March 25, 2017

KlezKanada registration now open

Registration and Scholarship Applications now open

KlezKanada's Laurentian Retreat - Monday, August 21 - Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Register Now for KlezKanada 2017

Click here to open the KlezKanada 2017 registration form.

May 19, 2015

Intensive Dance track at KlezKanada

From Steve Weintraub, posted to the Jewish-Music list. I have long maintained that dance (and people teaching/evolving the dance) is critical to the continued relevance of klezmer. He's been making that possible, one group of students at a time, for many years. Now this:

With all the recent discussion of Yiddish dance history and practice, it seems the right moment to announce a first ever intensive dance leader's track at KlezKanada this summer. The course will take 3 periods a day, while you absorb the musicial and Yiddish culture of camp. I'm very excited to be spearheading this initiative:

Please pass on this information to anyone you think might be interested. And also check out the other offerings this big, 25th year!

September 17, 2014

KlezKanada - 2014 student concert - Dave Tarras Ensemble

March 28, 2014

Registration, Scholarship Apps open for KlezKanada, Aug 18-24, 2014

KlezKanada logoKlezKanada 2014
The Mystical and Supernatural in Ashkenazic Jewish Folklore and Practice

Mon, Aug 18 - Sun Aug 24, 2014
Camp Bnai Brith
Lantier, Quebec, Canada

If you have not yet registered, please do so here, as soon as possible. Reserve your place now before we fill up!

Scholarship applications are now open for emerging artists and scholars, ages 16 to 35. This internationally renowned program offers students an opportunity to study with many of the leading teachers of Yiddish/Jewish music and culture, and make friends and form artistic partnerships that will last a lifetime. Apply here.

August 23, 2010

Poem for KlezKanada by Seymour Mayne

KlezKanada logo
One of the delights of this year's KlezKanada was the first-time appearance of poet Seymour Mayne. He has written this appreciation.

(a word sonnet)


August 6, 2010

KlezKanada in just a week and a half, Aug 16-22—last chance to register?

KlezKanada logo

I woke up this morning realizing that I am just a bit over a week from KlezKanada. The approach has been manifesting itself in several ways—earlier this week, for instance, I was planning my get together with friends at a houseparty in Maine. "Looking forward to klezmer" wrote my friend. For a moment, I was in a panic since we were about to hear a singer-songwriter of the Grateful Dead persuasion with no connection to Jewish music (other than personal ancestry). Then I remembered that we were all meeting up soon--him, his wife, his song, and his inlaws. It isn't such a stretch when you consider that KlezKanada alumni Shtreiml played my friend's Montreal wedding.

This is going to be an incredibly exciting KlezKanada. Not only will I be there doing the usual daily Yiddish/English/other-languages-as-present newsletter, but the entire "Other Europeans" ensemble will be teaching—a unique opportunity to learn older European klezmer traditions, but also lautari (Roma musicians) traditions. There will be a host of other incredible music workshops, along with some very exciting lectures and presentations. Consider this, then, your last opportunity to register, and come visit with us in a little over a week, in beautiful Camp Bnai Brith in the Laurentians, just north of Montreal.

Register online now for KlezKanada 2010!
August 16th to 22nd

March 22, 2010

KlezKanada 2010, Aug 16-22 - Registration now open!

KlezKanada logo

Register now for KlezKanada 2010!
August 16th to 22nd

KlezKanada is preparing for its 15th year! We are in the midst of finalizing our 2010 faculty and creating a week of world-class programming. Each year we present an incredibly talented faculty and exciting new programming while still ensuring the atmosphere you love. This year is no exception—our program highlights this year are truly not to be missed!

Register now online

Continue reading "KlezKanada 2010, Aug 16-22 - Registration now open!" »

September 7, 2009

Good listening from KlezKanada

Every year I end up leaving KlezKanada with a bit more music than I arrived with. This means that the trip home in the car is especially fun. This year, there were few new CDs, but what was there represented, I think, the diversity and depth of this "Naye Dor" (new generation) that was on display at the great concert at camp.

cd coverThe hit of the pack is clearly this new CD by violinist Jake Shulman-Ment. Called אַ רעדעלע / A Wheel, his violin work is superb as he plays fairly traditional klezmer, with a few Yiddish vocals, all with a very pre-America European feel that is nicely complemented with tsimbl work by both NY's Pete Rushefsky and Cleveland's Alex Fedoriouk. Will this setting of Linestski's poem replace the Jerry Garcia song of similar name? Perhaps! In songs, as with life, the wheel keeps turning. This album? I'll be listening to it for a while. Pick up your copy at

cd coverShulman-Ment is involved in several bands. It is rare to see a klezmer- or Yiddish-related concert of interest in NYC that doesn't feature him, these days. One of his many side projects is a "transylvanian" folk band called "Metrofolk." Not knowing what I had in hand, I happened to swap it out in the car's CD player with an early Muzsik´s CD. For a few seconds I wondered if I had mistakenly left the first CD in place. Billed as "Traditional Gypsy, Hungarian, Romanian, and Jewish folk music and songs from Transylvania, freshly interpreted on the streets and subways of New York City," this first release, "Renegades of Folk" is a delight. Vocalist Kata Harsaczki is a lovely find. Shulman-Ment fiddles like a soul on fire. Pete Rushefsky makes a cameo on tsimbl, er, cimbalom. The repertoire includes some specificly Jewish songs from the region along with a host of other songs and tunes. The literal translation from Hungarian, "I smoked and burned my mouth" and "My heart aches inside and out" add piquancy. This is a fun album, and also available from

cd coverAnd now for something completely different. Fans of New Orleans' Panorama Jazz Band have long been aware of Patrick Farrell's accordion playing. A recent transplant (except for during mardi gras season) to NYC, he is also a stalwart of the ever-amazing Frank London's Klezmer AllStars and Michael Winograd's klezmer ensembles. Now he has his New Orleans-style brass band, Stagger Back Brass Band and it rocks. This is the band you want to invite to your street party—to any party. It's a romp through world music as interpreted by New Orleans-style brass and it is as good as it sounds. Better. You can check out samples and pick up your own copy (and support the KlezmerShack by using this link) from the usual

cd coverOne of the elemental recordings of the Klezmer Revival was this 1978 recording by Dave Tarras, modestly titled, "Music for the Traditional Jewish Wedding," and originally released as a cassette from New York's Balkan Arts Center (now the Center for Traditional Music and Song headed up by the ubiquitous Pete Rushefsky). The recording was rereleased last year? on CD, and I now have a copy that I can easily listen to on my computer. It's not that I have forgotten how good Dave Tarras is, it's that I hadn't thought about this recording for a while and was surprised how often I found myself preferring familiar songs his way. We have created new "classics," but Dave Tarras was the Master of the Jewish Clarinet. It's worth the reminder. Get your copy from the CTMD and help support Pete! Your ears, your feet, and all but jealous clarinetists within range will thank you.

cd coverOne of the pleasures of KlezKanada was sitting across the table from Toronto's Yiddish scholar, Anna Sternshis, and her kids (did we talk about the explosion of babies at KlezKanada?) and discovered that she is married to Dan Rosenberg who is responsible for several of my favorite "Rough Guide" compilation CDs. (He is also responsible for the excellent Rounder set, "The Hidden Gate: Jewish Music From Around The World"). His guide to Israeli music was reviewed on the KlezmerShack a few years ago. I thought he juggled an impossible task and caught an incredible slice of what has been interesting and innovative in that country's music. I felt that his guide to the Klezmer Revival missed some critical bands (nothing from Australia's Klezmania and, I think nothing from Canada—not even the Flying Bulgars from his own town. There were also a few cuts I would probably not have put on my own compilation. On the other hand, had I realized that there was another volume coming, the "Rough Guide to Klezmer Revolution" I might have been more excited, because this CD does capture much of the breadth of what is new and exciting in klezmer-based new Jewish music. From the Klezmatics singing "I Ain't Afraid" to South America's Moguilsevsky & Lerner—and yes, the Flying Bulgars are here, along with SoCalled and Mikveh, Margot Leverett, and Shtreiml, and David Krakauer, and Wolf Krakowski, and Oi Va Voi, and lots more from around the world. In short, pretty much everyone I was pissed at him for leaving off the first CD! This is the best sampler of what's new in the Klezmer world since last year's KlezKanada compilation. As was the case with the Israeli music CD, it isn't that I can't think of incredible artists or bands who aren't represented, but that the geographic and music span of the diversity is so well represented. If you can't have everything, this is a good starting point. Hey, it's got Dan Kahn on the cover. It's got to be good. Pick up your copy today.

cd coverI mention one last recording, from 2003, because it kept coming up in conversation. Klezmania's Freydi Mrocki was at KlezKanada this year and kept kvelling about the soundtrack to this remarkable book by someone "down under" named Arnold Zable. It's called "The Fig Tree" and features music by Klezmania, Klezmeritis, and several Greek bands from the same neighborhood. It is such a delight that it is already part of my car-driving music repertoire. If you can figure out how to get a copy from down under, you'll thank me for it. I just have to get a copy of that darn book and see what the real fuss is about.

September 6, 2009

From Joel Rubin

Pete Rushefsky pointed out that my klezmer dance set at KlezKanada with an all-star band incl. Jake Shulman-Ment, Josh Dolgin, Susan Watts, Dan Blacksberg, and Stu Brotman, has been posted to youtube in 3 parts. Here's pt. I, which will lead you to the others:

July 20, 2009

KlezKanada, Aug 24-30, full brochure now available

KlezKanada logo

KlezKanada 2009 Full Brochure Now Available for Download!

We have an unbelievably exciting, diverse program planned. Read the brochure, share it with your friends and family, and then come to KlezKanada 2009! See you there!

Here's the thing. If you look at the young people doing exciting Jewish music, a huge number, from Michael Winograd, Sarah Gordon, Dan Blacksberg, Kinneret Sagee, Joey Weisenberg, Lorie Wolf, Rachel Lemisch, Josh Dolgin, and Eric Stein are KlezKanada alumni. How does one week at a Bnai Brith summer camp have so much influence? I think it is the balance between incredible traditional programming, lots of people happy to push boundaries and try new things, and the physical space to explore. Or, it could just be that the nicest people show up and what else could happen exciting music and culture? I'll be there, documenting it as best I can in the daily, multilingual newsletter. See you there!

May 29, 2009

Time to register - KlezKanada 2009 is Aug 24-30

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Just a quick note to remind people that registration is now open for KlezKanada 2009. The camp runs from Aug 24-30 this year. Because finances are so tight, early, even timely registration is especially important. And of course, if you don't register before camp fills up, you'll miss seeing your friends, not to mention familiar faces such as mine.

You can register for KlezKanada online, even. See you there!

January 25, 2009

KlezKanada winter program deferred to mid-February in Montreal

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Announcing Winter KlezKanada at the Ben Weider J.C.C.

Musicians! Counting the days until KlezKanada 2009? Don't wait for the warm weather to brush up on your D Freygish and join us for the WInter K.K. ensemble.

Come out and play Klezmer repertoire with other musicians with the guidance of Klezkanada Faculty member Rachel Lemisch. Learn the Freylach, Hora and bulgar, as well as improvisation in a Jewish style. All instrumentalists aged 14 and up welcome. Emphasis will be on jamming and performing. Semester will culminate in a concert.

Group meets every Mon./lundi, 19h00 - 20h30, from ~Feb 17 (delayed from original start of Jan 26)

Further info at|1-21438.html, or email Rachel Lemisch.

January 18, 2009

KlezKanada 2009 scholarship applications now available online

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Note only are the scholarship applications online, but the application can actually be filled out online.

I look forward to seeing new and familiar faces this coming summer!

September 29, 2008

Photos from KlezKanada 2008

The man with the camera eye, Bob Blacksberg uploaded a heap of photos, and you'll find others from anyone who uploaded to and remembered to tag them, "klezkanada08". Enjoy!

KlezKanada 2008
This is a Flickr badge showing public items from Flickr tagged with klezkanada08. Make your own badge here.

August 11, 2008

Last call: KlezKanada, Aug 18-24, 2008

KlezKanada 2008There is still room to register for KlezKanada 2008, to be held from August 18 to 24. Act quickly to be part of the richest, most intense experience of Yiddishkeit in North America. Follow these links to download KlezKanada's

2008 Registration Form
2008 Brochure
2008 Workshop Choice Sheet

Check out the new KlezKanada website,

September 5, 2005

the KlezKanada weblog is on

klezkanada logoIt took me a week to get started, but that figures. Attend any intensive week with klezmorim and it takes a while to readjust. But I'm now running the KlezKanada weblog. New listings will be posted each day to parallel the original event two weeks ago. You can follow the action and add your own comments at

September 2, 2005

Alan Watsky's comments on KlezKanada

klezkanada logoRokhl Kafriesen, a columnist for the Jewish Currents (among other accomplishments) blogs Alan Watsky's comments to the Jewish-Music list about KlezKanada: Rhapsody in Jew—Watsky on KlezKanada

August 31, 2005

First round, KlezKanada photos

klezkanada logoBob Blacksberg, who supplied the best pictures for the KlezKanada newsletter, but has been known for years for documenting KlezKanada in general, writes:

The first round of my KlezKanada pictures can be found at:

There will be hundreds more, plus video, as I get the chance to work on it. I will try to post full resolution versions of the group pictures in the next day or two, and perhaps select different ones than those that appear here.

I can barely find the words to express the learning, joy, khevre, affection of this week. I hope the pictures help to capture it.

If you would like to send a caption or description for any of these pictures, or others that I post, please write. I will add them to the web pages to enrich the experience for all.

A sheynem dank!!!!
Bob Blacksberg

August 30, 2005

Montreal Gazette on KlezKanada 2005

[article seems to have disappeared!

klezkanada logoKeith Wolzinger pointed this out to me: "Fresh country air for old-world klezmer", by Irwin Block, in this past Sunday's Montreal Gazette.