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May 28, 2004

Rogovoy on Mikveh, Golem

Seth Rogovoy covers a recent concert by both Mikveh and Golem in Western Massachusetts: Klezmer revived and recontextualized.

May 23, 2004

I will be teaching at KlezKanada, Aug 25-29, this year

KlezKanada logoKlezKanada is one of my favorite Klezmer gatherings. This one takes place at a Jewish summer camp north of Montreal. It always includes amazing teachers in everything ranging from dance to singing to theatre to making music. There are great kids activities, as well.

The one thing lacking at KlezKanada, KlezKamp, KlezCalifornia, and other such events has been someone to speak to Hebrew letterforms: what Hebrew typography looks like, or how to put together a songsheet or CD liner notes that work well for readers (or singers). Being the only Hebrew Typesetter, Extraordinaire of my acquaintance, and desiring to spend time with some of my best friends, I have convinced the organization to let me teach on these subjects this year. I hope someone is able to tear himeself or herself away from playing music to do so. My wife, Judith Pinnolis, of the Jewish Music WebCenter will also be there, speaking about Women in Jewish American music, as well as giving her popular workshops on finding music resources on the web. We'll also be working on an as-yet-unspecified weblog project to put pictures, writing, and possibly sounds from the week up on the web as it happens. We hope that you will join us. We'd love to meet you.

I will be adding Hebrew Typography resources to my new weblog on the subject as I develop my lecture. For more information on that subject, do visit my Hebrew Typography weblog. Among the resources that I hope to have online soon are a critique of a synagogue prayerbook and my lecture from Type90 at Oxford, UK.

For further information about KlezKanada — and do register soon to get a place — see the Aug 23 listing, or visit the KlezKanada website, www.klezkanada.com

May 22, 2004

Seth Rogovoy on Mikveh

Seth Rogovoy writes to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Yesterday's Berkshire Eagle included an article by yours truly on the all-star klezmer/Yiddish group, Mikveh, featuring an interview with vocalist Adrienne Cooper, "Mikveh puts Yiddish women in front line"

May 10, 2004

New recommendations on the "mailto" page

When I started the KlezmerShack, I would often get e-mails from other fans about concerts, local bands, and the like. These days, many people have their own websites to which I link, and longer narratives wind up as their own articles hosted here on the KlezmerShack. Many others participate in the Jewish-Music mailing list. That's all good, but I am sorry that there are fewer short messages about bands or concerts or other Jewish music experiences. A good example is this short message about three bands whose music he especially enjoys playing on his show, from Michael W. Atleson, who hosts a Jewish music show up in Portland, ME. You can view it as the latest entry on the "mailto" page, one of the very first KlezmerShack pages.

May 7, 2004

Lag B'Omer melodies digitized in Israel, now on web

The Jewish National and University Library (JNUL) is pleased to offer access to a new sample of digitized music from its National Sound Archives. The Lag Ba'omer selection includes versions of Bar Yohai piyyutim and other songs from various Jewish communities as well as Klezmer melodies for the pilgrimage to Miron.

The recordings can be accessed at: jnul.huji.ac.il/dl/music/lagbaomer

The digitization of the National Sound Archives is part of the JNUL's David and Fela Shapell Family Digitization Project.

Interview with composer Ofer Ben-Amots at Milken Archive site

A new interview with Ofer Ben-Amots is featured on the homepage of the Milken Archive Web site. Also, the CDs page now features the David Diamond and Ofer Ben-Amots CDs, which are now available.

May 4, 2004

New Yiddish+Tsimbl album by Kaplan and Rushefsky

album coverAnnouncing a new CD by Rebecca Kaplan & Pete Rushefsky:

Oyf di vegelekh / On the Paths: Yiddish Songs with Tsimbl

a Yiddishland Records release www.yiddishlandrecords.com

Available from: www.hatikvahmusic.com

Beautiful and haunting Yiddish folk songs accompanied by the tsimbl (cimbalom), a harp-like hammered dulcimer. In "On the Paths," Rebecca Kaplan & Pete Rushefsky have brought to life rarely-heard gems of Yiddish music from collections by Moshe Beregovski, the Mloteks, Mariam Nirenberg, Joseph Moskowitz and Ruth Rubin, as well as materials learned from Soviet-born folk singer Larisa Novicheva and her mother Anna. Both artists additionally contribute original works, including "Shoyn fir yor," a new Yiddish song by Rebecca Kaplan. The CD includes a 20-page booklet that presents all lyrics in Yiddish/transliteration/English translation.

Pete Rushefsky: prushefsky@yahoo.com
Rebecca Kaplan: rivkele@juno.com

[Disclaimer: Ari Davidow typeset the liner notes and thinks they look almost as good as the music sounds. Signed, Ari Davidow]

The Artists

Kaplan & Rushefsky have thrilled audiences across the Northeast United States, including performances at the Eastman School of Music�s World Music Festival, the New England Folk Festival, the Central New York KlezFest and New York's Tonic.

Rebecca Kaplan (vocals, piano, buben [drum]) has created a vibrant performance style for Yiddish folk song which is grounded in Jewish sensibility. An elementary school music teacher in the Boston area, she holds degrees in music from the University of Rochester and Indiana University. She has performed as a vocalist and instrumentalist with klezmer bands in Massachusetts, Indiana, and New York State.

Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl) is a leading revivalist of the tsimbl, or Jewish hammered dulcimer. He performs with some of the finest practitioners of traditional klezmer music including Adrianne Greenbaum, Steven Greenman, Rebecca Kaplan, Joel Rubin and Alicia Svigals. He won much critical acclaim for his CD with violinist Elie Rosenblatt entitled "Tsimbl un Fidl: Klezmer Music for Hammered Dulcimer & Violin" and he appears with Michael Alpert and Deborah Strauss on Yiddish poet/songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman's CD "Af di gasn fun der shtot - On the Streets of the City" (Yiddishland Records). A popular instructor at KlezKamp and KlezKanada, Pete is also the author of a pioneering instructional book on adapting the American 5-string banjo for klezmer.

The Music

  • Tumba (traditional)
  • Ven es dremlt dos shtetl (lyrics: Joseph Heftman, music: Gershon/Eksman)
    From the repertoire of Larisa and Anna Novicheva
  • Prince Carol Sirba
    From the repertoire of Joseph Moskowitz.
  • Ikh hob gevolt (Traditional)
  • A glezele yash (lyrics: Yoysef Kerler, music: V. Shainsky)
  • Terkish
    From the repertoire of Joseph Moskowitz.
  • Tayerer rebenyu
    From the repertoire of Larisa and Anna Novicheva.
  • In droysn iz fintster (traditional) / Vos vilstu, muter, hobn? (traditional) / Freylekh far Rivke (P. Rushefsky)
  • Shlof, mayn kind (original lyrics by Sholem Aleichem)
    A well-known song with many variants.
  • Shoyn fir yor (lyrics/music: Rebecca Kaplan)
    Thanks to Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman and Michael Alpert for assistance with lyrics.
  • Sadegurer Khusidl
    From the repertoire of Joseph Moskowitz
  • Vos zhe toyg mir dayn sheyner vayngortn? (traditional)
  • Oyf di vegelekh (Traditional) / Yanyinke Sirba (P. Rushefsky)
    Oyf di vegelekh is a song from the repertoire of Mariam Nirenberg

Pete Rushefsky: prushefsky@yahoo.com
Rebecca Kaplan: rivkele@juno.com

May 1, 2004

New Reviews of all sorts

It's been a busy day. I think this is the most I've reviewed in many months. But this is still just the tip of the iceberg - there is so much good stuff to come. Here then, in no apparent order:

The eternal mother exemplified, indeed!Rita Ottens and Joel Rubin continue an excellent series of anthologies with Di Eybike Mame (The Eternal Mother) Women in Yiddish Theater and Popular Song 1905-1929

I've seen just this same kabalistic cover on yet another Jewish avant garde album 10 years agoThis new Montreal band joins our small category of interesting bands doing topical, political Yiddish music. Quite interesting: Black Ox Orkestar / Ver Tanzt?, 2004

artsy radio tower and reasonable typeIt's sort of "world folk chamber music" and I love it. There's a lot of accordion, played exceptionally well, which is always endearing. Check out 3 Leg Torso / Astor in Paris, 2003

amazing graphics from Golden Horn - I only did the typeI began to rave about this band from the moment I heard the first notes. I also typeset the liner notes, so I might not be considered sufficiently neutral. Hence, the inclusion of Roger Reid's comments - no less rabidly enthusiastic than my own. Veretski Pass / (eponymous), 2004

Album cover: Another non-obvious Tzadik coverThis French band is one of the few that I rate up there with hometown favorites, Naftule's Dream. There is some passionate exploration of Jewish cultural existence in Europe with music ranging from Yiddish to heavy metal and experimental jazz. This is quite excellent. Zakarya / something obvious, 2003

Album cover: Lovely leaf print. Good English/Hebrew type mixI reviewed only one Sephardic album this week, but this one is incredibly good. It will be on your turntable for quite a while. Kol Tof Duo / Camino en Mano, 2003

Album cover: Interesting idea that somehow doesn't work.I'm probably the last person to review this excellent children's album, with songs for several Jewish holidays from a secular perspective. Cahan-Simon has a beautiful voice and she is backed by the best. The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble / Vessel of Song: The Music of Mikhl Gelbart, 2003

Album cover: I dunno. Fussy.Another album that everyone is talking about and excitedly purchasing. Here's my take on the best traditional American klezmer album of the year - maybe longer. Elaine Hoffman Watts / I Remember Klezmer, 2003

The list of all klezmershack reviews.

"Di Shtockshpil" revisited

Helen Winkler has been gathering information about "shtockshpil," which sounds like a Yiddish version of musical chairs. She has gathered description, poem, and even music together:

For anyone interested, I have posted my Shtockshpil info, including a partial scan of the sheet music on my web page. Unfortunately, the person who I received the scan from must have change e-mail addresses and Im unable to find him, to see if he can scan the entire page of sheet music and Im unsure as to the source of the music. Anyways, here it is:

Dance Stories
Partial sheet music scan

If anyone has any additions or comments, please email Helen Winkler.