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March 31, 2012

Kickstarter: Document wooden synagogue painting recreation

This is a wonderful new project that I've heard of via the wonderful Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett:

Please put out the word! Help us document on film the creation of this extraordinary wooden synagogue's exquisite painted ceiling and timber-framed roof. More about how you can help: www.kickstarter.com/projects/15287081/filming-the-replication-of-a-17th-century-wooden-s

3rd International Jewish Music Competition, Amsterdam - Applications accepted until July 1, 2012

Amsterdam's International Jewish Music Festival (IJMF) is hosting the 3rd International Jewish Music Competition, October 11-14, 2012. IJMF will welcome approximately 100 musicians in 24 ensembles from around the world, playing everything from renaissance and rap to classical and klezmer. The competitions in 2008 and 2010 resulted in cash prize awards, recording contracts, and bookings, both at leading Jewish music festivals and at mainstream halls such as the Concertgebouw (the 'Carnegie Hall' of Europe). Registration is open until July 1, 2012. WHAT, WHEN & HOW The competition is for ensembles and individual musicians, 16 years or older, specializing in performing Jewish music with the goal of an international career. For the purposes of this competition, "Jewish music" includes all musical genres - classical, liturgical, folk, jazz, pop, world music, etc. - in which Jewish elements are clearly recognizable. Applicants for this unique competition, which takes place October 11-14, are required to submit sample recordings, a press photo and a short biography. PRIZES & JURY The prizes awarded during the 2010 competition were valued at more than 70,000 euros ($92,000). Besides a grand prize trophy made of alabaster and diamond and 5,000 euros ($6,500) in prize money, the participating ensembles competed for recording contracts, bookings and representation by a leading New York agency. Festival director Ken Gould expects the total prize value in 2012 to approach 100,000 euros ($130,000). "The Competition is a unique showcase in the Jewish music world, and this year we are inviting even more producers and promoters to come and scout among the groups." The jury will be comprised of prominent figures from the music and recording industry. Past juries included Frank London, Hankus Netsky and Adrienne Cooper. MOTIVATION "These are some of the most motivated musicians I've ever seen," says director Gould. "They come from all around the world at their own expense, which in turn motivates our team to make it worth their while." But is it worth it, even for the non-winners? "Absolutely. Nearly all of our previous competitors say that participating in the competition has significantly boosted their careers." With six months to go, IJMF is gearing up to receive applications. "More than a hundred ensembles have inquired about this year's competition, so apparently word gets around." Complete information and the registration form are available online at www.ijmf.org.

March 17, 2012

Central Massachusetts "Klezmer Idol"?

Last Sunday night I was one of the judges at the Boston Jewish Music Festival's "Klezmer Idol" (more about which, anon). So much fun was had, that Fred Ledley, of Shpilkes Klezmer, is interest in helping to organizae a similar contest at the Worcester, MA JCC:

We are working with the Worcester JCC to organize a “Battle of the Klezmer Bands” at the Worcester JCC around Chanukah 2012—date to be announced. This will be similar to last [Sunday] night's Klemer Idol at Ryles (which was awesome).

We are looking for amateur bands that would like to participate in an afternoon or evening event.

This will be a high energy, friendly “competition,” where everyone wins by being part of an evening of great music with a wonderful audience and the camaraderie of other Klezmorim.

Would it be possible to post or send a call-out to bands that might be interested. I know the local bands, but there must also be bands in central/west MA and surrounding areas.

Fred Ledley
Shpilkes Klezmer Band
E-mail Shpilkes