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News catchup: Shloimke Beckerman tapes discovered

Originally received 6/25/07:

Sid Beckerman; photo courtesy Living TraditionsRare recording of klezmer great Shloimke Beckerman uncovered.
Help Living Traditions release and distribute this treasure in memory of his son, Sid Beckerman, z"l

This last April 4th, the klezmer music world lost one of its best loved and most important members, clarinetist Sid Beckerman who died at the age of 87 of the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. Sid was a beloved teacher and mentor at KlezKamp from the very first KlezKamp.

Ironically, at just about the same time, some astounding sound footage from the 1950s turned up of Sid's father and teacher Shloimke Beckerman, demonstrating what an astounding and unique musician he was, even at the age of 70. Recorded at a family gathering, the recording features Shloimke powerfully playing a wide variety of shers, bulgars, doinas and freylekhs. Sadly, Sid, who knew nothing of the home field recording, was too far affected by his illness to appreciate this amazing discovery and died without ever hearing it.

In an effort to memorialize the great contributions Sid made to our community Living Traditions is undertaking to digitally remaster and issue this astounding sound footage—plus several of Shloimke's jaw-dropping clarinet solos form the 1920s—to raise money for a scholarship fund in Sid's honor.

To this end, Sid's best friend and cornerstone of the klezmer scene, Pete Sokolow has generously contributed $1,000 to this $5,000 project. We are reaching out to the Living Traditions/KlezKamp community to join Pete to help us underwrite this critically important project. Any amount is welcome and all donations will be noted in the CD card insert. Please contribute at our website, www.livingtraditions.org (indicate that your donation is for the Beckerman Fund) or contact our office to donate by phone or by mail.