015. Tell you friends: share the link, forward this project.

November 27, 2015

Support Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish

I am so proud to have helped this project, and hope to be there in December

Dear Friends,

We are very excited to announce the fourth annual Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Legacy Concert taking place on December 26, 2015. Save the date! Be there!

The event will take place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, hosted by Folksbiene National Yiddish Theater in partnership with YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, keepers of the Adrienne Cooper Archives, GOH Productions, and presented in association with Yiddish New York's inaugural year.

We invite you to join us as we celebrate the life, work and influence of Adrienne, Yiddish singer, scholar, teacher, educator/activist, Executive Director of Programming at the Workmen's Circle, and former Assistant Director at YIVO. Beloved stars of the klezmer and Yiddish world will present an evening of music from In Love and In Struggle: The Musical Legacy of the Jewish Labor Bund (YIVO, 1999), an album that features Adrienne and was reflective of her passion for social justice and Yiddish. This inspired musical choice came out of the Cooper Archives and is a direct result of your support for the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish. We thank you.

The recipient of this year's Adrienne Cooper Dreaming in Yiddish Award goes to the wild, wonderful Canadian artist, Josh Dolgin aka Socalled, for his work as a klezmer/hip-hop artist, composer, record producer, puppeteer and multi-facetted, kind, inclusive, creative genius always pushing the edges of possibility.

The Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish is appealing to YOU anew to help us raise the resources needed to produce this award and concert event. Please donate generously. And quickly! Please help!

We must raise $6,000 by December 13 (last candle of Chanukah). Spread the light!

All proceeds go to the Adrienne Cooper Fund for Dreaming in Yiddish, which supports artists as they embark on the timeless, boundless, utterly unexpected adventure of working in Yiddish.

To donate, use this link HERE or copy this url npo.justgive.org/gohproductions

For tickets, use this link TICKETS or copy this url dreaminginyiddish2015.bpt.me

Please send your contribution today.  Donations can also be made by check payable to GOH Productions, earmarked AC DIY/Artist Award and mailed to: GOH Productions /Seven Loaves Inc., 239 E. 5th St. Suite 1D,  New York, NY 10003-8544.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Sholem, sholem, sholem. A hartsikn dank.
Marsha Gildin, ACDIY Development Committee & Bonnie Stein, GOH Productions

Seminal "Brave Old World" now on iTunes

Catching up on last week's news from Alan Bern:

After five years of email correspondence with our publisher and slowdown tactics that would astonish a turtle, I'm happy and relieved to say that the three Brave Old World albums on the Pinorrekk label - Beyond the Pale, Blood Oranges and Bless the Fire—are finally available on iTunes to download. To all Brave Old World fans who don't know this music, or who acquired it through somewhat dubious means (ahem...), this is your chance to download groundbreaking, beautiful music. Please share this post, thanks!

August 23, 2015

Supergroup, "Brothers Nazaroff" to release Prince Nazaroff tribute 10/23/15

Posted to Facebook by Francesco Spagnolo

Klezmer Supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff Revive "Yiddish Pendant to the Anthology of American Folk Music" (out 10/23/15)

On October 23, Smithsonian Folkways will release The Brothers Nazaroff: The Happy Prince, a boisterous, high-energy tribute to cult Yiddish troubadour Nathan "Prince" Nazaroff, who recorded the mysterious Folkways 10-inch record Jewish Freilach Songs in 1954. International klezmer supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff, composed of Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko, Michael Alpert, Jake Shulman-Ment, Bob Cohen, and Hampus Melin, breathe new life into the discordant, obscure, jubilant legacy of their Happy Prince. [More, including audio sample]

June 18, 2015

Musician Jane Peppler Wins 1st Place at "Yiddish Idol"

Dobe Ressler spotted this in the Forverts and passed it along. Congrats, Jane!:

Musician Jane Peppler Wins 1st Place at "Yiddish Idol"

דעם פֿאַרגאַנגענעם זונטיק האָט דזשיין פּעפּלער, אַ מוזיקערין פֿון צפֿון־קאַראָלײַנע, געוווּנען דעם ערשטן פּריז אינעם יערלעכן מעקסיקאַנער פֿאַרמעסט פֿון אַליין־געשאַפֿענע ייִדישע לידער, „דער ייִדישער אײַדאָל‟, פֿאַר איר ליד, „איך קען שוין ניט מיטהאַלטן‟. בעקי קאָכאָקאַרו, פֿון מעקסיקע, האָט געוווּנען דעם צווייטן פּריז.

February 28, 2015

Berkeley JMF Fest Director, Ellie Shapiro, honored as 30th fest kicks off

This is a case where I can claim to have known the person "back when," since Ellie and I met back in the mid-1970s in Jerusalem. I don't think that either of us back then considered "Jewish music" to be a relevant term. We were both Arik Einstein fans, of course. But, we were young.

Now, Ellie is on the verge of a doctorate and the Jewish Music Festival is celebrating one last time in its current form. It's a big deal. I first heard bands like Brave Old World and The Klezmatics at the festival, along with Bukharian Jewish music, cantorial music, and an ever-growing wide range of new and old traditions. Having taken over the festival full-time from founder and Holocaust survivor Ursula Sherman, in 2004, Berkeley is finally giving her some respect:

Berkeley honors Eleanor Shapiro during final year of Jewish Music Festival

January 10, 2015

"World music for war child," just released by ARC, includes Yale Strom song

When I post online about the latest outrages around the world, I most often find myself saying some variant on, "we won't have peace until all sides care about each other's children as their own." Here's an effort to drive that idea home, sent by Yale Strom:

My song "What Time Will It Be" composed by me and lyrics by me and Elizabeth Schwartz is on this recording with many other world renown artists. Please tell others. All money raised goes to the cause of helping children in war torn areas throughout the world.

youtu.be/yeaCI_KNBdE featuring: Yale Strom, Ahmed Mukhtar, Robin Hogarth, Blessings Nqo Nkomo and Slim Ali & The Hodi Boys.

November 3, 2014

Academic Conf on Jewish Liturgical Music, Leeds, UK, Jun 2015

Academic Conference on Jewish Liturgical music

University of Leeds, UK
Tuesday 16 - Friday 19 June 2015
AHRC "Care for the Future" Theme, Performing the Jewish Archive

For the first time in Britain an International Academic Conference is being devoted to the music of Jewish prayer. Internationally acclaimed scholars in Jewish liturgical music will lead the programme presented jointly by the School of Music, University of Leeds and the Academic Wing of the European Cantors Association.

The conference is organised in association with the international research project Performing the Jewish Archive, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Rory Michelle's next kickstarter: "The God Album"

From Rory Michelle:

Hi Jewish music mailing list!

I'm excited to share that I'm recording an album of songs inspired by Jewish texts and Pete Seeger. These 8 songs were written during my time at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies this spring in Jerusalem.

They range from a fun, playful ballad about Rabban Gamliel to a singable interpretive version of Birkat Hamazon, that many have loved and claimed as a great Jewish camp song - and more. Please check out my Kickstarter Page here. (spelled out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rorymichelle/rory-michelles-3rd-studio-album-the-god-album)

I'd be very grateful if you would take a look, consider funding, and share it with your networks.

Many, many thanks!
Rory Michelle, singer-songwriter

November 1, 2014

Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw to Unveil Core Exhibition

This is the amazing project Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett has been working on these past few years. Tremendously exciting.

To Celebrate Its Jewish History, Poland Presents 'a Museum of Life': Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw to Unveil Core Exhibition, by Rick Lyman, Oct 21, 2014

WARSAW -- With anti-Semitism having become more prominent again across Europe, something quite different is growing in a huge, translucent building at the center of a vanished neighborhood in Warsaw.

After several days of concerts, seminars, festivals and hoopla, the core exhibition of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews -- the most ambitious cultural institution to rise in Poland since the fall of Communism -- will be unveiled on Tuesday. Poland's top political leaders will be there, as will the president of Israel and other international dignitaries. The institution has been embraced across the political spectrum and has drawn only scattered, mild protest.…

October 18, 2014

Mark Rubin solo Kickstarter project

While I am mentioned the phenomenal Oklahoman who pretends to be a Texan (says the guy who went to high school there and has barely been back since), Mark Rubin, I forgot to mention that he is finally getting around to a solo recording. It's called "Southern Discomfort." You can help fund it (and you should). I have have.

Details are on the kickstarter page

Act now. Don't let this one fail, or you'll kick yourself for the next 120 years (we should all live and be healthy for so long).

May 30, 2014

The things one learns from fund-raising mailers

It was in the today's mail. Kvell from the Yiddish Book Center. It contained an interview with donor Monty Hall. Who knew that the long-time "Let's Make a Deal" host was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and had such great memories of the Jewish community there.

You want to be on the Yiddish Center's mailing list (which includes the benefit of kvelling about being a donor to same), go to www.yiddishbookcenter.org/giving. Tell them that the KlezmerShack sent you.

While you're there, take a look at their new translation program. Pretty nifty! Might be worth whispering in someone's ear, "don't forget the women!"

May 17, 2014

Aaron Lansky honored by White House

So, did I mention that this week Aaron Lansky, founder of the Yiddish Book Center, was honored at the White House? The Tablet used it to write a couple of great articles, including a short interview with Peter Manseau, whose Song of the Butcher's Daughter is one of my favorite recent novels, and perhaps the first to feature the Yiddish Book Center as a location:

Michelle Obama Celebrates Yiddish Literature: Awards Yiddish Book Center nation's highest honor for museums and libraries, by Hannah Dreyfus, May 8, 2014

The Irish Catholic Promoting Yiddish Literature Peter Manseau on accepting Yiddish Book Center honor from the First Lady, by Hannah Dreyfus, May 16, 2014

Yiddish Book Center blog: 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

January 6, 2014

Movie about Michael Bloomfield coming!

Here's the trailer for a movie about one of the great Sixties Jewish Chicago blues guys, who, along with Danny Kalb, Barry Goldberg, and others, reshaped popular music. To me, his first solo album, "It's not killing me" was one of the ultimate fusion albums—the most Jewish blues album I have ever heard:

December 12, 2013

Crowdfunding #2: Boston Jewish Music Festival

Joey and Jim have taken an idea I had (as, apparently, had they and many others) and turned it into a really fine reality. I am so grateful. I hope you'll join me in supporting them meet this challenge and move the BJMF to the next level.

The Boston Jewish Music Festival Fund for the Future Challenge

Catching up #2: Hankus Netsky in the "Forward 50" for 2013

I meant to make a bigger deal of this. Now it's old news and the KlezmerShack hasn't even mentioned this. But it is a big deal. Hankus has mentored hundreds (thousands?) of amazing musicians over the years. If there is a cool project around town, he is probably part of it—often, unheralded. He continues to bring new musicians, to uncover scintillating old, forgotten music and put it back in our repertoire, and most of all, he remains a mensh making great music and getting us to dance. He has been a key figure in the klezmer/yiddish revival. Hard to beat that, and it's about time someone noticed:

Forward 50, 2013: Hankus Netsky

When superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman and celebrity cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot appeared at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in February, their musical director was hardly at the top of the bill. That is par for the course for Hankus Netsky, who helped mastermind Perlman and Helfgot's "Eternal Echoes" project. For more than 30 years, Netsky, 58, has been a quiet but powerful force affecting nearly every corner of contemporary Jewish music…. [more]

Crowdfunding #1: Recatalyze Zeek

Despite the fact that Zeek magazine almost never posts something explicitly about Jewish music, they do post a lot of thoughtful, interesting stuff on that intersection between Judaism and change. Back when they were doing print, they even put together the only anthology of new Jewish music by a Jewish magazine worth listening to. (We can all name several not worth listening to.) I love them. I'm putting on my "to do" list that I should help them cure their lack of coverage of Jewish Music. In the meantime, though, it would be great if we helped get them moving again. I'd like to recommend joining me in this "Recatalyze Zeek" campaign:

Recatalyze Zeek

Catching up: Klezmatics given Lifetime Achievement Award at YIVO

This happened back on November 21, but it's still cool:

Klezmatics given lifetime achievement award at YIVO, by Jon Kalish

In the mid 1980s several key figures in the klezmer revival movement had day jobs at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. So, perhaps it was only fitting that The Klezmatics were given a lifetime achievement award at YIVO's Manhattan headquarters November 19. After cocktails and dinner at the Center for Jewish History's atrium on West 16th Street, the band performed a lively set in an auditorium after being introduced by Jeffrey Shandler, chair of the Jewish Studies department at Rutgers University…. [more]

September 2, 2013

New Veretski Pass project, "Lillith the Night Demon"

Hot on the heels of Jewlia Eisenberg's "Bowls Project," which delved into ancient Jewish amulets, and their own, ground-breaking "Klezmer Shul," the Veretski Pass crew are hard at work at an even farther out project, "Lillith the Night Demon." From the project website:

Lilith is the "alternate" Jewish story of creation, its earliest appearance being from the Babylonian Talmud, with references from Mesopotamia and the Dead Sea Scrolls. The work is to be created in collaboration with the San Francisco Choral Artists (SFCA). The composition uses the structural elements of the Kamea, (Heb. "amulet"), ritual objects wherein charms against Lilith abound. The work highlights some of the lesser-known facets of Jewish mysticism and superstition and integrates them into a new composition that uses traditional gestures of East European Jewish music as well as modern compositional and improvisatory elements.

The piece is currently scheduled to premiere in May 2014; possibly being previewed in some form at the Jewish Music Festival in Berkeley, March 2014. Stay tuned!

July 9, 2013

Adam Stinga update - looks like he's cured and healthier than ever!

Alan Bern reports to the Jewish-Music list this morning this very welcome update:

Dear Friends & Supporters!

I'm delighted to update you on Adam's health. I'm with him now at the Kerckhoff Klinik in Bad Nauheim, Germany. He arrived here yesterday for his 3-month post-operative check-up that took place this morning. Dr. Med Safet Beqiri, the brilliant surgeon who operated on Adam, used a bronchioscope to check how the internal incisions have healed. Indeed, they've healed perfectly with no scarring and no sign at all of any further growths. In short, a 100% result, incredible. Adam himself has put on some weight in the last few months due to enjoying life and quitting smoking (mazltov!) and his handshake and hug are as strong as a bear's. Dr. Beqiri stated that there's no reason for Adam to be cautious about playing trumpet now, he can go full out as if he'd never been sick.

It's hard to put into words how amazing this is, and how grateful we are to everyone who helped with support of all kinds. Without your help, this outcome would have been impossible.

Warmest greetings to all, Alan

More on Adam's battle with cancer:

We're #1! Hatikvah's "Jewish Soul" is Amazon.com hit

From Hatikvah Music's Simon, on the Jewish-Music list

'I went to Amazon to see how our CD of "Jewish Soul: The Heart & Soul of Jewish Music" is doing in the ratings, and I was quite pleasantly surprised to see it ranked at #1 in both the "Jewish" and "Israel" categories.'

'The ratings are updated every hour based on sales, but this was quite a nice surprised considering the CD was originally release almost 3 years ago. www.amazon.com/Jewish-Soul-The-Heart-Music/dp/B004CP7T8A/'

This was the "report" around 6:00 PM

Original Release Date: 2010
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Hatikvah Music
Run Time: 43 minutes
ASIN: B004CP7T8A Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,683 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
#1 in Music > World Music > Middle East > Israel
#1 in Music > Folk > Jewish & Yiddish Music
#11 in Music > World Music > Europe > Eastern Europe

June 25, 2013

"Dancin' Steve" joins the Blogosphere

Steve Weintraub, the go-to Jewish/Yiddish dance instructor, recently relocated to Philadelphia (and for my fellow locals, a potential participant in next year's Boston Jewish Music Festival, has joined the blog world by posting his take on ... dancing! Check out his first post:

Friends, I'm happy to announce that I just dove into the waters of blogging, with my first blog post on my website. This, which I hope will be the first of many posts about Jewish dance, is my dancer's perspective on the various klezmer rhythms. I hope some of you find it useful.

www.stevenleeweintraub.com

April 10, 2013

4th Kleztival in Brazil, Sep 28-Oct 6, 2013

Kleztival—the 4th edition of the Brazilian Jewish Music Festival will be held in São Paulo, from September 28th to October 6th, 2013. Major concerts and workshops all around Brazil. For further info:

IMJ Brasil—Jewish Music Institute
tel: +5511 3159-1997
São Paulo, Brazil
www.imjbrasil.com.br

Adam Stinga update - good news!

This just in from Alan Bern regarding Adam Stinga, about whom I posted a week or two ago. Good new!

Dear Friends & Supporters of the Adam Stinga Recovery Fund,

I'm delighted to send you a wonderful update about Adam's recovery. Yesterday, he was released from the rehab clinic. I picked up him there and found him looking "like a million bucks" as we say in English. He looked strong and healthy, in other words. The trip from the rehab clinic in Marburg back to the clinic where the operation was originally performed turned out to be a little more tiring than we thought, but that's to be expected when someone moves from a protected environment to the real world. This morning, Dr. Beqiri, Adam's surgeon, looked into his bronchia with an endoscope (I had the honor of being there and Dr. Beqiri explained everything we were seeing) and the result was very clear: the wounds have healed completely. When Adam came out of the anesthetic, Dr. Beqiri told him that he should start practicing trumpet again in two weeks! Unbelievable! Adam is supposed to take it easy for a while (no Doc Severinson licks), but the expectation is that he'll be back to normal in three months. It's an amazing result, beyond expectations and beyond words...

Thank you to all of you who helped make this happen! This whole thing is just an incredible example of how people can come together to help when it really counts.

Warmest greetings from Adam and Alan!

If you or anyone you know can help, there's a paypal link on the other european's website for the Adam Stinga Recovery Fund: www.theothereuropeans.eu [ari]

December 26, 2012

Back in business

I have been threatening to unleash a new KlezmerShack for several years now. Last weekend, while I was down in NYC attending the memorial concert for Adrienne Cooper I discovered that some behind-the-scenes changes at the service provider where this website is hosted had rendered code last updated in 2007 inoperable.

My bad. Different from paper in a book or shelf, when computer code is put on the Internet, it gradually changes--new vulnerabilities are found; people fix things that may (or may not) have required fixing. The neat package of instructions that worked so well stops fitting its wrapper so well. Leaks develop. Things work less well. The website increasingly resembles the jeans I purchased in 2007--it doesn't look new any more, and sad to say, things no longer fit. In the case of this website, I don't particularly want to put it on a diet, either (analogies take you only so far).

So, things are patched up, but hopefully for the last time. You will see few klezmer updates over the next couple of weeks as I frantically try to figure out how to get things into a new virtual home. Please bear with me.

And for the next couple of weeks, you can share the concert to remember Adrienne and carry on her work, on Livestream.

April 30, 2012

"Klezmer Melody Book" - iPhone app

Daniel Ori writes:

Since the release of our Classical Melody Book, we've had many people ask in regards to Jewish sheet music on the iPhone/iPad, and we're happy to introduce this new app.

The Klezmer Melody Book comes with a free compilation of sheet music for over 100 Jewish Traditional, Religious, Klezmer, Sephardic/Ladino, Chasidic, Yiddish, Cantorial, Simcha Party and Israeli folk melodies/songs (we are constantly expanding our archive). The sheet music is reliable and clear, and provided by the well known Tara Publications (Jewishmusic.com). We have a great melody search feature that allows a quick find for any forgotten Jewish melody you may have by playing the first 6 notes of the melody. You can also import and share sheet music via email or print as well as create personalized set lists for performance.

More about the Klezmer Melody Book app at www.themelodybook.com/klezmer

Here is the iTunes store link: itunes.apple.com/us/app/klezmer-melody-book-jewish/id480554890?mt=8

The Melody Book—We are a New York based start up software development company, Our goal is to release music related applications that will enhance and support amateur and professional musicians in their creative work.

Shalom ve Toda,
Daniel Ori

Tel: 857-488-0127< br /> E-mail Daniel Ori

April 22, 2012

NYC, panel on "The Future of New Jewish Culture," May 15, 2012

Press release from the Jewish Daily Forward:

In July of 2011, the Jewish media was abuzz with the news that JDub Records, the Jewish music label responsible for launching the careers of Matisyahu and Balkan Beat Box, was shutting down. Online forums were flooded with debates about what its failure meant for the future of New Jewish Culture. Was the Jewish philanthropic world abandoning New Jewish Culture?

On May 15, “Now What? The Future of New Jewish Culture” reignites the conversation. A unique town hall-style event, “Now What?” brings together ten experts of diverse backgrounds and experiences for a critical look at New Jewish Culture over the last ten years and the pressing issues it faces today, including changing attitudes towards American Jewish identity; waning support for quality Jewish art and culture; and strategies for cultivating Jewish art and culture in the future. This event is presented by the Posen Foundation U.S. through its new public programming initiative, Speakers’ Lab, and The Jewish Daily Forward. It is hosted by the 14th Street Y in downtown NYC.

After a decade of flourishing Jewish creativity, major Jewish cultural enterprises are being forced to scale back operations or close entirely. Using recent funding cuts as a springboard to examine the most pressing issues facing new Jewish arts and culture, “Now What?” addresses:

  • New perspectives on American Jewish identity
  • Waning support for quality Jewish art and culture
  • Strategies for cultivating Jewish art and culture in the future

Panelists include: Jody Rosen, music critic for Slate Magazine; Alana Newhouse, Editor-in-Chief for Tablet Magazine; Elise Bernhardt, President and CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Culture; Dan Friedman, Arts & Culture Editor at The Jewish Daily Forward; and Stephen Hazan Arnoff, Executive Director at the 14th Street Y and LABA: The National Laboratory for New Jewish Culture.

Admission to “Now What? The Future of New Jewish Culture” is free. Seating is limited and pre-registration encouraged. Sign-up at www.speakerslab.org or by calling 212-564-6711 x 305.

Event and Venue Info:
The Theater at the 14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)
New York, NY 10003
May 15, 2012 7pm

April 21, 2012

Witches of Lublin nominated for Audie Awards

From Yale Strom:

cd coverVery happy to announce that our klezmer-feminist-historical-magic realism audio drama, "The Witches of Lublin", has been nominated for three Audie Awards! Co-written by Ellen Kushner (of PRI's "Sound and Spirit"), Elizabeth Schwartz and Yale Strom, with music by Strom, "The Witches of Lublin" was directed by Sue Zizza and stars Tovah Feldshuh, plus featured actors Neil Gaiman, Simon Jones, Barbara Rosenblat, and beloved actors from the Yiddish stage like Yelena Shumlenson, Sam Guncler and Joanne Borts. The music was performed by Strom, Sprocket, Alexander Fedouriok, Peter Stan and Schwartz (and the companion CD, "The Devil's Brides" with narration by Miriam Margolyes, is released by Arc Music UK). For more info: www.TheWitchesOfLublin.com. And here's the press release from the Audies:

The Audiobook of the Year Award recognizes the audiobook that, through quality, innovation, marketing and sales, has had the most significant impact on the audio industry.
The four titles selected to compete for the 2012 Distinguished Achievement in Production Award are:

  • The Mark of Zorro, by Yuri Rasovsky, narrated by Val Kilmer and a full cast (Zorro Productions, Inc., and Blackstone Audio, Inc.)
  • She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems, selected, introduced and narrated by Caroline Kennedy and a full cast (Hyperion Audio)
  • The Watch That Ends the Night: Voices from the Titanic, by Allan Wolf, narrated by Michael Page, Phil Gigante, Christopher Lane, Laural Merlington and Angela Dawe (Candlewick on Brilliance Audio)
  • The Witches of Lublin, by Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth Schwartz and Yale Strom, narrated by Tovah Feldshuh, Neil Gaiman, Simon Jones, Barbara Rosenblat, Elizabeth Boskey, Joanne Borts, Yelena Shmulenson, Joyce Feurring, Tim Jerome and a full cast (SueMedia Productions)

March 31, 2012

Kickstarter: Document wooden synagogue painting recreation

This is a wonderful new project that I've heard of via the wonderful Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett:

Please put out the word! Help us document on film the creation of this extraordinary wooden synagogue's exquisite painted ceiling and timber-framed roof. More about how you can help: www.kickstarter.com/projects/15287081/filming-the-replication-of-a-17th-century-wooden-s

3rd International Jewish Music Competition, Amsterdam - Applications accepted until July 1, 2012

Amsterdam's International Jewish Music Festival (IJMF) is hosting the 3rd International Jewish Music Competition, October 11-14, 2012. IJMF will welcome approximately 100 musicians in 24 ensembles from around the world, playing everything from renaissance and rap to classical and klezmer. The competitions in 2008 and 2010 resulted in cash prize awards, recording contracts, and bookings, both at leading Jewish music festivals and at mainstream halls such as the Concertgebouw (the 'Carnegie Hall' of Europe). Registration is open until July 1, 2012. WHAT, WHEN & HOW The competition is for ensembles and individual musicians, 16 years or older, specializing in performing Jewish music with the goal of an international career. For the purposes of this competition, "Jewish music" includes all musical genres - classical, liturgical, folk, jazz, pop, world music, etc. - in which Jewish elements are clearly recognizable. Applicants for this unique competition, which takes place October 11-14, are required to submit sample recordings, a press photo and a short biography. PRIZES & JURY The prizes awarded during the 2010 competition were valued at more than 70,000 euros ($92,000). Besides a grand prize trophy made of alabaster and diamond and 5,000 euros ($6,500) in prize money, the participating ensembles competed for recording contracts, bookings and representation by a leading New York agency. Festival director Ken Gould expects the total prize value in 2012 to approach 100,000 euros ($130,000). "The Competition is a unique showcase in the Jewish music world, and this year we are inviting even more producers and promoters to come and scout among the groups." The jury will be comprised of prominent figures from the music and recording industry. Past juries included Frank London, Hankus Netsky and Adrienne Cooper. MOTIVATION "These are some of the most motivated musicians I've ever seen," says director Gould. "They come from all around the world at their own expense, which in turn motivates our team to make it worth their while." But is it worth it, even for the non-winners? "Absolutely. Nearly all of our previous competitors say that participating in the competition has significantly boosted their careers." With six months to go, IJMF is gearing up to receive applications. "More than a hundred ensembles have inquired about this year's competition, so apparently word gets around." Complete information and the registration form are available online at www.ijmf.org.

October 24, 2011

Yiddish at the Tel Aviv tent city

There is an article on the last page of this issue of the Frankel Center newsletter (the University of Michigan center for Jewish Studies) of great interest to many people on this list: "Dos folk fodert sotsyale gerekhtikayt: Social Protests and Yiddish in Tel Aviv," by Shachar Pinsker.

The article concludes, describing the tent city and the protests, thus: "... More than everything else, this is a revolution of consciousness, one in which even a speech, or a demonstration poster in Yiddish are not out of place."

Much fun. You can read a copy at
www.lsa.umich.edu/judaic/pdfs/newsletter1011.pdf

September 9, 2011

This week's hot CD releases--Klezmatics, Afro-Semitic Experience, Yaeko Mirando Elmaleh, Roger Davidson

CDs sometimes come in far faster than I can review them. I am going to try to at least get the word out on these with release dates in the coming week, and hope to catch up with reviews as I can.

cd coverI have already mentioned this new Klezmatics release celebrating their 25th anniversary. The main CD release party is on September 14th in NYC. Let me also repeat that when I first saw the band 15 years or so ago. At that time, as on this CD, the band came out and Lorin launched into a cut off their breakout CD, Jews with Horns, "Man in a Hat." Well, same cut, same energy—or more, and the broadest repertoire of new and traditional Jewish music and Americana played by anyone. You need this CD, and you can get it by doing good: In five days, on September 13th, the Klezmatics either reach their Kickstarter goal of $15,000 to pay for this tour and CD—or they don't. Then what? The band sets up shop as housepainters? That would be bad. Check out the Klezmatics Kickstarter campaign and pledge until it hurts. Make this happen.

cd coverDavid Chevan has been exploring Jewish and Afro-American spiritual music through the lens of jazz, for years. As I love mentioning, my first date with the person who is now my wife was at the CD release of one of his first efforts. The music gets better. David writes: "For most of the past decade the Afro-Semitic Experience has played the midnight Selichot service with Cantor Jack Mendelson at his synagogue in White Plains. We have, in the process, created a new way to accompany cantorial music and we decided to document it. We recorded three concerts in August, 2010 just before the High Holy Days, one in New York City, one in New Haven, Connecticut, and one in Greenfield, Massachusetts. And now that music is ready for you to hear. The new CD is called Further Definitions of the Days of Awe and it features the band with special guests Cantor Jack Mendelson, Cantor Lisa Arbisser, Cantor Erik Contzius, cantorial soloist Danny Mendelson, and trumpeter Frank London. The CD officially drops on Tuesday, September 13, but it is already on sale at iTunes and amazon.com —if you want to hear the music first you can listen to three tracks for free at this website: www.rockpaperscissors.biz/GO/afro-semitic

cd coverIf, like me, you have noticed that the fiery new violinist in the Klezmer Conservatory Band these last few years also seems to be a favored accompaniest and band-member on other Hankus Netsky projects, you won't be surprised that the classically trained violinist's first CD, Yaeko Miranda Elmaleh features a broad spectrum of underplayed, but very traditional klezmer tunes, ranging from the "Philadelphia Sher" (from whom could you have learned that?) to "Meron" and "Kaddish" (okay, this is Ravel), to some Carlebach tunes and "Waltz from the Hills of Manchuria." The CD release party is this Tuesday, Sep 13, in Boston at Club Passim, one of my favorite venues.

cd coverJazzman Roger Davidson explores klezmer with some of my favorite musicians, including Frank London, Josh Horowitz, Khevre graduate and current Klezmatics drummer Richie Barshay, the great Pablo Aslan on bass … and Andy Statman. The territory is relatively familiar, but this is an all-star cast. The CD, On the Road of Life . The release party is September 17th, at Drom, in NYC.

September 4, 2011

Kickstarter - Arkady Gendler recording still needs a bit more help

From Christian Dawid comes a reminder of another excellent kickstarter project that still needs a bit more help (and if I can work on this with my busted clavicle and grumpiness, all akhat kama v'kama--what is your excuse?!):

We have the rare chance to make CD recordings with Arkady Gendler this coming October. Over the last ten years, Arkady has written a number of beautiful new songs. Most of them have not been recorded yet, some have never been performed in public.

It is Arkady's wish to still see his original work published and accessible to everyone—he is proudly approaching his 90th birthday this fall.

Several of his songs are dedicated to the places and festivals Arkady visited during the last years, songs about Kiev, Vienna, Weimar, his home Zaporozhye and the Dniepr Klezmer Cruise. There is a moving song called "Khaves Tekhter" that he wrote when his wife passed away—it has not been performed yet.

I am now writing arrangements for a small chamber ensemble (piano, vl, va, vcl) plus a few additional instruments - it is a total of twelve songs that Arkady wrote (one has a borrowed melody, for another one he created complementary lyrics). We will record all of his original work, plus a few other favourites.

And yes, we need funding!

While studio costs, tied to successful funding of the entire project, are already secured, we need to raise funds for travel, food & lodging, visa, assistance for Arkady in Vienna, Yiddish documentation, transliteration, translation, the recording musicians, typography and graphic design.

This project is supported by a wonderful group of friends, scholars and artists, many of whom are donating their services, or, were they can't, agreed to more than modest financial conditions.

And you can help us, too!

www.kickstarter.com

Curious - but welcome - rerelease dept, Alicia Svigals

cd coverAbout a decade ago, Alicia Svigals recorded a pretty amazing CD of Hassidic nigunim under the name of the "Nikolayev Ensemble." In celebration of the decade since the original re-release, JewishLearningGroup.com maven, Zalmen Goldstein did the impossible: He improved upon the original. The cover is differently cheezy, and he has renamed the bass-player known to most of us as "Marty Confurious," but the production is even better. An unrelated first track by a different ensemble is gone. Aaron Alexander's outstanding drumming was added to the tracks. The result, quite frankly, is quite delicious. If you don't have the original, or if you're ready to compare the two, check out "Chassidic Breeze" (now credited to no ensemble until you get to the website where it is, indeed, credited to the much-missed Ms. Svigals).

If you already know the recording and need read no review, you can purchase it directly from JewishLearningGroup.com. Rosh Hashanah is coming. This could be the soundtrack!

May 28, 2011

Moment Mag 2011 Music Guide coming - deadline June 5

Jewish Musicians! Be a part of Moment Magazine's 2011 Music Guide in our upcoming July/August Entertainment issue. Whether you are an established artist or band or an upcoming one, the Moment Magazine Music Guide provides you with a prestigious and proven way of reaching out to Moment's music-loving Jewish community - raising you visibility and and building your audience. 93% of Moment readers use the annual Music Guide to find new artists and to keep up on the Jewish music scene. Why aren't you listed yet? Tell us you heard about this through Klezmer Shack and receive 10% off your listing or 15% of your ad! Contact Becky Leavey to discuss rate plans and options. The deadline is June 5.

February 10, 2011

9th Annual KlezmerQuerque Fest, Albuquerque, NM, Feb 18-20

Even if I wasn't already a fan of the event, I gotta say that any event that features Yosl Kurland, Christina Crowder, and Margot Leverett is a treat.

February 18-20 (FRI-SUN over Presidents Day weekend): The 9th Annual KlezmerQuerque is Albuquerque New Mexico's 3-day festival of concerts, services, workshops and dance parties featuring ‘Klezmer’—the exciting traditional dance & music of the Eastern European Jewish people. The festival, which is produced by Congregation Nahalat Shalom, its 25-piece intergenerational Community Klezmer Band & Rikud Yiddish dance troupe, presents a wide variety of events for everyone with prices ranging from FREE to $20 per event and an ALL-EVENT early registration discount of $85-general / $70-senior, students or fixed income.

KlezmerQuerque 2011 welcomes three renowned klezmer artists & scholars who hail from New York City and New England: Joe “Yosl” Kurland (Yiddish language, song, dance & fidl - PLUS Shabbes nusach in loshn koydesh), Christina Crowder (accordion & Fulbright scholar specializing in Romanian-Jewish ethno-studies), AND the return of our dear friend the klezmer clarinet virtuoso Margot Leverett. Events include Der Freylekher Shabbes on Friday, Saturday morning learner's Shabbos service, Beginning Yiddish, SAT nite Concert & Dance, 3 music/dance sessions from 10am-5pm on Sunday, and a Lunch 'n Learn. Visit Nahalat Shalom's web site www.nahalatshalom.org for full schedule & event details, performer bios/photos, registration form, flyer and more!!

For further info, call 505-243-6276 or email Beth Cohen.

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 2, 2011

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.

December 31, 2010

26th Berkeley Jewish Music Fest lineup announced

2011 BJMF logoThe festival that introduced me to the Klezmatics, Brave Old World, Bukharin music, and so much more is back for it's 26th year. This year they are following the Boston Jewish Music Festival (or vice versa) in presenting Idan Raichel alum Ravid Kahalani, presenting "Yemen Blues." There is also an evening of music from the famed, and too-seldom-heard St. Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music pieces played by violin virtuoso Noah Bendix-Bagley. That scratches the surface. Read more at the festival website, www.jewishmusicfestival.org.

Now, if the Boston Jewish Music Festival, which will be held over two weeks in 2011 from Mar 6-20 would get its own schedule up so I can start bragging on our local cats…. It's coming soon, and it, too, will be a great schedule.

December 25, 2010

New releases from Sy Kushner

cd coverWith most people who release new CDs or music books, I am only one disk or so behind. In the last couple of years, Sy Kushner has been pouring forth an amazing array of pent-up klezmer. It is all worth paying attention to, so rather than just add yet another disk to what I have taken to calling the "review or die" pile (naming backlogs doesn't seem to change the time constraints, but it makes me feel better), I would like to actively call everyone's attention to the new release, and note that this comes with music for purchase, as well. Accordionist Kushner has been making excellent klezmer since his hits with the Mark 3 Orchestra back in the 1960s. He has only gotten better and deeper.

For more info, starting with the newest release, visit NuLite Music's website.

Fifth Annual Schmooze Jewish Culture Conf, NYC, Jan 11-12; Oyhoo Music Fest Jan 10-12

Okay, it's true that they use the Germanic spelling of "shmooze" rather than a usual Yiddish transliteration, but the conference, itself, seems to be well-attended and well-thought-of, however much a confusion of Yiddish and German transliteration/spelling is considered a cultural statement somewhat antithetical to promoting Jewish culture in my own household:

Schmooze 2011Don’t miss cutting edge conversations about Jewish culture as great performers such as Achinoam Nini (Noa), The Klezmatics, Joshua Nelson, Judy Gold, Rami Kleinstein and Keynote David Broza gather together for the 5th annual Schmooze 11 the International Jewish Presenters Association Jewish culture conference. in New York City on January 11 & 12, 2011 at City Winery.

Schmooze 11:The 5th annual IJPA Schmooze Jewish Culture Conference is a South By Southwest must attend event for the Jewish arts and culture/entertainment community. The Schmooze conference gathers leaders from cultural art centers, theater producers, agents, musicians, filmmakers, academics and others for two days of packed programming, stimulating panels, and dynamic debate on the 21st century Jewish cultural renaissance. This year we offer the first Cultural Luncheon, our IJPA fundraiser, featuring a pairing of 7 tastes of culture, with 7 of NY's top kosher chefs and 7 wines. We hope you can come join us for the festivities and, of course, the schmoozing.

We are especially excited about the musical acts that have joined the bill for the nights of the conference. The first fifty people that sign up to attend the Schmooze conference will get a three-night pass to the Oyhoo Music Festival happening the nights of January 11th, and 12th with a bonus show on the 10th. Keynotes include Debbie Friedman and shows will include Achinoam Nini "Noa" on January 10th, Good for the Jews & The Klezmatics with Joshua Nelson on January 11th, and Isramerica on January 12th.

Sign up by January 5th. For more information email David Frankin or call 917-362-9013

Continue reading "Fifth Annual Schmooze Jewish Culture Conf, NYC, Jan 11-12; Oyhoo Music Fest Jan 10-12" »

Avi Avital becomes 1st Mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy

Avi Avital becomes 1st Mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy® Award
For his performance of Avner Dorman's Mandolin Concerto

Classical mandolin artist Avi Avital has been recognized as one of the world’s most exciting musical entrepreneurs, building a fresh legacy for an instrument with antiquated roots in the folk tradition through virtuosic performance and exciting new repertoire. On December 1, 2010, Mr. Avital was nominated for a Grammy® Award for Best Instrumental Soloist with Ensemble for his performance of Avner Dorman’s Mandolin Concerto, commissioned by Mr. Avital in 2006, and recorded in 2010 with the New York-based Metropolis Ensemble, conducted by Andrew Cyr. This nomination marks the first time a mandolin soloist has been nominated for a Grammy® Award in a classical music category.

Avital’s Grammy® nominated performance is featured on a recording containing three other concertos by Avner Dorman on the Naxos American Classics label, conducted by Andrew Cyr with the Metropolis Ensemble. Videos are available on YouTube:

For more info:
Email: Paula Mlyn
Tel: (646) 498-0103

Continue reading "Avi Avital becomes 1st Mandolin soloist to be nominated for a classical Grammy" »

November 15, 2010

Hebrew College presents evening with Yehudi Wyner

photo from the Boston Globe, www.boston.comIf I had the time, I would wax lyrical about a special evening sponsored by Hebrew College's School of Jewish Music (SJM) this past Saturday night. Instead, I will try to honor Yehudi and Hebrew College, and perhaps whet people's appetite for more.

The event featured Professor Wyner presenting a series of art song featuring music by his father, Lazar Weiner (father and son spell their family name differently. Insert obligatory immigrant joke here). Wyner introduced many of the songs, and featured singing by a range of luminaries starting with both the President of Hebrew College (Daniel Lehmann) and head of the SJM (Cantor Dr. Brian J. Mayer) and including Cantor Louise Treitman and HC student Rick Lawrence. In addition, we got to listen to several songs by Lynn Torgove, who was also featured in a recent performance (Nov 5, 2010) of Yehudi's own pieces, performed by the Cantata Singers, at Jordan Hall. The voices were magnificent.

The thing is, Yehudi Wyner also helped us hear with his father's ears. As a typographer, for the first time I made that connection between art song—composing music that enables the ears to hear and appreciate the poet's words—and typographer, the art of printing a poet's words so that the words are noticed. In both cases, the communicative medium, whether it be music or print, is most successful when the medium is missed, but the words, the poet's intent, are heard.

Milken CD coverIndeed, as Yehudi stated, and then proved with his playing and the singing of the actual pieces by such masterful voices, Lazar Weiner had an incredible gift for writing spare music, setting the words perfectly. And this music should be studied with German and Italian and French art song—it should not be relegated to an afterthought as though of interest only to musically-educated Yiddishists. This music is wonderful world heritage, not just Yiddish heritage. Wyner talked a little bit about the brief blossoming of Yiddish art song under the patronage of Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov, in both Moscow and St. Petersburg. Wyner didn't mention the St. Petersburg school by name, but scholars, or those who know just enough to have dipped into the recent Milken Archive series will be familiar not just with Weiner's name, but the names of Joseph Achron, Joel Engel, etc.

It is almost criminal that pieces this good are heard so seldom, and I feel very fortunate to have been present to hear Yehudi's stories, along with the exquisite performances. This was not a random event. The SJM is seeking a higher profile, and I would presume would be very happy to talk with sponsors and donors who can further its programs. Starting just a few years ago, there are now 31 students and 10 graduates. All of the graduates, according to Acting Dean Mayer, found immediate employment. That, too, is a neat statement in these times. Stay tuned for a symposium on Yiddish Art Song later in 2011 which will feature scholars such as Mayer, Josh Jacobson, Hankus Netsky, and other members of a very rich Jewish music community here in Boston.

If you are interested in knowing more about the music of Weiner (and Wyner!), or the SJM, check out their website, www.hebrewcollege.edu/jewish-music-cantor. You should also contact them to get on the mailing list for the forthcoming symposium.

October 16, 2010

KlezKamp 2010 program announced

KK 2010 logoKlezKamp 2010 will be held December 26-31, 2010 at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa in New York's Catskills Mountains.

"Our theme this year, Gilgulim/Transmigrations, celebrates not only the diverse and dynamic history of Yiddish culture on the move, but also Living Traditions' "transmigration" into the Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Please check out our online registration. Or, if you are not on our mailing list and would prefer a good old-fashioned in-your-mailbox registration brochure, drop us a line or call our office at (212) 532-8202 with your name and address. Please hurry, though: space is limited and we are already swamped with many more requests than we have seen in a number of years.

It is also our great pleasure to announce the upcoming release of The Tradition Lives: Yiddish-Moldavian Music of German Goldenshteyn. Recorded at last year's KlezKamp, the new CD has material our late and beloved teacher and friend German Goldenshteyn chose for his first recording and for a proposed Volume II, and honors the great music and inspired playing he shared with us.

As with our other LT CDs, we look for support from our KlezKamp community to issue this critically important recording. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation for the production and release of this CD in time for this year's KlezKamp. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made by check to Living Traditions Inc. or online with a credit card. All donors will be listed in the record notes and, as with our previous German Goldenshteyn CD and books, a percentage of the profits are shared with the Goldenshteyn family.

October 9, 2010

Beyond the Pale nominated for four Canadian Folk Music awards

cd coverBeyond the Pale has topped the field with 4 nominations from the Canadian Folk Music Awards for our last CD "Postcards," including Ensemble of the Year, Best World Music, Best Instrumental Ensemble and a category called "Pushing the Boundaries". Check out the press release from CBC news for more details.

September 16, 2010

New 4-CD Bulgarian re-release, "Outsinging the Nightingale"

“Outsinging the Nightingale”
Lost Treasures of Bulgarian Music 1905-1950

4-CD Compilation on JSP Records on sale September 14, 2010 features 100 Selections, 97 Never Before Reissued; 8-page Illustrated Annotated Booklets

The only-known recordings of the legendary folk quartet Bishtrishka Chetvorka, the pioneer turn-of-the-century acoustic efforts of the Gramophone Company, the earliest recordings of the icons of Bulgarian folk song Vulkana Stoyanova, Mita Stoicheva and Boris Mashalov, heretofore unavailable sounds of clarinet masters Ramadan and Gosho Lolov, Demir Cholakov and Ahmed Babakov, and the stunning artistry of accordion master Boris Karlov are some of the highlights of “Outsinging the Nightingale—Lost Treasures of Bulgarian Music 1905-1950”, a 4-CD collection on JSP Records on sale September 14.

The compilation is the culmination of 30 years of in-depth research into the Bulgarian commercial recording industry by American researcher Lauren Brody, and is the continuation of her seminal 1998 reissue “Song of the Crooked Dance” on Yazoo Records. None of the selections contained in these two collections have been available anywhere. Through the untiring efforts of Ms. Brody, these unique and important recordings, critically important in the documentation of Bulgaria’s cultural history, will finally reclaim their rightful place in the musical soundscape of Bulgaria.

The set, which costs $29 and is available online, at songofthecrookeddance.com, and in retail stores, is being issued by JSP records in the new “The Sound of the Balkans” series.

"This amazing compilation expands our appreciation for the diversity and richness of Bulgarian music… For those familiar only with Bulgarian music recorded after WWII, this is an enlightening and exciting historical perspective." Mark Levy, Ph.D. University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.

The goal of the collection is to make available, for the first time, both to Bulgarians and to the music-loving public at large, a rich, multi-faceted musical heritage that lay buried for so long, the innocent victim of war and politics in 20th century Bulgaria.

For more information on the collection, visit www.songofthecrookeddance.com.

July 26, 2010

HBI issue on young Jewish women doing Jewish music

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) has an online magazine called "614" (extending the 613 commandments followed by traditional Jews....) This issue has some short interviews with several young Jewish women creating interesting music. There is also an interview with jDub founder Aaron Bisman, and a link to the grandmother of Jewish Music Festivals, the Berkeley Jewish Music Fest, currently celebrating it's 25th birthday.

Taking Jewish music mainstream

I think what I like best is that there are articles about several people doing interesting music, and that I could go on for several more without even thinking that coulda shoulda also been part of that issue, but for deadlines and limited resources. So, I'll praise the magazine for catching a few facets of the prism, and encourage them to continue to explore the subject over time.

.

June 17, 2010

Yiddish Princess!

First off, if you don't already know, tonight Sarah Gordon's band, "Yiddish Princess" is coming to Boston. It is their CD release tour. I am going to try very hard to break my usual old fogey bedtime rules and attend.

Sara Ivry, whose podcasts on tablet are my favorite part of the site, does a damn fine podcast with Sarah, Michael Winograd, and I believe, Yoshie Fruchter, at http://www.tabletmag.com/podcasts/36365/power-chords . Not only does she play a cut or two from the album, but gets the three to do a song live.

And, as icing on the cake, the Jewish Week names Gordon as one its "36 most influential people under 36." Sadly, the author seems not to have understood that there are two significant East Coast Yiddish culture camps--one, KlezKamp held each winter in the Catskills US); the other, KlezKanada held each summer in the Laurentians (Canada). The talented Ms. Gordon not only grew up attending both, but is now on the faculty of both. Read the article to see how the JW interviewer, um, mashups up the descriptions of the two for this wonderful "Yiddish Mash-Up Artist" (his term).

May 23, 2010

New CDs available from JMI, UK

Sent in by the folks at JMI:

New Music releases and additions to our website, 2010
www.jewishmusic-jmd.co.uk

CDE coverSongs of the Bible
A wonderful 5 CD box, with songs inspired by the Tanatkh (the Bible), sung by many of the most famous Israeli singers, such as the Army band, Nehama Handle, Avram Fried, Noami Shemer, Parvarim, Arik Enistein, Shoshana Damari, Arikl Lavi and many more. Total of 125 songs! 5 CD box £28.99

CDE coverShir / Ashk'farad—Vilna, Slonika, Afula—Klezmer and Ladino
New release from Shir, a brilliant UK based band, previously released CDs of Israeli songs and Klezmer music. All songs are traditional and arranged by Shir (exept track 8). Tracks: Hakdama; Silver Wedding; En El Café De Amanacer; Chossid Wedding Dances; Bukovina Freylechs; Cuando El Rey Nimrod; Kishiniever Bulgar; HaKlzmer; Di Sapozkelakh; Skocne (Nifty Freilachs); Scheharchoret; Tanz Tanz Yidelekh; Yo M’enamori D’un Aire; Russian Sher; A Nacht in Gan Eydn; Adio Querida. CD £14.50

Continue reading "New CDs available from JMI, UK" »

March 28, 2010

Yiddish Summer Weimar 2010 now online

yiddishkeit at Yiddish Summer Weimar 2010

Alan Bern announces the Yiddish Summer Weimar program, with several week-long workshops running from July 4 through Aug 2, 2010:

The website for Yiddish Summer Weimar 2010 is now online:

www.yiddishsummer.eu

Celebrating our 10th anniversary, this summer's overall topic is yidishkayt. The advanced vocal workshop topic is unaccompanied Yiddish folksong repertoire & style, led by Michael Alpert, Ethel Raim and Itzik Gottesman. The advanced klezmer workshop topic is non-dance repertoire & style, led by Zev Feldman, Josh Horowitz, Cookie Siegelstein, Stu Brotman, Steven Greenman, Michael Winograd, and others. We'll also conduct a 3-day seminar for professional Yiddish dance teachers & musicians led by Zev, Sue Foy, Christian Dawid and Jake Shulman-Ment, aimed at developing a unified dance/dance music culture based on the more gestural style of dancing practiced by Zev. For more information about these workshops and others, I invite you to check out the website. Best wishes to all, Alan Bern

March 22, 2010

KlezKanada 2010, Aug 16-22 - Registration now open!

KlezKanada logo

Register now for KlezKanada 2010!
August 16th to 22nd
www.klezkanada.org

KlezKanada is preparing for its 15th year! We are in the midst of finalizing our 2010 faculty and creating a week of world-class programming. Each year we present an incredibly talented faculty and exciting new programming while still ensuring the atmosphere you love. This year is no exception—our program highlights this year are truly not to be missed!

Register now online

Continue reading "KlezKanada 2010, Aug 16-22 - Registration now open!" »

"Yiddish Sources" website relaunched

From Gerben Zaagsma

I am pleased to announce the launch of the new version of Yiddish Sources today. You can visit the website here:

yiddish-sources.com

Yiddish Sources aims to be a comprehensive source of information for those who are interested in using Yiddish materials in their research. The information is arranged in three main sections: reference, research and events. A new addition is the Yiddish Studies Bibliography, an online bibliography which lists relevant scholarly literature in the field of Yiddish Studies.

Yiddish Sources and the Yiddish Studies Bibliography will be continuously updated. It is easy to stay updated on new content by subscribing to RSS feeds or follow Yiddish Sources on Twitter and Facebook.

Registered users can bookmark entries and also leave comments. Feedback and suggestions are very much appreciated. Please forward this announcement to anyone you think might be interested.

Jeremiah Lockwood - Forward's "Artist in Res" - Nigun Project

Jeremiah Lockwood, best known for his work in The Sway Machinery and Balkan Beat Box is this year's Artist in Residence at the Forward. In an article this week he describes, and provides a haunting recording, of his "Nigun Project," a fusion of African singing and nign.

The Nigun Project, by Jeremiah Lockwood, Mar 15, 2010

March 20, 2010

International Jewish Music Festival, the Netherlands, Oct 28-31, 2010

festival logoAmsterdam will once again host the world's most exciting and innovative Jewish Music Festival: October 28-31, 2010. In addition to our unique competition, you can enjoy workshops, master classes, jam sessions, and the Jewish cultural marketplace.

Details as they are available: www.ijmf.org. You can also sign up for the organization's mailing list.

A snapshot of Jewish music in Cuba

From Vancouver, CA Jewish Music correspondent Ethan Minovitz:

Last December, I was with the Cuba-America Jewish Mission (the only Canadian among 45 Americans). One of my donations to the library at the "Patronato" (the Jewish community center in Havana) was an Oxford Community Press fake book (with accompanying CD) for klezmer trio.

I hope this means Cuba will have its own klezmer band some day. The closest we got to Jewish music was the head of Caibarien's only Jewish family... he played a solo of Hatikvah on his sax! A member of our tour group loaded the video onto YouTube.

On the last night of the tour, we taught a restaurant trio (there's always an instrumental trio in a restaurant in Cuba) how to play Hava Nagilah. What the musicians lacked in ability, they more than made up for in enthusiasm... some German and Dutch tourists looked very quizzically at us all dancing the hora.

January 30, 2010

Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture announced for University of Wisconsin-Madison

When I drove over to Madison last spring to listen to a concert set up for a mini-KlezKamp, it was clear that everyone was having a good time. (I did, too.)

Behind the scenes, more was happening. Here is an excert from the KlezKamp blog:

"The initial funding for the institute is made possible by a generous gift from Sherry Mayrent and Carol Master. The Mayrent Institute for Yiddish Culture will be a unique facility devoted to fostering an understanding of the world of Yiddish through its arts. The institute will be directed by Henry Sapoznik."

Read more details on the KlezKamp blog from last month.

October 21, 2009

Mark Rubin needs your help

markdrubin.blogspot.com

Mark Rubin, from KlezKampI'd have more to say, but opinions on this country's health care system will have to go elsewhere. Anyone stupid enough to try to justify how we can pay any more for health care than any other country and have so many people underinsured/uninsured and put up with recision and denied covered the way we do, even for those allegedly insured, so that we rank at the bottom of other industrialized nations by any measure (other than money spent), should stay out of my sight. Call health care reform anything you want, but if you are not pushing for reform, you should consider yourself wilfully ignorant and thoroughly uninformed. You should be embarrassed and ashamed.

Mr. Rubin has torn his rotator cuff and needs $4000. It's volunteer week. Please volunteer some needed cash.

In the meantime, I'll talk about Mark Rubin's amazing music. I personally make sure that I hear him every few months, in some ensemble, whether I thought I needed to or not--him, Hank Sapoznik, and Cookie Segelstein as the Youngers of Zion is one cure for anything that might ail you.

About a year ago, Rubin was sitting in for Andy Statman's regular bass player at the Ashkenaz Festival. Larry Eagle was on drums, so you know that I'm talking about a very hot trio. Rubin and Statman blew the place away. I have heard both play incredible music many times, but Mark pushed Andy who pushed back into places I have never before been (although I would happily return).

An amazing bass player. An amazing story-teller. Help if you can.
markdrubin.blogspot.com

October 19, 2009

"Girls in Trouble" captivates

Updated to include current contact/purchase information, 21-Nov-2015. This CD was originally released on the wonderful and much missed JDUB label. The label may be gone, but the musicians continue to make wonderful music.

Girls in Trouble CD coverNobody who knows fiddler & poet Alicia Jo Rabin's first, pre-Golem release, Sugar Shack (2003) will be surprised to hear that her latest project, "Girls in Trouble" is amazing, tuneful, poetic, and just damn impossible to walk away from.

The album's concept is simple: while procrastinating about writing a thesis to complete her Jewish Studies degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary, Rabins wrote poems about several Biblical "women in trouble" and set them to music. Then they took on a life of their own. The subjects range from the obscure (Yiftah's daughter—the one example of uninterrupted human sacrifice in the TaNaKh) to the familiar—Miriam and Ruth. Part of the fun is trying to connect the story as told in Rabins' wonderful poetry, to the actual Biblical event. But the songs are balm. Even when the tales are chilling, her ability to tell a story and set it to wonderful, quiet music, is healing.

I wasn't going to mention this CD until it's release next week, but I can't stop listening to it. Like Rabins, I have to stop procrastinating and get back to work, so let me at least pass on the word about this recording—and suggest that you get your own copy.

For more information about Girls in Trouble, visit the Bandcamp page.

You can also catch an article by Alexander Gelfund, Art Pop Indie Rock Meets Midrash from the Forward, July 1, 2009.

September 7, 2009

Pix from First Jerusalem Klezmer Fest at beginning of August

Posted by Binyomin Ginzberg to the Jewish Music list last month—I'm just catching up now:.

[H]ere are some pictures and video from the first Jerusalem Klezmer Festival Itzik posted about. The accompanying text is in Hebrew.

More about the event (also in Hebrew).

There was also a book of Klezmer sheet music "Nishmat Haklezmorim—The Soul of Klezmer" released to coincide with the festival. I don't have much information about the song contents, but I do know that it includes the repertoire of the Jerusalem klezmorim and contains traditional dance melodies for the Bottle Dance, Tkhias Hameysim Dance, and more.

It has many photos and the text in translated into six languages. I did some of the English translations including forewords by Mousa Berlin and Giora Feidman.

I haven't seen the book yet—I wasn't at the festival—but I anticipate getting one soon, at which point I'll have more information about the contents, should anyone be interested.

new release of Sophie Tucker recordings

From Alex Lubet and Marvin Margoshes on the Jewish-Music list last week:

Big article on Tucker in yesterday's NY Times. This is the centennial of her recording debut and there's a cd re-release of her earliest sessions that was highly praised. The article is great, too.

A Century Later, She’s Still Red Hot, by Jody Rosen, Aug 28, 2009

You can find out more about Sophie Tucker on the Jewish Women's Archive, or see her live as part of the JWA film, Making Trouble, now available for home purchase. (Disclaimer: I am an employee of JWA and pretty damn proud of it because of materials like these. ari)

June 12, 2009

The Curious Case of the Moment Magazine Jewish Music issue

For years reviewers of traditional Jewish music have tried to get articles in Moment Magazine. To date, I am aware of no success. You can read Hadassh or the Forward or Zeek or the new Nextbook evolution, Tablet and get some sense of the anything from Jewish punk to piyyut. That may not change anytime soon, but I got the following email late Friday afternoon which may be of interest to anyone with a wedding band or other band for hire to Jewish audiences. Better late than never, I say—but note that you need to contact this person on Monday, 6/15/09:

Hello. I'm the Culture Editor for Moment magazine. I'm contacting those involved with Jewish music for a special advertising offer that ends on Monday. Let E-mail Rebecca Leavey, 202-363-6422, know by Monday if you're interested in purchasing a listing and/or an ad in the Guide--mention this note from me and you'll receive a special rate. . . . As a longtime Jewish cultural professional, I'm committed to reaching out to stakeholders representing the best in the Jewish cultural arts. My experience tells me that people are anxious for help in finding the best of what's out there. Please help us to be a forum for this discussion. . . .

Distribute this message as you see fit,
Best,
Diana Altman

June 2, 2009

Klezmer Michael Winograd: One of the "36 under 36"

Pete Rushefsky sent this last month, but that up-to-date Klezmershack is just posting it now. But many of us would claim that it's been obvious for far longer than the Jewish Week's discovery, anyway

I'm sure despite his best efforts to prevent it :-) , Michael Winograd has been honored by the Jewish Week as one of their 36 under 36!

Mazl tov Mikey!!!!

May 30, 2009

Greg Wall & Hasidic New Wave are fighting cancer with song - and they aren't the only ones

So, I get this email, 'Greg Wall and Hasidic New Wave Are Fighting Cancer with Song...Pioneers for a Cure.

That's pretty cool. It's a pretty cool song, but if you take a look, you'll see that a host of artists from Smadar Levi to Tovah Feldshuh to Alicia Svigals to Y-Love and Diwon are torturing, er, re-imagining old Israeli "pioneer" songs that we learned at summer camp or on kibbutz, into ways to contribute money for cancer research. Not a bad thing (and, thinking of some of the horrible things we used to do to צאנה צאנה in my dorm room at Hebrew U., probably the nicest thing that anyone has done with these songs since the Ethnix remixed "Hey Daroma" back in the '90s.

You can browse the artists and songs online, or just give money without being burdened by the songs. Up to you.

May 29, 2009

Israeli Marked "Yiddish Day" May 26

Sent in by Simon Rutberg of Hatikvah Music:

Israeli Knesset marks Yiddish Day

For the first time since its founding, the Knesset officially marked Yiddish Language and Culture Day on Tuesday (May 26). A Yiddish-Hebrew Knesset lexicon was released for the occasion.

The date for the parliamentary nod to Yiddish, a language once spoken by more than 12 million Jews, was selected to mark 150 years since the birth of the Yiddish author Shalom Aleichem. This past week was also the 20th anniversary of the founding of Yiddishshpiel, Tel Aviv's all-Yiddish theater.

The day's events included a joint meeting of the Knesset's Absorption, Immigration and Diaspora Committee and the Education and Culture Committee to discuss Yiddish culture. The Knesset also held a special session to discuss the place of Yiddish in modern Israeli society. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Deputy Minister of Pensioners Affairs Leah Ness delivered the main speeches of the session.

Ahead of the unique Knesset session, a lexicon of the Yiddish translations of several key phrases often used by Israeli parliamentarians was distributed to all Knesset members. A few key phrases from the lexicon that veteran MKs may find useful include:

  • Ich hob eich nisht geshtert, toshter nisht mir!—"I didn't interrupt you, don't interrupt me!"
  • Ich ruf eich tzum seder dus ershte mol....—"I am calling you to order for the first time...."
  • Ordners, derveitert im fun zal!—"Ushers, remove him from the hall!"
  • Vehr siz far, zol veilen 'far'. Vehr siz keigen, zol veilen 'keigen'.—"Whoever is in favor, vote 'in favor'. Whoever is opposed, vote 'opposed'."

In the Knesset auditorium, members of the Yiddishshpiel theater troupe performe songs and selected scenes from the Yiddish theater and from Jewish tradition. Throughout the day, the Knesset halls hosted an exhibition from the Shalom Aleichem House, which is dedicated to preserving the author's legacy.

More than 450 people were invited to take part in the Knesset festivities and events.

Mameloshen

Behind the cultural initiative stands Knesset Member Lia Shemtov (Israel Beiteinu), chairperson of the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, who grew up speaking Yiddish in her family home in the Ukraine.

,p>"This language represents for me the language, culture and history of the Jews of Europe," Shemtov said. "Yiddish is a rich, pungent, humorous, sweet and indulgent language. ...Yiddish, for me, is mein mameloshen, mein tateloshen, mein bubbeloshen und mein zeydeloshen ('my mother tongue, my father tongue, my grandmother tongue and my grandfather tongue')."

The two parties with the most Yiddish speakers, Shemtov said, are Yisrael Beiteinu and the Ashkenazi hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism party. Three Yisrael Beiteinu MKs - Shemtov, Avigdor Lieberman and David Rotem—speak Yiddish, as do all five MKs from UTJ. Other MKs who list Yiddish as an additional language on their official Knesset webpages are Avishai Braverman (Labor), Shai Hermesh (Kadima) and Yaakov "Ketzaleh" Katz (National Union).

Arutz Sheva

Frank London Klezmer Brass Allstars coming to Lowell, MA Folk Fest Jul 24-26, 2009

Frank LondonYowza! The same wonderful folk festival that included Steven Greenman just a couple of years ago (and Margot Leverett not long before?) has snagged Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars along with a stunning array of other amazing music from around the world.

Yup, who else but the absolutely free Lowell Folk Festival, held in Lowell, MA this year on Jul 24-26, 2009. From Tuvan throat singing to Congolese dance music to Western Swing, this is the place to be. I intend to be there.

KlezKanada Faculty Announced

KlezKanada logo

From Klezmer revival pioneer Joel Rubin to KlezKanada alum and punk Yiddish chanteur Daniel Kahn and the return of Fima Chorny and Suzanna Ghergus, this year features amazing faculty. This year, the camp runs from Aug 24 - Aug 30. You can register online. Find out more at the KlezKanada website.

Time to register - KlezKanada 2009 is Aug 24-30

KlezKanada logo

Just a quick note to remind people that registration is now open for KlezKanada 2009. The camp runs from Aug 24-30 this year. Because finances are so tight, early, even timely registration is especially important. And of course, if you don't register before camp fills up, you'll miss seeing your friends, not to mention familiar faces such as mine.

You can register for KlezKanada online, even. See you there!

April 19, 2009

KlezKamp Roadshow sells out in Madison, WI

I am the sort of person who is well known for occasionally dropping from Boston to New York for an evening, so it came as no great surprise when, finding myself in Indianapolis yesterday I drove over to Madison, WI to catch the opening concert for the KlezKamp Roadshow. Today and tomorrow the roadshow will be featuring FREE workshops with some of the best teachers to be found anywhere. I hadn't been in Madison since the last time I drove cross country, and it was an enormous pleasure to hear Yid Vicious, still a kick-ass klezmer band, punkish only in name. Their set came after a lovely performance by the Madison Yiddish Choir and included the title track off their last CD, a klezmer tribute to Balkan music (sort of—they explain it better, live) called "The Seventh Shlemiel."

This was just forspeis. Henry Sapoznik was his usual welcoming self, and the KlezKamp regulars had a grand time on stage. Michael Wex opened with one of my favorite monologues. Susan Levitan gave a too-brief taste of her Yiddish singing (which I could hear more of—I am more familiar with her work in Yiddish folk arts—I have fond memories of a paper-cutting workshop at Ashkenaz, for instance). Mr. Sapoznik, accompanied by Cookie Segelstein and Mark Rubin delivered some favorites from his "Youngers of Zion" CD, including my favorite, "I am a boarder by my wife." Sherry Mayrent played an awesome set. These days, you have to go to KlezKamp to hear her, so this was a rare, and much appreciated treat.

But these were mere distractions. Welcome, distractions, true. Had there been nothing else, I could have heard these pieces and felt the trip well-repaid. But the larger ensemble, which also featured Michael Winograd on clarinet, Dan Blacksberg on trombone, Rubin on both bass and tuba, Segelstein on fiddle, Josh Horowitz on accordion, and the incredible Aaron Alexander on poyk, rocked big time. This was a traditional klezmer show, but much of the music came from the repertoire of the late German Goldenshteyn. In my mind's eye, I can see each of the musicians add solos or fills that reminded me of why I go such distances to hear them. Watching Mark Rubin's fingers as he plays, or listening to Alexander turn a short solo into an awesome transition to the next number are the equivalent of watching a skilled set of trapeze artists as they skillfully move back and forth, now airborn, now holding up the others, always in rhythm, with an "ooh" or "ahhhh" every second.

The evening had one further bonus. The last time I was in Madison, a band member loaned me a cassette copy of the sessions of their first recording to help me finish my trip cross country. By entirely pleasant coincidence, the band has just released their latest, Dollars to Doinas, and I now have a copy to help me finish my trip cross country. Some traditions are worth repeating.

If you are near Madison, and haven't signed up for the FREE workshops, let me encourage you to do so. Space is limited. And I've got to hit the road. This is, after all, not KlezKamp, but the KlezKamp Roadshow :-).

April 5, 2009

Vilnius Jewish Library seeks music donations

This came in at the beginning of March from Wyman Brent, in Vilnius:

While there is a lot of negative news to be covered these days with the rising levels of anti-Semitism, there is still an uplifting story to report. Today in Vilnius, Lithuania 165 boxes of Jewish books arrived from California. The books are the beginning of the new Vilnius Jewish Library. I am asking Klezmer bands and lovers of the music to donate CDs and DVDs and related books to help revive Jewish culture in the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Web: www.jmuseum.lt/index.aspx?Lang=EN

Wyman Brent
Vilnius Jewish Library
Ausros Vartu 20-15A
Vilnius LT-02100
Lithuania

New Hoodiíos release, May 12 - "Carne Asada"

It is absolutely true that the Hip Hop Hoodíos were my first favorite Jewish hip hop band—and still the kings of Latino-Jewish hip hop. Whether one EP, one CD, and some very interesting singles merit a retrospective collection is another question. It will certainly be a danceable and good collection. Readers will have to check it out personally. Here's the press release:

garish CD cover done by someone who has just learned photoshopCRITICALLY ACCLAIMED LATINO-JEWISH URBAN COLLECTIVE HIP HOP HOODÍOS ANNOUNCES MAY 12TH RELEASE OF “CARNE MASADA: QUITE POSSIBLY THE VERY BEST OF HIP HOP HOODÍOS"

Group’s First Career Retrospective Features the New Single “Times Square (1989)” and Guest Performances from Members of Ozomatli, The Klezmatics, The Pinker Tones, Delinquent Habits & Los Abandoned

“Carne Masada: Quite Possibly the Very Best of Hip Hop Hoodíos” (April 28th iTunes; May 12th all other retailers) is the first-ever ‘Best of’ collection—including 5 new tracks—from the critically-acclaimed Latino-Jewish urban collective led by Josh “Josué Noriega” Norek and Abraham Vélez. Hip Hop Hoodíos’ latest release on Jazzheads Records features guest participation from members of such major Latin & Jewish acts as Ozomatli, The Klezmatics, The Pinker Tones, Delinquent Habits, Los Mocosos, and Los Abandoned. The album’s first single is the old school-flavored homage to pre-gentrified Manhattan, “Times Square (1989).” The album spans the group’s entire career and also includes liner notes written by the (soon-to-no-longer-be) esteemed Rolling Stone/LA Times music critic Ernesto Lechner.

PREVIEW THE NEW SINGLE “TIMES SQUARE (1989)”

Continue reading "New Hoodiíos release, May 12 - "Carne Asada"" »

January 22, 2009

KlezmerShack wins Drupal book

Ya'll know how, for years, I've been talking about how the KlezmerShack is going to get new code, get some new features, and move into the 21st century? I've been intending to move this site into an open source content management system called Drupal, which is the same tool that I recommended to the Jewish Women's Archive (disclaimer: I am JWA's chief techie. But at the day job, I can hire competent people to make this work. For the KlezmerShack, I gotta figure it out myself). Drupal comes with lots of smarts built in, and a very good community of smart people.

Along the way I have bought several books on making drupal do what I want (and read zillions of rather excellent articles). The books, so far, have sucked. They make me want to find time to learn this all so that I'll write the better book, except that now I don't have to. O'Reilly Publishers have released "Using Drupal," which sounds exactly like the book I want to read. Better, one of the authors held a contest in which he offered to send a free copy of the book to the person posting the best comment about the site they'd build with it. The KlezmerShack won!.

One way or the other, this website is moving into the current century this year. When we're done, people will be maintaining their own information; calendar entries will no longer require me to mediate getting the damn information to KlezmerShack readers, and this will all work and be accessible from those new-fangled mobile devices. And now, for better or worse, that boast has been exposed to people on this other blog, so I guess I had better make it happen. At least I'll have a nice example of that old-fashioned print stuff to help me get there.

January 18, 2009

New 4-CD Haim Effendi set from Jerusalem via Joel Bresler

Eva Broman spotted this wonderful new set:

A Must-Have Recording for Anyone Interested in the Sephardic Musical Heritage

CD coverAn Early 20th-century Sephardi Troubadour: The Historic Recordings of Haim Effendi of Turkey

In 1907, the Odeon recording company in Turkey released the first record by Haim Effendi, one of the very earliest recordings of Judeo-Spanish music. The name of Haim Effendi (1853–1938) was known among devoted aficionados of Sephardic music, but to this day virtually none of his recordings were available to the general public. This re-release of almost 60 of Haim Effendi's songs offers the public a rare opportunity to hear his voice and appreciate the variety of his repertoire.

This new edition includes liturgical and paraliturgical pieces, romances and other songs in Judeo-Spanish from Turkey and the Balkans as they were recorded in the first three decades of the 20th century. In this format, these songs and prayers were probably heard in the private homes, synagogues, social gatherings and cafés of Sephardic Jews in the late Ottoman Empire.

The present recording was twenty years in the making and was made possible thanks to Joel Bresler, the founder of www.sephardicmusic.org. Bresler collected Haim Effendi's 78 rpm records from various sources and initiated their digitization. Dr. Rivka Havassy from Bar-Ilan University and Prof. Edwin Seroussi from Hebrew University added extensive notes on Haim's life and work.

Price: $30 (4 CDs plus 100 pp. booklet)
The recording is available at the “Eight Note” stores throughout Israel or At the Jewish Music Research Centre through the website, www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il, or by mail, at POB 39105, Jerusalem. Israel 91390. You can order by fax, at: 972-2-5611156

Joel Bresler adds: "The notes by Dr. Havassi and Prof. Edwin Seroussi are truly a landmark." Anyone who knows of the work of these scholars will find this likely to be an understatement.

January 17, 2009

Cuban Jewish Music update

I wrote about this project a month or so ago. Here is an update from Roberto Rodriguez:

Dear Friends,

Some of you may know that I have been working over the past year with a Sephardic singer, Sarah Aroeste, on a project of original Sephardic-themed, Cuban-inspired songs. The project is very exciting for both of us. One of our songs was recently selected as a Finalist in the prestigious Festiladino competition in Israel. Sarah and I recently traveled to Cuba and were fortunate to be able to perform our songs for the Cuban Jewish communities in Havana. This was obviously a very meaningful experience for me, both personally and professionally, as a Cuban-born musician who values so much the Jewish musical and cultural traditions. During our transformative experience performing together in Havana, Sarah and I became all too aware that the communities have minimal exposure to Jewish culture beyond their island. And they have hardly any access to music and all the creativity that has been brewing in the Jewish music world over the last many years. One community we visited only had one single Jewish music recording at their disposal.

Continue reading "Cuban Jewish Music update" »

January 7, 2009

A second yiddish opera to premiere from Daniel Galay

Lori Cahan-Simon spotted this nifty bit of news in the Jerusalem Post. It's Galay's 2nd yiddish opera in just a couple of years:

Yiddish Opera to Premiere Soon, by Greer Fay Cashman. It's not your grandmother's story line, I don't think: "[it] revolves around an incestuous relationship between a brother and a sister, Itche and Adela, who succeed in concealing their secret from the world…. [more]

Y-Love teams up with Crown Heights soul rapper 'Describe'

'cd coverBROOKLYN MULTILINGUAL MC Y-LOVE TEAMS UP WITH CROWN HEIGHTS SOUL RAPPER 'DESCRIBE' TO MUSICALLY FIGHT FOR "CHANGE"

The BBC, Italy's La Repubblica, and XXL magazine have all featured Brooklyn-based MC Y-Love and his multilingual approach to hip-hop. Y-Love's 2008 debut album This is Babylon is still garnering praise for its mix of hip-hop, reggae, and r&b with global accents, but Y-Love isn't resting. Now, he's teaming up with Crown Heights collaborator DeScribe to give a fresh musical take on the most powerful word of 2009. Their new single "Change" mixes Y-Love's militant mysticism with the plaintive urgency of DeScribe's singing. Combining a driving, radio-ready beat, produced by Prodezra, and subject matter few dare to touch, "Change" truly stands out on the path from old to new.

"Change" is the first in the series of four songs that comprise "The Change EP", by DeScribe & Y-Love, to be released on Modular Moods/Shemspeed. One song will be released per month beginning with "Change", produced by Prodezra. Pick up each song on iTunes and catch the music video for "Change" on youtube beginning January 20th.

All updated info will be at www.shemspeed.com/change

January 3, 2009

"Arise!," from Sy Kushner

cd coverNulite Music, formerly Kush Publications, proudly announces the release of "Arise! New Jewish Music by Sy Kushner". This is the first of a series of albums to be released containing original compositions by Sy Kushner. Performing on this CD are some of New York's top klezmer musicians. Also available is a book by the same name of transcribed music from the CD. Sy writes, "This CD, the first of a series, was influenced by a lifetime of experiences, of lows and highs, of despair and hope, of darkness and light. There are many musical influences on my work, from Chassidic, Israeli, klezmer and Mideastern, to Irish, African, Latin and avant-garde. I hope that listening to this music will bring you the same degree of reflection, joy, light, and hope for the future that it has brought me in composing and performing it".

For more information, visit Nulite Music, Inc.

January 1, 2009

Over 1000 entries in KlezmerShack musicians database

In the run up to the new year, I passed a small milestone. There are now over 1000 entries in the database that stores email addresses for people doing Jewish music. The database was created about five years ago to combat spam attacks against any listings on the web that include email addresses. By storing email addresses outside the website, we made it safe for bands, organizations, and individuals to provide working email addresses without fear of them being harvested by the "spam 'bots"—our small contribution to sanity in helping the people who make and support the music we love with the rest of the world.

Some of those addresses, of course, are now inactive. Many were entered for one-time events. And, the form used to send email is showing its age--it doesn't yet understand from Unicode or characters not in the simplest "ASCII" character set. Change is on the way, however. In a web 2.0 world, there are better services that the KlezmerShack can offer, and it will soon be possible for me to get out of the way between people, their listings, and keeping them current. Look for a new "calendar" in the next few months, followed by a very new KlezmerShack.

I so love this secular New Year—a bit of time off from work, and no cultural or religious or family obligations in the way! Okay, back to catching up on those listings I've been bragging about. I'm up to September 2008….

Shirim Khadashim - a new Jewish music blog is born

Anyone who has been following Jewish music knows of George Robinson's reviews in the Jewish Week and elsewhere. He has a knowledge and a breadth of interest that make everything he writes worth reading. Now, we are freed from the constraints of what print publications deem timely to put online. As of the first minutes of this morning, the first day of the secular year 2009, we welcome a brand new blog, Shirim Khadashim—New Jewish Songs.

The blog opens with a post about "why" a new Jewish blog, now, and teases us with George's 10-best lists from 2006 and 2007. More to come. Indeed.

Welcome to the KlezmerShack blog roll, George (and to the blog rolls of all who are interested in Jewish music)!

December 28, 2008

"Sisters of Sheynville" Canadian folk vocal group of the year

It's been a month since Lenka posted to the Jewish-Music list, but it still feels exciting. Could there ever be a situation in this country where a Jewish band would win an award for singing Jewish music? (I'm very pleased for the Klezmatics over their Grammy win last year for the Woody Guthrie album--I just wish, if they were going to win in an ethnic category, that it was seen fit to acknowledge their incredible Jewish music, not their proof that they can play non-ethnic folk as well or better than anyone out there).

Okay, so where was I. Canadian Folk Music Association--vocal group of the year to Sisters of Sheynville. Other Jewish winners (what, this wasn't just a singleton fluke?) included: David Buchbinder's Odessa/Havana which got "World Group" of the year, and Montreal's klezmer/gypsy/jazz group Sagapool, which got the award for instrumental group of the year. So last month, Lenka Lichtenberg wrote:

Sisters of Sheynville… last night in St. John's, Newfoundland, at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, we (the Sisters of Sheynville) were presented with the "vocal group of the year" award. so now we are the proud owners of a (very heavy) beautiful glass sculpure… of course this is no competition to the American Music Awards, which were understandably given more room and attention even in Canadian media—but it was fun and we are thrilled!

canadianfolkmusicawards.ca

Read more about it in the National Post: Klezmer In St. John's Puts 'Oy' In 'Boyo!', by Brad Frenette, on Nov 25, 2008

December 27, 2008

Despite funding cuts: London KlezFest 2009 NOT cancelled

As of 3/1/09 I am able to report that KlezFest 2009 will definitely happen, as will other London Jewish Music events this summer

Booking is now open for this summer's JMI KlezFest London 9 – 14 August 2009 Preceded by the famous one week - Ot Azoy! Yiddish crash course 2 – 7 August 2009

At SOAS, University of London
Vernon Square Campus, Penton Rise, London, WC1X 9EW
Book online


To all KlezFest Faculty,

I have some disappointing news. Despite our best efforts, we have had to take the decision that KlezFest 2009 is just not going to be possible. As I am sure you are all aware, funding is very difficult at the moment and the amount needed to run the event properly is very large. The funding organisation we were applying to would only be able to let us know too late whether funding has been allocated. This would not give enough notice to teachers to make decisions about whether to come or not, and would offer us too little time to manage the marketing and administration necessary. So, it is with regret that we announce that KlezFest 2009 will not take place next August. We are very sorry and disappointed about this ourselves, but thought it best to inform everyone as soon as possible so that you can all make alternative plans.

This comes at a time when funding for the arts in the UK has completely slumped, and our own funding pools have seriously depleted. As a result, JMI has had to undertake some serious cutbacks. I have personally decided that it is best for me to look for alternative employment, so, sadly I will be leaving JMI at the end of this term (19th December).

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Geraldine & co will be continuing to apply for funding for KlezFest 2010 and will be in touch with people in due course to develop that. August 2009 it is hoped that JMI may be able to hold some small scale workshops at SOAS with a small team of UK teachers—so there will be Klezmer and Yiddish song in London of some description next summer.

I have so enjoyed getting to know all of you over the past few years and working with you to make KlezFest such a joyous and memorable and I definitely want to stay in touch with you all … email me, and of course I am on facebook—do become my friend if you arent already!

Lots of love, happy Chanukkah and best wishes for 2009
Dr. Laoise Davidson

Judith Cohen checks in from Rome, Barcelona, Palma …

I get so little news about Jewish life or celebrations in Europe, and even fewer fun to read, that I requested permission from Jewish ethnomusicologist/chanteuse extraordinaire, Judith Cohen to reprint this message sent this morning to the Jewish-Music mailing list about her recent travels with her daughter, Tamar Adams:

hi, I'm here and there in Rome and Spain without a lot of internet access. … Tamar and I had a few interesting experiences singing and giving workshops—all-Sephardic (with a touch of Balkan and Yiddish) in Rome—from our base housed by the organization who invited us—in what seemed to be a converted cell, at a convent hostal next to the Vatican and opening onto a wonderful open street fruit and vegetable market.. The little bespectacled Rumanian (originally) nun who directed the place could occasionally be spotted driving an equally little car, with fierce determination, in the mad traffic around the Vatican—once, from the bus, I caught sight of her caught in a typical Roman snarl of vehicles waving her arms in the air over the steering wheel and shouting (apparently) imprecations which, regretfully, I couldn;t hear…. She had also made an agreement with the scruffy little bar next door to give convent guests coffee and a croissant every morning, and, to their own surprise, they turned out to have wifi which the owner's son had installed and forgotten about.

I visited the main synagogue to look at it, very imposing, but someone suggested to me that the melodies were more interesting at the small synagogue very few people know exists (so I won;t say here on the list where it is); there were very few people at it for Kabbalat Shabbat but those who were there did indeed sing pleasant melodies very tunefully . If anyone's going to Rome and is interested, ask me offlist.

I happened to be in Madrid for the historical first-ever lighting of a Hanukia in a public space. The "Gran Rabino" (Sephardic) of Israel was there, and did the main berakhot, which the local main rabbi translated into Spanish, mostly for the benefit of the curious neighbourhood people walking babies and dogs in the twilight. The music was loud, blaring Israeli music blasted over loudspeakers—Israeli dance tunes and songs in pop arrnagements. Most Jews in Madrid are Sephardic, or if Ashkenazi often Argentinian, and automatically joining hands to dance a basic hora doesn;t seem part of their background. Especially since the most traditional dance in Spain, which most people can do, the jota, is done in couples with hands free. A few made some desultory stabs at it and I joined in but it never really happened. The youth group had been advertised in the little programme as presenting "traditional Israeli dances", they showed up early and appeared to be practicing some routine but in fact they never did it. Finally, a non-Jewish recreational folk dance group showed up and set up their own iPod+loudspeakers system with a programme of Israeli dances they'd prepared for the occasion (they weren't invited, just heard about it), so I danced with them for an hour or so—the Jews didn't stick around for this.

Tamar and I did a concert for one of the three Hanuka events in Barcelona on the first night, in a community arts centre where Jewish events have not been held before; it was full, with about 50 people on the street who couldn't get in, and a lot of fun; we dug up some dreidls and invited the little kids in the audience to come up in stage and play with them whenever we sang relevant songs.

Today in Palma, back to my usual Spain favourite activity—off to do some fieldwork in a village here in Mallorca where a friend has found an 85-year old woman (not Jewish) no one has ever recorded here (and that's hard—a lot of field work happens in Mallorca) and whose family wants me to record her songs; so I'm charging the camcorder battery, then being picked up for Shabbat lunch by a Turkish Sephardic woman I met last night, who'll then take me out to the village…. Home a week from today (and hoping York U's strike, which has cut out my pay cheque since November, is over.).

Judith

December 25, 2008

The vanishing Global Village Music

A friend writes that the Global Village website has vanished, as has the answering machine at the other end of the phone (or any use of that number). Nobody seemed to have any idea of what happened to Mike Schelessinger (last seen last year at the "Eldridge St." photo op?) do email me.

Fortunately, Yale Strom emailed a quick note to let me know that all is well, and I pass it on: "i spoke with michael schlesinger a few weeks ago...he is fine, been dealing with a lot of family "meshugas" health issues, etc. i think the office is closed but global village will continue...."

Teruah Music adds Podcast

Things are heating up wonderfully in the Jewish music world as Jack Zaientz, whose Teruah Music blog has been required reading for years, now adds a podcast:

As many of you know I've been writing Teruah, a more or less daily blog on Jewish music for about two years now. This weekend I launched the Teruah Podcast. The podcast will be much like my blog, focusing on me presenting and providing context for interesting Jewish music I discover. The big difference...you can dance to it in your kitchen. I expect some 'casts to have specific themes and others to be more free-form. The first 'cast, naturally enough, is The Hanukkah Show.

If you want to contribute music or have good ideas for future shows, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you've already sent me music in the past I'm sure I'll be contacting you for permission to play my favorite songs. But don't hesitate to remind me :)

Thanks and Chang Sameach Chanukkah.
Jack

-- Jack Zaientz
Musical Schadchen
Teruah Jewish Music

KlezFactor merits "Video of the day"

Check out Medea's Video Pick of the Day for Dec 22. Yup, it's our Toronto friends, KlezFactor, whose most recent CD, Klezmachine is attracting a lot of attention. That album is now the #1 charted album on CHUO radio's "International" chart, for the week ending December 16th -- and that's up from #6 from the previous week. The band also charted at #19 for the CIUT chart (all included) for the same week (ending December 16).

You can get your copy of KlezMachine on cdbaby.com.

Or, you can get started by watching this jazz-klezmer cut from KlezMachine, "Naftule Brandwein is a badass mathematician."

Der yidisher-gramofon online!

Michael Aylward writes to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

I am pleased to be able to announce the launch of my website 'Der yidisher gramofon' at: www.yidisher-gramofon.org

I am hugely indebted to Joel Bresler who generously created this website for me. It is only now the project is complete that I realise what enormous demands I have made on Joel, no doubt on occasion testing his patience (and sanity?) to the limit. Without the enormous amount of work he contributed, the site simply would not exist.

The site falls into 3 broad sections:

Continue reading "Der yidisher-gramofon online!" »

December 15, 2008

Sarah Aroeste—Roberto Rodriguez Cuban-Sephardic Music Project

From Sarah Aroeste:

Sarah Aroeste, Roberto Rodriguez in Cuba

Over the past year Sarah Aroeste & Cuban-born musical collaborator, Roberto Rodriguez, have teamed up to create a project of all original, Sephardic-inspired, Cuban-infused music.

After recently returning from performing together in Havana, Cuba, this unique musical collaboration has taken off, but it needs your help!

In addition to developing their own music of original Cuban-Sephardic songs, Aroeste & Rodriguez are committed to helping promote Cuban Jewish life by working to build a Jewish Music Library based in Havana.

Continue reading "Sarah Aroeste—Roberto Rodriguez Cuban-Sephardic Music Project" »

October 18, 2008

New release from Ljova & the Kontraband

CD cover

Inna Barmash, author of the Zemerl Yiddish song database, writes the Jewish-Music list:

I wanted to let you all know about the new record we just released with my husband's band, Ljova & the Kontraband - "Mnemosyne". Here's a page with all the info, some samples, and ways to buy the album.

There is something for everyone on this album - lyrical melodies, hiccupping rhythms, virtuosic improvizations, songs sung by yours truly (including a song in Yiddish). The music is sort of an organic delicious intersection of klezmer/gypsy/tango/latin/blues—but don't take my word for it :)

Continue reading "New release from Ljova & the Kontraband" »

October 12, 2008

A beautiful afternoon at the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Little Shop of Horas on the GreenwayIt was a beautiful afternoon on the cusp between summer and fall. In typical Boston fashion, this meant that one minute the sun was shining and warm; the next it was overcast. Children played leapfrog on the lawn. Adults danced. The occasional handstand or game of catch took place on the sidelines. Given no choice as to date (one hopes that a new Jewish Center for Art and Culture would voluntarily have chosen to celebrate during the Sabbath between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, with an event starting around the time religious Jews would be heading into musaf services), the New Center for Arts and Culture brought Brian Bender's delightful "Little Shop of Horas" out at noon, where they started off with a nice version of Flory Jagoda's "Ocho Kandelikos" and then favored the international music theme of the day by moving into a Latin-American flavorted "Papirosn," followed by a host of world music ranging from reggae to Turkish. The band stretched and hit some excellent grooves under the afternoon sun.

For dessert, we had David Buchbinder's crisp, intense "Odessa/Havana" project. Buchbinder was straight from a two-day Jewish-Palestinian cabaret run in Toronto, and the change of pace was sharp and delightful. At one point, a street marching band came by. The band didn't miss a beat and started jamming with the street band. Anyone who hasn't heard the ensemble's CD should do themselves a favor and order up a copy right away.

All in all, a nice taste of what might be coming once the New Center opens on the Greenway in 2011.

June 28, 2008

New YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe

book cover

Helen Winkler writes:

The new two volume YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published by Yale University press, has just been issued. It is an inspiring accomplishment with invaluable text and fine illustrations. Dance in covered from pages 387-392, comprising three articles. The overview and Traditional Dance are written by Walter Zev Feldman and Theatrical Dance by Judith Brin Ingber. There are some cross-references also. It is a recommended resource.

June 15, 2008

Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Features Legendary Yiddish Entertainment Family on its Website

BOCA RATON, FL (June 12, 2008) – The Judaica Sound Archives® (JSA) at Florida Atlantic University Libraries has obtained the rights to offer on its website a major collection of performances by the Bursteins, one of the most enduring family names in Yiddish entertainment.

The JSA, located on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, created the collection from holdings that had been donated to the archives at different times and from different sources. It includes 33 albums and features the combined works of Pesach Burstein, who produced musicals for audiences worldwide in the 1920s; his wife, Lillian Lux, who joined his troupe when she was 17; and their twins, Susan Burstein-Roth and Mike (Burstein) Burstyn. One can listen to the Burstein family audio collection and read about the family’s accomplishments at www.fau.edu/jsa.

Continue reading "Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Features Legendary Yiddish Entertainment Family on its Website" »

February 23, 2008

Call for papers - "Music of America and the Sea"?

Posted to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Below is a link to Mystic Seaport Museum's call for papers. Papers based on music of the sea, influenced by the sea or seafaring, emigration, immigration. Many ethnic groups have been represented although England tends to be favored because of all the sea shanties. There must be something Jewish that could be a good fit for the symposium and the Sea Music Festival which would include Jewish music if a relevant paper was selected.

Mystic Seaport Seeking Paper Proposals for "Music of America and the Sea", Symposium to be part of the Museum's 29th Annual Sea Music Festival

February 19, 2008

Vote for SoCalled!

Ezra Glinter sent this post to the Jewish-Music list:

Hi folks -

Our friend SoCalled is up for a Montreal International Music Initiative award, and you can influence the results by voting online at www.mimimtl.com.

I say, vote early, and vote often! Voting ends Mar 1, 2008.

February 16, 2008

Pro Musica Hebraica launched

PMH LogoJames Loeffler announces this new organization, of which he is the Research Director, and the groups' inaugural concert on April 10.

Pro Musica Hebraica is a new organization devoted to presenting Jewish classical music—much of it lost, forgotten, or rarely performed—in a concert-hall setting.

We launch our ongoing concert series at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on April 10, 2008. This inaugural concert celebrates the 100th anniversary of the St. Petersburg school of Russian Jewish composers who a century ago began their own quest to create modern Jewish music. In homage to these musicians, our logo is a reproduction of one of their early concert programs.

The concert series is the result of a unique partnership between The Juilliard School and the Kennedy Center, featuring the musicians of the Juilliard Chamber Music Program together with special guest Itzhak Perlman.

February 9, 2008

Mattisyahu article in NY Times, Dec 23, 2007

From my synagogue's email list, Steve Hassan posts:

The Hasidic reggae star Matisyahu, who said he felt “boxed in," For a Singer and a Sect: A Rift Amid the Riffs?, By Alex Mindlin, Dec 23, 2007.

The article describes the singer as having distanced himself from Lubavitch and davenning, instead, at Karlin. It doesn't mention why we haven't heard much from him since he abandoned the label, JDUB, on which he first became famous, for Sony a year or two ago. For background, see a link I posted last year.

February 7, 2008

Mickey Katz' descendents endow Jewish Music chair

Rokhl Kafrissen blogged this one on her גלות ײד blog

UCLA receives $1 million to establish chair in Jewish music: UCLA alum and wife make gift in honor of Yiddish entertainer Mickey Katz, By Carolyn Campbell and Eleanore Reznikoff

While I'm at it, read down on recent blog entries and you'll find a link to video of KlezCalifornia way back when—When KlezKamp was a baby. Such young looking Hank Sapoznik, Adrienne Cooper, Margot Leverett, and Joel Rubin, among others. I can even swear I caught Jim Rebhan at one of the jam sessions.

February 3, 2008

Klezmerola - Klezmer piano roll recordings released on CD

Klezmerola CD coverCleveland native ‘on a roll’ with new klezmer piano CD, by Vivian Witt, Special to the Cleveland Jewish News.

“Klezmerola,” a brand-new CD created by native Clevelander Bob Berkman, makes it possible for the first time ever to hear Jewish recordings from a long-neglected source: old player piano rolls.

Included in the CD is the only Jewish roll by George Gershwin, recorded in 1916 and long thought lost. There is also music from the world of klezmer, highlighting Russian-born Samuel A. Perlstein. … [The CD] comes with a 16-page booklet. For information, visit wwwklezmer ola.com.

For more, read the article in the Cleveland Jewish News

January 30, 2008

Shirim 25th Anniversary concert, Arlington, MA, Feb 17, 2008

Glenn summarizes band history, below, but I should mention that Shirim is one of the reasons I wound up in the Boston area. I was in town on business and saw them at Club Passim back in 1996. It was the performance at which they announced that they were splitting in two: Shirim would continue to play traditional klezmer (including the very traditional klezmer nutcracker), and Naftule's Dream would be the name of their avant garde ensemble (the name followed the title of their second CD). Seing them in person was incredible. I still haven't forgiven the little "Toad" bar for cancelling their monthly Naftule's Dream gig. The band has changed in the dozen years since I've known them (and even more over 25 years). They played my wedding. We run into each other as we try to catch exciting music around town. I've never heard them perform less than wonderfully, so this (and the following two posts) is the first of three concerts that I absolutely don't want to miss—and which I not so humbly submit, you don't want to miss, either:

shirimCan you believe it? It is time for the 25th Anniversary concert of Shirim on Feb. 17, 2:00 at the Regent Theater, 7 Medford St., Arlington, MA. Tickets are $12.50, $8 for seniors and kids. Call the box office at (781) 646-4849 for tickets or visit www.regenttheatre.com. We are keeping the price low in the spirit of celebration and because we are making a video of the concert and want to have you there! Buy your tickets early!

more info

January 12, 2008

Yiddish Dance Action Network: Calling All Zamlers!

From Helen Winkler:

The Yiddish Dance Action Network is an association of musicians, dancers, ethnographers and others who strive to document and continue the traditions of Yiddish Dance. We need your help. We seek materials and memories that will help complete the picture of what Yiddish dance was and what it can be. Examples of useful documentation include:

  • memories of Yiddish dancing: perhaps you have a family member or friend who recalls the old dances and wants to share these memories
  • old family films, home movies or photos of celebrations that feature Yiddish dance
  • written descriptions in books or personal accounts of the dances, such as written memoirs

If you have information about the dances that you would like to share, please contact us: E-mail Helen Winkler or orPete Rushefsky

*Zamler is the Yiddish word for compiler. Zamlers gather together scattered things in order to form a collection.

Continue reading "Yiddish Dance Action Network: Calling All Zamlers!" »

Klezmatics in Rome, Jan 22, 2008

Woody Guthrie mosaicMarc Di Martino caught this one on his blog. The Klezmatics are coming back to Rome and playing a bigger venue than ever: "This time they're playing the prestigious Auditorium."

Klezmatics Back in Rome!

The Shondes for real - CD released

CD coverI got around to catching up with web stuff too late to get this into the calendar, but the "Shondes," the wonderfully-named band from Brooklyn about whom I posted false clips just a few months ago, not only exist for real, but have a real CD out. Transgressive Jewish punk. This is one excellent example of my idea of excellent new Jewish music. The CD release was last night and four hours away. Damn. I coulda made it if I'd known about it in time. All I know is that one of my fellow staff-people at the Jewish Women's Archive saw them here in Boston a couple of months ago (hello? bandmembers? it's okay to send items for the calendar, eh?) and has a sticker on his desk. He loved them. You can find out more at their myspace page, www.myspace.com/theshondes or their website: www.shondes.com

November 13, 2007

Call for papers: "Music of Yiddishkayt"; Deadline 3 Dec 2007

Dear friends and colleagues!

The new issue of Jewish musical annual "Music of Yiddishkayt" is being
prepared. We announce a call for papers.

The annual "Music of Yiddishkayt" is published in Russian. Its volume is 240 -260 pages. It is dedicated to Klezmer music and Yiddish song, this will be the 4th issue. It is not a scientific publication, we focus on combining a research and popular view of subject. We try to make a book interesting for both a newcomer to Yiddish music, for "an experienced klezmer" and a person who just want to throw a glance at this culture
(and maybe - to stay with us). Among the authors are: Psoy Korolenko, Dmitry Slepovich, Polina Sheperd, Efim Cherny, Zhenya Lopatnik, Evgeny(she) Khazdan, Nina Stepanskaya, Jeffrey Veidlinger, Anna Shternshis, Alexandr Ivanov, Adrianne Cooper, Anatoly Pinsky and others.

Continue reading "Call for papers: "Music of Yiddishkayt"; Deadline 3 Dec 2007" »

October 14, 2007

"The Harlem Experiment" to be released Oct 30, 2007

Nancie Schwartz Martin sends this very interesting press release (timed nicely to go with the "A Great Day on Eldridge Street" project)

CD coverWhen you think of New York City's Harlem, you may think of James Brown at the Apollo, Duke Ellington at the Savoy or Bill Clinton's offices on 125th Street. But did you know that Harlem was also home to large numbers of Eastern European Jews in the early 20th century? Some of the grandest brownstones in the Mount Morris Park neighborhood were Jewish family homes.

Grammy-winning producer Aaron Levinson pays homage to the vibrant history of Harlem in 'The Harlem Experiment', to be released by Ropeadope Records October 30th. Featuring musicians such as clarinetist Don Byron of the Grammy-awarded Klezmatics, trombonist Steve Bernstein and many other notable jazz musicians, it showcases Harlem as melting pot and offers a uniquely klezmerized version of the Yiddish folk song "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," with a soaring solo by Byron.

'The Harlem Experiment' Due Next in Tastemaker Label's Innovative City "Experiment" Series

Full Album Available for Pre-Order via www.ropeadope.com; Two Tracks Available on iTunes Now

Continue reading ""The Harlem Experiment" to be released Oct 30, 2007" »

September 27, 2007

News catchup: Elaine Hoffman Watts NEA National Heritage Fellowship

Announced back in June is the delightful, and much deserved news that drummer Elaine Hoffman Watts recently won a prestigious NEA National Heritage Fellowship:

Elaine Hoffman WattsElaine's profile from the award page:

Elaine Hoffman Watts' family came to the United States from a town near Odessa in the former Soviet Union. Her father, Jacob Hoffman, was a prominent member of a klezmer band that was recorded in the 1920s. Elaine received training from her father and uncles in the family's repertoire of polkas, freilachs, mazurkas, shers, and other tunes of Eastern European Jewish musical tradition. She became the first woman graduate in percussion from the Curtis Institute of Music. With many opportunities before her, Watts chose to maintain the three-generation family tradition of playing klezmer music at weddings, bar mitzvahs, and other social events. She points out that being a woman and a drummer often was a barrier in her career but as one klezmer scholar observes, "Elaine is an important role-model to young players who otherwise would have no clue that women were indeed a part of traditional Yiddish music. Because those of us who study traditional Yiddish culture have no homeland in Europe to which we can return, we rely heavily on the 78-rpm recordings that were made during the early years of the 20th century. The vast majority of musicians on those recordings were men, and Elaine's presence is critical in redressing this imbalance."

September 24, 2007

On the importance of reading email--another reminder

For weeks I have noticed problems with serving the Klezmershack pages. But nobody complained, so I figured it was just some weirdness on my computer. I also ignored email from my ISP (internet service provider) about how they were upgrading my webserver from one version to another, and in particular, how some configuration options would change.

Ho ho ho.

Continue reading "On the importance of reading email--another reminder" »

More web 2.0: Snap Shots

I'm catching up on days of RSS and several people seem to have installed something new called "Snap Shots." I like it because it provides a preview of where a link goes—you don't just find yourself somewhere else, you can look, first. Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more. (Can you tell that I copied this text off the Snap Shots site? What links should really be here?)

This may get tiring, or be just another bit of interference. Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

September 3, 2007

David Krakauer to lead April workshops at Carnegie Hall; Applications open Sept 15, 2007

Each year, The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall presents several Professional Training Workshops which offer a unique opportunity for young musicians to be coached and trained by today's master artists in an intimate setting.

Renowned klezmer musician David Krakauer will lead a workshop exploring both the traditional and experimental sides of klezmer this season. The workshop will take place in April 2008. Interested musicians may apply beginning on September 15.

Further information about this workshop and an online application will be available by September 15, 2007 at www.weillmusicinstitute.org/workshops. To receive updates on this and other Professional Training Workshops, please call 212-903-9733.

Continue reading "David Krakauer to lead April workshops at Carnegie Hall; Applications open Sept 15, 2007" »

August 30, 2007

KlezKanada Budowitz rebate offer

Why did I finally get it together to get my review of the new Budowitz Live CD (previous blog post)? In part it's because of a mix-up at KlezKanada, where the price of the CD was set at $55 Canadian, instead of the intended price. Despite the price, several people bought the CD (and got their money's worth, in my never humble opinion). But the CD is significantly cheaper, so bandleader Josh Horowitz has requested that this notice be posted:

Dear Klez Kanada campers who bought the new Budowitz Live CD: My guilty apologies to you for making you pay 55 Canadian dollars for the double CD. The CD was supposed to sell less but I accidentally put the number of CDs I brought with me (55) as the price, which turns out to be unconscionably high by any standards.

I would like to refund each person 16 U.S. Dollars (the difference minus the 20% commission taken by the vendor) please let me know who you are with a short email to me.

Thanks and sorry for the mixup!
Josh Horowitz

August 9, 2007

Hip Hop Hoodíos Partners with Amnesty International for

EP coverI've been a fan of the Hip Hop Hoodíos since their first EP. If the travesty at Guantanemo Bay gets them together with members of Ozomatli and the Klezmatics, more power to all of us (we should, in the future, be celebrating simkhas, instead, bringing us together).

On new single "Viva la Guantanamera", the critically acclaimed Latino-Jewish Urban Collective is joined by members of Grammy-winning acts Ozomatli & The Klezmatics as well as Kemo the Blaxican of Delinquent Habits

Album also features remixes by The Pinker Tones & Leo Sidran (Jorge Drexler, Ana Laan); iTunes and eMusic editions of the 'Viva la Guantanamera EP' each feature exclusive bonus tracks

Latino-Jewish urban collective Hip Hop Hoodíos is back with a new 5-song digital-only release, the 'Viva la Guantanamera EP' (Nacional Records - Aug. 7th, 2007). The post-ethnic merrymakers will be donating 18% of net profits from digital sales of the "Viva la Guantanamera" single to Amnesty International's efforts to close Guantanamo Bay Prison and encourage the full restoration of due process. The song was produced by Wildog of Ozomatli, and is a veritable Latino-Jewish "We are the World"; joining Hip Hop Hoodíos as guests on the track are Wildog, Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg of The Klezmatics, Kemo the Blaxican of Latin hip hop pioneers Delinquent Habits, and instrumentalists Walter Miranda (Beastie Boys, Plastilina Mosh) and Chris Washburne (The Syotos Band, Tito Puente).

Continue reading "Hip Hop Hoodíos Partners with Amnesty International for" »

June 17, 2007

"Out of Babylon" - new CD of Baghdadi-Jewish music

From JMD in the UK comes announcement of a new and interesting CD

Out of Babylon CD coverOut of Babylon—on Celestial Harmonies, released 2007
The music of Baghdadi-Jewish migrations into Asia and beyond.
Babylon became the spiritual centre of Judaism and was to remain so for over a thousand years. This legacy of Babylonian Jews was so profound that their descendants many of who migrated elsewhere yearned for Jerusalem in their prayers but considered Bagdhdad their home and that is where their culture took shape. There are fewer then 20 Jews left in Babylon ( Iraq) today. The songs in this compilation were chosen from field recordings collected separately by Professor Marageret Kartomi and Dr Sara Manasshe. This CD compilation is one of the outcomes of six years of research investigating a rare case of musical heritage maintained over two chains of migrations over the past 200 years or so, and focused on situations of culture contact in a series of Diasporas across a continent to Asia in the colonial era and eventually across several continents to Asia, Australia and North America The songs were recorded in a variety of acoustic environments, as dictated by field opportunities.

CD £12.95
Website: www.jewishmusic-jmd.co.uk

May 12, 2007

Re-release: Folk Songs for Far Out Folk, Jun 26, 2007

REBOOT STEREOPHONIC RELEASES THE 1959 FRED KATZ CLASSIC: FOLK SONGS FOR FAR OUT FOLK

West Coast Jazz with Stops in Africa, Brooklyn and the Kabbalah Plus Communism and Star Wars

Reboot Stereophonic, the acclaimed non-profit record label committed to recovering lost music and the stories connected to them from attics across America is proud to announce the July 10 release of its fifth album, a long coveted 1959 gem, FOLK SONGS FOR FAR OUT FOLK from the eclectic jazz pioneer, Kabbalist, magic man, and eternal left-winger Fred Katz. Katz is best known for introducing cello to jazz, which he perfected in the 1950s with his famous stint with west coast jazz legends, the Chico Hamilton Quintet.

Continue reading "Re-release: Folk Songs for Far Out Folk, Jun 26, 2007" »

April 25, 2007

Theo Bikel returns to KlezKanada

KlezKanada logoI just heard last night that Theo Bikel, the acclaimed folksinger and actor, will be returning to KlezKanada (now in its 12th year) this coming summer.

The internationally renowned and only yiddish / jewish culture and the arts to feature a daily newspaper in Yiddish, English, and other languages (slight plug for my own role there), returns for a 12th year in 2007, starting on Monday August 20th, 2007 (5pm) and continuing through Sunday August 26th, 2007

KlezKanada takes place at Camp B'Nai Brith—St. Agathe (Lantier), Quebec MAPQUEST

Registration forms are now online at www.klezkanada.com

March 18, 2007

Brave Old World concerts in Newton cancelled

Those of us awaiting the arrival of Brave Old World to the Newton JCC this weekend are disappointed. Due to Friday's storm, the band was unable to arrive in time and the concerts were cancelled. No makeup date has been set yet.

March 15, 2007

Two new European discographies

Julian Futter reports (just a couple of months ago—sometimes I am very behind) to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

… Just to let you know that Dr Rainer Lotz, who was behind the 11 CD set "Vorbei"—Beyond recall, the survey of Jewish recordings in the Nazi era has just released a discography of Jewish recordings in German speaking countries. "Discographie der Judaica-Aufnahmen". This book covers 78rpm recordings made from 1901 up to 1960. It is complimentary to Spottswood since Spottwood only covers recordings made in the USA. It is nearly 600 pages long and covers more than 400 performers. Covering all aspects of Jewish life, culture, religion and anti-semitism it therefore also includes entries for Thomas Mann, Ze'ev Jabotinsky and many of the leaders and functionaries of the 3rd Reich. Among other performers there are full details for S Kwartin, J. Rosenblatt, Julius Guttmann and many others. Although entirely in German, the material is so well laid out that a knowledge of German is not necessary to be able to make full use of it. It costs 60 Euros and can be obtained directly from him at Birgit Lotz Verlag, Jean Paul Str 6, 53173 Bonn, Germany email: disc at lotz-verlag.de

Whilst on the topic of discographies, Tomasz Lerski in Warsaw has produced an extraordinary discography and history of the Jewish owned Syrena record label. Among the hundreds of artists who recorded for this label, before and after the First World War, were Belf's orchestra, Aaron Lebedeff, Sirota, David Oistrakh, Moses Kussevitsky, Wladyslaw Szpilman (the subject of Polanski's "The Pianist") and pretty much anyone who recorded in Poland. It is copiously illustrated and includes a biographical dictionary containing nearly 900 entries. However unless you can read Polish much of the information will be hard to decipher. This book has been an incredible labour of love and is an absolutely invaluable tool for any serious student of Jewish recordings and culture in Poland. It cost me about 75 Euros when I bought it last year. Again it can be obtained direct from Mr Lerski at Blekitna 83, 04-663 Warsaw Poland or Rokosowska 7/5,02-348 Warsaw Poland. His email is tomasz.lerski at post.pl

March 14, 2007

Three new Yiddish publications—two songbooks—from Medem, France

The Paris Yiddish Center-Medem Library has recently published three books (two song collections and a book of short stories):

The catalogue of the "Medem-Bibliotek" Publishing House includes 12 titles to date. Full details at: www.yiddishweb.com/medem/Publications.html

Continue reading "Three new Yiddish publications—two songbooks—from Medem, France" »

TRANSKAPELA (Poland) - new record and new concerts - available all Year 2007

CD coverDear Friends,

I am glad to inform you that in January 2007 a new record "OVER THE VILLAGE" was presented by Transkapela group.
www.transkapela.com
www.worldmusic.pl

After the success of our first album—SOUNDS & SHADOWS, which was rewarded with a title of the best Polish folk record 2005 year in the Polish Radio record competition as the Folk Phonogram of the Year Award, it is time for the next disc of the band.

The OVER THE VILLAGE record is the continuation of the musical imagination about the times of Klezmers from the Carpathians. Musicians of TRANSKAPELA, once again reaches to the roots of the Carpathian music, searches once more for the trace of the village klezmers and musicians splendour, who separately and together played on village weddings, religious holidays and festivities.

Continue reading "TRANSKAPELA (Poland) - new record and new concerts - available all Year 2007" »

KlezCalifornia announces "Gele Pages"

We are pleased to announce the publication of the "KlezCalifornia Gele* Pages (*yellow)." This 20-page compilation of Yiddish culture resources in the San Francisco Bay Area includes listings for Yiddish language and culture classes and clubs; Yiddish choruses, song circles, and song leaders; youth programs; community klezmer bands; performers; teachers of klezmer music and Yiddish song style; lecturers and presenters; Yiddish language teachers; arts and crafts teachers; Yiddish dance leaders; and more. It is available as a free download from www.klezcalifornia.org (pull down ³Resources² menu) or you can get a snazzy printed version (on yellow paper, of course!) by mail (send check for $3.00 to KlezCalifornia, 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley CA 94703).
KlezCalifornia

Living Tradiitons releases Zeev Scooler CD

Zeev Schooler CD coverLiving Traditions has just released a new CD anthology of the beloved Yiddish actor Zvee Scooler's selected radio performances, poetry, and even commercials. This is the first in a series in Living Traditions' releases—in the original Yiddish—of rare selections from the Yiddish Radio Project archives.

Continue reading "Living Tradiitons releases Zeev Scooler CD" »

Svigals' to curate month at Zorn's "The Stone"

Photo of Alicia SvigalsViolinist Alicia Svigals, a co-founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics and the world's best-known klezmer fiddler, is the curator for the month of April at the Stone, John Zorn's performance space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

John Zorn, the composer who was recently awarded a MacArthur genius grant, opened the Stone to provide a venue for the most creative new music in New York. Each month he selects a different musician to curate the series, and for April he asked Svigals to put together a lineup that would tap into her eclectic and offbeat musical worlds.

The fifty acts Svigals booked revolve around three themes: Jewish music, virtuoso female instrumentalist/improvisers/composers, and all kinds of string music, traditional and contemporary. From an electronic violist turning Bartok on his head to the lightning speed of traditional Bulgarian fiddling; from a master of traditional klezmer clarinet playing to spontaneous 21st century keyboard explorations of those same old melodies, the month is a feast of the most interesting music coming out of New York and beyond.

Svigals' own shows are Saturday night April 7 and Friday night April 27; she'll also be sitting in with a number of the artists throughout the month. The week of the 9th spotlights klezmer and a dozen great women artists take the stage from the 21st on.

For more information, see www.thestonenyc.com or contact Svigals at 1 212 222 2746 or www.aliciasvigals.com

Continue reading "Svigals' to curate month at Zorn's "The Stone"" »

March 11, 2007

Klezmatics give Boston wonderous "Wonder Wheel"

band photoThe Klezmatics came to Boston tonight, for the first time in years, and gave an incredible performance of new music to a sold out crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts.

You don't go to a Klezmatics concert to hear golden moldies, or the old sounds in slightly different containers. You go to hear incredible music, much of which will be entirely new.

Continue reading "Klezmatics give Boston wonderous "Wonder Wheel"" »

March 5, 2007

Jerusalem's Corner Prophet gets a shout-out in "Time"

JewSchool founder, Dan Sieradski, get's a shout-out in the current Time magazine:

Taking the Rap, by Tim McGirk

The next performance by the group will be on Thursday, March 8 at 9PM Sagol 59 DJ Caress Quami SAZ Rebel Sun and more at Tuvia 4 Shushan St., Jerusalem

March 4, 2007

West Bank Story wins Oscar

scene from 'West Bank Story'Yuval Ron, the LA-based musician whose new-agey middle eastern events are often covered in the KlezmerShack "Global Calendar of Jewish Music", also wrote the score for the Oscar-winning short, "West Bank Story":

I am thrilled to share with you the news that tonight we won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short FIlm for the film West Bank Story, directed by Ari Sandel. This is a great victory for us as the film is a musical and the music (the songs and the score which I composed) has a central and very important role in the film (as in any musical). I am so glad for this award because this film was created to revive hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The film was successful in bringing out the humanity in both sides, and highlighted the courageous few who overcome the bias, follow true love and struggle for peace.

May this victory and recognition, give those of us who work to increase the light, more power and more opportunities, to make a difference and slowly create a critical mass that would bring end to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Thank you for all the people who worked in my team (too many to name) to create the music for West Bank Story, especially for the good people who have worked with me on numerous projects in film and TV: singers Amick Byram, Ahmed El Asmer, Steven Memel and the percussionist Jamie Papish for their contribution to the score. Also thank you to the director Ari Sandel for coming up with the crazy idea to spoof West Side Story in present day Palestine!.... to my wife Carolyne for her support.....and to Silan for the good fortune.

Peace,
Yuval Ron
www.yuvalronmusic.com

March 3, 2007

Metropolitan Klezmer and Jewish Women's Archive featured in online scholarly journal

As some readers know, my day job is at the Jewish Women's Archive. In a not-infrequent reminder of why I love to be there, Eve Sicular sends this notice of an online feminist journal from Barnard featuring a recording by one of her bands, Metropolitan Klezmer's "Farlangen" (from "The Dybbuk", on ">Yiddish for Travelers cd) and an essay about the band's adaptation of this song with a changed gender pronoun. Astute viewers will note significant participation by the Jewish Women's Archive in the conference around which this issue of the journal was built. Huzzah! Here is the journal announcement:

'We are very pleased to announce the publication of the newest issue of the Scholar & Feminist Online, "Jewish Women Changing America: Cross-Generational Conversations." The issue is the culmination of last fall's conference of the same name, in which many of you participated. We invite you to take a look at S&F Online, and please do pass the link on to your colleagues and friends.

www.barnard.edu/sfonline

All best,
Grace Glenny
Co-Editor'

Israeli band, tipex, pushes Eurovision's "political" buttons

Ellitt Kahn spotted this one and posted the link to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Even in a Song Contest, Controversy Over the Israeli Entry, By STEPHEN ERLANGER, March 2, 2007

JERUSALEM, March 2 - The Eurovision Song Contest, an annual event that proves that European popular culture can take itself just as seriously as the American variety, has created a semi-scandal of its own, with the suggestion on Thursday that the contest might ban this year’s Israeli entry, “Push the Button,” because of a supposedly “inappropriate” political message.

for more, visit the NYTimes

February 24, 2007

OySongs downloadable MP3s taking off

OySongs logoOySongs, the Jewish downloadable music site, has started a series of artist-penned features called MyMusic. This week's MyMusic artist, the award-winning and best-selling Beth Schafer, reflects on what inspires her to write music.

To give you a sense of what is available on OySongs, here is the "OySongs Top 7":

  1. "Kehillah Kedoshah," Dan Nichols and e18hteen
  2. "L'cha Dodi," Craig Taubman
  3. "Ki Eilecha," Shirona
  4. "In This House," Beth Schafer
  5. "Every Day Is A New Day," Susan Colin
  6. "Yih'yu L'ratzon," Yom Hadash
  7. "A Small Difference," Marge Eiseman & Friends

New Releases from Jewish Music International, UK

Press release from Noa Lachman at JMI, Int'l

Dear customer

Tu B’shvat is reminding us that spring is not far… here is a reminder of our products, more items for Purim and Pesach will follow.

We have been to our local woods were we have planted trees to celebrate Tu b’shvat. If you were interested in doing the same you could log on to www.woodland-trust.org.uk to plant a tree in the UK or on www.kkl.org.il/eng where you are invited to plant trees in Israel's Forests. You will receive a certificate with your personal inscription and you can chose where you want the tree to be planted. Please note that none of your donation comes to us, the order is done on their websites independent of our business.

Special offers from Rimmon—2007

We are offering a £5 voucher to all of our customers who spend £40 or more during January and February 2007. This voucher is valid to the end of 2007 and is also transferable so you can give it to a friend. Please add Free Voucher to your shopping basket by pressing on our sale link on the left of the page.

A free recipe for Tu B’shvat from the renowned Jewish Chef Denise Philips is included at the end of this email!

Continue reading "New Releases from Jewish Music International, UK" »

February 17, 2007

Matisyahu and JDUB Records Resolve Dispute

This actually came in over the wire last month, but I am happy to spread the word to those who don't yet know:

JDub Records and Matisyahu are pleased to announce that they have amicably resolved all disputes between them. Although they have decided to terminate their business relationship, they wish each other well in the future.

“Over the last four years, JDub’s existence and talented roster have proved that there is demand for proud, unique Jewish music within popular culture,” says JDub President Aaron Bisman. “2007 will mark our 5th anniversary and be a very important year of further development. We’ve launched our own digital store with $0.79 downloads, we have an intentionally small, but incredible release schedule, and we are expanding our event programming in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland, and Chicago.”

Visit the JDUB website for more information, and to find out the latest JDUB news and artist touring schedules.

News from Living Traditions/KlezKamp

From Living Traditions/KlezKamp Executive Director Henry Sapoznik:

Dear Friends of Living Traditions/KlezKamp,

We are still enjoying the afterglow of this year's very successful KlezKamp 22: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program, Hasidish Yidish, which took place December 24-29, 2006. If you missed it, you can read all about it and see photos and video clips on our KlezKamp blog at www.klezkamp.blogspot.com.

You may also download and read a copy of the wonderful KlezKamp Zhurnal, including a special Yiddish-themed crostic puzzle created especially for KlezKamp by Rick Winston, at www.livingtraditions.org/docs/kk/zhurnal.htm.

Continue reading "News from Living Traditions/KlezKamp" »

February 12, 2007

The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist, now available

Michael Wex / Michah Mushmelon

Marilla Wex writes:

Just a quick note to let you all know that "The Adventures of Micah Mushmelon, Boy Talmudist" is now available for the first time in the original English! For only $12.99 (+P&P) this early comic novella by our very own New York Times bestselling author Michael Wex about crime-fighting Belzer Hasidic kids can be yours. Click on the following link to find out more, read an extract or visit our online store:

www.the-yiddish-world-of-michael-wex.com/micah-mushmelon.html

February 11, 2007

Klezmatics win Grammy!!!!

Woody Guthrie-style naive art with bad letteringI don't watch TV, of course, but I was just taking a look over at Rokhl Kafrissen's "Rootless Cosmopolitan and discovered that the Klezmatics did, indeed, win a grammy!

I'm sorry that the Grammy is "only" for a crossover Americana album, but I am pleased as punch—more than pleased—that a group I admire so much has gotten at least some recognition from the general music establishment.

And, I gotta say, it may be "only" a crossover Americana album, but the band fully deserves the recognition for Woody Guthrie's Wonder Wheel CD, and the album rocks! Woody would be very happy, as would his mother in law, Aliza Greenblatt.

February 4, 2007

10 years for the Jewish Music Web Center

I can't believe it's been 10 years! The only Jewish music website that matters as much—may even matter more—than the KlezmerShack is the Jewish Music Web Center. This is also the central place for information about Jewish women and music. Of course, when talking about the the Jewish Music Web Center, I sometimes feel like the guy in the old Remington shaver ads. In this case, I was so blown away by the person who created and maintains the site, that I convinced her to marry me.

From the Jewish-Music mailing list:

It's the 10th Anniversary of JMWC !!

The Jewish Music Web Center is celebrating 10 years online this month! My first research bibliography and organized list of Jewish websites appeared in February, 1997. I went 'live' with the www.jmwc.org domain name the following February—making this the 10th anniversary year. In 1997, there were fewer than 70 websites devoted to Jewish music. Today, there are hundreds. The astounding growth of the Internet has allowed connections to people devoted to Jewish music all over the world.

Thank you ALL for a wonderful 10 years!
Judy Pinnolis

You can send congratulations to Judy by email.

December 26, 2006

Klezmatics new CD nominated for Grammy

Woody Guthrie-style naive art with bad letteringOn a good year, if we're lucky, there is a Jewish-related Grammy nomination. I totally blew it, as there was apparently an earlier round of voting—the nominating ballotÔin which several Jewish albums, including the wonderful German Goldenshteyn CD were suggested and I didn't make time to get that word out (as if enough people read this blog to make a difference, but maybe they would if I made the time to post every now and then). Now, the final nominations are out, and I see exactly one, as usual: If you take a look at the "world music" (Field 16, World Music - still no category for Jewish music, mind you):

In category 73, Contemporary World Music, there is the amazing new Klezmatics Woody Guthrie's Wonder Wheel CD. I suggest that you write anyone you know who can vote, and encourage them to vote a few times for this amazing recording.

Rachel Kafrissen notes that Sex Mob, Steven Bernstein's band, also got a nomination for best contemporary jazz album. I'm kind of impressed, but I think that if there can be a "polka" category, we Jews deserve at least one category of our own. (How to decide whether a Debbie Friedman or Klezmatics or Sex Mob or Pharaoh's Daughter or Chazzanut or children's Chanukah CD should be the winner is a problem that I'll happily embrace once we get that far.)

Vote early. Vote often. Vote Klezmatics.

December 25, 2006

Illustrated Tribute to Frank London

what you see is what you get - this is amazing musicFrom Piranha, comes this news about Frank London. Me, I'm holding out the the tribute album:

Richard Kenigsman was the artist who gave Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars cover "Carnival Conspiracy" its great colorful outlook. If you're in Brussels, don't miss his exhibition from 12 Dec to 18 Jan, including a painted tribute to Frank London. All details on www.piranha.de/_downloads/KenigsmanTribute.jpg or go to Richard's website www.kenigsman.com

new Jewish-only MP3 site, and more: OySongs.com

Here's George Robinson's take on this new idea: For The Love Of Jewish Music, from the Aug 11, 2006, Jewish Week: "Joe Eglash turns his passion into the first music download site dedicated to Jewish tunes."

And here's Joe's most recent email (much delayed, and apology to Joe owed for the delay). While I confess to having a soft spot for Klezmer, myself, the KlezmerShack (and the Jewish-Music mailing list) covers all Jewish music that interests me. Hopefully, this generally extends far beyond Klezmer:

We wrote each other a while back about the launch of my site, oySongs.com (it launched in early July).

I just had an article about oySongs and me in the Jewish Week, written by George Robinson, who spoke very highly of you.

One of the reasons I'm emailing, besides keeping in touch, is to ask if you could post something on the Jewish Music from a World Perspective (is that the name?) listserv that you manage inviting artists to sign up to sell their music on oySongs. I have a special interest in Klezmer (as a klezmer myself) bands.

Just got back from the CAJE conference (Duke U) where I was co-chair of entertainment—we booked a lot of musicians/bands, but among them was Steve Weintraub and the Klezmer Mountain Boys. Amazing.

Joe Eglash
OySongs.com

new Jewish Music label: Jewish Music Group

Jewish Music Group logoIf you were paying attention to the latest Klezmatics' releases, you noticed that they were being distributed by a new music label, "Jewish Music Group." The write:

The Jewish Music Group is Record Label and Music Distributor specializing in Jewish Music and Entertainment. The label is owned and run by industry veterans Richard Foos (formerly Rhino, currently Shout Factory Entertainment) and David McLees (formerly Rhino Entertainment and Warner Music Group). JMG is distributed in the U.S. by RED Distribution exclusively in the the non-Judaica market. Label President, David McLees explains, We want our releases to cover a wide spectrum of music, the Jewish retail world, as well as cross over into the broadest possible market including traditional, specialty and mainstream. Web: www.jewishmusicgroup.com. Any questions? ">email or call us...818-508-2500.

Continue reading "new Jewish Music label: Jewish Music Group" »

December 17, 2006

Feminist klezmer band, Pomegranate, releases first CD in Toronto

pomegranate / gezint CD coverFrom the "Mendele" mailing list:

"Gezint", dem ershten CD fun mayn mezinkale Reena's gantz froen klezmer kapelye, "Pomegranate", iz gelantsirt geven dem 8 juli in Toronto. Me ken es krigen durkh www.sonicpomegranate.com. Me ken heren dem titl yogveg oyf www.rabble.ca/rpn/episode.shtml?x=51401 (Episode 25).

"Gezint", the first CD by "Pomegranate", my youngest daughter Reena's
all-women klezmer band was launched on July 8 in Toronto. For orders
try www.sonicpomegranate.com.
Hear the title track at www.rabble.ca/rpn/episode.shtml?x=51401.

Zay shtark un gezint, Bernard Katz, Toronto.

Indie klezmer recording awards - another good Hanukkah gift list!

Old friend, Riki Friedman writes:

I am delighted to announce that our CD,Freylach Time! The Klezmer Dance Band won 4th place in Just Plain Folks album of the year competition (Klezmer category) for 2006. Just Plain Folks is a large network supporting independent musicians and recording artists.

Here is their website: www.jpfolks.com

Evidently this year CDbaby.com submitted the entry, along with hundreds of others to be judged this year. If you want to see the competition, this will take you to CDbaby's Klezmer listings: cdbaby.com/found?allsearch=klezmer&allsearchsubmit=Search

Of course there were other entries besides those sent in by CDbaby

The Judges then chose 8 finalists in each category using the criteria: Does it move me? These are the nominees and winners

Rank   Klezmer Album Nominees, Artist--   Location
1New Jersey Freylekhs, The Klez DispensersNY
2Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Andy StatmanNY
3Close Enough for Klezmer, The Alexandria KleztetMD
4Freylach Time! The Klezmer Dance Band, Freylach Time!NC
5Actions Speak Louder Than Words, The Klezmer Juice QuintetCA
6Amulet, NikitovMN
7Live from KlezKamp! The Staff Concerts 1, Various ArtistsNY
8Nakhes Fun Klezmer, Dobe Ressler and di bostoner klezmerMA


Looks like we were in some really great company! I'm still trying to figure out how it happened, but we'll take the complement! To all of you who helped with this CD project in '03, thanks again! This is a tribute to all of your work. It's nice to be reminded we made a recording to be proud of.

December 16, 2006

Joel Rubin to be on Virginia Public Radio show, "With Good Reason"

Joel Rubin writes to the Jewish-Music list:

If you live in or near Virginia, there will be a segment on me on the
Virginia Public Radio show With Good Reason, which will be broadcast
throughout Virginia and in DC from Saturday, Dec. 16 through the 22nd
(www.withgoodreasonradio.org/stations.html).
It will be available on the internet beginning on Dec. 20 or 21:
www.withgoodreasonradio.org/archive.html

I'll be talking about my new CD, Midnight Prayer (more on that later), on
Traditional Crossroads, and lots of other things. The CD will be out in the
stores towards the end of next month. For those of you who can't wait, I've
heard tell that the CDs will be available by next week from Traditional
Crossroads directly (www.traditionalcrossroads.com)

December 11, 2006

Spring mini-KlezmerFest set to return to Boston area

BOW, seatedBrave Old World
Song of the Lodz Ghetto
Coming to the Boston area on March 17th and 18th, 2007

The program, based on songs compiled by musicologist Gila Flam, has never before been presented in the Boston area. It is not to be missed. If you saw it elsewhere, years ago, see it again—the evolution over the years is extraordinary (as if it were any less powerful 10 years ago). If all goes well, we'll be reprising the "mini-Jewish Music festival" we did last year for the KlezmerShack 10th anniversary with workshops and a jam session. Get your tickets now so that the JCC knows that there is interest in the program.

November 29, 2006

New Yiddish Choral music CD from JPPC

Zingt album cover - one definition of fusty typography & designZINGT! A CELEBRATION OF YIDDISH CHORAL MUSIC the brand new CD with mainly never-before-recorded Yiddish choral music, is available!

Recorded by the
Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus
with Binyumen Schaechter, Conductor
**Full text and translations included in booklet.**
A great Chanukah gift!

For more info (and to order), go to www.thejppc.org and click
on "Our CD".

November 28, 2006

New release: SoCalled / Ghettoblaster

SoCalled / Ghettoblaster CD coverFrom a recent email from SoCalled:

... check out the myspace.com/socalled stuff for a taste of what's up right now... thanks for the interest and support, as usual... Ghettoblaster just came out in France this week, sold 3 thousand copies, the "You Are Never Alone" song is on heavy-ish rotation on 3 radio stations, got crazy shout-outs in a couple magazines... cool stuff... playing with Krakauer and funk legend Fred Wesley at Carnegie Hall next week [and in France the week after. ari]... hope all's well by you,

Review of "Painted Bird" in new Jewish Currents

Dan Kahn & Painted Bird / The broken tongueRokhl Kafrissen, one of many brilliant writers wasted in the deadened layout of Jewish Currents (and don't get me started about their faux website) writes:

Has it been two months since I hocked you to get a subscription to Jewish Currents? It must be, as the new issue has just come out. My column, the Rootless Cosmopolitan, features a write up of the new album by Dan Kahn and the Painted Bird called "dos tsebrokhene loshn/the broken tongue". Get Jewish Currents (www.jewishcurrents.org) then get Dan's album! You won't regret either purchase.

Mr. Grumpy says, "get the braille version of Jewish Currents so you don't have to actually look at it, and definitely consider the Dan Kahn album. I haven't heard it, but Rokhl is the latest in a long line of people who have and who rave about it.

Besh o droM!

Inna Barmash and RomashkaInna Barmash, now in Bucharest on a seekrit mission, writes that if I thought Balkan Beat Box is outasite, I should really lend an ear to Besh o DroM - www.beshodrom.hu.

"They've toured everywhere [but the USA], but the logistics are that much harder for US touring. I've been a fan of theirs for years, but only met Gergo, the leader, here in Budapest for the first time a few weeks ago. It turned out that he's Jewish and even made Aliya a few years ago (and came back to Hungary). So there's klezmer/Israeli influence in their music, too... "

Barmash' band, Romaska has a CD out, and her fiance, Ljova, has a new release, "Vjola" - "it's not klezmer at all, or at least he didn't conceive of it as klezmer. But the following comment is somewhat typical (and mystifying to him). Perhaps you can explain it better than anyone else... Here's the response from one listener: 'Hi Ljova, I got your CD last night, and I've listened to it 3 times over already. I'm a big fan. And that's from someone who usually doesn't like Klezmer music.'" Inna continues:

"Another news tidbit - I was talking to Kalman Balogh yesterday - the great Hungarian gypsy cymbalom player. He says he's coming to the States in April to tour with Joel Rubin. But he said they're only coming to Virginia... which is a pity. That would be an amazing show... I didn't realize that Joel has collaborated with him before, but this whole gypsy-klezmer scene is closer than ever."

With luck, Joel or Kalman will drop a line and I'll get the details into the KlezmerShack "Global Calendar of Interesting Music". You can follow Inna's blog at innabar.livejournal.com

November 27, 2006

Mizrahi music denied access to Israeli airwaves?

Andy Tannenbaum, who maintains the Jewish web resource page on Shamash, sent this to me. In a dispute over radio royalties, Mizrahi artists find themselves lock out of regional Israeli music stations: Off the Airwaves, By Tamara Sukenik, in Ha-aretz, (Nov 27, 2006?)

November 15, 2006

Rubinchik's Orkestyr Re-released on iTunes

Rubinchik's album coverMark Rubin's klezmer band, Rubinchik's Orkestyr, has released only one CD, back in 1998. Rubin is more often seen teaching at venues such as KlezKamp, or performing with the Youngers of Zion. But, for folks looking for the Texas swing in Klezmer, this is the real thing. Praise the Lord, it has now been re-released and is available on iTunes. Should you lack a copy, I must humbly and forcefully suggest that it is time to purchase a copy. Go to iTunes and look under "World" music.

October 23, 2006

Yiddish America up for Grammy

album coverFellow KlezKanadanik Keith Wolzinger (author of the KlezKanada Podcasts) writes:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We're very pleased that our new album, Yiddish America, appears on the nominating ballot for the 49th Grammy Awards! If you're a Recording Academy member and have received your nominating ballot, you can find our entry for voting here:

Field 16- World Music
Category 72- Best Traditional World Music Album
No. 028: Yiddish America
     South Coast Simcha Band

If it's not one thing, it's another

Came down last Tuesday morning to discover an inch of water on the floor—the water heater decided to share. After the shopvac and fans didn't dry the floor quickly enough to prevent mildew, I've been slowly sorting through the tightly packed basement office, removing books and bookshelves so that the carpet can be professionally cleaned. Working in the mildewy environment has been a bit rough. For now, I'm camped out on the dining room table with a small stack of CDs and a laptop from work. Fortunately, iTunes makes it easy to keep the music playing.

New reviews are coming. I am also going to try to start posting announcements about new recordings (some may go back a couple of years) to get the word out, so that readers of this site aren't dependent on my writing a review to know that there are new recordings.

<rant>Getting the word out would be easier, but my HP All-In-One refuses to scan from any of the home computers, so getting graphics of covers can be a challenge (granted, most people have the cover art up on their websites—that's what I've been using when I actually get something posted). HP still makes great hardware, but their software is intrusive and breaks frequently. I have a functioning scanner that won't talk to my home computer. At work, we bought a Sony Pismo, which works very well, thank you, and upstairs, my wife is very happily using a Canon all-in-one. The KlezmerShack suggests that there are excellent alternatives to HP products that come with significantly less obtrusive, less broken software. But, of course, that has nothing to do with Jewish music, so I'll turn the rant off now.</rant>

October 4, 2006

"The Silence is Lifted"

book coverTranscontinental Music Publications releases Songbook and CD of Klezmer melodies many never before printed or heard since the Holocaust.

(New York – September 19, 2006) Transcontinental Music Publications today announced the long awaited release of a one-of-a-kind collection of lost and out of print klezmer music entitled "The Absolutely Complete Klezmer Songbook", by Yale Strom. The author is a musician, film maker, writer, photographer and ethnographer who researched the project for two decades.

Continue reading ""The Silence is Lifted"" »

September 16, 2006

Yid Vicious to tour Japan, Oct 8-15

Wisconsin klezmer ensemble Yid Vicious will tour Chiba Prefecture, Japan, as part of a Wisconsin Sister State Goodwill Delegation. The band will perform a number of community concerts throughout Chiba Prefecture the week of October 8-15, 2006, culminating in a performance at the Sawara Matsuri Festival on Friday, October 15: www.city.sawara.chiba.jp/english/matsuri.htm

Winners of 2nd Annual Jewish Music Awards

We thank George Robinson for this info:

The Second Annual Jewish Music Awards were given out Monday, September 11, before a sparse but enthusiastic crowd at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. It was a big night for Pharaoh’s Daughter, with the band winning awards as Best Middle Eastern Blend and Best World Music Group, and for the local label Modular Moods, whose founder DJ Handler was pronounced Best DJ while his labelmate Y-Love received the Best Hip-Hop act nod. JDub Records also enjoyed the evening, with victories for Golem (Best Rock Band) and SoCalled (who tied with Idan Raichel in the Best New Approach category). Ironically, JDub’s former star Matisyahu won the Best Cross-Over artist award, but wasn’t present to receive it.

The controversial Hasidic rapper wasn’t the only famous absentee. Bob Dylan (Best Singer/Songwriter) and John Zorn (Best Jazz and Heritage Blend) weren’t around to pick up their awards either. But Lorin Sklamberg was happy to accept the Best Klezmer Band award on behalf of the Klezmatics, joking, “It took twenty years for a Jewish organization to give us an award. We won a gay and lesbian music award ten years ago already.”

Note that the Klezmatics appear on Sunday, Sep 17, in Chicago in a concert featuring their Woody Guthrie material.

September 10, 2006

Mazl Tov, Eve Monsingo

Eve Monzingo playing with Chicago Klezmer Ensemble at Ashkenaz 2006We are pleased to report the marriage, yesterday, of Eve Monzingo, long-time member of the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble. Eve is a member of several other Chicago-area bands, as is her new spouse. (Among other bands, is his a member of a Gypsy Surf band, Lamajamal.) I have had the opportunity to hang with her in venues from Toronto to Budapest, and have to report that she is not only one of the great clarinet and tsimbl players, but a nifty person.

I wish her every happiness, and am pleased to have interesected with her last week at Ashkenaz where I heard of news (and witnessed hotter than ever playing), and can now broadcast it further.

Mazl Tov, Eve!

August 31, 2006

Photos from KlezKanada

Bob Blacksberg reports that a "sampler" of photos is now available from KlezKanada

The KlezKanada website’s gallery (www.klezkanada.com/site/photos2.php) now includes a sampler (if one can call 117 photos a sampler) from KlezKanada 2006. There is a neat photoplayer there, so you can browse for individual photos while letting the large display slowly roll through the set.

Jewish food and Klezmer in Carmel Valley, CA

This from Marc Goldman

yesterday (Sunday) the local Temple Beth Israel out in Carmel Valley did their annual Jewish foods festival.. that was fun.. "good eats" .. they got a small group calling themselves "Klezmer by the Sea" kind of a take off of "Carmel by the Sea". one "grown up" on accordion, a clarinet player that is in middle school (junior high) and a very talented violinist named Noah Freedman still in high school.. he has done classical for 10 years and Klezmer and jazz maybe 3 years.. I listen to enough classical I could tell he was no beginner.. he is in local youth symphony. there was one other kid also played clarinet out front of temple.. . about 3 years ago there was an all girl or almost all girl Klezmer group from Santa Cruz . don't know what be came of them.. also on program was Alisa Fineman and Kimball Hurd . she is singer. both play guitar..prof musicians.. have CDs and a web site..

August 30, 2006

KlezKanada blog launched ... and we're back

The good news is that the KlezKanada blog was launched the first day of camp - go to www.klezkanada.com and click on "blog". The bad news is that the promised internet connectivity fizzled, yet again, so that after the first day we couldn't usefully post to it from camp. But the good news is that we were busy having fun at camp, so for most of us, it didn't matter. The bad news is that those people who arrived at camp needed email for work, to finalize arrangements for gigs, or places to stay, or transport home, were once again up a creek. It is quite likely that next year KlezKanada will bring its own equipment to support Internet access and not rely on the camp. But that's for discussion later this year.

So, we did a daily newsletter again. It ranged from 4-8 pages, but this year lacked the diversity of languages—we had just Yiddish, English, and Spanish this year. No Russian. The "Personals" ads raised money for the scholarship fund that got into the three digits. Not bad!

We were dwarfed in our fundraising efforts by Emily Socolov and Robin Young who sold ponchos, lap blankets, and some neat magnets to raise funds for the family of German Goldenshteyn, z"l. Emily writes that they raised $700 for the family.

August 20, 2006

the road to KlezKanada

For the record, in the unlikely event that next year I ask myself, "how long does it take to get up to KlezKanada from Boston, anyway?" for the second year running, we have definitively taken 8 hours to do the drive that should take 6.5 hours. But we stop and take it easy when we want to. And we inevitably hit Rt 10 into Montreal around 5pm on a Sunday afternoon when traffic trundles along at 10-20mph for a while as everyone who spent the weekend elsewhere comes home.

We could, of course, plan things out so that we wake up in the morning, pack the car, and take off early. But, as my frequent recent posts to this blog have shown, I haven't had time to do anything that wasn't due RIGHT NOW (or LAST WEEK) in months. So, I woke up this morning, put together the first KlezKanada newsletter, emailed the pdf to Hy Goldman, he who makes the whole damn camp happen, and he took over getting it printed up and on tables so that when Judy and I finally arrived midway through dinner, there it was (and there were we!).

We weren't the only folks to arrive a bit late, but almost everyone seems to have gathered after dinner for the first cabaret night. Judy did her own blog post, on the Jewish Music Web Center. This one is mine.

In the morning I'll get material for the first in-camp daily newsletter. Some of last year's "regulars" have already come up and volunteered to start writing. I'm wondering what languages we'll have this year—Yiddish and English, of course, but what else? Avi Rosenblatt, the KlezKanada webmaster, has installed WordPress, and for the first time there is actual usable internet connectivity here, so expect an actual KlezKanada blog, link to come as soon as there is something to link to, tomorrow? soon?

in the meantime, heed my previous-to-this-post. If you can write and want a place to write; or if you have always wanted to put together a next generation website, or if you have time to help maintain the calendar, the KlezmerShack is absolutely open to volunteers. E-mail me.

In the meantime, where was I? KlezKanada cabaret and the music is intense and wonderful.

July 13, 2006

Fasten your seatbelts. We're in for a bumpy night

I apologize for the parts of this website that don't work at the moment. The short story is that there is a problem such that my service provider keeps disabling comments. In my non-existent spare time I try to fix the problem and sometimes, as over the last couple of days, things get significantly worse.

There is also a general problem to which I am no closer in resolution: the minimal time which once sufficed to maintain the website is now also maintaining the calendar and other online services such that nothing gets the time it needs and everything is behind. I have been through several solutions that haven't worked, and will probably continue doing so until I find a way to do it all (or convince others to do it instead—differently from how I might have done, but done, all the same).

If you have ideas, or want to volunteer to review CDs, maintain the calendar and/or listings, post to the KlezmerShack blog, let me know. If you are one of the dozens of people awaiting a review, a listing change, a calendar listing, please bear with me.

Many thanks. Look forward to seeing lots of ya'll at KlezKanada

June 4, 2006

New website Chazzanim Farband

There is a wonderful and welcome burgeoning set of online resources for Jewish cantorial music (chazones). I'll have more to say about this soon on the Klezmershack, but in the meantime, Jeffrey Lieuwen posts the following news to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

The Chazzanim Farband (Jewish Ministers Cantors' Association of America and Canada) has a new website. I invite everyone interested in Chazzanut to have a look at www.thejmca.org.

April 8, 2006

Sway Machinery on NPR

I listened hard to the first Sway Machinery album when it first came out. It wasn't klezmer. It wasn't punk or blues. It was't clear to me that it represented something that I needed to hear often.

Lately, I've been hearing more buzz about the band. In this interview for the NPR show, Benjamin Walker's "Theory of Everything," band leader Jeremiah Lockwood talks about chazanes and his grandfather, Jacob Koenigsberg, a wonderful chazan from the Golden Age. He also talks about the cantor as a spokesperson—he doesn't use the word, but he seems to be referring to the cantor as shaliakh tsibur (have I got the term right)—and also refers to the cantor as a storyteller.

So, now you have a guy playing a very emotional, noisy, blues-based music with stretches of chazones of some form—something his fellow band member, Stuart Bogie says could just as easily be speaking in tongues. I still don't know that I like it, or hear the divine in it, but it's definitely worth checking out.>In the end, I don't have to decide. I just have to keep on listening. So do you!:

www.toeradio.org/archives/2006/04/toe_040806_sway.html

You can check the band out live, on April 9th, in Brooklyn

April 2, 2006

Center for Traditional Music & Dance - and we congratulate Pete Rushefsky

CTMD logoThose of us who remember the Center for Traditional Music & Dance back when it was the Balkan Arts Center as the source of the last Dave Tarras cassettes and several wonderful events, along with newer folks aware of the organization only by its current name, are pretty pleased by the following news:

In summary: the organization's capable former Exec Dir. has resigned, and the new Executive Director is that master of the tsimbl (soon to be master of fundraising) and new denizen of New York City, Pete Rushefsky

Continue reading "Center for Traditional Music & Dance - and we congratulate Pete Rushefsky" »

March 26, 2006

An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryTo 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!

Continue reading "An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry" »

March 18, 2006

Golem inks deal with JDUB

band photo...the rocking klezmer band Golem has been signed to a 3 album recording contract with JDUB - the label/organization that launched the career of Hassidic Rapper Matisyahu. The band is in the studio now, working with indie rock producer Emery Dobyns (Patti Smith, Antony and the Johnsons). The band is planning a national tour to celebrate and support the release of the album in the coming months.

March 4, 2006

Los Angeles' Hatikvah Music still in business

Those who have followed recent stories know that Hatikvah Music lost its lease on Fairfax Avenue as one victim of the neighborhood's increasing gentrification. Those looking for the latest in Jewish music, however, need not despair. Simon writes:

Hatikvah is back up, but strictly on the Internet and wholesale distribution, and there is still much to do. Unfortunately, the space I have now is much smaller and it's been a chore putting out the merchandise. Naturally, with the retail space we had, we carried many CDs that sold primarily in the shop, not necessarily on the web site, those will be deleted from the catalog as they are sold off.

I would like to inform everybody that since we no longer have a storefront, the address for Hatikvah Music has changed. We are using a Post Office box for a while so all correspondence MUST be sent by US MAIL.

Our new address is: Hatikvah Music, PO 48739, Los Angeles, CA 90048. Phone#: 323) 655-7083

March 2, 2006

"Shalom Comrade" CD release - Yiddish music in the USSR, 1928-1961

cd coverFrom Joel Rubin:

We are pleased to announce the US release today (Feb. 14, 2006) of "Shalom Comrade!: Yiddish Music in the Soviet Union 1928-1961" (Schott Wergo SM 1627-2), the 10th production in the Jewish Music Series of CDs edited by ethnomusicologists Joel Rubin and Rita Ottens. "Shalom Comrade" and other productions of the Jewish Music Series are distributed by Harmonia Mundi USA.

For more information:
www.wergo.de

Continue reading ""Shalom Comrade" CD release - Yiddish music in the USSR, 1928-1961" »

February 20, 2006

New calendar feature

Twice in the past six months, people have written me asking about how to track events in their area. "Fools", I thought. "Haven't looked at the KlezmerShack Calendar page and seen that you can look at KlezmerShack events granular to a wide range of locations?" It's true. Go to the calendar Scroll down and look for "category archives" on the right side. You'll see a wide variety of geographic categories, based on how many entries I tend to get for a given geographic location. New York City has it's own category: loc:USA_nyc. But, if an event is happening in Asia, you're limited to loc:Asia.

So, I took a second look at the category archives and realized that the new material was always at the bottom of the page. Not so good if you're trying trying to figure out what is coming up. So, I've reversed that order.

Now, all I have to do is to figure out what happened to most of the categories that should be listed on that page. Coming very soon!

February 5, 2006

Beyond the Pale wins Canadian Folk Music Award

Beyond the Pale tour posterNews from Eric Stein, about to tour the southwest and California with his band, Beyond the Pale

Beyond the Pale recently won the 2005 Canadian Folk Music Award for “Best Instrumental Group” for our last CD “Consensus”. Last week we were challenged to live up to the title in a very interesting project for CBC radio called “A New World of Mozart.” Ourselves and three other Canadian ‘world’ music ensembles were asked to come up with our own reinterpretations of Mozart’s music to celebrate his 250th birthday. We did BTP-ified versions of Piano Concerto #21 (Elvira Madigan), the 25th Symphony, and “Lacrimosa” and “Confutatis” from the Requiem (the latter of which, after being hybridized with a Dave Tarras tune, was redubbed “Confutarras”). Here is a link to an MP3 of our “25th Symphony Redux” from the broadcast:

www.beyondthepale.net/BTP_25thSymphony.mp3

Next up we hit the road for our second tour in southern California, Feb 11-19, also including stops in Tucson and at the Folk Alliance conference in Austin. See the KlezmerShack World Jewish Music Calendar for details

January 2, 2006

"Dreydl" makes Austin TV news

band photoMark Rubin hands off bass-playing duties to another band member as he takes vocals and guitar duties in this rooftop performance of the Hanukah classic: www.news8austin.com/content/top_stories/?ArID=152571. If you wonder what Bob Wills might have sounded like, had he been Jewish, this is the clip for you.

December 26, 2005

Hatikvah Music prepares to close

a young Simon Rutberg at HatikvahThe sad saga of the gentrification of what was once Los Angeles' vibrant Jewish commerical district winds on as Hatikva Records prepares to close down its physical store, a place that has existed since the 1950s. Kirk Silsbee writes It’s the Swan Song for Hatikvah Music in the 12/23/05 issue of the Jewish Journal of Great Los Angeles.

December 4, 2005

Catching up from last June: Beyle Gottesman receives NEA National Heritage Fellowship

Itzik Gottesman sent this to the Jewish Music list back in June, and the ceremony is long over, but I'd hate for the news not to be posted here at all, even if I didn't have time to post it in a timely fashion then:

This is the only press release i can get so far (it appears in the NYT arts section today). According to my count, she is the fifth Jewish artist to receive this high honor - Dave Tarras, 1984; the Fatima Kuinova, 1992; Epstein Brothers, 1998; Flory Jagoda in 2002. The first time a Yiddish singer/sonwriter/poet has received it.

National Endowment Honors

Beyle Shaechter GottesmanJanette Carter of Hiltons, Va., whose parents, A. P. and Sara Carter, and Aunt Maybelle made up the Carter family, widely regarded as the First Family of Country Music, has been given the National Endowment for the Arts Bess Lomax Hawes Award for service to folk and traditional arts. The award recognizes her lifelong advocacy of Appalachian music. In addition the endowment announced the annual recipients of its $20,000 National Heritage Fellowships. They are Eldrid Skjold Arntzen of Watertown, Conn., a Norwegian-American rosemaler, or flower-motif painter; Earl Barthé of New Orleans, a decorative building craftsman; Chuck Brown of Brandywine, Md., an African-American musical innovator; Michael Doucet of Lafayette, La., a Cajun fiddler, composer and bandleader; Jerry Grcevich of North Huntingdon, Pa., a Tamburitza musician and prim player; Grace Henderson Nez of Ganado, Ariz., a Navajo weaver; Wanda Jackson of Oklahoma City, an early country, rockabilly and gospel singer; Hermina Albarrán Romero of San Francisco, a paper-cutting artist; Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman of the Bronx, a Yiddish singer, poet and songwriter; Albertina Walker of Chicago, a gospel singer; and James Ka'upenaWong of Waianae, Hawaii, a Hawaiian chanter.

More from the NEA website: www.arts.endow.gov/honors/heritage/Heritage05/gottesman.html

Continue reading "Catching up from last June: Beyle Gottesman receives NEA National Heritage Fellowship" »

November 23, 2005

A burgeoning Jewish scene in Moscow

A few days ago I added information about the Russian Klezmer mailing list to this blog, and to the KlezCalendar. Anna Anna Smirnitkaya writes back a few words:

Thank you also from our Moscow bands - this will be encouraging for them, as I hope.

Actually, now as I see, an intensification of Klezmer& Yiddish life here is beginning. I have seen the people who came to Klezmerfest in cultural center "DOM" in October - they were so excited :) It's nothing compared to what was here 2 years ago, when nobody knew such a music. Also there is one new CD released by the ensemble "Dona" (www.dona-dona.ru) and as far as I know, two others CDs of other Moscow artists are being prepared, and will be published in January.

Our band also tries to make something good, we are in the recording process, but it's a long time to finish. I hope I will translate our little web-page, www.partizaner.ru, in English, and then tell you.

You get some idea of why we were so excited to bring a bunch of folks from all over the former Soviet Union to KlezKanada this year! [ari]

October 1, 2005

Brave Old World to perform "Songs of the Lodz Ghetto" in San Francisco, Oct 15

Brave Old World

Songs of the Lodz GhettoBrave Old World
Song of the Lodz Ghetto
In Yiddish, with English Supertitles

Saturday, October 15, 8:00 pm
JCCSF, 3200 California St. at Presidio Ave.
Tickets: Members $20 | Public $25 | Students $15
Box Office: (415) 292-1233
Box Office hours: Monday - Friday, 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm; Saturday, 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm.
Click here to purchase tickets online.

September 11, 2005

Update on Hatikvah Music

Will the eviction of Hatikvah Music succeed? Michael Makiri notes this article from the Jewish Week on progress since the gentrification of the store's neighborhood in LA was first made public.

You can read the Jewish Week article here: There goes the neighborhood by Liel Leibovitz, in the Jewish Week, 9 Sep 2005.

August 19, 2005

LA Landmark - Hatikvah Music - threatened by gentrification

This article from the LA Times says it all: Fairfax Area Losing Its Kosher Flavor, by Bob Pool.

Simon, the store owner (and a mainstay of the Jewish-Music mailing list) says that he will probably end up selling CDs on the Internet only, but what happens then? What happens when the place where people can be told about and listen to the world's largest selection of Jewish music disappears? Hatikvah is the place everyone visits in Los Angeles to find out what is happening in Jewish music (or just to pick up old favorites as gifts). If you can help, send E-mail email to Simon.

Continue reading "LA Landmark - Hatikvah Music - threatened by gentrification" »

August 10, 2005

Taking a vacation due to overwork

Several of you have noticed that I haven't had time to do review, update the calendar, or otherwise keep this site up to date recently. It's true. I have been overwhelmed with other commitments, and the deal is that this has to come after work and family. Please bear with me. I hope to see many of you at KlezKanada, and hope to start returning to normal in the Fall.

Note that this especially means that the extra notes asking why I am ignoring you only are especially unhelpful. Sorry. I need an acknowledgement system, but for now, it's just me, and when I have no time, I really, really, have no time, and if I don't have time to do the work, I even more don't have time to tell you about how I don't have time to do the work.

July 13, 2005

Hasidic nigunim released in Jerusalem

Here is a very nice article in Haaretz about the release of a two-CD set of Hasidic nigunim, collected over decades by Musicologist Yaakov Mazor of the wonderful National Sound Archive in the Jewish National and University Library at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Echoes of our grandfathers' world by Haggai Hitron.

June 6, 2005

JTS Music Archives online upgraded

The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the upgrading of its Music Archives web site, which now includes finding aids to all the special music collections that have been arranged, described and cataloged by music archivist Dr. Eliott Kahn over the past eleven years.

The Music Archives at the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary consist of the special music collections of prominent cantors, composers, musicologists, collectors and teachers of Jewish music. Descriptions of the collections—with visuals—may be accessed at:

www.jtsa.edu/library/archives/music

Because many of the collections once belonged to European and Russian Jewish émigrés, the archives serve as a repository for an extinguished culture. There are unpublished manuscript musical scores from late-nineteenth, early twentieth-century Ukraine as well as eastern and central Europe. There is twentieth-century correspondence in Yiddish, Russian, German and Hebrew. There are also photos, music programs, personal artifacts, etc.

The Music Archives also provide a home for the scores, papers and archival recordings of Jews who lived and worked in the United States. Researchers and patrons are free to access these historic materials, which date from the late nineteenth century up until the present time.

April 18, 2005

KlezKanada 2005, Aug 21-28, introduces special "East Meets West" Scholarship expansion

klezkanada logoKlezKanada's 10th anniversary is scheduled to begin, for workshop participants, on Sunday, August 21,2005 and extends to Sunday August 28,2005. This includes all scholarship recipients.

Those who are not involved with workshops begin on Wednesday, August 24, 2005 and continue to Sunday, August 28, 2005 also.

A special feature this year is the introduction of a so-called "East Meets West" expansion of the scholarship program. That is 10-12 young, talented artists from Eastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Moldavia and Belarus are being invited to join their Western compatriots and participate in the week-long scholarship program. This represents a dramatic new development and hopefully will encourage increasing interchange between the countries of Eastern Europe and the West.

Other exciting and new programs for this 10th anniversary are presently being finalized and will be seen on the KlezKanada website (www.klezkanada.com) in early May. [I can say that Judy and I will be part of the faculty, again. There will be a daily Yiddish-English newspaper, along with some incredible new Yiddish language and Arts stuff, as well. Ari]

For further information contact KlezKanada:
E-mail KlezKanada
Tel: 514-489-9014
Fax: 514-489-0260

April 17, 2005

Israeli Songwriter Ehud Manor mourned

Ehud Manor photo from Ha-aretz"Thousands of people turned out Wednesday afternoon for the funeral of Israel Prize laureate Ehud Manor, who died Tuesday.

"Manor, one of Israel's most prolific and best-loved songwriters, passed away early Tuesday morning in his Tel Aviv apartment at the age of 64. His widow said he collapsed early Tuesday of an apparent heart attack."

More, from the English language edition of Israel's Ha'aretz daily: news.haaretz.co.il

March 27, 2005

Hebrew Calligrapher's work on display in April

Ari and Judy's Ketubah by Peggy DavisPeggy Davis, flutist with Wholesale Klezmer and Hebrew Calligrapher, will show her decorated wedding vows, marriage certificates and ketubot, the traditional Jewish marriage contract, at

Wings of Light Gallery,
20 Bridge St.,
Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

during the month of April. The public is invited to the opening of the show from 1-5 p.m. on April 3rd through 29th. You can see her work on the Wholesale Klezmer website: www.WholesaleKlezmer.com

For more information, call 413-625-0144

[Yes, this is the same Peggy Davis who did Judy and my ketubah. Her work is wonderful. I say, make the trip to Shelburne Falls, MA. You'll be glad you did. ari]

March 10, 2005

Newbury Comics boycotting Jewish Music?

I misplaced a CD that I intend to review, so I popped over to my local Newbury Comics, on Needham St., here in Newton, MA. I had been told that the chain had just purchased 20 copies of the forthcoming Hip Hop Hoodios CD (due out Mar 26), so I wanted to see if those had appeared yet, too.

I headed straight for the International Music section. There didn't appear to be a Jewish music section any more. I scouted the rest of the store. Nope. Not their, either. I coralled a staffperson who headed straight for the International music area and was similarly stumped. We looked up some common titles in the local store inventory. Nope. All out of stock.

If someone has an explanation, I'd love to hear it, or if someone has a contact with the folks at Newbury Comics central, I'd love to find out more. The online store for Newbury Comics (www.newburycomics.com does seem to carry the expected titles. But for now, if you are looking for Jewish music, it appears that at least one of the Newbury Comics stores is no longer interested.

March 5, 2005

Oh, lovely parrot - Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala

Judith Cohen reports to the Jewish-Music list a while back:

hi, I've just received "Oh, lovely parrot" - "Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala (Cochin)." I've been waiting for ages, since Barbara Johnson told me it was in the works at the JMRC (Jewish Music Research Institute at Hebrew U, Anthology of Traditional Music or whatever they call that series, #18). These are an interesting combination of her old field work recordings, and some re-recorded by younger women living in Israel who learned these old versions and perform them in the cases where the quality of the original tape defied repair technology.

It's in a book-cd form, with lots of good notes—and translations, but no original texts in Malayalam: these apparently will be forthcoming in the Yuval Music Series volumes, and are also in a volume published by the Ben Zvi Institute. Enjoy! Judith

For further information about the CD, or for purchase, check out the institute's website, www.jewish-music.huji.ac.il

Continue reading "Oh, lovely parrot - Jewish Women's Songs from Kerala" »

New CD of Indian Jewish music

Dr. Marsha Edelman posted this to the Jewish-Music list:

"Hodu: Jewish Rhythms from Baghdad to India"
"One of the ten best CDs of 2004" -NY Jewish Week

The cost of the CD is $15 plus $4 shipping, available through Ms. Musleah's website, www.rahelsjewishindia.com, or by calling (516) 829-4866.

Continue reading "New CD of Indian Jewish music" »

January 22, 2005

Smithsonian Folkways recordings available from MSN

Marvin Margoshes posted the news to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Smithsonian Folkways recordings are now available for downloading at $0.99 a track from www.music.msn.com. I haven't explored the site exhaustively, but at www.music.msn.com/smithsonian/world there is a music of the Bukharan Jewish group Shasmaqam; 13 pieces at $0.99 each, or the whole album for $8.91.

The actual albums are available from many sources, notably Hatikvah Music. The albums (on CD, these days) include liner notes. The new electronic downloads are playable only on computers or players that can handle Microsoft software.

Irwin Oppenheimer also notes: "The complete catalog of Jewish recordings on the Folkways label, seems to be available through Folkways website. The site allows you to listen to small excerpts of most tracks, and to order the material on cassette or cd.

January 19, 2005

Avrom Reisin song booklet available from the Congress for Jewish Culture

The Congress for Jewish Culture is selling "Lider tsum zingen" by Avrom Reisin with the notes, 64 pages, 1947. The book includes a number of popular Yiddish songs. Send a check for 7$ ($5 + $2 postage) to Congress for Jewish Culture, 25 E. 21st street NY NY 10010

This was printed for his Jubilee. The publisher is "A Resin Yoyvl-komitet" NY

January 18, 2005

New Jewish Forum to do webcasts

Last week I wrote about a new Jewish Music Forum that will feature talks on a wide variety of Jewish music around the world. In answer to a query from Switzerland, a participant from the American Society for Jewish Music posted that "The sessions will be recorded and webcast through the Center for Jewish History's website, www.cjh.org. Needless to say, this is almost as exciting as the news of the forum, itself, and does greatly expand the reach of the talks.

January 14, 2005

Announcing the Jewish Music Forum

James Loeffler writes:

Over the past two years, Mark Kligman, Judah Cohen and I have been working with the American Society for Jewish Music to design a new academic organization for Jewish music, the Jewish Music Forum. We’re now launching our first public events in the spring semester. We hope [these sessions] will be the beginning of a major new resource for all folks interested in researching Jewish music.

Continue reading "Announcing the Jewish Music Forum" »

January 13, 2005

New Klezmatics CD: "Brother Moses Smote the Water"

album coverI noticed this on the Piranha catalog a couple of weeks ago and was too distracted to pass it on. Now it's official, from the Piranha email newsletter. Not sure when Rounder will bring it out in this country. Lorin? Frank?

... Out now: Klezmer meets Gospel on the first LIVE record of "the best Klezmer band in the world": An early review notes: "Eastern-european- Jewish dancemusic rose to the zenith of its popularity when the Klezmatics stared as wedding-orchestra in "Sex & The City". What else should follow? Together with gospel-artists Kathryn Farmer & Joshua Nelson the Klezmatics reach new heights on their latest live-album "Brother Moses Smote The Water". It is based upon a repertoire which seems stylistically incompatible at first sight but works amazingly well when listened to: spirituals & songs of the Jewish-socialist labour-movement. At the same time they breathe new soul-life into one of Sam Cook's oldies." (Stereoplay 1/2005)

THE KLEZMATICS "Brother Moses Smote The Water" (CD-PIR1896)

January 9, 2005

The latest from Mark Rubin: Belf Romanian MP3s and the Youngers of Zion CD

One of the fascinating stories of early klezmer is that of the Belf Romanian Orchestra. About all we know about them is that they now appear to have been Ukrainian, and recorded some wonderfully florid klezmer tunes that continue to be prized. Jeffrey Wollock summarized what little we know of the band in his lovely "European Recordings of Jewish Instrumental Folk Music, 1911-1914," (ARSC Journal V28, N1, Spring 1997). But where can you get the recordings? Fans such as Kurt Bjorling supply high quality cassettes. Anthologies of early recordings usually have one or two. Now Mark Rubin has made 27 MP3s available for everyone's listening pleasure: www.belfsmusic.com.

Hey Bub,

You get time to check this site [www.belfsmusic.com] out? It's my latest hobby. Would appreciate a link.

Just got back from NYC where I did sessions with German Goldynstein and Frank London's Klezmer Brass All Stars. We did a day of German's tunes under the direction of M. Alpert with considerable contributions from London, Jeff and Deb Warschauer and the very hip and you can remember I told you about him years from now Alex Kontorovich. Frank's sessions the next day included a 7 piece Brazilian percussion ensemble, 6 female vocalists (under the sly name Kol Isha) and Alpert singing one of his Yiddish tunes only this time in Spanish and in the style of a Mexican banda (I played guitar BTW as there were 2 tuba players on the date....) In other words, a typically brilliant Frank London project. I came home to my beloved Red State with a nasty cold and high as a kite on the memory of the music. No word on release dates for either, but I can hardly wait.

Youngers of Zion (YOZ) album coverBTW: Didja get the YOZ CD?? Curious to know what you think of it. I continue to dig it no matter what anybody thinks of it.

PS: Happy Mardi Gras! It formally starts now and I head to New Orleans to march for the Krewes as a member of the Panorama Brass Band everyday from 2/2 up to Fat Tuesday (2/8.)

January 2, 2005

"Yankele" releases nifty new book/CD for accompanying klezmer learners

book coverYankele has released the cd and score collection of "The Spirit of Klezmer" from "Editions Lemoine".

For the first time ever a Klezmer collection presents at the same an explanation of special effects and arrangements that permits you to vary the players. For example, you can play alone as a soloist with the cd, or as a clarinet- piano duet, or as a trio with violin, clarinet quartet, flute quartet, quintet with guitar, accoredeon, stringbass, etc.!

To know more, look us up on: www.yankele.net

December 15, 2004

David Stein, z"l

Teresa Tova writes the Jewish-Music list:

It is with great sorrow that we were informed of the passing of David A. Stein on Sunday, December 12, 2004. David was an incredible and talented young filmmaker who created the Toronto Jewish Festival trailers for the last three years. His films, many of which premiered at the TJFF, include: NEEDLE AND "TREAD", KHASENJAH: A JAMAICAN JEWISH WEDDING and ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR SPY; MORDECHAI VANUNU. We will remember David for his wonderful smile, his generosity of spirit, and his creative vision. He is profoundly missed.

Mel Korn provided the URL for at least one of these works: the short video, "KhasenJah," the first music video of Toronto's "Beyond the Pale"

www.beyondthepale.net/ChasenJah.ram (or http://www.beyondthepale.net/AudioVideo.php, down at the bottom of the page, for all options)

December 13, 2004

Call for entries: Cracow Jewish Culture Festival

15th Jewish Culture Festival
June 25th - July 3rd 2005

[2004-08-16] 15th Jewish Culture Festival will be held between June 25th and July 3rd 2005. We would like to invite musicians, bands, filmmakers and all interested in participation in the next edition of the Festival to send the promotional materials to our office: Jewish Culture Festival, Ul. Józefa 36, 31-056 Kraków, Poland. Deadline for sending the materials is December 31st 2004.

www.jewishfestival.pl/index_en.php

December 7, 2004

First round Klezmershack "klezcontacts" update completed

All e-mail addresses of people listing on the Klezmershack's main page, the "Klezcontacts page, have been contacted for confirmation. Some addresses bounced. Those were removed immediately. Lots of people responded - those folks are high on my personal popularity list and their e-mail addresses are now in a backed--up database. Lots of folks also provided backup: Ethan Minovitz, one of the KlezmerShack's earliest correspondents still knows everyone in Vancouver and how to reach them.

Some people never responded. Maybe it's the holiday. Maybe it's accounts that are never checked, or over-eager spam filters. At some point, hopefully by the end of the year, I will switch to a new page, driven entirely by the database. (Between now and then, I am recoding some parts of this based on my experience so far.) At that point, the non-respondents listings disappear.

This is not a bad thing. The goal of the klezmershack listings is to list people who are both interested in Jewish music, and who respond to e-mail. It is unfair, even cruel to list people as though inviting conversation or contact when those conversations will remain one-sided.

I am thinking of a new name for the listings that will make it clear that this is for everyone interested in Jewish music, not just klezmorim. If you have a suggestion, e-mail me.

If you think you are/were listed on the KlezmerShack, and haven't heard from me, something has gone wrong. Search for your listing or send me e-mail right away.

And, of course, if you are active, or actively interested in Jewish music, and wish to be listed, send me a paragraph about yourself, including contact info, and I'll be glad to add you to the database. If you wish to have a radio show, organization, band, or anything else related to Jewish music listed, we usually have a category, or can make one. Send me the info. Like participation in the Jewish-Music mailing list, this is one more way to particpate in the Jewish Music community at large. If all goes well, more are coming in the new secular year. In the meantime, have fun and Happy Chanukah.

December 2, 2004

German Record Critics award to Solomon & Socalled

The highly prestigious annual is normaly something for the creme de la creme of classical music stars. In a surprising move Piranha's next generation of Klezmer won it for last year's release HIPHOPKHASENE. "This work of great chutzpah and genius" (DJ Max Reinhardt) brings together a remarkable cast of musicians, including David Krakauer, Frank London, Michael Albert and Smadj, turning an authentic Eastern European Jewish wedding, the khasene, into a hiphop extravaganza complete with old-school Yiddish freestylin' on the mike.

Congrats to Sophie and Josh and the rest of the crew!

November 29, 2004

Youngers of Zion hit the recording studio; Mark Rubin checks in

From my favorite faux Texan (he was born in Oklahoma, on the other hand, I guess he moved there voluntarily), and everybody's favorite Austinite, Mark Rubin:

Hope you had a sucessful turkey feast. We fried ours Cajun style this year, tasty!

Just got back from making a CD with Cookie Segelstein and Hank Sapoznik under our "Youngers of Zion" moniker. We did like 23 tracks, all live with no overdubs, in about 8 hours. Mixed it down in as about as much time as the CD is! I'm really quite pleased with the results. Entitled "The Protocols" It'll be released on our own International Jewish Conspiracy label. Might actually have it put together in time for Klez Kamp. (You coming?) I was on it and everything, but I REALLY like what came out. Everybody in the band is kinda cranky, beautifully yet completely nuts and it really shines through on the recording. I liken it to a Jewish version of the Bing Bangs CD.

I'm off to New Orleans this week to make a Jazz-Khazones CD with my cantor and drummer Jason Marsalis. I'll be playing tenor banjo and Oud(!!!)

See ya around campus

November 22, 2004

"A Chanukah Feast" for the ears and a great program

the menorah on the cover is a bit stern for my tasteGreetings, folks!

Wendy Morrison, from Klezcentricity here, with the answer to ALL of your holiday gift-giving quandaries!

"A Chanukah Feast" (see the Klezmershack review)

This brand-new benefit CD features 20 different traditional and original Chanukah songs performed by a variety of musical acts from the Washington/Baltimore area and around the nation. And I'm proud to say that I played an important role in this album - I play accordion and whistle on two brand-new tracks, with Klezcentricity and Marc Glickman And The Gelt-tones.

To order "A Chanukah Feast" go to www.hungryformusic.com or call their toll-free order line at 1-888-843-0933. You won't regret it! And please spread the word!

Continue reading ""A Chanukah Feast" for the ears and a great program" »

November 10, 2004

New for the KlezmerShack: We co-sponsor a special reading for a special book person: Aaron Lansky

aaron lanskyCo-Sponsored by the KlezmerShack and Boston Workmen's Circle

Aaron Lansky: Outwitting History

This website is very pleased to consponsor a reading by Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the National Yiddish Book Center, one of our favorite places (Aaron being one of our favorite people as well). The reading is part of the Boston Jewish Book Fair (Nov 7 - Dec 10) and is presented by the Miriam Goldman Author's Fund.

Thursday, Nov 18
7:30pm
$5 JCC Members / $8 General Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center
333 Nahanton St.
Newton, MA
www.lsjcc.org

For ticket reservations and info: 617 965-5226

For more info, see the Klezmershack calendar

Klezmatics/Woody Guthrie Chanukkah CD in limited edition

From Lorin Sklamberg, posted to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

album coverAnnouncing the new Klezmatics cd - just in time for your holiday pleasure!

The Klezmatics: Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanuka (Klezmatics Records, 2004)

In 1942, Woody Guthrie moved to Brooklyn and soon, through his mother-in-law, the renowned Yiddish poet Aliza Greenblat, he became involved with the Coney Island Jewish community. He wrote songs about Hanuka, about Jewish history and spiritual life and about World War II and the antifascist cause. After his death in 1967, these songs sat forgotten in archives. Lost for almost thirty years, Guthrie's Jewish lyrics were discovered in 1998 by Woody's daughter, Nora Guthrie. She was so inspired by what she found, she asked the Klezmatics to write new music for the lyrics. "Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanuka" is the first recorded release of this amazing material. Deftly intermingling klezmer with American folk and bluegrass, "Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hunaka" is destined to become a holiday classic for generations to come. This delightful collection of songs, "Hanuka's Flame", "Hanuka Gelt", "The Many and the Few" and others, is among the best of Guthrie's work, and the Klezmatics' playful renditions cast a new light on the Hanuka tradition.

This limited edition collectors release comes in a jacket, hand printed at the Chicago Print Museum, that folds into a dreidel!

Available only via the internet

October 28, 2004

Go Red Sox! 2004 World Series Champions

red sox logoNothing is more Jewish than the World Series (although, arguably, the number of devout Christians on the Red Sox makes for a relatively goyish team playing this great Jewish passtime). No one of my generation doesn't remember how Sandy Koufax refused to play in the World Series on Yom Kippur, making us all feel special to be Jewish, and bonding Jews to the ideal of a multicultural America where we could be free to assimilate, or not; to play klezmer, or jazz, or to mix them all together to create something new.

It was that wonderful Jewish American songwriter, Irving Berlin, who penned the song they sing during the Seventh inning stretch, "God Bentsh America". But, the best way to celebrate this victory is to bring back memories of baseball 86 years ago, when many of our great grandparents were arriving on these shores, quickly learning to sing about, "der base ball spiel". Thank you Mandy Patinkin for the album whence this clip came, "Mamaloshen". Thank you Henry Sapoznik for the Yiddish. Thank you Bernard Malamud for "The Natural". And thanks to my home town team for breaking a long drought and winning the world series again.

Enjoy.

October 25, 2004

Some klezmer listings are going away

Yup. This morning I removed the first listing in a while: a Vancouver band named "Kreplach" from whom I haven't heard since 1997, and for whom I could discover no working contact.

One result of moving all e-mail addresses into the new anti-spam database is that everyone is getting an e-mail asked for confirmation. Those that are obviously unconfirmable now are being removed first. Others will be removed over the next couple of months. It's all going to take a while. I am currently guessing about 1500 listings. I've gone over the first 200.

If you are listed on the Klezmershack, or have a band or organization or radio show or whatever listed here, take a look at your listing and confirm that it is current. Doing this will accomplish two things:

  • You'll jump to the head of the queue for getting your e-mail address in the anti-spam queue, because all changes at this point start with that action. (If you have a listing but haven't gotten leads in a while, an outdated listing may be the explanation.)
  • You'll prevent that embarrassing disappearance of your listing when I can't find proof that your band, person, organization, whatever still exists to the public.
  • You'll earn serious points with me - anyone who saves me effort or makes my life easier is a major mensh and I appreciate it.

There is no one taking care of your listings but you - don't wait for me to discover that you forgot. This stuff is here because it is supposed to be helpful. Help me keep it so.

A hartsikn dank and a toda raba, ari

October 4, 2004

Stempenyu's Dream CD released

album coverSteven Greenman's new CD project, "Stempenyu's Dream", is finally released. I last mentioned this back in April and heard selections at KlezKanada this summer where I was blown away. People raved about the music when played at this year's Ashkenaz Festival.

You can order your copy already—no need to wait for me to get around to writing a rave review. Steven describes the album thusly:

Continue reading "Stempenyu's Dream CD released" »

KlezmerShack coding updated

me in the CaribbeanI have finally finished the promised first phase of moving the KlezmerShack into a database-driven format as promised back in August. As of now, I am embedding all new e-mail addresses in the initial database such that (I hope!) it is no longer to harvest new e-mail addresses from the KlezmerShack pages.

I am now moving slowly through the backlog of listing changes, and thence to converting all e-mail addresses to the new system. I hope thereby to be removing one extant target from e-mail harvesters and making the world a trifle safer for klezmer and Jewish music in general :-).

If spam is especially bothering you, please feel encouraged to e-mail me and let me know (niceness does help) that you would like to be jumped to the head of the queue as I get a chance to deal with hundreds of e-mail addresses. I would rather help those who are most bothered by this plague first.

When this is all done, I'll be moving all listings into database tables and expanding the ways in which you can find bands, dance instructors, festival, ongoing gatherings and the like. Stay tuned and have a sweet new year.

September 11, 2004

More on "Maftirim" from Turkey

Sandra Layman, whose "Little Blackbird" album is one of the most awesome recent klezmer recordings, found this article about the Turkish "Maftirim" group. We recently reviewed a CD by the same name, but this sounds like a different group doing similar(?) material. It isn't clear if this article is from 2004, or from an earlier year.

Continue reading "More on "Maftirim" from Turkey" »

September 1, 2004

KlezKanada weblog new entry up

Well, it's almost a week and a half after KlezKanada began, but I've somewhat recovered from trip lag and the first entry is up at www.klezmershack.com/klezkanada

August 30, 2004

What a KlezKanada!

Pete Rushefsky, Michael Winograd, and Dan Blacksberg at KlezKanada cabaretI am back from KlezKanada, my first time as a staff person, and will be very slowly catching up and writing about it.

There was no internet access (temporary problem at the site—apparently not a usual situation) so I gloried in no email, no weblog—just klezmer and friends and yiddishkeit old and new 24 hours a day non-stop. Because there was no internet access, I'll be posting the "KlezKanada weblog" on a one-week delay, starting today/tonight (except that tonight, in real time, I must catch Charming Hostess in Cambridge, come hell or high water!). Bob Blacksberg has put up some preliminary photos, and I'll be using those since my photo skills, as we all know, are less than salutory. Here is one he took of Pete Rushefsky, Michael Winograd, and Dan Blacksberg at the cabaret the first night.

Trying to put a jumble of thoughts and impressions in some order is difficult, but my overwhelming feeling is how much fun I had, how many people I met that I enjoyed meeting, the incredible lectures/workshops I saw/participated in (and Judy and I gave, if I may say so), and over all, how much incredible music I heard—mostly klezmer, it's true (which is a good thing!), but the diversity of klezmer, and the incredible new Jewish music, and new music, period, was overwhelming. I'm not sure how I'm going to muster the will to go to Ashkenaz this week. After being inside the music for a week, spectating, even if I take one of Helen Winkler's dance classes or the like, won't be the same. I can't wait to go back next year and do it all over again.

August 20, 2004

Spammers and the KlezmerShack listings

For a couple of years I have watched, in frustration, as spammers get faster and faster at picking off new e-mail addresses from new listings here on the KlezmerShack. Some people have been delisted, at their request, but the damage is pretty much done—it means coming up with a new e-mail address and implementing (usually) the temporarily-effective anti-spam-reading measures on local websites.

I have been working on a database-backed solution to this problem: I need to record working e-mail addresses, and am in the middle of converting all of the listings to a database format for sanity (and some expanded fetures). One feature, of course, is that it will no longer be possible to discover what someone's e-mail address is (although it will be easy to e-mail them from this site.) The scripts aren't done, and now won't be done until after KlezKanada.

Until the new system is enough in place to enable me to get new listings in, I will not be adding new listings (or changes) to the current system. If spammers have your old e-mail address, I can't help. But I can keep new addresses out of their hands.

This has actually been true for a few weeks, but it occurs to me that I should at least let people know what is going on.

One reality of maintaining a large, complex website in your spare time is that if you don't have much spare time, even important things can take time.

I apologize to all for the problem, and for the delay in implementing a solution.

July 19, 2004

Politics Aside, Oi Va Voi wows Israel

There is an excellent article (prefixed by a horribly cheesy headline) in the London Times about Oi Va Voi's current tour of Israel: OI came, OI saw, OI conquered, by Nigel Williamson

July 3, 2004

Something Klezmer happening in Astoria, Queens

Margot Leverett (Klezmer Mountain Boys, among other current projects), amazing klezmer clarinet master and teacher, has gotten a slew of neat, and regular klezmer things happening at her synagogue in Astoria, Queens, New York. Now the local Queens newspaper has noticed: Not Your Zadeh’s Klezmer—Astoria Synagogue Puts New Spin On Old Music, by Tom Epler, from the Jun 24 issue.

June 22, 2004

Workmen's Circle Chorus still singing out for social justice

My synagogue is active in an interfaith social justice group called the "Greater Boston Interfaith Organization" (GBIO). I recently attended an event involving dozen's of faith communities around the Boston area in support of a couple of causes important to all of us.

To my surprise and pleasure, the chorus singing organizing songs and Yiddish folksongs on the stage was none other than Boston's own Workmen's Circle Chorus. Of course, they were doing nothing other than what they have done since the first socialist secularists founded the Arbeiter Ring (Workmen's Circle) 100? 200? years ago: celebrating Yiddish culture and singing, as expected, for social justice. I was temporarily taken aback by the notion of them joined together with explicitly faith organizations, but realized that faith has many meanings, not all of them tied to ritual spiritual practice.

It was not a profound event, or a profound moment; rather a pleasant reminder that our sense of faith has grown, as has our ability to work together for social justice and for social change. Absent was polarizing insistence of "under god" (consider the recent Supreme Court case on the subject) or fear of "godless Communists aka socialists". Instead, the Workmen's Circle Chorus was reminding us, as did the gospel trio that followed them, of all that unites us, instead.

For more information on GBIO (nothing on Jewish Music, alas—not even klezmer), visit their website. For Yiddishkayt, you'll have to visit the Workmen's Circle website.

May 7, 2004

Lag B'Omer melodies digitized in Israel, now on web

The Jewish National and University Library (JNUL) is pleased to offer access to a new sample of digitized music from its National Sound Archives. The Lag Ba'omer selection includes versions of Bar Yohai piyyutim and other songs from various Jewish communities as well as Klezmer melodies for the pilgrimage to Miron.

The recordings can be accessed at: jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/music/lagbaomer

The digitization of the National Sound Archives is part of the JNUL's David and Fela Shapell Family Digitization Project.

April 28, 2004

JMI announces Cantorial workshops in London this summer

JMI School of Jewish Liturgical Music
Cantorial Summer School
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Sunday 20 - Thursday 24 June 2004 10.00am - 5.30pm
International Faculty of Cantors from USA, Canada and Israel

Registration and information Tel: 020 8909 2445 Fax: 020 8909 1030 e-mail: jewishmusic@jmi.org.uk Website: www.jmi.org.uk

Continue reading "JMI announces Cantorial workshops in London this summer" »

new pages, projects at Living Traditions

Living Traditions, the organization that puts on KlezKamp each year (among other projects) would like to let you know that they have recently updated their website, www.livingtraditions.org, and have added two new features: Photos of KlezKamp 19 (2003) and a new section of links to our favorite websites relevant to Yiddish and Klezmer which will certainly be of interest. Please visit our website often and let us know what you think. We will try to keep it up to date to give you the latest information about all of our projects. Soon to come is a centralized Klezmer Performance database which will allow you to search for information about performances by your favorite artists, searchable by location, date and performer.

Continue reading "new pages, projects at Living Traditions" »

April 25, 2004

International Conference Opens to Address future of Jewish Heritage in Europe

150 activists, cultural experts, scholars and philanthropists gather in Prague from 24-27 April to discuss the role of Jewish museums, archives and historic sites in a changing Europe

Conference programme on-line at www.mittelpunkt.biz/jewishheritageconference

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: MIRIAM BENCHETRIT ON +44 (0)7985 719407 OR ANTONY LERMAN ON +44 (0)7968 162579.

Continue reading "International Conference Opens to Address future of Jewish Heritage in Europe" »

April 21, 2004

Changes coming to KlezmerShack

Yup. That's the Google logo on the left-side of the KlezmerShack.

For the last few years, the KlezmerShack has been indexed by a rather fine free service called AtomZ. Unfortunately, I exceeded the maximum free pages that AtomZ indexes a couple of years ago. I've been marking a lot of pages "do not index" so that I could direct some content to be findable. In the meantime, Google seems to be doing a better job of spidering just about everything. So, I'm going to give it a try.

Continue reading "Changes coming to KlezmerShack" »

April 19, 2004

Steven Greenman: Major klezmer violin project nearing release

I first met Steve Greenman in Toronto, having flown in, like him, for a Flying Bulgars concert. I was a spectator, he was the insanely good violin player flown in for the occasion. In the years that followed, he served a tour in Josh Horowitz' Budowitz (and credits Josh for initially turning him on to klezmer), played on many of the most exciting klezmer albums, joined with Zev Feldman to dive deeply into pre-Holocaust European klezmer music in Khevrisa, taught numerous workshops, and for the last few months - I'll let him describe:

Steven Greenman photo, 1999It's been long time since we last spoke and I hope you are well. I wanted to tell about my major recording project, "The Dream of Stempenyu". This is a recording of my original Klezmer and Jewish compositions all written in the traditional style. Everything has been recorded (January) and almost all mixed and I'm now writing liner notes and getting the booklet together. The release date will be in late June 2004. I have about 90 mins of music so it will be a double-CD in one package. I can't wait to share it with you. I'm the lead violinist and play with some great players including: Alan Bern, Stu Brotman, Michael Alpert, Zev Feldman, Alexander Fedoriouk, Pete Rushefsky and Mark Rubin. It's been an intense effort of raising the funds to make it all possible (and I'm still raising funds as we speak), doing all the logistical work and then finally playing all the tunes. The Cleveland commmunity has been most generous. The purpose of the project is to revitalize the Jewish violin repertoire and to continue the creativity of Jewish music composition all in the spirit of the great Stempenyu*. At some point I look to have a future publication of the music for all to play.

*"Stempenyu" was the title (and title chararacter) in a Shalom Aleichem novelette about a klezmer.

March 23, 2004

Folkways Jewish Recordings Now on CD

Simon, from Hatikvah Music in LA, posts this to the Jewish-Music list:

After much prodding, we have negotiated with the Smithsonian to let us distribute their Jewish music collection on the Folkways label on Compact Disc! Until now, you had to order them directly for a custom disc at a much higher price.

Since these are not produced in mass, they will custom produce them for us in generic packaging, however all CDs will include the original inserts that were included with the original records when Folkways was owned by Moses Asch.

We just received 44 different titles from the collection including the entire catalog of Yiddish recordings--songs as well as readings and poetry--all the Ruth Rubin, Mark Olf, Chassidic, Raashe, Geula Gill/Ornim Zabar, Hillel & Aviva, Sephardic/Ladino, cantorial (including a David Kousseviztky recording) and other miscellaneous Folkways titles.

For the Passover collector, there are two CDs available from this collection:

  1. "Yemenite Passover," recorded in a Yemenite home in 1953.
  2. "Chad Gadya" a collection of the many interpretations of this piece from the various tradition Included are various interrelations in Yiddish, Aramaic, Italian, Russian, Greek, Ladino, Arabic, and more.

Unfortunately, it will be a while before we can get these up on our web site, however for those familiar with the Folkways catalog, please feel free to PHONE me at 323) 655-7083 to place your orders or for any further information.

Thank You
Simon
Hatikvah Music
(323) 655-7083

February 2, 2004

New articles about, new releases from the Milken Archive of Jewish American Music

Matt Temkin has written several articles for the KlezmerShack about rereleases and old recordings. It is especially fitting, then, that he weigh in on the new "archival" releases of American Jewish Music by the Milken Foundation.

And, on the subject of the Milken Archives, Seth Rogovoy posted this link from the excellent "NextBooks.com" site on the same subject: "Preservation Squall," a fascinating essay about issues raised by the Milken Archive of American Jewish music, by Paul Mitchinson.

Finally, the Milken Archive itself announces the two latest releases in the series, numbers 11 and 12:

  • Dave Brubeck's "The Gates of Justice"
  • Bruce Adolphe: Three Works

Continue reading "New articles about, new releases from the Milken Archive of Jewish American Music" »

January 31, 2004

Israeli fusion band to tour US, Canada, in summer 2004

band photo

Based in Tzfat, Israel, Ben-Canar & Shvil Hehalav advertise themselves as playing "Progressive Hassidic Funk, Desert Jazz, full of humor, spirituality, virtuose improvisation and crazy rhythms. A renaissance of a"new" old tradition. Quality-proved. Made in Israel."

The band has two CDs out (see OrangeWorld Records) and has performed at many jazz and ethno festivals including:The Red Sea Jazz Festival, Klezmerim in Safed, Bereshith, Shantipi, Festival Israel, Bumbamela, Jaffo Nights, Shoni Jazz Festival. They are hoping to tour the United States and Canada, in an Israeli-government-sponsored tour in the summer of 2004. They are open to inquiries regarding performances at: cosmicevent80@hotmail.com

January 14, 2004

KlezKanada scholarships available

Hi all,

Klezkanada is now accepting applications for youth scholarships for this coming year. Please visit their website (www.klezkanada.com) for more information.

Avi Rosenblatt

January 8, 2004

Krakauer "Live in Krakow"

album coverDavid Krakauer has released a live album, recorded last summer in his family's ancentral town, Krakow. The album, on France's notable jazz label, "Label Bleu", is due to be released in the US by Harmonia Mundi USA on January 13th.

Krakauer's "Klezmer Madness" ensemble will be making its Carnegie Hall debut on February 25th with guest artist jazz composer/pianist Uri Caine.

December 22, 2003

Brave Old World go Indie with "Bless the Fire"

album cover - a reminder that David Bold is so Seventies Seventies SeventiesJust in time for my sanity and pleasure, Alan Bern sends the following news

Just in time for Chanukah! The first new Brave Old World CD since 1997's "Blood Oranges" has just been released! Titled "Bless the Fire," it was recorded live in Weimar, Germany and captures some of the band's most lyrical and emotionally vital playing. Featuring new compositions by Alpert, Bern, Bjorling and Brotman, "Bless the Fire" is now available in the USA online only through CDbaby.com.

December 19, 2003

Lost Platina tapes released

Just announced - one of my favorite mid-'70s Israeli performing bands - here's the press release:

A popular jazz group (think Perigeo, Dedalus, Wolfgang Dauner, ECM) whose members were Israel1s biggest names in jazz, "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" (1976) was The Platina's third album (recorded two years after their Newport Jazz Festival appearance). Unreleased until now, this 78-minute disk has the original mix-downs from the master tapes, live versions of the lost masters, and additional bonus tracks. Their best effort, the CD was released for a memorial concert for wind player & leader Roman Kunsman (1941-2002). Energetic, well-played, yet pastoral fusion. With their pianos (Fender Rhodes & acoustic), flute and wordless female vocals, Platina sound most like the mid-70's work of Hubert Laws on CTI. Fans of Kornet, Finnforest and Camel should like this.

For more information, or to order, contact Mio Records

Continue reading "Lost Platina tapes released" »

October 8, 2003

First 5 Milken CDs released on Naxos

album coverThe first five compact discs of the historic multiyear recording series, the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, are now available on the Naxos label. The discs can be ordered through the Milken Archive Web site at www.milkenarchive.org or the Naxos Web site at www.naxos.com.

All proceeds from the sale of the Milken Archive recordings will be directed back into the Milken Archive's nonprofit programs in furtherance of educational and cultural goals. Over the next several years, the Milken Archive will release a total of 50 CDs comprising more than 600 newly recorded sacred and secular works.

For more information, see the Milken Archive website

September 25, 2003

Israeli Klezmer wins UNESCO Prize

It happened for the first time in the history of musical festivals ever organized in Muslim countries: Israeli group won UNESCO prize.

"Lama Lo!", Israeli ensemble of folk music, became a prize winner of Shark Taronalari (Oriental Melodies) International Musical Festival, held this August in Uzbek city of Samarkand. Jerusalem musicians were the best among representatives of 35 countries and won the special UNESCO prize "For interactive dialogue through music".

The international festival jury comprised representatives of such countries as Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Bangladesh; Israel was represented by Dan Golan, the director of Music Department of Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Ms. Bella Kresnina, the director of "Lama Lo!" and the head of Israeli delegation, emphasized that "our success was remarkable not only because we proved to be the best on the background of very strong and talented musicians from many countries of the world, but also because we promoted Israeli art at the international level."

Among the winners of the festival there were musicians from Iran and Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. And Israeli musicians were happy that their artistry was recognized not only by the competent jury, but also by their colleagues- contestants and the audience. The spectators heartily welcomed the whole group, and especially Roman Kekhman, the clarinetist, and the charming singer Esti Svidensky.

Yuri Povolotsky, "Lama Lo!" musical director and the author of practically all compositions performed by the group, accented that "the very formula of the UNESCO prize – "For interactive dialogue through music" – seems to be very explicit and specific in this case since our performance strives to such a dialogue between Jewish art and the souls of our audience, regardless their nationalities, confessions, and the system of cultural values".

September 10, 2003

Sparks Project - Interesting new Jewish art of a non-musical kind

If the name "Lisa Rose" rings a bell among klezmer aficionados, it is probably because they recall her playing from Sandra Layman's astounding "Little Blackbird" CD released a couple of years ago, containing recordings from 20 years ago.

In the years since, Rose has focused on the visual arts (and more, but this exhibit, and this blurb, are about her art). Her most recent collaboration, with poet Daniel Y. Harris, is on exhibit in Oakland, CA through October. It is exciting and well-worth seeing.

It also reminds me of how much I sometimes miss hanging out at local klezmer concerts together or walking out of the same terrible documentaries as we did on occasion when I lived back in Oakland. The paintings have changed and grown from what I remember from back then. Working with Harris' poetry fuses something that is especially worth contemplating as we approach the High Holidays (secularly, or otherwise). These are images that eschew the tired and renew thinking about who we are in the universe, and what it means to think about "Jewish" in such a universe.

For more information and some digitized samples from the exhibit, see www.realhuman.org

The exhibit runs Sept, Oct 2003, at Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St, Oakland, California. www.oaklandsinai.org.

August 10, 2003

Release "Eybike Mame"/10th anniversary of Wergo Jewish Music Series

Di Eybike Mame (The Eternal Mother): Women in Yiddish Theater and Popular Song, 1905-1929
Wergo SM 1625-2
Available August 4, 2003 (U.S. distribution: Harmonia Mundi USA, beginning ca. October 2003)

We are pleased to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Joel Rubin and Rita Ottens' Jewish Music Series for Wergo with "Di Eybike Mame", the first CD anthology of recordings featuring women of the Yiddish stage. This carefully edited production documents the enormous variety of music present during the period 1890-1930, from folksong to music hall and vaudeville, liturgical song to operetta and musical comedy. The booklet includes a detailed essay on Yiddish theater music and the role of women in Yiddish popular song.

www.wergo.de

Continue reading "Release "Eybike Mame"/10th anniversary of Wergo Jewish Music Series" »

July 26, 2003

Velvel strikes again! Songs Never Silenced, now out

As he once wrote me, as though feeling guilty, "I can't stop putting out books"! Now Velvel Pasternak has struck again with yet another essential book of Jewish music: Songs Never Silenced:

... The story behind this book is this: in l948, a survivor named Shmerke Kaczerginsky who lived in Paris wrote down the songs that he remembered or that he could gather from others. The book consisted of the lyrics for two hundred and twenty songs, together with the hand- written, melody transcriptions of a hundred of them. His book nearly disappeared after a while and the few remaining copies of it can only be found on the dusty shelves of second hand bookstores. But Velvel Pasternak somehow discovered it and has given it new life in this new edition which contains those hundred for which there were written melodies, and he has added a few more songs from other sources, and a small section of songs without melodies that were simply too powerful to leave out."

June 17, 2003

Hop Hop Hoodíos on NPR

band membersThe band is interviewed by NPR's Maria Hinojosa in the last segment on this week's Latino USA show. Nice introduction to the band, and some nice clips. These guys are my favorite Jewish hip hop band, obviously.

June 14, 2003

New calendar launched

Well, it's official. The old calendar was so dysfunctional that no one appears to miss it at all. Many people seem not to have noticed that it was there. So, even though it will take some time to get all of the pieces configured to include all of the information that was technically present, if not findable on the old calendar, I've launched the new calendar.

Listings are still bottlenecked by time - I list what I have time to list - but I like to think that now, at least, when an event is listed, maybe the listing will help pull people in to the event.

Bookmark, www.klezmershack.com/calendar/

Note that the calendar is global. We have events listed this week from Turkey to Denmark to California and Victoria Island in Canada. To help people find events they might actually be able to attend, we categorize, first, by location. (We also categorize by type of event and type of music.) So, if you are using an RSS Newsreader like Sharpreader, you can quickly see what events are listed for your area by viewing the XML 2.0 feed (the "2.0" version is Dave Winer's renamed 0.92) or the RDF-based XML feed (officially version 1.0)

June 13, 2003

Hadass Pal-Yarden releases collection of Ottoman Ladino music

Judy Caplan Ginsburgh writes to the Jewish-music mailing list about this new recording:

"It is called Yahudice (the name for the Ladino language of the Jewish people in Ottoman times). The CD presents Ladino repertoire that deals with urban music from Istanbul, Izmir, Thessalonika, and Jerusalem. The songs have been extensively researched by Hadass Pal-Yarden who is a singer and a doctoral student of Ethnomusicology. She has painstakingly researched these songs and preserved 14 of them on this CD in as authentic form as possible using mostly Ottoman instruments and the typical clear, ornamental vocal style of this music. Not only is the music on the CD lovely and an historical record, but it comes with a book which contains 160 pages of educational material about each song, its style, background, audio archival sources, bibliography and discography)."

The recording is available now, although for outrageous postage to the US, from www.kalan.com. Simon, of Hatikvah Music, in Los Angeles, has announced that he hopes to be providing this to American customers in the near future.

June 12, 2003

New KlezKalendar in "beta"

The Weblog software I use for this site is quite versatile. For months I've been meaning to use it for the calendar, as well as for the main page. I now have a "beta" calendar, with events for the next week or two.

How does it compare with the current calendar?

Let me know what you think. Once I finish making the calendar pages look like part of the KlezmerShack, I'm going to work on setting things up so that people other than myself can add events. If there are other calendars online that work especially well, let me know about them and I'll see if I can add more features. Also, note that there is a major upgrade to Moveable Type due late this summer. Features that I can't add now (or don't have time to figure out now) may still be added then.

May 25, 2003

European Association for Jewish Culture Grants 2003

The European Association for Jewish Culture, an independent grant-making body, offers grants to artists in the following fields:

PERFORMING ARTS

New works for the stage linked to a performance

Applications for grants are invited from playwrights, theatre directors or choreographers based in Europe for new work for the stage dealing with the Jewish experience. Applications must be submitted in association with a theatre or a recognized cultural venue.

Composition of new music linked to a performance and/or recording

Applications are invited from musicians based in Europe for composition of new works with a Jewish theme. Applications must be submitted in association with a concert venue, promoter or recording company.

VISUAL ARTS

Applications are invited from artists based in Europe for exhibitions of photography, painting, sculpture and electronic art reflecting the Jewish experience. The exhibition must be held in association with a recognized cultural venue.

Guidelines, closing dates and application forms are published on www.jewishcultureineurope.org/schedule.htm

web: www.jewishcultureineurope.org
email: london@jewishcultureineurope.org

A musical synagogue celebration in Victoria, BC, Canada

Every so often we get e-mail, or the Jewish-music mailing list gets e-mail about someone participating in, or doing something interesting that we want to share as widely as possible. Narratives get placed on our "mailto:" page, and I invite readers to peruse Mary Lowther's short account of a ceremony dedicating a synagogue addition at "the oldest Jewish house of worship in continuous use in Canada". The piece was originally posted to the Jewish-music mailing list in response to a query about whether or not Jews still do "Jewish" dancing.

May 2, 2003

A tin whistle for klezmorim

I've developed a Tin Whistle that plays the D Ahava-Rabba Mode/Freygish with the first (bell) note in C (because a lot of Jewish Music in Ahava Rabba needs the C). It can be used to play the music or as a way to teach or/and familiarize with Jewish Music Modes. I'm also making some minor scale whisltes and a few other modes.

An Ahava Rabba mode whistle plays that mode instead of the typical major scale that a regular whistle would play. You can really jam in Ahava Rabba mode with this.

Daniel Bingamon
Jubilee Music Instrument Co.
Web: www.bingamon.com

April 27, 2003

Max and Minka accordion duo release

absolutely amazing album coverJeanette Lewicki is better known to many of us as the accordion and voice of San Francisco's anarcho-klezmer street trio, "The Gonifs," or from her work with the San Francsico Klezmer Experience. Now, paired with Matthew Fass as "Max and Minka" the duo have produced one of the loveliest klezmer/accordion/everything music CDs to have arrived in recent years. The first half of the CD consists of (mostly) Yiddish songs and klezmer. The second half, though, is an enormously inventive, wonderful "patchwork suite."

The cover is an amazing print of rather delightful artwork. Open up the CD and see the accordion fold connecting the duo. The lyrics are printed (albeit at leading that is a trifle tight) in a prime unreadable Yiddish typeface nicely matched to English.

This is the sort of CD that you purchase because it is a work of art, and then you discover that there is some great music on it, as well!

www.maxminka.com, while they last.

Continue reading "Max and Minka accordion duo release" »

April 14, 2003

Wu-Tang Clan to tour Israel

Bookmarklets | MOVABLE TYPE

I got a comment from Adam Holzband, in Austin Texas (home of the Austin Klezmorim and Rubinchik's Yiddish Ensemble, btw) mentioning that Jewish stuff occasionally "peeks through" on his weblog. Took a quick look and discovered that hip hop group, Wu-Tang, will be touring Israel soon. It doesn't strike me quite the same way it did when Memphis Slim showed up 30 years ago, but it sounds about right for this moment in time, as it goes.

Sometime, if there is ever a time to talk about things that never happened, I'll have to write about my attempts to get a friend, Bruce, who had been living with the Bedouin in the Sinai off and on for a while, to get them to smuggle us both to Egypt to hear the Grateful Dead at the pyramids. I'm still not sure if Bruce's demurral is one of the reasons I'm here today, or if I missed out on an incredible story. Or both.

And, thanks for the comment, Adam.

April 7, 2003

Yiddish Radio Project wins the Peabody Award

Yiddish Radio Project posterI first heard this on NPR, but Dan Peck was kind enough to post details to the Jewish-music mailing list. It is a wonderful series, and I am very excited that it won this recognition. There are some interesting ironies that I'll get to after the announcement:

"The Yiddish Radio Project, the 10 part series on the history of Yiddish broadcasting has won this years coveted Peabody prize. The Peabody Award for Excellence in Electronic Media is considered the most selective and prestigious award in broadcast journalism. The Yiddish Radio series was produced by Dave Isay and Henry Sapoznik.

"From the press release issued by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication which awards the prize:

"....A National Public Radio program special, "The Yiddish Radio Project," an exuberant celebration of memory, history, and nostalgia from Sound Portrait Productions provided the Peabody Board with some of its most enjoyable listening...."

"This is the first time in its 62 year history that a Peabody award has gone to a Yiddish program."

You can find out more at www.yiddishradioproject.org

Continue reading "Yiddish Radio Project wins the Peabody Award" »

March 26, 2003

Klezmatics new release, "Rise Up", May 13

album coverLorin Sklamberg writes to the Jewish-Music mailing list, commenting on rereleases of the two earliest Klezmatics albums, with even more intensely welcomed news:

"Rounder is reissuing both Rhythm + Jews (which was originally available in the U.S. on Flying Fish) and Shvaygn = Toyt (the Klezmatics' debut recording, never before available domestically).

"These, together with our new cd, Rise Up! Shteyt oyf! (finally set free from klezmer purgatory) are scheduled for release on May 13.

www.rounder.com/future.asp

"And, for those of you in the San Francisco Bay area, the band will perform as part of the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival this coming Saturday, March 29 at 8pm at Wheeler Auditorium, UC Berkeley with special guest Holly Near (who will join us for her [now bi-lingual] anthem, I Ain't Afraid).

"The evening will be MCd by none other than Ronnie Gilbert."

www.brjcc.org/html/jewish_music_festival.html

March 23, 2003

CRI bought by New World Records; CD dist sought

CD CoverJeffrey Schanzer writes:

"I'm writing because the CRI (Composers Recordings, Inc.) label, which put out my CD "No More In Thrall," is going out of business after almost 50 years. ... "No More In Thrall" was written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald, and is performed by the Sirius String Quartet with Kevin Norton on percussion. CRI's catalogue, which is quite extensive, will be take over by New World Records, which will re-release the CRI recordings over a number of years. Right now, CRI and its distributor is selling their remaining stock at a bargain rate price. So, I wanted to ask you to forward this to some of the Jewish music distributors you know from the list to see if they are interested in picking some up at a good price. No one will be distributing this for several years at least.

For remaining stock, and in particular for Jeff Schanzer's CD, visit: www.newworldrecords.org/CRI.html, and for information on NWR, visit their website at www.newworldrecords.org

March 8, 2003

"Kabbalah Music" CD Concert Art Exhibit, premiers Mar 9

Looks like kabbalah to me

"Kabbalah Music" CD Release Concert & Art Exhibit
Sisters Explore Jewish Mysticism through Music and Painting

Laura Wetzler in "Kabbalah Music: Songs of the Jewish Mystics" Sunday, March 9, 3pm at The Merkin Concert Hall, 129 W.67th St., NYC. Tickets $25. Call Box Office:(212) 501-3330, Special Guests: Alicia Svigals, violin (of the Klezmatics,) Amir Chehade & Robin Burdulis, mideast percussion; Scott Wilson, kanun; Maurice Chedid, oud. Set Design and Art Exhibit by Angela Milner.

In conjunction, "Kabbalah Music: Encaustic Paintings by Angela Milner" The Merkin Concert Hall Gallery, 129 W.67th St. NYC. March 9-April 1. Post "Kabbalah Music" concert reception and art opening in gallery. Gallery hours by appointment thereafter: (212) 307-1385.

Continue reading ""Kabbalah Music" CD Concert Art Exhibit, premiers Mar 9" »

February 28, 2003

Jozef Jankowski tsimbl article

Jozef JankowskiPete Rushefsky posts to the Jewish-music mailing list:

Some of you had the pleasure of meeting tsimbl player/maker Jozef Jankowski at KlezKamp. Just wanted to let you know that he's the coverboy of the latest issue of Dulcimer Player's News. Yes-- shameless self promotion-- I did write the article. Can see the cover and read an excerpt of the article at the following link: www.dpnews.com

For more on Jankowski tsimbls, see his page here on the KlezmerShack.

February 26, 2003

new issue of Zukunft on Jewish Music

The yiddish literary journal the Zukunft is now in its 110th year. It is the oldest Yiddish periodical today. The current issue is a special issue with a focus on Jewish Music.

This issue of the Zukunft (vol. 107, no.1) is available from The Congress for Jewish Culture for $6.00. A subscription to the Zukunft, a quarterly is $30.00. Please make checks out to the Congress for Jewish Culture. Please subscribe and have your library subscribe too!

Zukunft, 25 E. 21st. NY NY 10010
212-505-8040
Kongres@earthlink.net

Continue reading "new issue of Zukunft on Jewish Music" »

February 17, 2003

Rubinchik's Orkestyr back in print

a texas magen david, yee hawI was a Bob Wills fan already when I was in high school in Dallas, Texas. Mark Rubin's klezmer recording, "Rubinchik's Orkestyr" manages to fuse Texas swing with klezmer in ways that will tickle your ears and remind you that klezmer, like swing, is for dancing.

A recent missive from Mr. Rubin notes that the album is now back in print. These pages encourage those who do not yet have a personal copy of this marvellous disk to remedy the situation while the getting is good.

www.markrubin.com

Weimar Klezmer Weeks

Alan Bern, of Brave Old World, writes:

www.klezmer-wochen-weimar.de

I'd like to announce the Weimar Klezmer Weeks Workshops 2003, expanded to two whole weeks, from July 27 to August 10, in Weimar, Germany. There will be a special 3-day workshop concentrating on Yiddish song repertoire and style, conducted by Michael Alpert, Adrienne Cooper, Alan Bern and Marilyn Lerner, and special 3-day Yiddish danceworkshop, conducted by Zev Feldman, Michael Alpert, Brave Old World + Christian Dawid and Sanne Mricke, and finally, a week-long workshop for advanced klezmer musicians, instrumentalists only, conducted by Brave Old World, Frank London and Sophie Solomon (Oi Va Voi). Weimar is a wonderful city and the facilities for the workshop are incredible. Please check out the website for further information about this unique event. Web: www.klezmer-wochen-weimar.de

February 5, 2003

Wandering through Jewish tradition by BEN-CANAR: a new CD from OW

Best greetings from Poland!

I am writing to you because I would like to inform you that we just released the CD called "Nedudai" by SHANI BEN-CANA. This is wonderful record of young talented musician who lives in Safed, Israel.

Continue reading "Wandering through Jewish tradition by BEN-CANAR: a new CD from OW" »

February 4, 2003

Petition to British Musicians Union

www.jmwc.org/petition/petition.html.

These pages almost never get overtly into politics. I do have strong political views, and over the years have seldom not been active and seldom not pushed my own, often radical politics. These pages happen to be a place where the only "politics" focus on sharing music and culture. It's a place where I try to create, and to draw attention to people creating good music and good community.

Continue reading "Petition to British Musicians Union" »

February 2, 2003

KlezFest London returns 29 Jun - 10 Jul

Here we go: KlezFest London and Ot Azoy! are now open: You can find a
registration form on Website www.jmi.org.uk.

3rd JMI International Summer School in Klezmer music and Yiddish culture
SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, London WC1
Two weeks 29 June - 10 July 2003

Continue reading "KlezFest London returns 29 Jun - 10 Jul" »

Updated Sephardic Music Bibliography

Judith Cohen has updated her Sephardic Music Bibliography. Having promised to get it online if she sent it to me, I was finally forced to do something about this main page and get this weblog thing going. But, forget that. This item is about the updated bibliography, which is great! Enjoy, and many thanks to Dr. Cohen.

New home page

Welcome to the new KlezmerShack home page. I am still figuring everything out, but the main page is becoming a weblog, powered by "Movable type." Over the next few weeks, I'll be extending how I use the weblog, possibly even to how I run the calendar. There are a host of long-delayed changes coming to the KlezmerShack, and most important, CD reviews are coming back very, very soon.

One of the reasons I am moving to the weblog format is that readers can comment each entry.

September 29, 2002

Sephardic Songbook, 2nd Edition released

The Sephardic Songbook (2001 ISBN 3-87626-222-4) released 10 months ago by Aron Saltiel and Josh Horowitz is just entering the second edition (the first sold out).

Continue reading "Sephardic Songbook, 2nd Edition released" »

Kloset Klezmer Akkordeonists

Find out the most excruciating details of klezmer accordion history in this scathing and exhaustive article, written by Josh Horowitz and just released IN ENGLISH, in the mammoth issue of: 'The Accordion in all its guises - an issue of Musical Performance' (Harwood Academic Press, imprint of Gordon and Breach Publishers, Taylor and Francis, UK)

Continue reading "Kloset Klezmer Akkordeonists" »

September 28, 2002

Special Jewish Dance Publication

Jewish Folklore & Ethnology Review, Vol. 20, No. 1-2, Spring 2001. This issue, edited by Judith Brin Ingber, features richly illustrated articles about Israeli folk dance and dance in Israel; the first Israeli folk dance tour to European Displaced Persons camps in 1947; contemporary choreography in Israel and the U.S.; Jewish dance in Renaissance Italy and under Stalin; dance rituals of the Hasidim, Yemenites and Ethiopian Jews. The authors are expert European, Israeli and American dance scholars.

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July 21, 2002

Michail Alexsandrowitsch z"l

We bring you a sad information: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has reported, that the great belcanto voice from Lithauania, Michail Alexsandrowitsch has gone silent. A. died at the age of 84 in Munich, where he lived since 1991. Born in 1917 in Riga, A. was one of the last students of Benjamino Gigli and became a khasn and was very popular in russia, although, the regime had made his life as a singer, who never covered his jewishness, very hard. Golda Meir and the UN finally helped him to go to Israel in 1972. From albert.leonhard@fliegerjacken.de>.

April 27, 2002

Berkley's Boaz Accordions moves

Boaz Accordions is moving at the end of April. As of May 1, our new address is 1041 Folger St., Berkeley CA 94710. Telephone, email, website all remain the same. Tel. 510-845-1429 / fax 510-845-1430. email info@boazaccordions.com.

March 24, 2002

New CD by David Krakauer released in France

The Klezmer Madness CD entitled "12 Tribes" was released in France on March 15th. It is available from the French Amazon.com. It will be released in the USA in late 2002 early 2003. Early reports on the CD, and on the current Klezmer Madness tour indicate that this will be quite exciting.

February 24, 2002

Craig Taubman to release One Shabbat Morning CD

I am very pleased and excited to announce the upcoming release of "One Shabbat Morning". Over two years in the making, the CD features thirteen new melodies as well as special performances by guest Cantors Alberto Mizrahi, Patti Linsky and Ira Bigeleisen.

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February 10, 2002

New book on Synagogue Music

"The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue: History and Definition by Sholom Kalib." Publication date: March 2002. Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr. Binding: Hardcover. Subjects: Music; Ethnomusicology; History & Criticism.

Klezmatics album rereleases on Rounder records

Seth Rogovoy reports on the Jewish-music mailing list that The Klezmatics albums, "Jews with Horns" and "Possessed," both of which have been out of print for several years, are being re-released this week by Rounder Records. The new releases are exactly the same as the originals -- same music, same booklets. The only difference (as far as I can tell) is the Rounder logo and catalog numbers. Rounder already re-released "The Well," the group's collaboration with Chava Alberstein, last fall.