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Christian Dawid on Klez-Vienna

Christian Dawid posts this to the Jewish-Music mailing list. Note that the Klez-MORE Festival comes up July 3-10, www.klezmore-vienna.at

... seems like Vienna is the place to be these weeks in Klezmerland. Looking forward to Ruth Schwarz' KlezMore, I just returned from Roman Grinberg's KlezVienna, and I'm deeply impressed.

The concerts were superb - thanks to Maxwell Street Klezmer, Kishinev's Theatre of Jewish Song, Grinberg's own Frejlech, Stanislav Rayko and many others. But most important seemed the in-depth work at the seminar. What makes KlezVienna special is the intense collaboration of East and West - people from Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Austria, Slovenia... and some people, like the Grinberg brothers themselves, who seem to have lived in all of those countries. We basically exchanged tunes, dances, stories and knowledge all day and night.

My favorite revelation were Konsonans Retro, a six-piece family brass band from Kodyma, Ukraine. They're not Jewish, but still playing the repertoire and style they learned from their fathers and grandfathers, who had played with Jews. Wonderful repertoire, wonderful sound, wonderful people.

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