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Tarras Band, Lerner & Moguilevsky, Shura Lipovsky kick off BJMF

Such an amazing official kickoff to the Boston Jewish Music Festival last night. The first half was a heimish, wonderfully played tour of familiar klezmer from Dave Tarras and Naftule Brandwein--The Tarras Band--complete with Pete Sokolow, David Licht, Jim Gutmann, Ben Holmes, and Michael Winograd. Pete's comments on Tarras and the bad old days remain a big part of the fun, as was his final solo at the end of the set where he unleashed his inner "Klezmer Fats."

Anywhere else, that would have been enough, but then Lerner and Moguilevsky took to the stage and we realized that listening to the Tarras Band was in part so that we'd be able to associate the intense and wonderful improvisational music we were now hearing with the originals. I haven't seen the band for a couple of years (Ashkenaz, Toronto, as usual). Such a wonderful feeling to see them on a local stage. But then, Shura Lipovsky took the stage with a big, wonderful voice and Yiddish originals and Cesar and Marcelo were the perfect accompaniment. Talk about three musicians in one mind and performing intimately, flawlessly.

Lerner and Moguilevsky are in New Hampshire today. Lipovsky is off to Berkeley where she will perform with Theo Bikel. Check out the full schedule at http://bostonjewishmusicfestival.org/events/