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September 30, 2003

Radio feature on Tzadik artists

Several Tzadik artists: Steve Bernstein, Roberto Rodriguez (w/David Krakauer), Paul Shapiro are performing tomorrow night in NYC.

For a Jon Kalish radio article on the artists performing, check out the audio link for the "All Things Considered" profile discover.npr.org/rundowns/rundown.jhtml?prgDate=09/29/2003&prgId=2 Scroll to the bottom of the page and click to listen on "Jazz Gets a Jewish Twist"

September 28, 2003

Days of Awe review

It's the Days of Awe, and it is an especially fitting time to note David Chevan's new jazz project, "Davs of Awe." You can read a full description and review in Hartford, CT's Jewish Ledger: "High Holiday liturgy is focus of new CD", by Mara Dresner

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".

Western Sephardic Music Tradition

In response to a query to the Jewish-music mailing list, Barry Mehler posts the following to the the list:

If you click on the below link and then click on the text of Mizmor leDavid you will find a recording of an excellent example of the Western Sefardic Music Tradition. This melody of Mizmor leDavid was composed on commission for the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam just after the turn of the (20th) century by Victor Schlesinger.

Applogies for the distortion in the recording caused by the compression.


September 21, 2003

Alicia Svigals to appear in Boston, Sep 24

One of the most incendiary violinists around, co-founder of the Klezmatics and now moving beyond, Alicia Svigals will be appearing in Boston this week. It's a free concert. It will be amazing. I'm not sure what will come up to prevent me from coming, but I expect to make a more-than-usually-extraordinary effort, because Svigals is simply amazing. She's also being accompanied by some of the best: Jim Guttman, bass; Miriam Rabson and Rohan Gregory, violins; Pete Rushefsky, tsimbl; and Larry Eagle, percussion. I'm not familiar with Gregory's playing, but if he's as good as Rabson* and Svigals, this should be incendiary times three.

Free and open to the public. For information call 617-353-8096. For more details, see the Klezmer Calendar

*Rabson played at my wedding. I may be biased.

Klezmer class starts Sep 23, Boston

Phil Brown writes:

I want to call people's attention to the klezmer ensemble class at the JCC in Newton. It starts Sept. 23 and is held every Tuesday 8-9:30. Led by accordionist Barry Shapiro, the group plays mainly klezmer, with some Chassidic and Jewish theater tunes. There are about 8 regular members who have been there for a while, plus others who stay a shorter while. We perform at several public venues over the year, including senior centers, hospitals, shuls, and Purimshpiels.

There are three terms a year from September to June. For people not members of JCC, it is $150 a term, or $300 for the year (3 terms). For members, it is a little cheaper.

Please email me if you have any other questions.

Phil Brown

More on KlezKanada, on the radio

Posted by RL Reid to the Jewish-music mailing list:

I'm still, myself, trying to get back on track after Klez Kanada.

I just now got to listen to the archive of Itzik Gottesman's report on Klex Kanada on the Foverts Hour from the end of August. It is wonderfully done with some superb music, , and the yiddish is not too hard to follow for a dumkop like me.

www.1050wevd.com/stored/storedprograms.php3 and click on August 30. The segment on Klez Kanada is between 25:00 and 38:00.

There is of course, much more winderful stuff in there as well. Itzik, you talented and lucky fellow (never mind me, I started out to be a radio producer and ended up with - um - a different day job).

It's good radio, folks, give a listen.

Article: Klezmer Dance at KlezKanada

Helen Winkler caught this article and posted the link to the Jewish-music mailing list a couple of weeks ago: Wrapping Their Feet Around the Music, by William Meyers, in the Sep 5, 2003 edition of the Yiddish Forward (English language edition).

New Entries on Rainlore's Jewish Music pages

Richard Sharma writes last month (okay, I'm slow):

New Review: Monsieur Camembert - Absynthe: A review of the above album is now available on Rainlore's World of Music (www.rainlore.demon.co.uk). Monsieur Camembert is an outstanding band from down under blending klezmer with gypsy music, swing, musette music and tango with irresistable results.

There's also a new profile of versatile composer and double bassist Daphna Sadeh, www.rainlore.demon.co.uk/Artists/DaphnaSadeh.html

There are also brief if somewhat belated tributes to Herbie Mann (z"l) and Howie Leess (z"l) on the Jewish Music page - www.rainlore.demon.co.uk/JewishMusic/

(An updated page of eulogies dedicated to Howie Leess, originally posted to the Jewish-Music mailing list is also available.

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.