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November 23, 2014

Welcome, Bivolița

nice color! lovely choice of type

I first encountered accordionist Christina Crowder back in Budapest almost 20 years ago. She was playing amazing klezmer and doing lots of interesting field research. Twenty years later, she is in New Haven, CT, and has a new ensemble, which she calls a "Bessarabian Chamber Klezmer" ensemble. Last night I got to hear it first hand in the relaxed confines of the Armory for the Arts in Somerville.

Bivolița is a klezmer trio, a Bessarabian chamber klezmer ensemble. They play a relaxed interleaving of dance sets based primarily on Crowder's research (both fieldwork, and as a print music geek), with additional special numbers brought to the band by other members. It is a more stately presentation of music than one might be used to, but also a fun one. Crowder's accordion is a powerful anchor. Last night, Brooklynite Keryn Kleiman filled in on lead violin, contributing some pieces new to the ensemble (usually, we would have heard Gretchen Frazier on viola), with Brian Slattery playing an essential, and lively "secunde" violin.

This is a fun approach to klezmer. I am glad that their first release is, in fact, a live recording, Live at USNH, available from CDbaby.com, purveyors of so much fun, independent music. Something to consider with the holiday gift season approaching!

November 9, 2014

New video: "I could have danced all night" in Yiddish

Now on YouTube, "I Could Have Danced All Night" in Yiddish! Performed by Temma Schaechter of Di Shekhter-tekhter

November 4, 2014

Review of Zisl Slepovitch's excellent "Litvakus" CD, from Jewcy

This past week saw the CD release of Dmitri "Zisl" Slepovitch's latest project, Litvakus. To note that the CD is an extraordinary Eastern-European-style klezmer CD would be an understatement. (We would expect no less from the person responsible for the equally lovely Minsker Kapelye CD several years ago). You'll understand why the review is so knowledgeable when you glance at the byline:

Litvakus' New Album "Raysn" is Party Music for the Klezmer Set: Ethnomusicologist Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch plays the Jewish music of his native Belarus, by Rokhl Kafrissen / October 29, 2014

November 3, 2014

Joel Rubin Ensemble concert Geneva, "Midnight Prayer"

Joel writes: A nice video of part of my Midnight Prayer program with the Joel Rubin Ensemble in Geneva this past June 15 at Théâtre Cité Bleue, sponsored by Les amis de la musique juive. With Kálmán Balogh, cimbalom, Csaba Novák, bass, Claudio Jacomucci, accordion, Mark Kovnatskiy, violin:

He adds: (p.s. the CD of the whole program is on Traditional Crossroads and just went into a second printing :-) )

Academic Conf on Jewish Liturgical Music, Leeds, UK, Jun 2015

Academic Conference on Jewish Liturgical music

University of Leeds, UK
Tuesday 16 - Friday 19 June 2015
AHRC "Care for the Future" Theme, Performing the Jewish Archive

For the first time in Britain an International Academic Conference is being devoted to the music of Jewish prayer. Internationally acclaimed scholars in Jewish liturgical music will lead the programme presented jointly by the School of Music, University of Leeds and the Academic Wing of the European Cantors Association.

The conference is organised in association with the international research project Performing the Jewish Archive, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Rory Michelle's next kickstarter: "The God Album"

From Rory Michelle:

Hi Jewish music mailing list!

I'm excited to share that I'm recording an album of songs inspired by Jewish texts and Pete Seeger. These 8 songs were written during my time at Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies this spring in Jerusalem.

They range from a fun, playful ballad about Rabban Gamliel to a singable interpretive version of Birkat Hamazon, that many have loved and claimed as a great Jewish camp song - and more. Please check out my Kickstarter Page here. (spelled out: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rorymichelle/rory-michelles-3rd-studio-album-the-god-album)

I'd be very grateful if you would take a look, consider funding, and share it with your networks.

Many, many thanks!
Rory Michelle, singer-songwriter

November 1, 2014

Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw to Unveil Core Exhibition

This is the amazing project Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett has been working on these past few years. Tremendously exciting.

To Celebrate Its Jewish History, Poland Presents 'a Museum of Life': Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw to Unveil Core Exhibition, by Rick Lyman, Oct 21, 2014

WARSAW -- With anti-Semitism having become more prominent again across Europe, something quite different is growing in a huge, translucent building at the center of a vanished neighborhood in Warsaw.

After several days of concerts, seminars, festivals and hoopla, the core exhibition of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews -- the most ambitious cultural institution to rise in Poland since the fall of Communism -- will be unveiled on Tuesday. Poland's top political leaders will be there, as will the president of Israel and other international dignitaries. The institution has been embraced across the political spectrum and has drawn only scattered, mild protest.…