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August 23, 2012

Reb Shlomo meets Nigeria - Zion80

Here's a recent article by Alexander Gelfund in the Forward about the latest Jon Madof project, Zion80, which mashes up Shlomo Carlebach melodies with West African rhythms:

East Village Meets West Africa: Isrobeat Pioneers Zion80 Mash Up Shlomo Carlebach with Rhythms Inspired by Fela Kuti, by Alexander Gelfund, Aug 17, 2012

August 2, 2012

Klezmer Idol winners, Ezekiel's Wheel, captured live

It was a drizzly, rainy evening as I rode my bicycle to the library for a delightful concert by Ezekiel's Wheel. The band is young, skillful, and inventive. It is a pleasure to listen to people in love with the music explore it live. I also realized how much klezmer has changed, even in the hands of relatively traditionalist players (without speaking of yeshivish or djs and the rock/jazz bands with the one "hava nagila" set—I have never, in fact, heard Ezekiel's Wheel play "Hava Nagila"). Nobody is trying to imitate old '78s any more. The tunes are longer, more danceish, more improvised. And even here, Sephardic music and other influences find their way, both explicitly and otherwise, into the playing. As I said, a delight