January 22, 2018

Yiddish song of the week: "Mirtseshem af shabes" Performed by Khave Rosenblatt

From Pete Rushefsky, on Facebook:

He whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles and whistles, and doesn't want to stop. With the Rebbe's power the train will be trounced. Performance by Khave Rosenblatt, with commentary by Itzik Gottesman. Now at CTMD's Yiddish Song of the Week!

January 19, 2017

The Lost Vault of Klezmer

This was posted last month, but it's a great story involving Michael Aylward and Joel Rubin. Enjoy!

The Lost Vault of Klezmer

Recently, after almost a decade of sleuthing, a rogue British hobbyist and one of the greatest living klezmer musicians uncovered a lost trove of vinyl records from the earliest days of the Jewish music industry. This week, we follow in their footsteps and revise musical history. We talk to the discoverers of klezmer's "lost vault", Michael Aylward and Joel Rubin, and we take a look at how the American working class fell out of love with opera. Plus, we indulge in some happy memories of holiday music.

December 22, 2016

Joel Rubin on "Good Reason" podcast

From Joel Rubin:

"Here's a podcast of the Dec. 13 broadcast of "With Good Reason" radio, which interviewed me in the first segment on the anthology Chekhov's Band: Eastern European Klezmer Music 1908-1913, and the recent CD with Veretski Pass, Poyln: A Gilgul:

September 9, 2016

Dave Tarras on video from CTMD

This announcement is over a year old, but I have no record of having shared it. About time! From Pete Rushefsky, Executive Director of the CTMD.

Center for Traditional Music and Dance is pleased to make available footage from a landmark November 1978 concert by the Dave Tarras Trio which also featured a youthful Andy Statman & Zev Feldman in their public debut, plus Yiddish singers Feigl Yudin and Ethel Raim. We're grateful for the work of Clara Byom (U. New Mexico) making this material available...

August 31, 2016

"Ver es vil kayn tate-mame folgn" Performed by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman

This week's "Yiddish Song of the Week" features the original (two originals, in fact) of a song that was remixed as part of the WAKS recording that I reviewed this week.

"Ver es vil kayn tate-mame folgn" Performed by Lifshe Schaechter-Widman, recorded in 1954

July 13, 2016

Dropkin releases "Lutzifer"

Jewlia Eisenberg has been talking up the poetry and stories of Yiddish writer Celia Dropkin since I've known her. I cannot tell you all how excited to hear this finally get recorded, and in such a superlative, avant-garde fashion. Check it out on Soundcloud. I can't tell, though—this might not be new, but rather, the 5-year anniversary since this was released. Dynamite, either way:


Dropkin is an avant-rock band with music by Roy Yarkoni. The lyrics are Hebrew translations of poems by the Yiddish modernist Celia Dropkin (1887-1956). Her work is intensely personal, rich with violent sexuality, intense longing, and strange explorations of family dynamics. The music, like her poetry, is ambitious, sensual, and a bit scary.

June 3, 2016

naftule's dream / blood - review on NPR

Yes, there is a new Naftule's Dream CD, and NPR's Milo Miles is on it:

Naftule's Dream Returns, With A Fleshy, Folkie New Album, by Milo Miles, June 1, 2016

March 22, 2016

"The Big Megillah," a classic from the Austin Klezmorim

One of my favorite all-time recordings comes from the classic Austin Klezmorim album, East of Odessa. With the permission of the band's leader, Bill Averbach, I reprise an mp3 of their classic retelling of the story of Purim in jazz argot, "The Big Megillah." Enjoy.

August 23, 2015

Supergroup, "Brothers Nazaroff" to release Prince Nazaroff tribute 10/23/15

Posted to Facebook by Francesco Spagnolo

Klezmer Supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff Revive "Yiddish Pendant to the Anthology of American Folk Music" (out 10/23/15)

On October 23, Smithsonian Folkways will release The Brothers Nazaroff: The Happy Prince, a boisterous, high-energy tribute to cult Yiddish troubadour Nathan "Prince" Nazaroff, who recorded the mysterious Folkways 10-inch record Jewish Freilach Songs in 1954. International klezmer supergroup The Brothers Nazaroff, composed of Daniel Kahn, Psoy Korolenko, Michael Alpert, Jake Shulman-Ment, Bob Cohen, and Hampus Melin, breathe new life into the discordant, obscure, jubilant legacy of their Happy Prince. [More, including audio sample]

July 3, 2015

Podcast: album launch: "Chekov's Band"

From Joel Rubin, who has been behind so many excellent anthologies of historic Jewish music:

"Our famous, Jewish orchestra, you remember, four violins, a flute and a double bass" (Gayev in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, 1904)

Renair records are proud to announce the fourth of their series of issues exploring the story of Jewish recorded music. For more than one-hundred years the recordings on this CD had lain forgotten and unheard in the EMI archives. This ground breaking release of these extraordinary early recordings rewrites the story of Jewish instrumental music. Their exuberance and life affirming feeling allow us a glimpse into a world that has completely vanished. We interview Joel Rubin and Julian Futter to find out more.

May 5, 2015

Music for a Jewish wedding, radio from 2004

Denis Wilen just sent me this link from the Internet Archive: Music of the Klezmer Wedding by Eric Fixler and Craig Harwood Usage Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Topics klezmer, wedding, jewish, yiddish, socalled This is the Oy Mendele! episode from December 2004, when we were still on KALX. It features music historian Craig Harwood and myself walking through the sequence of a traditional Eastern European Jewish wedding, with music of then and now. It's worth listening to just to hear Craig say 'groovin'

April 24, 2015

Yiddish Song of the week: One song, three pogroms

A song used in variant forms to memorialize tragedies befalling early 20th century Jewish communities in Kishinev, Bialystock and Volodarka. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman, now on Center for Traditional Music and Dance's Yiddish Song of the Week...

A project of CTMD's An-sky Institute for Jewish Culture

April 3, 2015

A polish "Khad-gadyo" performed by Mordkhe Schaechter

Yiddish song of the week: A Polish "Khad-gadyo" Performed by Mordkhe Schaechter A Polish Khad-gadyo Sung by Mordkhe Schaechter Recorded by Leybl Kahn in 1954 New York. Commentary by Itzik Gottesman Though not in Yiddish, we present this week's short ditty in the spirit of celebrating the upcoming holiday of Passover and as a contrast to last week's Yiddish Khad-Gadyo. This is either the beginning of a longer Khad-gadyo song or perhaps simply a children's rhyme based on khad-gadyo.

January 23, 2015

the return of J. Edgar Klezmer

From Eve Sicular:

My 2009 Sara Ivry interview just re-posted by Tablet Magazine in time for our 2015 sneak preview of the new run for 'J. EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother's FBI Files' (Feb 6th at The Actors Temple NYC; Feb 12-15 at Centenary Stage Company, Hackettstown NJ). I obtained the declassified documents on Grandma—Dr. Adele Sicular—through a Freedom of Information Act request, and created a piece of musical documentary theater we're now bringing back with Isle of Klezbos & Metropolitan Klezmer bandmates. A few government surveillance revelations have surfaced meanwhile.

October 18, 2014

Catch Mark Rubin and the Youngers of Zion live on your laptop 10/24

Those who have scanned the KlezmerShack calendar may have noticed that Mark Rubin and the Youngers of Zion will be performing next week in Lafayette, LA. What you may not know is that you can tune in. Pay what you want, and the Blackpot Festival and Valcour Records Present will be playing this 30 minute (or longer) show directly into their laptop, just for you! Feel free to request songs in the chat room and leave a tip when you enjoy something.

Details at

September 9, 2014

Klezmatics in studio, interview, on Voice of Israel

From Eitan of the "Voice of Israel." The Klezmatics are in town for a sacred music festival:

Musicians Frank London and David Licht of the Grammy award-winning band The Klezmatics perform live in-studio on VOI's Yishai Fleisher Show. Tune in for a fun conversation about culture, sacred music, and 'Jewy' pride.

May 17, 2014

Klezmer Podcast 115 - Golem

cd cover

Golem has a hot new release featuring their patented klezmer/yiddish/balkan-ish punk anarchy. The opening song is like a cross between Cyndi Lauper's "Girls want to have fun" and Daniel Kahn. Get the complete scoop in this week's Klezmer Podcast as the Annette discusses "Tanz," and more. What I find most fascinating is her description of the inspiration for her current songwriting based on her husband's family stories—Russian Jewish stories not from our grandparents, but from our time. What better subject for a Jewish punk-rock-traditional band?

Klezmer Podcast 115: Annette Ezekiel Kogan, of Golem

You can also catch Annette, with violinist Jeremy Brown, interviewed by Sarah Ivry on Vox Tablet:

September 4, 2013

"The Yellow Ticket" reviewed in Philadelphia podcast

One of the most rewarding productions I have seen this year was the live music score written to accompany an early silent film, The Yellow Star. Written by violin maestro (maestra?) Alicia Svigals, and performed by her along with the equally amazing pianist, Marilyn Lerner, was incredible. The movie? Okay, it is easy to see how it got lost between the cracks. But the combination of violin, piano, and human voice that accompany the movie change the experience from viewing a static cultural document with curious history (essentially, an anti-Russian propoganda film created by Germans during WWI), to something far more alive and exciting—a iece that one hopes will remain in the active performance repertoire.

The piece is especially poignant as the National Foundation for Jewish Culture seems to have gotten out of the Jewish culture business and is instead focused on Israeli culture (not remotely the same thing, despite the obvious intersections). Feh.

In the meantime, folks in Philadelphia have done what I did not do when the piece was presented here in Boston earlier this year: they have reviewed the piece. So, let me provide a link to their audio podcast for your elucidation and pleasure:

The Yellow Ticket: An Early Record of 20th-Century Anti-Semitism, By David Patrick Stearns, May 12, 2013

"The 2013 Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival concluded with a curious 1918 silent film, The Yellow Ticket, presented at the Gershman Y in Center City, with live musical accompaniment that gave the often-grainy images a new life and renewed meaning. One of the first films about anti-Semitism, The Yellow Ticket reminded The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns just how much the world has changed - and how much it has yet to change." [listen to the complete audio]

May 29, 2013

Molly Picon video, recordings now online via FAU

The Judaica Sound Archives at FAU Libraries honors the work and life of Molly Picon. Compiling 58 of her earliest songs produced on 78 rpm records and four of her LP albums produced later in her career, the JSA invites you to revisit the talents of a truly great Jewish female icon. Who was Molly Picon? She was an actress, singer, and comedian whose career spanned over 70 years. Debuting in the Yiddish Theater at the age of six she emerged as a respected American actress, performing with Frank Sinatra in Come Blow Your Horn (1963) and starring on Broadway in Milk & Honey (1961) and the film, Fiddler on the Roof (1971). Molly Picon's career followed Yiddish culture from the shtetl into mainstream America. Small and very youthful looking, she often had to fight to be taken seriously. She wore male clothing as a disguise through most of her breakout performance in Yidl Mit'n Fidl (1936) and several of her other early roles as well, including the well-known "Yankele." You can read more about Molly Picon at the Jewish Women's Archive. ClickClick here for Molly's LP albums. ClickClick here for Molly's 78 rpm recordings.

Film clip of a very young Molly Picon singing the title song from Yid'l Mit'n Fidl.

June 6, 2012

Jewish Music in Morocco

From George Robinson, to the Jewish-Music list, noting another great Tablet audio podcast by Sara Ivry:

Just wanted to pull your coat to an item at Tablet Magazine that will be of interest to list members:

Moroccan Grooves, Blogged

The blog in question, Jewish Morocco, is here:

And I enthusiastically second Chris Silver's plug for "El Gusto" the documentary about Jewish Moroccan musicians today. Terrific film, great people, thrilling music.

George (Great film critic, thrilling music) Robinson

May 13, 2012

Interesting new "post"-Sephardic ensemble from the UK coming to Brooklyn

I've been listening to the free "double EP" by this new ensemble with considerable interest. I'm not sure how to categorize it—obviously influenced by Balkan music, in general, and by modern electronica. Joe Sepharad sez, "check it out!"

I enclose a link to a new project The Sefiroth Ensemble. The group performs contemporary interpretations of traditional Sephardic music and we have just released a double-EP which available for free download here:

We will be performing at the Sephardic Music Festival in Brooklyn, NY this coming December so I am hoping to build a listenership in advance of our coming to the US.

Nick Roth, Artistic Director, Sefiroth Ensemble, London
E-mail Sefiroth.

April 21, 2012

April "Kosher Jam" UK show now available online

From host Michael Gerber:

The latest edition of my Kosher Jam show for UK Jazz Radio/Europe Jazz Radio – broadcast on 17th April and now on listen again – features a global roster of artists.

They include: French-Moroccan vocalist Laïka Fatien with her outstanding take on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Visions’; harmonica player Adam Glasser and music from his stirring South African township jazz CD; Brazilian vocalist Nicole Borger; Randy Newman performing one of his most poignant songs as re-recorded on a solo album; guitarist Steve Khan with a track from his Latin jazz album; Israeli jazz from flautist Ilan Salem and pianist Yitzhak Yedid; Yiddish world music singer-songwriter Lenka Lichtenberg; Toronto-based pianist Ron Davis with a Polish folk tune from his My Mother’s Father’s Song album inspired by his family history; and London-based band Just East, who are starring this month at the JazzAhead trade fair in Bremen, Germany.

Also featured: tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts improvising a Johnny Mandel/Dave Frishberg tune; alto saxophonist Libby Richman; vocalist Audrey Silver; tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger; bassist Josh Ginsberg; and with this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival about to get underway, a track from an 1955 album by its founder, pianist/vocalist George Wein.

There’s contemporary Jewish jazz from: clarinettist Ben Goldberg; the Masada Quintet with Joe Lovano interpreting John Zorn; The Sway Machinery; and Denmark-based saxophonist Marc Bernstein. And the late klez-jazz clarinettist Sam Musiker with joyous wedding music, from Songs For The Jewish American Jet Set CD, a compilation of artists recorded by the Tivka label between 1950-1973.

That’s 21 tracks in all, 2 hours of great music, accessible with 1 press of the button at:

September 8, 2011

logoFrom Mike Gerber

The latest edition of my Kosher Jam internet radio show, first broadcast on Tuesday 6th September, can now be listened to anytime at:

Highlights include: Martial Solal, one of the great jazz pianists, performing live in New York just after the 9/11 terrorist attack; guitarist Michel Sajrawy, a Palestinian from Nazereth, whose albums are collaborations between Palestinian and Israeli Jewish musicians; the late saxophonist Arnie Lawrence, who also strove to bring musicians from these two communities together; and one of the rhythm and blues hits Jerry Leiber, who died last month, co-wrote for the Coasters; and Jewish jazz from Australia.

September 5, 2011

Welcome to Elul - Free High Holiday music downloads

From Craig Taubman. This download is available for free only in the United States:

We put together a free High Holy Day Music sampler for Amazon. Until Rosh Hashana (Tishrei 1), in honor of Jewels of Elul ( you can download all of the songs for free (Alas, limits this to US visitors only). There is an amazingly eclectic mix of music from Josh Nelson, David Broza, Basya Schecter, Alberto Mizrahi and a handful of other artists.

Cantor Sam Weiss, has once again put up a recording of us own:

This one's totally free, all over the world, and available till after Hoshanah Rabbah!

A song for the High Holy Days season based on the Yiddish-Hebrew song "A Mayseh" attributed to the son of Reb Levi-Yitzchak of Berditchev. Complete description, translation and transliteration with the download:

May 22, 2011

JDUB releases free digital Sabbath album

cd coverNew York, NY (April 5th, 2011)-- Walking around a small and dusty record store in Brooklyn one weekend, something odd caught Rob Markoff's eye as he dug through old vinyl: "Sing Out it's Shabbos" was described as "A folk rock Sabbath celebration by the young people of Temple Shaari Emeth, Englishtown, New Jersey." Rob had never seen a record like this before, and he was instantly attracted to the colorized photos splayed across the sleeve in yellow, red and blue, depicting Chuck Taylor-clad teenagers strumming guitars against a curtained backdrop-- a sign above them reading "Give God the Nod." Markoff felt immediately nostalgic for the '70s synagogue of his youth, in which the congregants feathered their hair and the rabbis played guitar and sang in harmony, so he opened his wallet, forked over two bucks, and rushed home to listen.

Sabbapath will be released for free April 5th, 2011 through

Continue reading "JDUB releases free digital Sabbath album" »

March 29, 2011

David Botwinik to appear on "The Yiddish Voice" radio, Wed, 19:30

7:30 in Ovnt - Af WUNR 1600 AM un

Dem mitvokh, dem 30stn Marts 2011, 7:30 ovnt, vet men hern ba der radio-program "Dos Yidishe Kol" (WUNR 1600-AM, Boston) an intervyu (af yidish) mit Dovid Botwinik vegn zayn lebn un shafn, vegn zayn muzik, un spetsyel vegn dem aroyskum fun bukh "Fun Khurbn Tsum Lebn: Naye Yidishe Lider" ("From Holocaust to Life: New Yiddish Songs"). Dovid Botwinik iz geborn gevorn in Vilne. Nokh dem vos er hot durkhgemakht di tsveyte velt-milkhome, hot er shtudirt muzik in Roym, un hot zikh bazetst in Montreal, vu er iz a profesyoneler muziker. In bukh prezentirt er zayn lebns shafung: 56 originele lider zayne. Me vet oykh hern in program Botwiniks muzik, gezungen un geshpilt fun farsheydene zinger un muziker. Nokh vayterdike informatsye vegn Dovid Botwinikn vendt zikh tsum vebzaytl zayns:

"Dos yidishe kol" iz di vekhntlekhe bostoner yidishe radio-program vos vert transmitirt ale mitvokh 7:30-8:30 ovnt un eyntsaytik durkhn vebzaytl Khapt a kuk afn vebzaytl oder shtelt zikh in farbindung elektronish afn adres oder telefonish mitn numer 617/730-8484, nokh vayterdiker informatsye vegn der program.
7:30 PM - On WUNR 1600 AM and

This Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 7:30 PM, the "Yiddish Voice" radio program (WUNR 1600-AM, Boston) will feature an interview (in Yiddish) with David Botwinik about his life and work, about his music, and especially about the publication of his new book "From Holocaust to Life: New Yiddish Songs" ("Fun Khurbn Tsum Lebn: Naye Yidishe Lider"). David Botwinik was born in Vilna. After surviving the war, he studied music in Rome and later settled in Montreal, where he's since worked as a professional musician. The book presents his life's work: 56 original songs. Listeners will hear not only about the book, but will also get to hear Botwinik's music, sung and played by various singers and musicians. For further info on David Botwinik visit:

'The Yiddish Voice' (dos yidishe kol), Boston's weekly Yiddish-language radio show, is heard on WUNR 1600 AM every Wednesday evening from 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM and live-streamed on the Internet at For more information, visit, email us, or call 617-730-8484.

February 14, 2011

Sway Machinery on NPR

This happened last week. There was a wonderful NPR story about a new release by Jeremiah Lockwood's The Sway Machinery (I have always considered the name to be a sly reference to both Hasidic-style nign and William Burrough's name for the human body, "The Soft Machine."). The interview covers a new release with Mali singer Khaira Arby:

The Brooklyn band the Sway Machinery formed five years ago around a particular notion: Take traditional Jewish music and make it funky enough for a nightclub. About a year ago, the Sway Machinery received an invitation to play for an audience its members probably never imagined at the Festival of the Desert in Timbuktu, Mali....

The Sway Machinery: Finding Inspiration in the Desert

August 6, 2010

New Balkan Beat Box CD - podcast from NPR

Everyone's favorite dance band (at least if "everyone" means everyone in my house) has a new CD out - check it out in this NPR podcast:

Balkan Beat Box: A Fusion Of Cultures

"Balkan Beat Box describes its sound as "globalized urban mash-ups," with brass bands, wedding organs and a rooster's crow all finding a place in their recordings. Although the three band members were raised far from the Balkans, percussionist Tamir Muskat traces the band's inspiration to a childhood that amounted to musical potpourri.... [more on NPR's site]

June 17, 2010

Yiddish Princess!

First off, if you don't already know, tonight Sarah Gordon's band, "Yiddish Princess" is coming to Boston. It is their CD release tour. I am going to try very hard to break my usual old fogey bedtime rules and attend.

Sara Ivry, whose podcasts on tablet are my favorite part of the site, does a damn fine podcast with Sarah, Michael Winograd, and I believe, Yoshie Fruchter, at . Not only does she play a cut or two from the album, but gets the three to do a song live.

And, as icing on the cake, the Jewish Week names Gordon as one its "36 most influential people under 36." Sadly, the author seems not to have understood that there are two significant East Coast Yiddish culture camps--one, KlezKamp held each winter in the Catskills US); the other, KlezKanada held each summer in the Laurentians (Canada). The talented Ms. Gordon not only grew up attending both, but is now on the faculty of both. Read the article to see how the JW interviewer, um, mashups up the descriptions of the two for this wonderful "Yiddish Mash-Up Artist" (his term).

February 3, 2010

"Beyond the Pale" podcast

Beyond the PalePostcards, by Beyond the PalePerhaps pre-celebrating the California tour of Beyond the Pale this week, Keith Wolzinger announces Klezmer Podcast 60, featuring Eric Stein and Beyond The Pale. It is available on the website, iTunes, and Blubrry

April 5, 2009

Passover for Kids: Mama Doni's "Rasta in Pasta!"

From the Mama Doni band:

… to celebrate the upcoming holiday of Passover, we've made "Rasta in Pasta", our Passover reggae anthem, available as a FREE download from Those of you who own our first album, "I Love Herring (& Other Fish Shticks For Kids)" already know this one….

Interview with Greg Wall on the new Rav Kook project

Greg WallIsrael's first chief rabbi's redemption poetry is turned into jazz performances by two rabbis on a new CD and in clubs. Rabbi Greg Wall of Hasidic New Wave fame and Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein, son of Holocaust survivors release Ha'Orot—The Lights of Rav Kook on John Zorn's Tzadik Records and perform in clubs in Israel and New York. The full text interview with audio is available from Benjamin Bresky's radio show.

March 29, 2009

Wolf Krakowski interview on Israeli radio

Israeli radio interviewer Binyomin Bresky writes:

Interview with Jewish singer and guitarist Wolf Krakowski on his remakes of classic Yiddish songs from the Holocaust as blues, world beat, folk and reggae. Wolf describes how his personal history infused these melodies in him and his desire to "give the audio finger" to the Nazis.

To download the podcast click here:

January 23, 2009

Second Jack Zaentz podcast released

From Jack:

I wanted to let everyone know that the Teruah Podcast Episode 2: The Story Show is now online. In this episode I've rounded up a great array of Jewish story songs sung in English, everything from Yiddish novelty songs to brand new Indie Pop with stories ranging from the Torah to Chelm to New York. Check it out.

January 19, 2009

Don Byron at 50

This is a couple months old, now, but still fascinating. Byron, of course, was the original clarinet player in the Klezmer Conservatory Band and is also well-known for a a href="/bands/byron/katz/byron.katz.html">CD of Mickey Katz tunes he recorded many years ago.

Don Byron, from NPRMusician, composer and bandleader Don Byron has a new album out, Do the Boomerang. It's a collection of songs associated with the great Motown saxophonist and singer Autry "Junior Walker" DeWalt. Tracks include Shotgun and Roadrunner. While Byron is usually associated with the clarinet, he plays tenor sax on this new CD.

January 18, 2009

Klezmer Podcast on Roberto Rodriguez

Roberto RodriguezGiven recent posts about Roberto's work in Cuba, I wanted to make sure that people know about Keith Wolzinger's recent Klezmer Podcast with the drummer. I should note that more recent podcasts include Toronto singer Mitch Smolkin and a Chanukah special.

Klezmer Podcast 43: My guests on this episode are Roberto Rodriguez and Gilad Harel from the band Sexteto Roberto Rodriguez. The band plays a combination of Jewish/Klezmer and Afro-Cuban music. Rodriguez talks about growing up in Miami Beach and his exposure to Jewish culture.

December 27, 2008

Hanukkah klezmer podcast from Keith Wolzinger

I'm only a few days late in posting information about this, but Keith Wolzinger's podcast from last Saturday, Klezmer Podcast 45 is focused on Hanukkah. This is a special episode of Klezmer Podcast focusing on the Lights: Celebrate Hanukkah Live In Concert program airing on PBS Television during the month of December.

December 25, 2008

Teruah Music adds Podcast

Things are heating up wonderfully in the Jewish music world as Jack Zaientz, whose Teruah Music blog has been required reading for years, now adds a podcast:

As many of you know I've been writing Teruah, a more or less daily blog on Jewish music for about two years now. This weekend I launched the Teruah Podcast. The podcast will be much like my blog, focusing on me presenting and providing context for interesting Jewish music I discover. The big can dance to it in your kitchen. I expect some 'casts to have specific themes and others to be more free-form. The first 'cast, naturally enough, is The Hanukkah Show.

If you want to contribute music or have good ideas for future shows, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you've already sent me music in the past I'm sure I'll be contacting you for permission to play my favorite songs. But don't hesitate to remind me :)

Thanks and Chang Sameach Chanukkah.

-- Jack Zaientz
Musical Schadchen
Teruah Jewish Music

December 14, 2008

Bel Canto - were these recordings =really= the nusakh from temple days?

Andy Tannenbaum, just back from travels to Italy, himself spotted this fascinating audio interview on Nextbook:

Bel Canto: Composer Yotam Haber finds inspiration in a dusty Roman archive; Interview by Sara Ivry

"Thirty years before the common era—a century before the destruction of the Second Temple—some Jews left Jerusalem for Rome. There, they established a community whose cantors chanted Torah in the tradition they brought with them from the land of ancient Israel. It was an insular community and over subsequent generations, that insularity helped preserve the community's distinctiveness. Over the ensuing centuries, the Roman cantorial style remained relatively unchanged, impervious to the flourishes and innovations of newer traditions that arose in the Sephardic and Ashkenazic worlds."

I find that thesis extraordinarily unlikely given how thoroughly Italy's Jews mixed not only Ashkenazic and Sephardic cultures, but local music cultures as well. But that doesn't mean the music isn't great. So, read on/listen on and see what composer Yotam Haber has to say....

October 18, 2008

Abraham Inc., Live at Ashkenaz, on CBC radio

From the Ashkenaz Festival folks

Undoubtedly one of the highlights of this past Ashkenaz Festival was the Canadian premiere performance of Klezmer-funk supergroup Abraham Inc., featuring David Krakauer, Socalled, and funk legend Fred Wesley. The performance for a near-capacity crowd at Harbourfront thrilled young and old alike, and was recorded by CBC Radio for broadcast on the program "Canada Live." If you missed the show, or simply want to relive the moment, the show will be broadcast nationally on CBC Radio Two (94.1 fm in Toronto) tonight Wednesday October 15 at 8pm. The show will also be available online, for free on demand, from the "Canada Live" website.

August 7, 2008

And the wrap-up - Greenman + Mahovlich online in the IA

What an amazing concert. We had a standing-room only crowd that seemed to consist exclusively of people who knew this music and loved it, and the musicians fed right off that in one of those wonderful loops where the music becomes incredibly good. They covered the gamut of folk music from Eastern Europe, and Steven contributed a generous helping of material from Stempenyu's Dream. This lead to the delighful anomoly of a concert that ran the gamut from Walt singing a Balkan drinking song to Steve getting the whole audience to join him in a concert-closing catharsis singing his "Yah Ribon."

I tried out two new recorders, one digital audio (but got only one channel), and one DAT (had to boost amplitude, and kept forgetting to turn it on). The DAT recording is now in the Internet Archive (thank you Steve and Walt) for everyone's pleasure. And, of course, if you like this, you have only to visit Steven Greenman's website for more. (The Harmonia Band website appears to be down—not sure where to pick up their wonderful recording on "Traditional Crossroads").

June 29, 2008

Jewish podcasts that don't suck

Well, obviously Keith Wolzinger's Klezmer Podcast would be one of the featured podcasts mentioned. Even better, commentors to the article have added other names with contact info. Check it out! Jewish Podcasts That Don't Suck, byby Elizabeth Alpern, from the "New Voices" Student Jewish newspaper

While I'm at it, Keith has been busily releasing new podcasts regularly:

June 22, 2008

Klezmer on Spanish radio

From Spain, I get the following word:

We make a radio program from Madrid, called Mapamundi, where we pay a big attention to klezmer. As an example you can listen to our special report about klezmer history, even from the destruction of the 2nd Temple (hehe) to nowadays. You can also search for "klezmer" in our website and you'll check it.

Sincerely yours,
Araceli Tzigane & Juan Antonio Vázquez

March 20, 2008

Purim? It's time for the "Big Megillah"

It was only about 20 years ago, that the Austin Klezmorim recorded the definitive hipster take on tonight's story, The Big Megillah. If it's been even a year since you first heard this gem, time to listen,again. Many thanks to the band's Bill Averbach for the link.

February 14, 2008

David Krakauer live on the Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is the home to the "Wayback machine" and a host of other imperfectly-maintained archives. So, don't rely on the IA for the long-term preservation of your precious tapes. What you can rely on is that there are millions of digital recordings, from web pages to audio and video, available. Sadly, there is virtually no klezmer (and no much more Jewish music in general). The only thing I could find that was longer than a single clip was this performance/interview by David Krakauer (with SoCalled and the rest of the band circa "Bubbe Meises"). I'd say that this recording, alone, is worth exploring further for. Check it out at

I, myself, have a very few live recordings of various bands created over the years. If you know that I have a recording of your band, and I haven't yet asked, please feel encouraged to email me and let me know that your recordings can be uploaded. It's a great option for me—I have no time to create podcasts, and don't record much because I never have time to listen to the recordings once I've made them. Even getting the recording from DAT or Digital Memory card takes time and energy that I often can't find. But, there should be good, interesting Jewish music that can be found online. I'm happy to help, and even more, I encourage others to participate here, or elsewhere.

February 13, 2008

Klezmer Podcast, "Yiddishe Cup"'s Bert Stratton

If there is a band that successfully channels the spirit of the late Mickey Katz, it has to be Yiddishe Cup. Now Keith Wolzinger catches bandleader Bert Stratton in this latest Klezmer Podcast (#29 for those who are counting).

January 30, 2008

Klezmatics live on Italian radio, Fri, Feb 1, 2008

Lorin Sklamberg writes the Jewish-Music list:

… at the last minute we found out that tonight's supposedly live concert was taped for broadcast on Friday night (gut shabes, everyone!). Of course, it'll still be afternoon in the U.S…

So, it'll be broadcast/webcast on Friday, January 30, 9:30-10:30pm Milan time at

October 22, 2007

A Great Day on Eldridge Street - the Podcasts!

photo, from NextbookIt's not enough any more to write about an event. It isn't complete without the blogs full of photos. But, I've already presented those. Today, from two different sources, I got the podcasts.

First, the folks at Nextbook did a really nice job of gathering photos (including the final photo of the musicians) and captured the event on audio. For a delightful "you are there" impression of the synagogue and the event, listen to Julie Subrin narrate, and let the sounds behind her do the talking.

The redoubtable Mark Rubin wasn't on Eldridge St. (but he made sure his friends knew about it, and why. I, for one, am grateful.) Neither was Henry Sapoznik. Jon Kalish captures their voices, along with the people and music which did make the scene, for the Forward.

Two very different audio diaries of the same event. Brought to you in one place through the magic of Kabbalah, er, HTML. Enjoy.

May 14, 2007

"Librescu Tango" in memory of Holocaust survivor who died protecting students at Virginia Tech

From clarinet maestro Gustavo Bulgach, in California, right after the murders a few weeks ago:

Gustavo here from Klezmer Juice … before yu get this from somewhere else, I wanted to give you this song, is a tribute to LIVIU LIBRESCU, the teacher that got killed last week…

I Recorded it @ home because i had this rush to get it out there … sent it to Israel Public radio and they put it on rotation … one thing led to another … I got an email from a radio station in Argentina that also put this song on rotation &hellpi; and a few internet stations as well … anyway … long story short, here's LIBRESCU TANGO for you to post it online for downloading.

May 12, 2007

new Klezmer Podcasts posted

Keith Wolzinger posts to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

I have posted three new episodes recently to

Klezmer Podcast 8 features an interview with Dr. Joel E. Rubin, of the University of Virginia.

Klezmer Podcast 9 features an interview with Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, as well as some news about the Klezmer Cruise.

Klezmer Podcast 10 features and interview with Jack Kessler of Klingon Klez, as well as an update on the Klezmer Cruise.

These are all available at the website or at the iTunes Store

March 20, 2007

NPR story on Ladino

Joel Bresler spotted this one:

Lost Language of Ladino Revived in Spain, by by Jerome Socolovsky

Morning Edition, March 19, 2007—Medieval Spanish Jews spoke Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, for centuries. Now a small group is trying to revive Ladino, with assistance from the Spanish government.

March 3, 2007

Podcast on Flory Jagoda from Nextbook

Julie Sulbrin writes of a recent podcast she produced for Nextbook. La Nona Kanta. The podcast was uploaded Jan 8, 2007.

Growing up in the Bosnian village of Vlasenica, Flory Jagoda spent her afternoons and evenings singing with her family—everyone sang, her grandmother, her aunts, uncles and cousins. Though they'd lived in the Balkans for centuries, their songs were in Judeo-Spanish, or Ladino, passed down from the time of her ancestors' expulsion from Spain. ... [more]

February 25, 2007

Veretski Pass on the radio

Veretski Pass was in the Midwest last week for concerts and workshops in Madison WI and Urbana-Champagne IL.

Prior to Tuesday¹s concert at the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, they were guests at the radio program "Focus 580 with David Inge". This almost an hour long program features conversation and live music with Veretski Pass and is available on line as a mp3 file:

Radio Program¹s page:

Direct link to mp3 file:

The Purim Story - listen to the Megilla on the evening of Mar 3, 2007

Purim is coming. That means that it is time to put people in touch with the best, hippest retelling of the story ever to come out of the Klezmer Revival. By that, of course, I mean The Big Megilla, originally recorded by Bill Averbach for his Austin Klezmorim. To find out more about Bill's current projects, visit his bamusic homepage\

February 17, 2007

Klezmer Podcast premieres w/David Krakauer, SoCalled

Keith Wolzinger, David Krakauer, SoCalledKeith Wolzinger, of The South Coast Simcha Band, did some very nice podcasts at KlezKanada last year. Now he's taking it up straight from his home in California. He starts auspiciously with an interview with David Krakauer and SoCalled.

I am very happy to announce the posting of the first episode of my new Klezmer Podcast. I hope you will check it out and let me know what you think. It is posted at and at the iTunes Music Store.

November 13, 2005

NPR Interview: John Zorn and John Madof

album coverHey, if this isn't a good excuse to be up early and listening to NPR instead of working! A really nice interview with John Zorn about his Masada music, and John Madof who recently released one of the 10th Anniversary Masada albums, and of John Madof. What I found especially interesting was the assertion that the Radical Jewish Music label was formed to give a voice to Jewish music that is broader than klezmer—to counter the notion that klezmer and Jewish music are synonyms—a goal with which anyone who knows and loves Jewish music (see last week's entry on "A Cantor's Tale," for one non-klezmer roots example) will heartily concur.

It's an interesting interview with excellent song samples. The audio should be available for rerun online today after 1pm EST at 'Masada Songbook': Zorn Redefines Jewish Music

link updated 3/21/07