April 16, 2006

The writeups: The 2006 Boston Jewish Music mini-fest/KCB Reunion/KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary celebration

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryIt took Passover to find time to do it. Now that I've taken down the storm windows, picked up some mulch for the yard, I can sit down and write. So, not only have I written about the KCB Reunion, but so have Dena Ressler (originally posted to the Jewish Music list) and Nancy Metashvili (email to friends).

I also want to acknowledge the few volunteers whose names I have: Ruby, Dena Ressler, Freddie, Becky Kaplan, Marc Adler, the workshop leaders, and all the volunteers whose names I don't have. Ya'll made it possible, and made the event a pleasure.

In the meantime, of course, planning is proceeding on next year's festival. Drop me a line if you'd like to be involved.

April 3, 2006

2006 Boston Jewish Music Fest/KCB Reunion/KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary pix up

at the jam sessionOkay, the final batch of pictures is up on flickr (to the extent that my free account allows)—search for tag bjmf2006.

And, you can get the slightly larger set at the official KlezmerShack/Ivritype photo gallery:

There are a lot of people I don't know—if you can identify someone in a picture who isn't identified (or is incorrectly identified), send me the URL and the name. Thanks!

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryI'll be putting up some articles about the festival this week, if all goes well. And Friday I meet with Barrie Keller at the JCC to think about doing another one, next year. If you are interested in being on the organizing committee (and especially if you know of good funding sources/connections), speak up!

March 26, 2006

An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryTo everyone who was a part of this concert, audience, workshop participant, performer, I just have to say, "thank you". It was sold out. The band was fabulous. The workshops were crowded and had a lot of fun (especially the one that I was co-moderating). Wow!

Continue reading "An amazing 10th Anniversary sendoff/KCB Reunion/mini-Jewish Music Fest - the 'too tired to write/too hyper to sleep yet' entry" »

March 23, 2006

Ride-Shares to KCB reunion? Cambridge student and others in need

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryIn one of the wonderful ironies of running the KlezmerShack, I'm here in Albuquerque at a conference and will miss the first concert this weekend. In the meantime, I am hearing from college students looking for rides to the concert (in my stead?). As much as I appreciate the amazing job that the LSJCC has done in facilitating this event (okay, doing just about everything, plus providing the major chunk of cash), the JCC is in a location in Newton remote from useful bus service and very far for hiking in from the T.

If you can offer a ride Saturday night or Sunday, please e-mail me (don't post phone numbers or email addresses as comments). And, if you need a ride, also email me.

There are going to be two very different concerts Saturday night and Sunday, so I encourage people to attend both. And especially, let me help facilitating all or both so that we get as many people to attend as possible. Oh, and did I get to mention that I'll be speaking at a roundtable on Sunday? Look forward to meeting people then.

March 8, 2006

KCB Reunion - last call for Playbill ads

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryI forgot to mention one last thing that people can do to support this last KlezmerShack 10th anniversary event: take out an ad in the Playbill—the program.

Unfortunately, that opportunity closes on Friday. If you would like to show your support the KCB Reunion with an ad in the playbill, call Celia Kaplan, Playbill Advertising Manager at 617-965-1829 between now and Friday!

Many thanks, Ari

March 6, 2006

KCB Reunion/KlezmerShack 10th - you can help!

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryHere are some things that you can do for this festival:

Continue reading "KCB Reunion/KlezmerShack 10th - you can help!" »

Workshop Schedule set for final KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary Concert

KlezmerShack 10th AnniversaryAs the dates approach for the Klezmer Conservatory Band reunion + Mini Jewish Music festival (Mar 25-26), we finally have final info on the Sunday workshops for the fest. In addition to the workshops and the concerts, there will also be information tables and possibly other activities in the JCC lobby. See ya'll in about three weeks:

(And if you are interested in volunteering on Sunday, do email me; if you can help fund this festival, do contact the Leventhal-Sidman JCC

Continue reading "Workshop Schedule set for final KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary Concert" »

February 19, 2006

Call for Volunteers: KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary / Klezmer Conservatory Band Reunion


Klezmer Conservatory Band Reunion
and mini-KlezmerFestival

Saturday, March 25, 8pm
Sunday, March 26: workshops 1-3:30; concert 4pm

Special Guests include:
Michael Alpert
Rosalie Gerut
Deborah Strauss
Jeff Warschauer

I am most embarrassed to note that I haven't said anything in months (possibly ever) about the grand finale to the KlezmerShack 10th anniversary—a KCB Revival reunion, accompanied by a slew of workshops. You can find out more on our calendar, or a the Leventhal-Sidman JCC site.

The important thing to note at the moment, is that we will need volunteers to help during the event. Like other 10th Anniversary Events (including a concert at the beginning of the celebration, last spring, at the JCC) this may sell out, so get tickets early, and if you can help out, Please send me e-mail.

And, between now and March 25th and 26th, expect to hear lots more about this event.

April 4, 2005

KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary: the party continues

Showcasing the newest generation of klezmer:
Recklez (Harvard Klezmer Ensemble) and
KlezMITron 5765 (the MIT Klezmer band)
will be playing this Saturday, April 9, at the All-Asia Bar in Central Square, Cambridge, from 1-4 pm (2 sets, $5 to stay as long as you want).

KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary

Charming Hostess rules / Ale Brider returns in Choir Fest

band in the 'burbsThe first wave of KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary concerts came to an end this weekend with two amazing concerts.

In two weeks, in venues from Zeitgeist in Inman Square to the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center in Newton we managed to have full houses, which is pretty nifty in a town that supposedly has moved on from Klezmer. Of course, as this past weekend's concerts illustrate, the KlezmerShack is about much more than klezmer, itself.

Continue reading "Charming Hostess rules / Ale Brider returns in Choir Fest" »

April 1, 2005

Charming Hostess celebrate KlezmerShack 10th tonight in Cambridge, MA

album coverThe new Charming Hostess album is splendid. It's the first album I've liked as much as I loved their first, which is still in the car rotation eight years later. The women do things with their voices—it's like "Sweet Honey in the Rock" but more diverse, like "Zap Mama" only more interesting. But why take my word for it? You can catch them tonight, Friday, April 1, in Cambridge, MA, 8:30pm as part of the touring CD Release party for their new Tzadik release, "Sarajevo Blues". It's $8 at the Center for New Words, 186 Hampshire St. (across from S&S Deli Parking). If you can't make it, you can at least read the review: Charming Hostess / Sarajevo Blues.

March 22, 2005

Two sold out concerts

So, the 2nd KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary concert last Sunday was another packed house in which amazing music was played to everyone's delight. I could happily get used to thanking musicians for producing wonderful shows.

Rebecca Kaplan and Pete Rushefsky were outstanding. I have seen both of them perform apart, and I've heard the CD, but hearing them, watching them live together was extraordinary. Who would have thought that voice and tsimbl—or at least this voice and this tsimbl would fit so well together?

As for di bostoner klezmer, this is the first time I've seen them with new addition Christina Crowder. They were inspired. The music and musicianship were wonderful. Even better, almost all of the repertoire was unfamiliar—this was stuff learned from recent emigrants such as German Goldenshteyn, or picked up by Christina during her research in Romania, or newly written by Brian. Very traditional-sounding klezmer, but not a traditional show at all.

The next two 10th Anniversary co-sponsored concerts (neither sold out, quite yet, are:

  • Fri, Apr 1: Charming Hostess, at Center for New Words, Cambridge, 8:30pm
  • Sat, Sun, Apr 2-3: On My Grandmother's Knee, Featuring The National Spiritual Ensemble and A Besere Velt: Yiddish Community Chorus of the Workmen's Circle, with special guests Hankus Netsky and Adrienne Cooper at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC, Newton, 8pm/2pm

It is likely that at neither of these concerts, different from the first two, will "Ale Brider" be played as an encore.

Stay tuned for DJ SoCalled in June, and more events throughout the year. This year's goal to to make a new audience aware of the diversity of new and traditional Jewish music. We're off to a very gratifying start.

March 17, 2005

Divahn unable to make tonight's Khevre/Divahn double-bill in Cambridge, MA

Michael Winograd writes:

in a last minute decision, Divahn had to back out for tonight. Galeet is ill. This is quite unfortunate... Khevre will play both sets in this case. They've lowered the door price from $15 to $12.

Sorry to be the bringer of bad news-- this decision was just finalized last night. Nonetheless, it will still be a great show—see you tonight

March 15, 2005

Do you live in the Boston area?

As I've been mentioning every couple of days, the first KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary concerts are coming up starting this Thursday, Mar 17, with Khevre and Divahn, and then Sunday, Mar 20 with di bostoner klezmer and Rebecca Kaplan & Pete Rushefsky.

A bit late, I have finally put together a PDF of a poster advertising the concerts. If you live in the Boston area and there is a place where you work or go to school or in a neighborhood shop where a poster would be appropriate, you can download the poster, print it out, and post it up. Spread the word!

See ya'll later this week.

March 6, 2005

First KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary Concerts lined up

Klezmershack 10th Anniversary small logo

Wherever you see this logo (above) on the KlezmerShack, you can click it to get the listing of 10th Anniversary events.

It is only two weeks away from the first wave of KlezmerShack 10th Anniversary concerts here in the Boston Area.

Here's the immediate summary:

In other news, we have begun planning a concert for next spring (Apr 1 and Apr 2, 2006) which, if all goes well, with involve Boston's Klezmer Conservatory Band and some nifty workshops. More on that in a separate item when I've had some sleep.

Finally, Craig Taubman has agreed to help with a "Celebrate KlezmerShack" CD, which will involve a pitifully small selection of the bands/cuts that have made doing all of this so much fun over the last 10 years. If the first does well, we'll do more. I'm going to be shooting for a mix of stuff from essential bands, some from international bands that are unfamiliar to American audiences, and there will probably be a heavy smattering of newer bands and recordings. But more on that, too, as things get put together.

February 8, 2005

Doing my best to sell out

me in the old t-shirtIt's time to launch the official 10th anniversary KlezmerShack celebration. The first concerts are sponsored next month (details very, very soon) and I'm working on the press release as fast as I can type. In the meantime, I have updated the KlezmerShack logo (see the top of this web page) to reflect this year, and opened a new Klezmershack shop with CafePress. (The design I was wearing at KlezKanada several years ago, in this picture to your left, has been retired. At least, for now. If nothing else, I am still exploring new spellings of the term "klezmer" in Hebrew and Yiddish, and looking for excuses to use more of my favorite Hebrew fonts. Out with the old, in with the new. What else is a consumer society for, if not new swag from the KlezmerShack?)

I'll add new items to the store as time permits or people request CafePress that they see featured on other websites. In the meantime, please feel encouraged to purchase as much swag as seems appropriate - I actually get a percentage of the sales, which helps pay the electric bill and such.

Why CafePress? Two reasons. First, they create each item on demand, so if nobody wants any of this stuff, all that was wasted was a bit of time. Second, they handle shipping and everything else, so you're not waiting for me to get my act together to send you t-shirts that I'm going to get more of just next month or whenever. Things go out to you almost as fast as you order them. And they have staff who are there to handle complaints when things go wrong. I like that.

January 10, 2005

Music from "The Shvitz" revisited!

Album cover: This cover gives punk klez a bad name.It's official. As I wrote last week, the KlezmerShack started, in part as a place to put six reviews that I wrote for Whole Earth Review (Fall 1995). I'm not good at holding on to copies of things, so it will come as no surprise that I long ago donated my old copies of WER to a prison library.

One of my most vivid memories about writing those initial reviews (taking the time to try to write just one paragraph about each CD, rather than drown the reader in ill-thought verbosity) is how I held up the articles for two new CDs: The Statman/Grisman CD that friends were very excited about, and the new Klezmatics "Jews with Horns".

In the end, however, although the KlezmerShack launched, as near as I can tell, with a review of "Jews with Horns" (and reviews of the two preceding Klezmatics albums, as well) I apparently decided to write a review of Frank London's first solo album, the soundtrack to a wonderful movie, "The Shvitz". Who remembered? Although, thinking back, I suspect that I was working on breadth: I wanted to give people a sense, from the recent Tarras reissue to this CD, of how much territory, even back in 1995, "klezmer" covered.

As I type this note, I am listening again to the soundtrack. It's still good. Features folks like Frank and the entire Klezmatics team, plus Elliott Sharp and Marc Ribot and Greg Wall and other less-familiar names of folks who became the mainstay of the Radical Jewish Music team on Tzadik. It's still worth listening to, just like the other five recordings. But then, so is "Jews with Horns"! When you have to choose only six recordings, it's hard to go wrong!

January 4, 2005

10th Anniversary Coming - Help needed

As near as I can determine, the first version of the KlezmerShack came online on June 19, 1995, hosted on the WELL, as "Ari Davidow's Klezmer Page". It accompanied an article I wrote for the late Whole Earth Review. It was titled something like "Six Essential Klezmer Albums" and I can't currently swear what all six original reviews were. (The magazine had been running a series on interesting world music, and six was their magic number.) The web was new, and it seemed like anyone writing such an article would naturally put up a webpage where updates and news could be noted.

I'll talk more about that original website as the anniversary approaches. (You can view the earliest web-archived klezmershack at the "Wayback Machine" at any time.) The KlezmerShack, itself, will celebrate with a new series of database-backed services over the next few months, starting with the recently innaugurated e-mail database that now protects almost all e-mail addresses on the website from spammers. I have promised to come up with a 10th-anniversary t-shirt and to actually make it available.

I'm also thinking about hosting or co-sponsoring a live event(s) here in Boston. But, I am also the person who explains to visiting bands that I have yet to succeed in getting one a gig. So, if you have ideas or expertise, now is the time to contact me. June isn't so far away.

E-mail Ari Davidow.