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March 25, 2007


video coverWe just saw a rather amazing, transgressive movie called "Mendy." Released in 2003, it is about a young man who leaves the Satmar community and must figure out who he is. He must also figure out how to survive in a world where he has no skills—no knowledge of the world outside of studying in the yeshiva—no geography, no math, nothing. The movie touches on the usual religious transgressions (including a sexual scene involving t'fillin), but it is in the thoughtfulness with which the main character makes the transition from his familiar, beloved former life of prayer and devotion to G-d that the movie's impact is greatest.

Having known several people who have left ultra-orthodox communities over the years, the film plays true. It is far more idealized than real life, but in presenting these philosophical monologues, and in playing off idealized persons, the movie reveals truth in its mix of black and white, and reveals the humanity in all of its characters, even those who are less sympathetic. And despite the idealization, I realized that I knew more than a few people of whom the movie's characters reminded me.

Notable, as well, is the music of Jeremiah Lockwood's Sway Machinery. From the opening electrified punkish klezmer, to the very punk cantorial music in the live concert by Sway Machinery presented as one of the extras, Lockwood channels a different edge Jewish music from the usual. The band has undergone some significant changes in the last year, and I find myself again eager to hear and see where those changes take them today.

March 24, 2007

Klezmer and Maqamim in Tel Aviv

Batya Fonda posted this review of a concert in Tel Aviv to the Jewish-Music mailing list. Those familiar with the new age Tzadik recording band, Davka, or the San Francisco Klezmer Band, KlezX will be very familiar with Hoffman's work. He moved to Israel several months ago. Review reposted here with the author's permission:

Tel Aviv was definitely the place to be on Tuesday for a fabulous night of Klezmer and Yiddish, as well as Eastern Jewish sounds.

The "Karpion" trio, featuring violinist Daniel Hoffman; Avishai Fish: vocals and accordion; and Gershon Weiserfihrer: baritone and oud (not at the same time!)—gave very interesting renditions of Yiddish and other folksongs from central Europe. All three are terrific musicians—and proved that going back to the roots of klezmer and Yiddish folksong can be a really gratifying experience. A few years ago, I did a workshop on Yiddish folksong with Avishai, who has an enormous repertoire of these songs.

The other three bands performing that night were also GREAT: "Oy Division", with guest artists Zev Feldman (tsimbl) and vocalist Noam Inbar; a tenor sax trio (Eyal Talmudi) with a jazzy sound showing the general direction klezmer is moving towards today; and, finally, "Yonah", a band which has nothing to do with klezmer, but performing a genre of music which is becoming popular in Israel—i.e., renditions based on piyyutim and the Eastern maqamim (Turkey, Haleb, Syria, Bavel … Iraq, Morocco, Persia, etc.).

All in all, an absolutely wonderful evening spanning an authentic, interesting and very enjoyable Jewish experience.

UK Conference on Ernest Bloch

Ernest Bloch
Sunday 29 July - Wednesday 1 August 2007
Ernest Bloch: The Man and his Music for the 21st Century
International Conference
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University
Key Bloch scholars will present papers on all aspects.
Includes: recital, banquet, and visit to the famous archive of the Cairo
Geniza housed at Cambridge University Library as well as punting on the
River Cam.
Registration: J Audrey Ellison (Bloch Conference Administrator
135 Stevenage Road, Fulham, London, SW6 6PB United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7381 9751
Fax:+44 (0)20 7381 2406
Find more information and download Registration Form from the Jewish Music
Institute Website www.jmi.org.uk

Metro Klezmer meets "American Shadkhn"

Metropolitan Klezmer has put up several clips of songs performed at a recent concert. That would be reason enough to mosey over to YouTube, but film expert and bandleader Eve Sicular has also tied this particular video back to it's original soundtrack. And, for those unfamiliar with American Shadkhn with the late comedian Leo Fuchs, there's more to this story than just the pshat.

March 22, 2007

New Klezmer Reviews by George Robinson

George Robinson posts to the Jewish-Music list:

Thought you'd be interested in my latest record column, which toasts several frequent contributors to this list (you know who you are):

Long Time Coming: Budowitz and the Joel Rubin Ensemble are back after long hiatuses (and more!)

March 20, 2007

The Music of Ancient Israel to "Jimmi Hendrix"-style klezmer!

As received:

I am writing,should you be interested in some of the musical material I have recently broadcast on youtube.com, which amongst other things,features my attempts at bringing back to life the ancient sounds of the Jewish Temple Lyre,the "Kinnor",last played by my very own Levite ancestors in the Temple of Jerusalem,almost 2000 years ago...now only played,in my spare room,Salford,Lancashire,England!

Check out the the following link to all my somewhat unique musical videos which I have so far uploaded(which,amongst other things,also include an even more unique fusion of "Jimmi Hendrix" style electric violin and traditional Klezmer!!!)...


Mike Levy

Leibu Levin - a new Anthology of music to Yiddish Poetry

From Ruth Levin a few months ago:

'Leibu Levin: Word and Melody' book coverDear friend,

May I recommend for your Yiddish Music library a new anthology of music to Yiddish poetry—Leibu Levin. Word and Melody, published by I.L. Peretz Publications. Leibu Levin (1914–1983), called Yiddish Schubert, the late Czernowitz born Yiddish actor, singer and composer, was a real troubadour of Yiddish literature. Levin's compositions have been sung also by other Yiddish singers, but until now, there was no anthology of his work.

The new Anthology, compiled by Ruth Levin, the composer’s daughter, includes most of Levin's lifetime work. Piano arrangements are by Hanan Winternitz. All the texts are in Yiddish, English and Hebrew.

The Anthology can be ordered from Ruth Levin for 41 $ USA
E-mail Ruth Levin

The anthology contains 49 songs to poems by 21 Yiddish poets (I. Manger, H. Leivick, H. N. Bialik, M.-L. Halpern, Sh. Halkin and others), photos and drawings. Ruth Levin, the composer's daughter and renowned singer, provides a preface and an epilogue. The volume includes piano arrangements by Hanan Winternitz.

All the texts are in Yiddish, English and Hebrew

“… Presented to us here is not only an outstanding interpreter of the poetic word in Yiddish, but an actual revealer of worlds. And not just because he was the first to discover the true faces of poets from whom we possessed not more than a faded remnant, but rather, due to his incisive understanding and rare ability to comprehend and live literature anew, helit for us secret corners in well known literature as well, such as the fables of Eliezer Steinbarg, the writings of Moshe Leib Halpern, Moshe Nadir, Simha Schwartz, and above all – the poems of Itzik Manger. Leibu Levin apparently is the first one to read Manger …."—Haim Gininger

"… This composer did not know the music notation. But being an artist of the highest level, an artistic reciter and singer and an expert in Yiddish literature, he succeeded in creating a wonderful combination of poetry and melody where the music is a full partner with the existing poetic text. The tune grows from the words, and to those who hear these songs it seems that it was born with them…."—Dr. Hanan Winternitz

"… Leibu Levin's songs merit inclusion among the cultural treasures of European Jewish music, which is an integral part of European musical culture as a whole. And I am convinced that all lovers of poetry and music will draw from them not only pleasure and satisfaction, but also the sense that in their preservation and in their being heard there is, in addition, something of historic justice."—Prof. Tzvi Avni, composer

The Anthology can be ordered from Ruth Levin for 41 $ USA
E-mail Ruth Levin

NPR story on Ladino

Joel Bresler spotted this one:

Lost Language of Ladino Revived in Spain, by by Jerome Socolovsky

Morning Edition, March 19, 2007—Medieval Spanish Jews spoke Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, for centuries. Now a small group is trying to revive Ladino, with assistance from the Spanish government. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=8989551

new editon of "Jewish Heritage Travel" released today

book coverRuth Gruber just posted this to the Jewish-Music mailing list. I travelled all over Eastern Europe ten years ago using the previous edition (which was snapped off my shelf from a fellow-traveler, so who knows where it's gone since then). I should also note to the uninitiated that Ruth Gruber is also the author of 2001's highly-acclaimed "Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe".

I'm pleased to announce the publication of my book, "National Geographic Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to Eastern Europe," which officially comes out today, March 20. It's a new, updated and expanded edition of my original Jewish Heritage Travel, which first came out in back in 1992—a lot has changed since then….

The new edition includes 14 countries—Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Macedonia, and Montenegro. Lithuania and Ukraine (mainly western Ukraine) are newly added; sites in the other countries have been updated. There are all-new pictures, and the book has been redesigned. I include web resources and publications, as well as addresses for kosher facilities, synagogues, etc.

Alas, there was only room to note a few of the Jewish culture/music/etc festivals, but there is a book-event for it scheduled for this summer's Krakow festival, and probably also one in Prague the week before that.

The book is available at internet bookselling sites and (I hope) in bookstores.

March 19, 2007

Extended liner notes to "Shalom Comrade!" announced, plus new articles

CD coverProfessor Joel Rubin posts this note to the Jewish-Music list:

I'm happy to announce that the extended booklet text to the CD Shalom Comrade!: Yiddish Music in the Soviet Union 1928-1961 (Schott Wergo SM 1627-2) by Rita Ottens and myself is finally available:


This includes a lengthier essay in English and Russian, a shorter version of same in German, plus complete song texts in Yiddish and transliterated Yiddish with English translations. For a variety of reasons, it ended up taking about one year longer than we had originally planned.

I think I also neglected to mention the recent publication of the following book, which may interest some of you:

Juedische Musik und ihre Musiker im 20. Jahrhundert (Jewish Music and Its Musicians in the 20th Century), ed. Wolfgang Birtel, Joseph Dorfman and Christoph-Hellmut Mahling. Schriften zur Musikwissenschaft (Musicological Writings; Musicology Institute of the University of Mainz). Mainz: ARE Musikverlag, 2006.

This came out of an international conference on Jewish music at the University of Mainz in 1998 and contains the following articles:

Joel E. Rubin. Heyser Bulgar (The Spirited Bulgar): Compositional process in Jewish-American dance music of the 1910s and 1920s.

Rita Ottens. "Die wueste Stadt Berlin": Ein Versuch zur Standortbestimmung jiddischer Musik unter den juedischen Zuwanderern aus der ehemaligen Sowjetunion in Berlin ("The Desolate City of Berlin": An attempt to determine the position of Yiddish music among Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union).

The volume also contains an article by ethnomusicologist Gila Flam of Jerusalem as well as a number of articles on various interactions of Jews and Western art music.

The roots of the tune, Miserlu

From Andy Tannenbaum comes this incredible page on the history of the tune, "Miserlu"—note that this isn't the page on the dance, just on the tune, itself, and its many applications:

I was reading this interesting note on Misirlou:www.dinosaurgardens.com/archives/297

I never connected Misirlou with Mitzrayim.

Note the versions by Seymour Rexite: www.dinosaurgardens.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/seymour_rexite _-_miserlou.mp3, and by Rabbi Nuftali Zvi Margolies Abulafia: www.dinosaurgardens.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/rabbi_abulafia_-_misirlou.mp3.

More on Abulafia: www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=507661

The 30 minute documentary:
[you can get a username/password from the bugmenot website, if necessary]

Jimmy Buffet meets Manishevitz

Keep an eye out for the plagues.

March 18, 2007

Brave Old World concerts in Newton cancelled

Those of us awaiting the arrival of Brave Old World to the Newton JCC this weekend are disappointed. Due to Friday's storm, the band was unable to arrive in time and the concerts were cancelled. No makeup date has been set yet.

March 15, 2007

Kudos to violin teacher Steven Greenman

This is worth passing on, from DeeAnn Gillispie. I've always appreciated Steven's playing, but here is confirmation of his skill as a teacher:

Master Klezmer violinist Steve Greenman offers private lessons in the Cleveland, Ohio area. I recently flew up there and spent three intensive days studying with Steve and learned so much about the style, ornamentation and rhythm, it's unbelieveable! His expertise is available to anyone who asks, so check in with him if you'd like to do some in-depth study. His web site is www.stevengreenman.com and you can contact him from there.

Best Wishes, DeeAnn Gillispie, Montain View, Arkansas
E-mail DeeAnn Gillispie

Two new European discographies

Julian Futter reports (just a couple of months ago—sometimes I am very behind) to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

… Just to let you know that Dr Rainer Lotz, who was behind the 11 CD set "Vorbei"—Beyond recall, the survey of Jewish recordings in the Nazi era has just released a discography of Jewish recordings in German speaking countries. "Discographie der Judaica-Aufnahmen". This book covers 78rpm recordings made from 1901 up to 1960. It is complimentary to Spottswood since Spottwood only covers recordings made in the USA. It is nearly 600 pages long and covers more than 400 performers. Covering all aspects of Jewish life, culture, religion and anti-semitism it therefore also includes entries for Thomas Mann, Ze'ev Jabotinsky and many of the leaders and functionaries of the 3rd Reich. Among other performers there are full details for S Kwartin, J. Rosenblatt, Julius Guttmann and many others. Although entirely in German, the material is so well laid out that a knowledge of German is not necessary to be able to make full use of it. It costs 60 Euros and can be obtained directly from him at Birgit Lotz Verlag, Jean Paul Str 6, 53173 Bonn, Germany email: disc at lotz-verlag.de

Whilst on the topic of discographies, Tomasz Lerski in Warsaw has produced an extraordinary discography and history of the Jewish owned Syrena record label. Among the hundreds of artists who recorded for this label, before and after the First World War, were Belf's orchestra, Aaron Lebedeff, Sirota, David Oistrakh, Moses Kussevitsky, Wladyslaw Szpilman (the subject of Polanski's "The Pianist") and pretty much anyone who recorded in Poland. It is copiously illustrated and includes a biographical dictionary containing nearly 900 entries. However unless you can read Polish much of the information will be hard to decipher. This book has been an incredible labour of love and is an absolutely invaluable tool for any serious student of Jewish recordings and culture in Poland. It cost me about 75 Euros when I bought it last year. Again it can be obtained direct from Mr Lerski at Blekitna 83, 04-663 Warsaw Poland or Rokosowska 7/5,02-348 Warsaw Poland. His email is tomasz.lerski at post.pl

New Hanna Tiferet CD

This is more music of a type that I do not listen to often. But Tiferet and her husband, Daniel Siegel, used to live nearby and I miss them very much—Daniel especially—so, in the best of all worlds, this becomes a major hit and they can afford to (and want to) move back to Boston from their home in Vancouver. Hah! But, in the meantime, check out the CD.

SEEDS of WONDER, Hanna Tiferet's seventh recording, has come to life during this first week of Shevat. It may be late for Hanukkah, but it's just in time for Tu B'Shevat!

cd coverSEEDS of WONDER contains 15 new song-prayers to nourish your heart and soul. Once again, Hanna has created beautiful music that will carry you through hard times, help you prepare for Shabbat, inspire your children, and renew your connection to ancient texts.

She is joined by a host of talented musicians including Shulamit Wise Fairman, Cantor Jeff Klepper, and a choir of angels. SEEDS of WONDER is available both digitally and in a full CD format from www.cdfreedom.com

New CD: "Journey to Shabbat"

ensemble from 'Journey to Shabbat'

I got this e-mail from Cantor Rita Glassman in San Francisco. It sounds like it could be quite extraordinary:

"I am the Cantor of Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco. I have just finished a CD of contemporary Jewish prayers entitled, "Journey to Shabbat". A small but high quality ensemble and I recorded this album in my 102 year old sanctuary with its amazing acoustics and historical associations (it is one of the few houses of worship to survive the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco). I wonder if you might consider reviewing the CD for Jewish communal readerships and/or sharing any advice about ways I can get this CD out. A project that was 2 years in the making. I poured a lot of heart and soul into this-my first Jewish recording after doing four other more univeral/spiritual albums."

You read more, listen to samples, and order the CD from CDbaby.com—this could be the West Coast answer to "With Every Breath" (recorded a few years ago in NYC's Bnai Jeshurun).

March 14, 2007

Tecsoi and the late Hutsel/Gutsel Craze

I'm not sure how the subject came up. I'm not even sure how to spell "Hutsul". All I know is that suddenly there was one of those amazing Roger Reid gems on the Jewish-Music list, on a subject about which I knew nothing. Then other list members responded. I present here the discussion highlights as they illuminate an interesting subject, seen from the unique Jewish-Music prism.

Read the Hutsel article

BA Music offers a blintze recipe for Passover

Bill Averbach (the "BA" of "BA Music"), the person who provides us with the amazing recording of The Big Megilla every year, weighs in with something new (to us) for the upcoming Passover holiday:

Well Shalom Y’all! (again)

I am doing a little workshop on how to make Kosher for Passover Blintzes for the Sisterhood at one of the Temples in Charlotte. (Great way to meet older women!)

(Don’t tell my wife)

So here’s the Blintze recipe.

The recipe makes about 8-10 of these buggers.

Oh yes, don’t forget to visit my web site www.bamusic.net (and you thought I was just being nice)

Bill Averbach

Passover Blintze Recipe

This recipe is a family recipe passed on for many generations. Since it is food for pesach the recipe uses potato starch instead of corn starch.


  • 2 Eggs
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Potato Starch
  • ½ lb Cottage Cheese (preferably dry curd)
  • 2 oz Raisins
  • Butter
  • Oil
  • 8″ Frying Pan


  1. Mix eggs, milk, and potato starch in a bowl
  2. Heat pan to about 225 degrees on low flame
  3. Add 1 tsp Butter
  4. Pour batter mixture into pan and let sit for 20–30 seconds
  5. Pour excess batter from pan back into bowl
  6. Heat pan until leaf (crepe) begins to bubble away from surface (15–20 seconds)
  7. Carefully remove leaf by turning pan over onto a cookie sheet
  8. Repeat process until all batter is gone

Filling Blintzes

  1. Chop Raisins and add to cottage cheese
  2. Take 1 Teaspoon of Cottage Cheese and place near edge of leaf leaving 2″ to fold with
  3. Fold the bottom edge over the cottage cheese and give half a roll
  4. Fold right and left edges over toward the center and continue rolling

Frying the Blintzes

  1. add ½ cup oil to pan and head to about 250 degrees
  2. Carefully place blintze in oil so that it does not spatter oil
  3. Fry until light brown and turn
  4. Remove blintze and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil
  5. Serve hot or cold with sour cream

This recipe is brought to you by BA Music

So, the next time you need music for a party give a call!
We play all kinds of music and add class to any party.


On the web at www.bamusic.net

Three new Yiddish publications—two songbooks—from Medem, France

The Paris Yiddish Center-Medem Library has recently published three books (two song collections and a book of short stories):

The catalogue of the "Medem-Bibliotek" Publishing House includes 12 titles to date. Full details at: www.yiddishweb.com/medem/Publications.html

  1. Oyfn veg - Yiddish folksongs with harmonies for choral singing by Jean Golgevit. 147 pages, 25 euros.
    This collection includes 34 songs in Yiddish, 2 in Judezmo, 1 in Hebrew and 2 in French. Jean Golgevit (Goldgevicht) is a professional choral conductor. Every song has the sheet music for each voice, the text in both Yiddish script and transliteration, and a translation into French. For some of the songs 2 or 3 different harmonizations are given. All the songs are well-known in the repertory, such as Di Alte Kashe, Papirosn, or Zol Zayn.
  2. Tshiriboym : naye yidishe lider - by Jacques Grober. 162 pages, 25 euros.
    Jacques Grober was a singer, author and composer of the generation of Paris Yiddishists born after the war, a son of survivors of the Shoah. He died last summer, at the height of his creative career. For the past 20 years he had written new songs in Yiddish, which he performed himself. The collection contains 48 songs with contemporary themes and contemporary musical styles. Each song is printed with its sheet music, the Yiddish text, the transliteration and a French translation. At the back of the volume are translations of every song into English.
  3. Dovid Umru : A la croisée des chemins (At the crossroads) 289 pages, 25 euros.
    Dovid Umru was born in Lithuania in 1910 and died in 1941. He was a painter as well as a writer. The volume consists of a French translation of 11 of his short stories. (The original Yiddish text is not given.)

Der Parizer yidish-tsenter Medem-bibliotek hot letstns aroysgegebn dray bikher (tsvey zinglider-zamlungen un a band dertseylungen) :

  1. Oyfn veg : yidishe folkslider harmonizirt far a khor fun Jean Golgevit.
    147 zaytn, 25 eyros.
    Di zamlung nemt arum 34 lider oyf yidish, 2 oyf dzhudezmo, 1 oyf hebreish un 2 oyf frantseyzish. jean Golgevit (Goldgevikht) iz a profesyoneler khorfirer. Far yedn lid vern gedrukt di partitur far yeder shtime, der yidishn tekts mit a transliteratsye un di iberzetsung oyf frantseyzish. Far a teyl lider zenen dos

    2 tsi 3 farsheydene harmonizirungen. Ale lider zenen bakante folkslider vi Di alte kashe, papirosn oder Zol zayn.
  2. Tshiriboym : naye yidishe lider, fun Jacques Grober.
    162 zaytn, 25 euros.
    Jacques Grober iz geven a zinger, a mekhaber un a kompozitor fun dem dor Parizer yidishistn, kinder funem shayres-hapleyte. Er iz geshtorbn letstn zumer in zayn blitsayt. In di letste 20 yor hot er geshribn zinglider velkhe er hot aleyn gezungen. Di zamlung nemt arum 48 zinglider oyf haynttsaytike temes un ritmen. Far yedn lid vern gedrukt di partitur, der yidisher tekst mit a transliteratsye un di iberzetsung oyf frantseyzish. Baym sof band gefint zikh an iberzetsung oyf english far yedn lid.
  3. Dovid Umru : A la croisée des chemins. Nouvelles traduites du yiddish
    289 zaytn, 25 eyros
    Dovid Umru iz geboyrn gevorn in 1910 in der Lite un umgekumen in 1941. Er iz geven a moler un a mekhaber. Der band nemt arum di frantseyzishe iberzetsung fun Umrus 11 dertseylungen. Der yidisher moker vert nisht gedrukt in band.
  4. Der katalog fun farlag 'Medem-bibliotek' nemt arum besakhakl 12 titlen.
    Ale protim oyf adres : www.yiddishweb.com/medem/Publications.html

TRANSKAPELA (Poland) - new record and new concerts - available all Year 2007

CD coverDear Friends,

I am glad to inform you that in January 2007 a new record "OVER THE VILLAGE" was presented by Transkapela group.

After the success of our first album—SOUNDS & SHADOWS, which was rewarded with a title of the best Polish folk record 2005 year in the Polish Radio record competition as the Folk Phonogram of the Year Award, it is time for the next disc of the band.

The OVER THE VILLAGE record is the continuation of the musical imagination about the times of Klezmers from the Carpathians. Musicians of TRANSKAPELA, once again reaches to the roots of the Carpathian music, searches once more for the trace of the village klezmers and musicians splendour, who separately and together played on village weddings, religious holidays and festivities.

This time, it is a sort of metaphysical story about the Carpathian village. Village, like in the old days, inhabited by Bukovina highlanders, Hutsuls, Jews, Gypsies, Polish, Romanians, Hungarians and many more from the abundace of the Transcarpathian cultures.

A music stroll on the village path is an attempt to experience the truth about past time, not by understanding but instincitively, by touching the existing sound, melody... Or how else? How to get closer to the Carpathians inhabitants' mystery of the world of beliefs and customs from the time of the wandering Klezmers…?

Ewa Wasilewska – violin, mazanki - little fiddle
Maciej Filipczuk – violin, fiddle with trumpet, guitar /zongura /
Robert Wasilewski – hammered dulcimer, viola, shepherd’s pipes, jew’s harp, guitar /zongura /
Piotr Pniewski – cello, double bass, drum, gardon

I would like to encourage you to be familiar with this publication. Polish folk music enjoys unflagging interest and recognition in Western Europe. This is a good time for emphasizing the valuable phenomenons of this trend also to the new receivers. The music of Transkapela is one of the most interesting achievements of this kind in last years.

Journalists interested in this record and in the publication of the author's view about it (review), please do not hesitate to contact us. Tell us about the possibilities of publication in the media. Also send us your name, phone number, e-mail and postal addresses, which are required to send you discs and other info materials. I invite you to visit our web site: www.transkapela.com

Transkapela will be touring throughout all year of 2007.

Concerning the concerts and other information, please contact:
Dariusz Startek
ul. Tytusa 14 A / 1
72-006 Szczecin - Mierzyn Poland
ph./fax: +48.91.4237712

our artists:
Transkapela, Dobranotch, Septeto Nacional - worldwide Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bajofondo Tango Club - Central Europe Cesaria Evora, Richard Bona - Poland

KlezCalifornia announces "Gele Pages"

We are pleased to announce the publication of the "KlezCalifornia Gele* Pages (*yellow)." This 20-page compilation of Yiddish culture resources in the San Francisco Bay Area includes listings for Yiddish language and culture classes and clubs; Yiddish choruses, song circles, and song leaders; youth programs; community klezmer bands; performers; teachers of klezmer music and Yiddish song style; lecturers and presenters; Yiddish language teachers; arts and crafts teachers; Yiddish dance leaders; and more. It is available as a free download from www.klezcalifornia.org (pull down ³Resources² menu) or you can get a snazzy printed version (on yellow paper, of course!) by mail (send check for $3.00 to KlezCalifornia, 1728 Allston Way, Berkeley CA 94703).

Discovering Jewish Music, now in paperback with audio CD

Discovering Jewish Music, by Marsha Bryan EdelmanDiscovering Jewish Music, by Marsha Bryan Edelman
New in Paperback!

Preview the Preface (PDF)
Preview excerpts from Chapter 8 (PDF)

Jewish music from the Bible to the present, with musical illustrations and an audio CD

Most of us have experienced "Jewish music," whether it's through synagogue attendance, a bar mitzvah celebration, a klezmer concert, or the playing of "Hava Nagila" at a baseball
game. The many different kinds of Jewish music are reflected by the multitude of Jewish communities throughout the world, each having its own unique set of experiences and values. This book puts the music into a context of Jewish history, philosophy, and sociology.

Edelman begins 3,000 years ago, with a discussion of music in the Bible, and then examines the nature of folk and liturgical music in the three major Diaspora communities that evolved over centuries, after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. From there she explores music of the 20th century, including the explosion of popular music in North America and Israel and its impact on Jews and their musical identities.

About the author

Marsha Bryan Edelman is a professor of music and education at Gratz College in Melrose Park, PA. She has a doctorate in music and music education from Columbia University.

Living Tradiitons releases Zeev Scooler CD

Zeev Schooler CD coverLiving Traditions has just released a new CD anthology of the beloved Yiddish actor Zvee Scooler's selected radio performances, poetry, and even commercials. This is the first in a series in Living Traditions' releases—in the original Yiddish—of rare selections from the Yiddish Radio Project archives.

From the 1930s until his death in 1985, Zvee Scooler (aka "Der Grammeister") thrilled tens of thousands of WEVD radio listeners with his pithy, exciting and timely verse. Here, reissued for the first time, are six of Scooler's most memorable performances—plus a Bonus Track—which best exemplify the Golden Age of Yiddish radio:

  • Vakatsye in di Berg (Part One) (Vacation In The Mountains) 1947
  • Station ABCD 1947
  • How He Got the Title "Grammeister"/ Balaam's Donkey 1973
  • Berel Bass Shpilt Baseball 1947
  • Nixon, Dean, and Watergate 1972
  • Gornisht—Nothing 1947
  • Ajax Commercial 1952

The CD may be ordered online at www.zveescooler.com or www.livingtraditions.org/docs/scoolercd.htm or by sending a check for $18 ($15 plus $3 shipping/handling) made payable to Living Traditions to 45 East 33rd Street, Suite B2A, New York, NY 10016 or by calling (212) 532-8202.

A plethora of JMI summer offerings: cantorial, klezmer, yiddish

JMI Summer Cantorial IntensiveProgressive Summer Programme:
Shalosh R'galim –Three Pilgrim Festivals

A four-day intensive workshop for synagogue musicians on the music of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.
Monday 2 July – Thursday 5 July 2007
Daily 10.30am – 5.30pm

Leo Baeck College The Sternberg Centre for Judaism
80 East End Road , Finchley, London , N3 2SY

For further information: www.jmi.org.uk/synagoguemusic/events/07_summer_progressive.html

JMI Summer Cantorial IntensiveKlezFest London:
Sunday 12 - Friday 17 August 2007 (at WLS)

At last clarinettist David Krakauer joins the visiting faculty from USA, UK, Europe and the Former Soviet Union, for six days of inspirational instrumental, song and dance workshops. Advanced klezmorim delve into Ottoman connections with Joshua Horowitz and Cookie Segelstein. Klezmer virgins get the low down on What is Klezmer? All can discover how to fuse Jewish music with the musics of the world with 'Socalled' (Josh Dolgin), Frank London and David Krakauer.
Information T:020 8909 2445
For further information: www.jmi.org.uk/ashkenazimusic/events/07_klezfest_otazoy.html

JMI Summer Cantorial IntensiveYiddish Song Summer School
Sunday 12 – Friday 17 August 2007 at WLS.

Runs parallel and interacts with KlezFest.
Professional and ‘just for leisure’ vocalists will receive world-class guidance on the repertoire, interpretation, pronunciation and accompaniment of the vast range of expressive Yiddish song. Workshops and masterclasses with separate sessions for those who want to work at a faster pace will be led be world-acclaimed Yiddish singers Shura Lipovsky (Holland) together with Lorin Sklamberg (USA) and singer, vocal ensemble director, composer and accompanist Polina Shepherd (UK via Former Soviet Union). Accompanists and instrumentalists who perform with singers will be welcome at this course. And there will be opportunities for singers and instrumentalists to interact musically as well as dance, eat, entertain and be entertained together.

Information T: 020 7898 4243
For further information: www.jmi.org.uk/ashkenazimusic/events/07_klezfest_otazoy.html

JMI Summer Cantorial IntensiveOt Azoy! Yiddish Crash Course:
19 – Friday 24 August (at SOAS)

Here’s a great chance to begin reading Yiddish and opening the doors to a great culture. In just one week you'll find yourself starting to speak and even to dream in this rich language. Whether you are a complete beginner or already an advanced Yiddish student, Ot Azoy!, as well as being hugely enjoyable, will give you the tools to make a solid start and also to progress rapidly. Our specially chosen teachers will help you learn not only with superb language tuition but also through song, film, conversation classes and drama workshops. (Daily 9.30 – 6.30)

Information T: 020 7898 4243
For further information: www.jmi.org.uk/ashkenazimusic/events/07_klezfest_otazoy.html

Svigals' to curate month at Zorn's "The Stone"

Photo of Alicia SvigalsViolinist Alicia Svigals, a co-founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics and the world's best-known klezmer fiddler, is the curator for the month of April at the Stone, John Zorn's performance space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

John Zorn, the composer who was recently awarded a MacArthur genius grant, opened the Stone to provide a venue for the most creative new music in New York. Each month he selects a different musician to curate the series, and for April he asked Svigals to put together a lineup that would tap into her eclectic and offbeat musical worlds.

The fifty acts Svigals booked revolve around three themes: Jewish music, virtuoso female instrumentalist/improvisers/composers, and all kinds of string music, traditional and contemporary. From an electronic violist turning Bartok on his head to the lightning speed of traditional Bulgarian fiddling; from a master of traditional klezmer clarinet playing to spontaneous 21st century keyboard explorations of those same old melodies, the month is a feast of the most interesting music coming out of New York and beyond.

Svigals' own shows are Saturday night April 7 and Friday night April 27; she'll also be sitting in with a number of the artists throughout the month. The week of the 9th spotlights klezmer and a dozen great women artists take the stage from the 21st on.

For more information, see www.thestonenyc.com or contact Svigals at 1 212 222 2746 or www.aliciasvigals.com

April 2007 at the Stone

curated by Alicia Svigals

4/1 Sunday
8 pm
The Carmen Staaf Quintet
Carmen Staaf (piano) Dana Sandler (voice) Dan Blake (tenor sax, soprano sax)
Kendall Eddy (bass) Austin McMahon (drums)
The NYC debut of the Carmen Staaf Quintet will feature Latin-jazz-influenced originals, new takes on swing and bebop tunes, free conversations and other explorations.

10 pm
Ben Goldberg: New Music for Quintet
Carla Kihlstedt (violin) Rob Sudduth (tenor saxophone) Devin Hoff (bass) Kenny Wollesen (drums) Ben Goldberg (clarinet, composition)
angle and particle.

4/3 Tuesday 8 pm
Olivier Manchon's Orchestre de Chambre Miniature
Olivier Manchon (violin) John Ellis (clarinet, sax) Alan Hampton (bass) Beth Meyers (viola) Christopher Hoffman (cello)

10 pm
Pamela Martinez (violin, vocals, piano) Brian Hamilton (piano, keyboards) John Somers (guitar, electronics)
Textural Instrumentals and Visceral songs, www.teletextile.com

4/4 Wednesday
8 pm
Jim Matus (vocals, laouto, saz) Jill O’Brien (vocals) Joe O’Brien (bass, vocals) Mike Keys (drums) Bill Buchen (tabla, percussion)
Record release party for MAWWAL’S new CD “Black Flies” on Ancient Record. MAWWAL (formerly PARANOISE) performs original World Fusion and arrangements of traditional Middle Eastern music in what has been called “a new genre” by Progression Magazine.

10 pm
Violin-Clarinet Multi-Night
Mari Kimura (violin) Kinan Azmeh (clarinet)
multi-cultural, multi-media duos and solos

4/5 Thursday
8 pm
KJ Denhert—Lucky 7, The New CD Concert
KJ Denhert (guitar, vocals, songwriter) Mamdou Ba (bass) Ray Levier (drums) ATN (keys) plus special guests from the CD!
Urban folk and jazz artist KJ Denhert makes her first NY appearance in 2007 with a brand new CD called Lucky 7. All CDs one night only to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of KJ’s label and her seventh release

10 pm
Steve Sandberg and friends
Steve Sandberg (voice)
Spoken word, raga-influenced vocals, breath-controlled keyboard, loops plus friends tba - "music from a country I've never been to but always wanted to visit."


4/6 Friday
8 pm
Noriko Ueda Jazz Orchestra
Noriko Ueda (composition, bass) 16 piece band

10 pm
Ivan Milev Band
Ivan Milev (accordion) Entcho Todorov (violin) Maria Koleva (vocals) Panagiotis Andreou (bass) Vasko Angelov (guitar) Seido Salifovski (drums)
Monster accordionist Ivan Milev and his band perform Bulgarian-Balkan folk music. Check out: http://myspace.com/ivanmilev

4/7 Saturday
8 pm
John Zorn Improv Night—a Stone Benefit
John Zorn (sax) and many surprise guests
Come out and support The Stone! Twenty Dollars

10 pm
Alicia Svigals and Uli Geissendorfer, with special guest Iliya Magalnyk—a Stone Benefit
Alicia Svigals (violin) Uli Geissendorfer (piano) Iliya Magannyk (accordion)
Musicians from three points on the globe take a sidelong look at klezmer. A Benefit for the Stone!

4/8 Sunday
8 pm
Songs Your Grandmother Might Know, If Your Grandmother is Hip: The Matt Glaser Quintet.
Matt Glaser (violin) Matt Munisteri (guitar) Sonny Barbato (accordion) Heather Masse (vocal) Jim Whitney (bass)

10 pm
Pablo Aslan's "Anda Cantale
Pablo Aslan (bass)and his ensemble
The Argentine bassist explores the repertoire of the great tango singer Carlos Gardel.

4/10 Tuesday
8 pm
Alex Kontorovich's Deep Minor
Aaron Alexander (drums) Brandon Seabrook (guitar/banjo) Reuben Radding (bass) Alex Kontorovich (clarinet, sax, compositions)
All original music from Kontorovich (sideman to Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars and Aaron Alexander's Midrash Mish Mosh) mixes downtown klezmer, jazz, and other influences.

10 pm
Michael Winograd's Infection
Michael Winograd, Jessica Lurie, Petr Cancura, Jeremy Udden (reeds) Daniel Blacksberg (trombone) Jon Singer (xylophone) Brandon Seabrook (guitar) Jorge Roeder (bass) Jason Nazary (drums) Patrick Farrell (accordion) Frank London (trumpet)

4/11 Wednesday
8 pm
Michael Winograd's Klezmer Ensemble
Michael Winograd (clarinet, alto clarinet) Daniel Blacksberg (trombone) Carmen Staaf (piano, accordion) Joey Weisenberg (mandolin) Nick Cudahy (bass) Richie Barshay (percussion)

10 pm
Susan Watts (of Hoffman Klezmer Dynasty) and Rob Schwimmer (of Polygraph Lounge)
Rob Schwimmer (piano) Susan Hoffman Watts (voice, trumpet)
Erotic Jewish Night Dreams:Inspirational Explorations.

4/12 Thursday
8 pm
Ghetto Tango
Adrienne Cooper (voice) Zalmen Mlotek (piano)
Adrienne Cooper and Zalmen Mlotek bring electrifying theatricality to the unknown satiric, down and dirty, and heartbroken repertoire of World War II European Jewish cabarets—from Yiddish to Weill & Eisler.

10 pm
Socalled and guests
Socalled (accordion, mpc, melodica, piano, vocals) Susan Hoffman-Watts (trumpet) Allen Watsky (guitar, bass) Micheael Winograd (clarinet) and Special Guests.
Josh Dolgin aka Socalled and his rag tag group of friends, will raise the Stone's roof with a klez-funk party unlike anything else. www.socalledmusic.com ww.myspace.com/socalled

4/13 Friday
8 pm
Lily White and Follicle
Lily White (saxes) Rob Garcia (drums) Greg Jones (bass)
Crazy music from the mind of saxophonist Lily White in her most compact group yet. www.lilywhitemusic.com

10 pm
Cynthia Hilts & Lyric Fury
Cynthia Hilts (composer, piano, voice) Jack Walrath (trumpet) Lily White
(tenor and alto sax) Lisa Parrott
(baritone and soprano sax) Debra Weisz
(trombone) Martha Colby (cello) Ratzo Harris (bass) Gene Jackson (drums)
New jazz that nods at the traditions,swings like hell and searches the deepest harmonic zones. Howls and lullabies, ice and predators are all in there, the perfect answer to a listener's natural raving desire for organic and furious lyricism.

4/14 Saturday
8 pm
Beth Bahia Cohen: Traditional Arabic Music
Beth Bahia Cohen (violin and other bowed string instruments) and friends

10 pm
Midnight Prayer
Joel Rubin (clarinet) Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl/hammered dulcimer)
World renowned klezmer clarinetist Joel Rubin gives a rare NY performance of duets with leading tsimbl revivalist Pete Rushefsky from their new CD Midnight Prayer (Traditional Crossroads).

4/15 Sunday
8 pm
Mimi Rabson and Bruno Raberg
Mimi Rabson (violin) Bruno Raberg (bass)
Compositional Improvisation and Improvised Compositons

10 pm
The Ingrid Jensen Quartet
Ingrid Jensen (trumpet and electronics) and band

4/17 Tuesday
8 pm
Greg Wall's Later Prophets
Greg Wall (saxophones) Shai Bachar (keyboards) David Richards (bass) Aaron Alexander (drums)
Simultaneously Straddling the Gates of the Ancient and the Avant-garde.....

10 pm
Quartetto Cui Bono
Art Bailey (accordion, piano) Peter Van Huffel (sax) Ernesto Cervini (drums) Michael Bates (bass) special guest Alicia Svigals (violin)
An evening of new music.

4/18 Wednesday
8 pm
Mark Sganga and Friends
Mark Sganga (guitar) and friends
Acoustic improvisations with a Brazilian accent. www.marksganga.com

10 pm
Stephane Wrembel Acoustic
Stephane Wrembel (guitar) Jared Engel (bass) David Langlois (washboard)
Monster Guitarist Stephane Wrembel and his band perform the music of Django Reinhardt in their own special way, blended with compositions and colors from India and Africa; each show is a different trip! http://www.stephanewrembel.com/

4/19 Thursday
8 pm
Michael Winograd Quintet
Michael Winograd (clarinet, alto clarinet) Kristin Slipp (voice) David Bryant (casio keyboards) Michael Bates (bass) Michael Evans (drums)

10 pm
Bangalore Breakdown
Uli Geissendoerfer (piano, keys, percussion) Premik Russel Tubbs (sax, flute, windsynth) Gino Sitson (vocals) Beat Kaestli (vocals) Steve Sandberg (leadsynth, vocals) Naren Budhakar (tabla) Gilad Dobrecky (percussion) Nathan Peck (bass) Lev Zhurbin (viola)

4/20 Friday
8 pm
Juanito Pascual and Friends
Jonathan "Juanito" Pascual (flamenco guitar) Rohan Gregory (violin) Stan Strickland (flute, soprano sax, vocals) Jerry Leake (world percussion).
Flamenco guitar virtuoso Jonathan "Juanito" Pascual presents an evening of original flamenco music and beyond, with his quartet featuring 3 of the East Coast's finest improvisational and world-music players. "One of the hottest flamenco guitarists to emerge in recent years" -Nat

March 13, 2007

Recent Reviews and Interviews

CD coverYou can get a non-klezmer take on Klezmerfest stalwart Zev Zion's new CD from the Let's Polka blog. The CD goes far beyond polka and klezmer, of course.

The english-language Forverts gives a lovely review of Yale Strom's latest, "The Absolutely Complete Klezmer Songbook,” by Alexander Gelfand, in their Fri. Mar 02, 2007 edition.

The "Jewess," one of the hottest new Jewish bloggers, does a great interview with Galeet Dardashti, of Divahn.

Joel Rubin announces a recent review essay, Rubin, Joel E. with Rita Ottens. Review, Georg Winkler. Klezmer: Merkmale, Strukturen und Tendenzen eines musikkulturellen Phaenomens, in: Lied und populaere Kultur/Song and Popular Culture. Jahrbuch des Deutschen Volksliedarchivs 49 (2004): 285-321. It appeared (in English) at the end of 2005 and can be downloaded from http://www.rubin-ottens.com/rott/uploads/rubin%20winkler.pdf

Teapacks - the controversial "Push the Button" song, and "salaam salami," too!

This is the song Eurovision is having issues with? Give me a break!

But, if the truth be told, I agree with my old friend Michal Ayalon—"Salam Salami" is much more fun! Who needs reunion concerts by Poogy reruns when Tipex is writing new satire. (Okay, neither of these is the band at its most profound. There must be a place for peaceful frivolity. And remember, Katz's Deli in NYC still has a sign in its window (still current, unfortunately, but for the fact that your child in the armed forces might be either gender today): "Send a salami to your boy in the army".

Andy Statman on YouTube

Mel Korn stumbled onto this one. "This is a clip of Andy Statman playing the clarinet in his twice-weekly concert that takes place in a little shul on Charles St ":

Registration forms for KlezKanada, Aug 20-26, 2007, now available online

KlezKanada logoThe internationally renowned and only annual rural–based summer festival of yiddish / jewish culture and the arts returns for a 12th year in 2007

Monday August 20th, 2007 (5pm) to Sunday August 26th, 2007

KlezKanada takes place at Camp B'Nai Brith—St. Agathe (Lantier), Quebec MAPQUEST

Registration forms are now online at www.klezkanada.com

March 11, 2007

Klezmatics give Boston wonderous "Wonder Wheel"

band photoThe Klezmatics came to Boston tonight, for the first time in years, and gave an incredible performance of new music to a sold out crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts.

You don't go to a Klezmatics concert to hear golden moldies, or the old sounds in slightly different containers. You go to hear incredible music, much of which will be entirely new.

Almost all of the material tonight was from the two new Woody Guthrie albums, including the Grammy-award-winning "Wonder Wheel." As I've said before, the Klezmatics have made Woody's words come alive in ways that reflect both the Americana that he represented, and their own Eastern European Jewish musical roots. They also selected wisely—the performance included not only the personal songs about Woody's kids, by and for Woody's kids, but also some of his Hanukkah material, more general material, and a couple of his anti-fascist songs, as well. As Lorin Sklamberg, vocalist and keyboard player pointed out, it was 50 years later and they weren't dated.

The band was joined by a couple of folks who helped out on the Wonder Wheel album: Susan McKeown singing, and Boo Reiners on guitar and banjo. Both were superb. Relatively new violinist/vocalist Lisa Gutkin was excellent. Also superb was Richie Barshay, now touring with the band on drums. For the first few songs I found myself thinking, "this isn't David Licht. It doesn't sound right," and then I found myself thinking that, actually, the drumming was just different, then it was "different and damn good" and finally it clicked that it was the same Barshay who anchors the sound of Khevre (he sounds entirely different with the Klezmatics), which segued into a more general sense of how grateful I was that 20+ years on, the Klezmatics aren't playing just the same old music (you better believe that there was still a bit of klezmer and that they brought out "Ale Brider" on the encore). Rather, they continue to explore new types of music, and to find projects worth doing, and then make those projects insanely great and worth hearing.

The Woody Guthrie stuff is as moving, to me, as their collaboration with Chava Alberstein (The Well). I am hopeful that the Grammy, and the fact that, for a change they are singing in English, gets them a wider audience. And then I want to hear what they do next. It's going to be killer.

As for Boston, after months of dullness, there is a rush and a wide variety of great new music before Passover, continuing this coming weekend with Brave Old World, in Newton. Stay tuned.

The usual Balkan Night complaint

Yup. It's an annual complaint. Every year I go to Balkan night and Judy and I hear several great bands, see many of our favorite friends (especially Jewish ones), get some dynamite dance instruction and dance until we're ready to go home. This year we came home early—a combination of me being exhausted and having to get up early, handicapped by this new Daylight Savings time thing. Sheesh.

I won't go into the longer litany. I won't belabor the very different events that the Irish community celebrates each year (including, I've noticed lately, a whole commercial "Irish food and culture" thing around St. Purim's, er, St. Patrick's day). And I am far too overcommitted to do something useful about this in Boston soon, but there must be events where local bands perform, people learn to dance, and we sing, dance, and jam together. And if that event covered more than one Jewish culture, so much the better. But if we can only do Ashkenazic culture for now, that too, would be a nice first step. But someone has to help organize it and help raise money and keep it together. I did it poorly last year, and have had no time recently. Instead, I whine on my blog and hope someone will put me out of my misery by making this happen.

But, really, if people can pull together singing and dancing and music from several balkan cultures that have been estranged in their native territories recently, surely we Jews can do the same.

March 5, 2007

Jerusalem's Corner Prophet gets a shout-out in "Time"

JewSchool founder, Dan Sieradski, get's a shout-out in the current Time magazine:

Taking the Rap, by Tim McGirk

The next performance by the group will be on Thursday, March 8 at 9PM Sagol 59 DJ Caress Quami SAZ Rebel Sun and more at Tuvia 4 Shushan St., Jerusalem

March 4, 2007

West Bank Story wins Oscar

scene from 'West Bank Story'Yuval Ron, the LA-based musician whose new-agey middle eastern events are often covered in the KlezmerShack "Global Calendar of Jewish Music", also wrote the score for the Oscar-winning short, "West Bank Story":

I am thrilled to share with you the news that tonight we won an Oscar for Best Live Action Short FIlm for the film West Bank Story, directed by Ari Sandel. This is a great victory for us as the film is a musical and the music (the songs and the score which I composed) has a central and very important role in the film (as in any musical). I am so glad for this award because this film was created to revive hope for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The film was successful in bringing out the humanity in both sides, and highlighted the courageous few who overcome the bias, follow true love and struggle for peace.

May this victory and recognition, give those of us who work to increase the light, more power and more opportunities, to make a difference and slowly create a critical mass that would bring end to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Thank you for all the people who worked in my team (too many to name) to create the music for West Bank Story, especially for the good people who have worked with me on numerous projects in film and TV: singers Amick Byram, Ahmed El Asmer, Steven Memel and the percussionist Jamie Papish for their contribution to the score. Also thank you to the director Ari Sandel for coming up with the crazy idea to spoof West Side Story in present day Palestine!.... to my wife Carolyne for her support.....and to Silan for the good fortune.

Yuval Ron

March 3, 2007

Podcast on Flory Jagoda from Nextbook

Julie Sulbrin writes of a recent podcast she produced for Nextbook. La Nona Kanta. The podcast was uploaded Jan 8, 2007.

Growing up in the Bosnian village of Vlasenica, Flory Jagoda spent her afternoons and evenings singing with her family—everyone sang, her grandmother, her aunts, uncles and cousins. Though they'd lived in the Balkans for centuries, their songs were in Judeo-Spanish, or Ladino, passed down from the time of her ancestors' expulsion from Spain. ... [more]

Michael Wex: Lending our Jews in Belgium

Marilla Wex uploads yet another significant addition to the Michael Wex online video collection. In this episode, the Wexter discourses with drollity on … well, I let Marilla explain…

For those of you who weren't there and for those of you that were—I just worked out how to upload this short but very funny clip of Wex MCing at a concert in summer 2006. He'd just read an article about a Belgian lending library that was planning to lend out people from various ethnic groups....


it's the first of the two videos. The second I think most of you have seen - it's Wex giving his version of "I'm Too Sexy".

Metropolitan Klezmer and Jewish Women's Archive featured in online scholarly journal

As some readers know, my day job is at the Jewish Women's Archive. In a not-infrequent reminder of why I love to be there, Eve Sicular sends this notice of an online feminist journal from Barnard featuring a recording by one of her bands, Metropolitan Klezmer's "Farlangen" (from "The Dybbuk", on ">Yiddish for Travelers cd) and an essay about the band's adaptation of this song with a changed gender pronoun. Astute viewers will note significant participation by the Jewish Women's Archive in the conference around which this issue of the journal was built. Huzzah! Here is the journal announcement:

'We are very pleased to announce the publication of the newest issue of the Scholar & Feminist Online, "Jewish Women Changing America: Cross-Generational Conversations." The issue is the culmination of last fall's conference of the same name, in which many of you participated. We invite you to take a look at S&F Online, and please do pass the link on to your colleagues and friends.


All best,
Grace Glenny

Israeli band, tipex, pushes Eurovision's "political" buttons

Ellitt Kahn spotted this one and posted the link to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Even in a Song Contest, Controversy Over the Israeli Entry, By STEPHEN ERLANGER, March 2, 2007

JERUSALEM, March 2 - The Eurovision Song Contest, an annual event that proves that European popular culture can take itself just as seriously as the American variety, has created a semi-scandal of its own, with the suggestion on Thursday that the contest might ban this year’s Israeli entry, “Push the Button,” because of a supposedly “inappropriate” political message.

for more, visit the NYTimes

Metroplitan Klezmer CD release party for "Travaling Show"

Traveling ShowMetropolitan Klezmer's new all-live CD will be released in time for Passover! Please email for details, we'll be posting the info soon.

Our official CD release party will be Wednesday, April 4th at Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction, 34 Avenue A, NYC 7pm show, $7... and that's the third night of Pesakh, but we expect the discs to be ready a week before.

Video from Meron 7th of Adar fest

Moshe Berlin sends to the following link of Hasidic singing at this year's 7th of Adar celebration in Meron, Israel:


The 7th of Adar is the traditional Hillula (Moshe Rabeinu's day of birth and death) at the tomb of Rabi Shimeon Bar Yokhai … A lot of klezmer music, chassidic dancing, and of course "Khalakes" (first haircut to 3 years old kids).

John Zorn to receive William Schuman Award, NYC, Apr 26

Columbia University School of the Arts announces that

is the 2007 recipient of the William Schuman Award

Columbia's MILLER THEATRE hosts concert and award ceremony
Thursday, April 26, 8:00PM

[Of special interest in this regard is John Zorn's recent reposting (posting?) of Radical Jewish Culture. ari]

From Dan Kleinman, Acting Dean, Columbia University School of the Arts:
"The School of the Arts is pleased to present the William Schuman Award to John Zorn, whose astonishingly diverse and extraordinary body of work has enlightened, startled, and enchanted its listeners. His lasting contribution to the repertoire of today has changed the landscape of composition."

Columbia University's School of the Arts honors composer JOHN ZORN with the WILLIAM SCHUMAN AWARD, a major recognition given periodically over the past twenty-five years.

Named for its first recipient William Schuman, the award, in the form of a direct, unrestricted grant of $50,000, is one of the largest to an American composer. In the language of the gift establishing the prize, the purpose of the William Schuman Award is "to recognize the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance." It is awarded by the Dean of the School of the Arts at Columbia University. The award was established in 1981 by a bequest from the Schuman family. Previous winners have included Schuman, David Diamond, Gunther Schuller, Milton Babbitt, and Hugo Weisgall, and, most recently in 2001, Steve Reich.

Drawing on his experience in a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore punk, classical, klezmer, film, cartoon, popular, and improvised music, Zorn has created an influential body of work that defies academic categories. A native of New York City, he has been a central figure in the downtown scene since 1975, incorporating a wide range of musicians in various compositional formats. He learned alchemical synthesis from Harry Smith, structural ontology with Richard Foreman, how to make art out of garbage with Jack Smith, cathartic expression at Sluggs, and hermetic intuition from Joseph Cornell. Early inspirations include American innovators Ives, Varèse, Cage, Carter, and Partch; the European tradition of Berg, Stravinsky, Boulez, and Kagel; soundtrack composers Herrmann, Morricone, and Stalling; and avant-garde theatre, film, and art.

Described as "endlessly inventive" by George Steel, the Executive Director of Columbia's Miller Theatre, Zorn was celebrated with one of Miller's signature Composer Portraits this past October. Also this year, the composer won a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Miller will host a concert and awards ceremony for the Schuman recognition on Thursday, April 26 (concert details to be announced).

About Columbia University School of the Arts:
Founded in 1965, the Columbia University School of the Arts is among the premier arts institutions in the United States offering Master in Fine Arts degrees through four divisions: film, theatre arts, visual arts, and writing. The faculty includes both academics and practitioners, providing an integrated program for emerging contemporary artists. Among the leading faculty members are: Anne Bogart, Richard Howard, Ben Marcus, Orhan Pamuk, James Schamus, Andrei Serban, and Kara Walker.

About Columbia University:
Founded in 1754 as King's College, Columbia University in the City of New York is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and today is one of the world's leading academic and research institutions. For more information about Columbia University, visit www.columbia.edu.

Frank London to debut "A night in the old marketplace," Mar 26

A night in the old marketplace, adapted from IL PeretzArt Bailey reports to the Jewish-Music list on the latest Frank London project:

… I'll take this opportunity to shill for Frank London (as if he needs it at this point) and mention that he's releasing a new cd that I play on called "A Night in the Old Marketplace", which is a new Jewish musical. Music by Frank, lyrics by Glen Berger, vocals by a cast of thousands including Lorin Sklamberg and Joanne Borts. Also featuring lister Ron "Vodka" Caswell, Brandon "Eraserhead" Seabrook, and Aaron "Aaron" Alexander. Cd release party on March 26, in NYC, info here:


It's so good that I think it might just become your new favorite. More on the KlezmerShack calendar

Valley Klezmer Band open rehearsals, Northhampton, MA, every Thursday

The Valley Klezmer Band has ongoing rehearsal on Thursday nights from 7:30–9pm at the Lander-Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, MA, and occasionally in Amherst!!! Bring your instrument and play!!! Join the VKB and play klezmer and Israeli party music! Learn klezmer dance-forms such as khosidls, freylekhs and horas. You'll also learn the basics of making band arrangements.

The VKB is a performing ensemble open to the community. You should have at least intermediate competency on your instrument, and be able to read music or learn quickly by ear. Sheet music and CDs will be provided. The fee is $50 - $100, sliding scale, for around 10 sessions.

Scholarships are available.

Please email Amy Rose (preferred) or call 413-253-3831.

The VKO is directed by Amy Rose, flutist, pianist and accordionist. In 1987, Amy founded Klezamir, one of New England's premier klezmer bands. Klezamir recorded four CDs and has performed at hundreds of concerts and parties around New England. Amy also teaches piano and flute. Please email Amy Rose (preferred) or call 413-253-3831. The VKO is supported by a grant from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation