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June 26, 2010

Three new reviews - recordings with attitude

I didn't realize until afterwards that there was a strong theme to today's reviews—these are all CDs that marry really, really good playing with really, really strong attitude. God bless every one of them.

Interesting type and graphics w/homage to wooden type.First up, Daniel Kahn and his Painted Bird ensemble have made a sort of hipster antiestablishmentarian "Yiddish as implicit protest" statement from the beginning. With this 2009 recording, I think the ensemble is coming into its own as a powerful voice for activism. I was corresponding with someone on Facebook last week and he mentioned this recording as one of his favorite recent recordings, so I knew it was time to actually tell people about Parasites & Partisans.

I saw Yiddish Princess in concert last week and haven't had such a good time in a long time. So, with unseemly haste and a lack of reflection, I provide a quick review of their extraordinary debut CD.

And now for an entirely different sort of attitude, perhaps appropriate for posting on a Shabbes before I hit the road to visit friends, we have the aptly named Breslov Bar Band / Have no fear with some of my favorite young New York musicians. Barroom rock 'n' roll meets Breslov to wonderful effect. Enjoy!

First Jewish Women's Music Festival, Falls Village, CT, Aug 2-8, 2010

festival photoJewish Women's Music Festival Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center Falls Village CT August 2-8, 2010 The festival will feature classes with renowned artists, and workshops in song sharing, writing a spiritual song, song and ritual, using chant, drumming, leadership of an audience/reading an audience, choral leadership and a cappella performance (among others). Opportunities to jam will abound and every night there will be a performance as well as open mic opportunities. In the Elat Chayyim tradition, Shabbat will be the central part of the festival. The festival culminates in a public performance at Isabella Freedman on Sunday, August 8th with featured performers including Vocolot, Rakia and Yofiah. For further info: isabellafreedman.org/womensmusic To register: thriva.activenetwork.com

Stages Klezmer Paris - 2010 du 5 au 9 juillet 2010 / From July 5 until July 9, 2010

promo image for festivalN'attendez plus pour vous inscrire !


Du 5 au 9 juillet 2010

Pour la huitième année consécutive, ces quatre cursus parallèles et intensifs s’adressent aux intéressés de tous âges, du niveau intermédiaire au niveau professionnel. De nombreuses passerelles permettent à chacun de découvrir l’étendue de ce folklore particulièrement riche ou de parfaire ses connaissances (cours dispensés en français et en anglais).

Au programme : ateliers, conférences, master classes, jams, spectacles ... certaines animations seront ouvertes au grand public. Et pour les juniors de 7 à 17 ans, un projet pluridisciplinaire : « le grand cirque klezmer »…

Informations et inscriptions auprès d'Estelle au 01 47 00 14 00 ou par e-mail

Maison de la culture yiddish – Bibliothèque Medem
18, passage Saint-Pierre Amelot F - 75011 PARIS
Tél. : + 33 1 47 00 14 00 / fax : + 33 1 47 00 14 47
Métro : Oberkampf (lignes 5 et 9), Richard Lenoir (ligne 5), Filles du Calvaire (ligne 8)
Bus : 56 et 96 (arrêt : Oberkampf), 20 et 65 (arrêt : Saint-Sébastien Froissart)

Les stages sont animés par des artistes de renommée internationale :

Efim CHORNY (Moldavie) – chant, chœur, composition
Christina CROWDER (Etats-Unis) – accordéon
Noelle DALSACE (France) – danse, magie, clown, activités juniors
Christian DAWID (Allemagne) – clarinette
Marthe DESROSIERES (France) – coordination musicale, flûtes, activités juniors
Susan GHERGUS (Moldavie) – piano, composition
Shura LIPOVSKY (Pays-Bas) – directrice du stage de chant, voix
Frank LONDON (Etats-Unis) – trompette
Adrian RECEANU (Moldavie) – clarinette
Andreas SCHMITGES (Allemagne) – danse, guitare, mandoline
Jake SHULMAN-MENT (Etats-Unis) – violon
Emma STIMANN (Grande Bretagne) – clarinette
Lorin SKLAMBERG (Etats-Unis) – chant
Noëmi WAYSFELD (France) – theâtre, danse, chant, activités juniors
Steve WEINTRAUB (Etats-Unis) – danse
Et leurs assistants ...

Téléchargez :
- la présentation,
- le bulletin d'inscription,
- la liste des hébergements


Register now !


From July 5 until July 9, 2010

For the eighth consecutive year these four intensive parallel workshops are designed for people of all ages, from intermediate to professional levels. A number of "passageways" will allow everyone to discover the extent of this particularly rich folklore and to perfect one's knowledge. The classes are taught in French and in English.

The four parallel courses (with common activities) - klezmer music, Yiddish songs and nigunim, Jewish dances of Eastern Europe and Juniors classes - are all led by internationally well-known artists:

Efim CHORNY (Moldavia) – vocals, choir, composition
Christina CROWDER (United States) – accordion
Noelle DALSACE (France) – dance, magic, clown, juniors classes
Christian DAWID (Germany) – clarinet
Marthe DESROSIERES (France) – musical coordinator, flutes, juniors classes
Susan GHERGUS (Moldavia) – piano, composition
Shura LIPOVSKY (Netherlands) – director of the song workshop, vocals
Frank LONDON (United States) – trumpet
Adrian RECEANU (Moldavia) – clarinet
Andreas SCHMITGES (Germany) – dance, guitar, mandolin
Emma STIMANN (Great Britain) – clarinet
Jake SHULMAN-MENT (United States) – violin
Lorin SKLAMBERG (United States) – vocals
Noëmi WAYSFELD (France) – theater, dance, vocals, juniors classes
Steve WEINTRAUB (United States) – dance
and their assistants…

Program : daily workshop in singing, dancing and instrumental music, master classes, talks and lectures, jam sessions and performances. And for the kids and juniors from 7 to 17, one multidisciplinary workshop: « the big klezmer circus ».

Information and pre-registration with Estelle at +33(0)1 47 00 14 00 or by e-mail

Download the presentation and the application form

Maison de la culture yiddish – Bibliothèque Medem
18, passage Saint-Pierre Amelot F - 75011 PARIS
Phone: + 33 1 47 00 14 00 / fax: + 33 1 47 00 14 47
Metro : Oberkampf (lines 5 and 9), Richard Lenoir (line 5), Filles du Calvaire (line 8)
Bus : 56 and 96 (bus stop: Oberkampf), 20 and 65 (bus stop: Saint-Sébastien Froissard)

June 24, 2010

The Other Europeans, Somerville, MA, 31 Aug 2010


I have been remiss in posting this, but for the first time I can claim to have played a useful role in bringing a concert to the Boston area. If it had to be a first time, this is definitely the group to bring.

The Other Europeans is an amazing project fusing Lautari and klezmorim, playing amazing traditional music and very new, very powerful fusion. The band will be at Johnny D's, my favorite spot for dance music, on Tuesday, August 31. Anything people can do to help bring a crowd will be appreciated. Please help us get the word out. If they don't play to a packed house, it won't be nearly as much fun (and boy will it be hard to bring them back, or bring the next unknown band this exciting).

You can help. Download a flyer and post it. Share it with friends.

June 21, 2010

Yeshivas Goldenshteyn live at Northwest Folklife fest

You don't know from Yeshivas Goldenshteyn? You're in for a treat.

Yeshivas Goldenshteyn's performance at the 2010 Northwest Folklife Festival (4 of 7 videos already online, the rest should be online within the next few hours) at "professormobesser" on YouTube:

June 20, 2010

Yiddish video from Sweden

My name is Anne Kalmering, singer/actress from Sweden. I´m performing Jewish music in concerts, festivals, radio, TV etc. I performed at Ashkenaz 1999 (time flies...)

June 19, 2010

KlezKamp Roadshow, Poyntelle, PA, Jul 7-14, 2010

imageSpend an incredible week July 7 - 14, 2010 as a part of the Klezkamp Roadshow at the Block and Hexter Vacation Center in Northeastern, PA. The famous KlezKamp program of Yiddish music, dance, arts and language returns to BHVC for a week of lectures, participation, and performances.


  • Henry Sapoznik—Cantors, Klezmorim and Crooners 1905-1953

  • Pete Sokolow—The Alef, Beyz, Gimel of Klezmer

  • Susan Leviton—Jewish Life In Art and Song

  • Michael Wex—Born To Kvetch

  • Jill Gellerman—Simcha Dancing: Secular or Sacred?

The price is just $705 double per person or $1,000 single occupancy.
The rate includes:
  • Roundtrip bus transportation from select locations in the New York area

  • Comfortable accommodations: Double, single and arranged shares, private bath and daily housekeeping

  • Scrumptious Glatt Kosher meals, with choice of entree & snacks

  • Exciting classes taught by the faculty of Living Traditions

  • Heated Pool/Jacuzzi/Boating

  • Tennis/Handball/Golf nearby

  • Fitness center open all day w/Complimentary personal training

  • Crafts/Painting/Computer Classes

  • Nightly activities and concerts—Including Klezmer Dance Party

Associated Camps, Inc., Block and Hexter Vacation Center
1-800-400-1924 / fax: 973-276-3188
Poyntelle, PA

YIVO encyclopedia now online!


This unprecedented website makes accurate, reliable, scholarly information about Eastern European Jewish life universally available online free of charge. Since 2008, The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe, published by Yale University Press, has been the only resource of its kind;providing the most complete picture of the history and culture of Jews in Eastern Europe from the beginning of their settlement in the region tothe present. The online edition includes the contents of the 2008 edition, plus interactive maps, more color photographs, and rare letters and documents as well as newly added video and audio clips. To date, this is the first full-fledged online encyclopedia dedicated to the history and culture of Eastern European Jewry.


June 18, 2010

Yiddish Song of the Week

I have been remiss in not passing on word of two excellent new blogs:

Yiddish Song of the Week is curated by the excellent Itzik Gottesman, of the Forward (more accurately, since he works on the Yiddish side of the paper, פֿאָרווערטס). This week, thrill to “Klezmorim mayne” from the Ben Stonehill Collection, a recording of an unidentified singer recorded by Ben Stonehill in the lobby of the Marseilles Hotel (Broadway and 103rd street in Manhattan) in summer 1948.

The recording follows on work by YIVO sound archivist/Klezmatics keyboardist-singer Lorin Sklamberg. The sound archive, and the projects on which Sklamberg is working, are documented in the YIVOSounds blog.

June 17, 2010

Yiddish Princess!!!!

band logoWhat a concert! Yiddish Princess is my new favorite band. To my intense pleasure Sarah Gordon sounds like a Yiddish-singing Kate Bush; indeed, her singing on band's hard rockified version of "Oy Avram" is instantly recognizable from "Hounds of Love" or LP of similar vintage.

I have to say that this is a good thing. It's like Yiddish folk song of the 1880s (okay, most of this material is much later--some written in Yiddish by Gordon and set to music by Michael Winograd and the rest of the band, one by contemporary Yiddish songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman) meets hard rock of the 1980s. Pop meets pop, as it were. And the band has so much fun playing--Avi Fox-Rosen and Yoshie Fruchter have more fun playing guitar than should be legal. Winograd has the synths down, and both Chris Berry on drums and Ari Folman-Cohen on bass are perfect.

If I have a single complaint about the concert, it was that Gordon's voice was too far back in the mix. Despite the Kate Bush influences so clear on the new EP (buy a few! they make great gifts), in concert it was more like watching Molly Picon meets hard rock. A couple songs were already familiar to me from Winograd's arrangements on the more traditional jazz-klezmer album, Khevre. This isn't how they sounded a few years ago. Time passes.

Along with "Oy Avram," there were a few other traditional songs: "Yash," and "Vilna;" the latter was sung traditionally, accompanied only by Winograd on the keyboard for the first verse or so, until with a great clash the drums kicked in and Yoshie Fruchter crashed in with his guitar and once more we were back in the 1980s.

A select audience of Workmen's Circle friends and local klezmorim danced to the music, grabbed hula hoops and cavorted as the band played. Such an excellent time was had by all. I'm considering skipping work and heading up to Vermont for tomorrow night's gig. If you are in the vicinity, you owe it to yourself and your ears to do likewise. You can follow the whole tour from the band website, or for that matter, on the Klezmershack calendar. If nothing else, you have to catch the band live to stock up on the new EP, which I suspect will be the best-selling CD of the summer.

Yiddish Princess!

First off, if you don't already know, tonight Sarah Gordon's band, "Yiddish Princess" is coming to Boston. It is their CD release tour. I am going to try very hard to break my usual old fogey bedtime rules and attend.

Sara Ivry, whose podcasts on tablet are my favorite part of the site, does a damn fine podcast with Sarah, Michael Winograd, and I believe, Yoshie Fruchter, at http://www.tabletmag.com/podcasts/36365/power-chords . Not only does she play a cut or two from the album, but gets the three to do a song live.

And, as icing on the cake, the Jewish Week names Gordon as one its "36 most influential people under 36." Sadly, the author seems not to have understood that there are two significant East Coast Yiddish culture camps--one, KlezKamp held each winter in the Catskills US); the other, KlezKanada held each summer in the Laurentians (Canada). The talented Ms. Gordon not only grew up attending both, but is now on the faculty of both. Read the article to see how the JW interviewer, um, mashups up the descriptions of the two for this wonderful "Yiddish Mash-Up Artist" (his term).

June 13, 2010

Klez and more, in French

i'm the creator of a web site in french devoted to Jewish culture. The Klez activity in France is hudge even if the achkénazy peaple are very few so i've made this unique source of information and links.


June 12, 2010

Name that tune

As is usually the case with a non-musician, I can place this tune, but can't name it. Can anyone help?

I'm an Israeli composer and pianist. I used to go to NEC, but now I'm doing a scholarship year in Berlin. I'm contacting you because I have a klezmer band here, and we're playing some tunes, some of which we don't know the composer and name of tune. I attached here the mp3 with the tune. If you recognize it, can you tell me what it is?


We are putting together a demo CD with a few tunes and would really like to put correct information.

Thanks very much in advance,
Osnat Netzer

JSA highlights Zimbalist and Gluck

I have mixed feelings about this announcement, given how ambivalent (to put as positive a spin on it as possible) Alma Gluck felt about the "Jewish" part of her heritage.

JSA highlights two brilliant Jewish performers from the early 20th century.

About a hundred years ago two Jewish superstars of classical music met and fell in love. They were young, they were talented, and they made beautiful music together.

Even before her marriage to the violin virtuoso, Efrem Zimbalist, famed operatic soprano Alma Gluck enjoyed a highly successful recording career.

The Zimbalist-Gluck romance provided lots of material for the gossips of their day. While the idea of such a wonderful pairing of talents was thrilling, there were those who pointed out that Gluck was six years older, as well as a divorcee with a daughter. Scandalous!

After their marriage the Victor/Victrola company capitalized on a sure bet....recording the newlyweds together. You can read more about these performers and their romance on JSA’s blog.

The JSA is proud to announce this special collection of music featuring the combined talents of these legendary performers.

Listen to their music