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November 29, 2013

Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, z"l

From Shane Baker. We have lost our most prolific Yiddish songwriter and a warm, wonderful, person. Details to come:

"Beyle Gottesman passed away today. Funeral this Sunday, Dec 1st, 2013 at Plaza, 91st & Amsterdam, noon"

Rokhl Kafrissen has posted a remembrance of Beyle on her blog.

Daughter-in-law Emily Socolov published a tribute in the Forward, "A Poet's Life Spanning Shtetl and Subway" on Dec 3, 2013.

"Few of us will lead a life as full as my "shviger" (mother-in-law), Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman: a life that spanned an ocean with an unremitting creative urge and a sense of personal purpose that encompassed a universe. While it may appear that her tragedies outweighed her joys, she dazzled the world with her accomplishments and was always anticipating her next one. Fiercely independent, Beyle was not to be trifled with. Up until the end, she demanded to be heard, to be addressed personally, and to communicate in the Yiddish language she so fiercely advocated. She was loyal to the Bronx, to her home, and to her family, and never stopped working with a pen in hand, a pen that could either write a Yiddish poem or sketch a scene on the street….

November 27, 2013

"Erev Thanksgivukkah" Live! Wednesday Night on the Yiddish Voice WUNR 1600-AM/Boston

Internationally renowned Yiddish music master Hankus Netsky joins several musical friends live in-studio on "The Yiddish Voice" (WUNR 1600-AM, Boston) on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, at 7:30 PM, to celebrate "Erev Thanksgivukkah", the eve of both Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah, an extremely rare occurrence in Jewish and American calendars. Hanukkah music, as well as music giving thanks for America, will be played live. Dr. Hankus Netsky, chair of the Contemporary Improvisation Department at the New England Conservatory founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and musical director, producer and arranger for "Eternal Echoes," Itzhak Perlman's acclaimed Jewish music project, featuring cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. He has composed extensively for film, theater, and television, and has also collaborated on projects with such artists as Robin Williams, Joel Grey, and Theodore Bikel. Besides Netsky, additional anticipated musical guests include Henry Carrey, Linda Gritz, and Dina Ressler. Henry Carrey is the son of Leah Carrey, the late longtime Boston Jewish radio celebrity, and a veteran Yiddish actor and singer. Linda Gritz is a founding member of the Boston Workman's Circle Yiddish Chorus, and leads monthly Yiddish singalongs in Brookline. Dobe (Dena) Ressler is bandleader, cofounder, and clarinetist of Di Bostoner Klezmorim (yiddishmusic.com). The Yiddish Voice (Dos Yidishe Kol), Boston's weekly Yiddish-language radio show, is heard each week on WUNR 1600 AM from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM and live-streamed on the Internet at www.yiddishvoice.com. For more information, visit www.yiddishvoice.com.

November 26, 2013

Arik Einstein, z"l

From Ha-Aretz, today. Very sad. Arik Einstein was one of the pioneers of Israeli pop music, from his early collaborations with the High Windows and Shalom Chanoch, to his goofy Sixties movies, to platters that defined the early 1970s for so many of us--"At Avigdor's Grass," with "אני ואתה" or my favorite, "Go Slow," whose title song seemed to define so much about life's meaning. (It was also played periodically by an Israeli friend during one particularly difficult cross-country trip, but that's another story.)

1939-2013 || Israeli music legend Arik Einstein dies at age 74

"Einstein was considered the godfather of the new generation of Israeli music that emerged in the 60s, serving as a link between Israel's tradition of folk music and the emergence of rock-n-roll...."

November 24, 2013

"Wandering Stars" CD launch

From a post to the Jewish-Music mailing list. Not clear if the launch activity is a lecture, concert, or both:

Julian Futter and Mike Aylward are proud to announce the launch of a new CD - "Wandering Stars" - the story of Gimpel's Lemberg Yiddish theatre.

We are launching this CD on Thursday 5 Dec at 8.00p.m. at the New London Synagogue, 33 Abbey Rd, London, NW8 0AT and anyone who is in London is welcome to come.

In 1900 Lemberg was one of the most important cities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire with a population of 160,000, of whom a third were Jewish. The Lemberg theatre was the first permanent and most important Yiddish theatre in Europe.
Sholem Aleichem visited in 1905 and based his novel "Wandering Stars" on his experiences there.

In 1910 Franz Kafka was profoundly affected when he saw members of the troupe perform in Prague , Joseph Roth and Mark Chagall were also hugely influenced by what they saw.

The theatre gave birth to a unique form of musical drama that to a significant extent shaped popular American culture.

Thanks to the efforts of a small band of record collectors and discographers operating worldwide, many of these records have been documented and copies located and it is now possible for the first time in over 100 years to give a voice to this silenced civilization whose destruction has been rigorously documented, but whose achievements have so far been largely unexplored. Listen to songs about weddings, wild women, drinking, the original Yidl mit sein Fidl, a Hatikvah recorded in 1909, an out of control Simchas Torah and, of course, Sex.

The recordings are accompanied by a richly illustrated, full colour, 40 page booklet which places the theatre in its historical context, provides full biographies of the artists and detailed information on all the recordings.

CD available online: www.honestjons.com/shop.php?pid=43514&CatID=124

November 6, 2013

Chana Mlotek, z"l

Without her Yiddish song books, my house would have so little Yiddish music. But, that was only the tip of the iceberg. Fred Blumenthal sends the following brief obit to the Jewish-Music list. A more complete obit is available from the NY Times (and eventually, on presumes, from the Forward?):

A Yiddishe Momme of Music, Chana Mlotek, Dies at 91

From today's Post-Dispatch: Deaths Elsewhere - Chana Mlotek

The noted archivist of Yiddish folk music has died at age 91. Her son Zalmen says she died of cancer Monday (Nov. 4, 2013) at her Bronx, N.Y. home. Ms. Mlotek was an impassioned collector of Yiddish theater songs and folk music from Europe's historic Jewish communities. Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer once called Ms. Mlotek and her husband, Joseph, "the Sherlock Holmeses of Yiddish folk songs."