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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

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Beyle Schaechter-GottesmanOn Sept. 26, Itzik Gottesman posted to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Hi. We just got back from D.C. where my mother, Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman received the NEA National Heritage Fellowship for Yiddish poetry, songwriting and singing. Check out this webpage from Senator Clinton's website. clinton.senate.gov/news/statements/details.cfm?id=246379&& It was nice to see supporters of Yiddish song at the ceremony on Captial Hill including Theodore Bikel, Shura Lipovsky and fellow lister Michael Spudic.

At the concert, in Lisner Auditorium my mom sang an unaccompanied Yiddish folksong (bay mayn mames shtibele) and that was followed by two songs ("Vos hot lib a yidele" "A zemerl aza" ) that she composed which were performed wonderfully by Michael Alpert, Deborah Strauss, Peter Rushefsky and Theresa Tova.

Amid all the other great music performed by the awardees (Cajun fiddle from Michael Doucet of Beausoleil, rockabilly from Wanda Jackson, gospel, Hawaiin, Carter Family country music, Tamburitza) I think Jewish music made quite an impression.

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