July 27, 2012

"Mickey Katz" tribute by Bert Stratton

Why do people here on the right coast follow Bert Stratton's "Klezmer Guy" blog so assiduously and drool at the thought of bringing his band, Yiddishe Cup to perform locally? You can get a hint of it all in his article on Mickey Katz, published in this week's Cleveland Jewish News.

Mickele: Mickey Katz Lives

"Mickey Katz was a shag carpet guy, I suspect, like my folks. Mickey and his wife lived in an apartment building in L.A. in the 1980s. I’ve read enough about Mickey Katz to guess what kind of carpet he went for." [more]

September 5, 2011

Review of Yale Strom's "Dave Tarras, the King of Klezmer"

book coverI am catching up from a year of overload, it seems. Here is a review of Yale Strom's new book on Dave Tarras—if you look at the KlezmerShack calendar you'll see that Yale is doing some appearances this fall based on the book, so it is still current.

Dave Tarras, the King of Klezmer - by Yale Strom : A book review by Michael Sherman, January 2011.

Many thanks to author Michael Sherman for bringing this to my attention.

May 28, 2011

Moment Mag 2011 Music Guide coming - deadline June 5

Jewish Musicians! Be a part of Moment Magazine's 2011 Music Guide in our upcoming July/August Entertainment issue. Whether you are an established artist or band or an upcoming one, the Moment Magazine Music Guide provides you with a prestigious and proven way of reaching out to Moment's music-loving Jewish community - raising you visibility and and building your audience. 93% of Moment readers use the annual Music Guide to find new artists and to keep up on the Jewish music scene. Why aren't you listed yet? Tell us you heard about this through Klezmer Shack and receive 10% off your listing or 15% of your ad! Contact Becky Leavey to discuss rate plans and options. The deadline is June 5.

September 13, 2009

Publicity on work by Greg Wall, et al, for a cure

Pioneering a cure, by Mel Bezalel, Jun 15, 2009, Jerusalem Post

When the first pioneers arrived on these shores almost 100 years ago, they carried with them numerous and varied cultural identities, a reminder of their home communities that, in many cases, had evolved over many generations.

Music was a significant facet of this, says the New York-based Rabbi Greg Wall, producer of Pioneers for a Cure (PfaC), a charity project officially launched on Yom Ha'atzmaut this year to raise funds for cancer research through re-recording and distributing pioneer songs. Thirty tracks were recorded over the past two years in a New York studio, and are now available to download. [More]

Article on Israel's "Oy Division"

Israeli radio's Ben Bresky sent me this a couple of months ago. It's still a good article about an interesting band:

Israeli Klezmer Revival Band 'Oy Division' Rocks Tel Aviv by Ben Bresky, Jun 10, 2009

If you think a club in Tel Aviv is no place to find a rocking acoustic klezmer band, then think again. On any given night, Oy Division is playing to an enthusiastic group of young Israelis. The rockers, jazz musicians, and world beat singers who make up the group have never done Jewish-oriented material before. But they’re now dedicated to the music their grandparents played, as demonstrated on their new CD which features accordions, clarinets and singing in Yiddish and Russian.

Clarinet player Eyal Talmudi talked about the group's thoughts on klezmer, Yiddish culture in Israel and their unprecedented Rolling Stones cover on Israel National Radio's 'The Beat with Ben Bresky.'

Full article including video and photos.

September 7, 2009

new release of Sophie Tucker recordings

From Alex Lubet and Marvin Margoshes on the Jewish-Music list last week:

Big article on Tucker in yesterday's NY Times. This is the centennial of her recording debut and there's a cd re-release of her earliest sessions that was highly praised. The article is great, too.

A Century Later, She’s Still Red Hot, by Jody Rosen, Aug 28, 2009

You can find out more about Sophie Tucker on the Jewish Women's Archive, or see her live as part of the JWA film, Making Trouble, now available for home purchase. (Disclaimer: I am an employee of JWA and pretty damn proud of it because of materials like these. ari)

June 12, 2009

The Curious Case of the Moment Magazine Jewish Music issue

For years reviewers of traditional Jewish music have tried to get articles in Moment Magazine. To date, I am aware of no success. You can read Hadassh or the Forward or Zeek or the new Nextbook evolution, Tablet and get some sense of the anything from Jewish punk to piyyut. That may not change anytime soon, but I got the following email late Friday afternoon which may be of interest to anyone with a wedding band or other band for hire to Jewish audiences. Better late than never, I say—but note that you need to contact this person on Monday, 6/15/09:

Hello. I'm the Culture Editor for Moment magazine. I'm contacting those involved with Jewish music for a special advertising offer that ends on Monday. Let E-mail Rebecca Leavey, 202-363-6422, know by Monday if you're interested in purchasing a listing and/or an ad in the Guide--mention this note from me and you'll receive a special rate. . . . As a longtime Jewish cultural professional, I'm committed to reaching out to stakeholders representing the best in the Jewish cultural arts. My experience tells me that people are anxious for help in finding the best of what's out there. Please help us to be a forum for this discussion. . . .

Distribute this message as you see fit,
Diana Altman

March 8, 2008

"Jewgrass" featured in the Forward

In a wonderfully well-written article, the Forward's David Kaufman covers "Jewgrass," from Margot Leverett's Klezmer Mountain Boys, to the Orthodox Sinai Mountain Boys, to the recently-reviewed-on-these-pages, Mare Winningham.

Check out O, Landsman, Where Art Thou? from Wednesday's paper.

February 23, 2008

Lots of interesting articles in this week's "Forward"

Most weeks, the English-language, Forward resembles nothing so much as one's local Jewish newspaper, albeit allegedly national or international in scope, and mostly aware of New York City. It eschews controversy, espouses political opinions that would have been safe 50 years ago, and one is continually reminded in reading it that Abe Cahan was a social democrat, not actually a socialist.

Some weeks, however, the newspaper covers an unusual amount of significant cultural activity, and the past two weeks have seen a series of stories worth reading, both expected and unexpected. This week in particular sees a plethora of Yiddish-related features in the "Arts and Culture section. Among them:

  • In "Beatle Mania: British Invasion Gets a Yiddish Translation," Josh Richman features Bay Area-based Yiddish singer and educator Gerry Tenney. Known for years (among more significant accomplishments like always having a sound system we could use for benefits) for his Yiddish translations of rock 'n' roll standards (my favorite, "in der shtill fun dem nacht"), someone recently posted to YouTube video clip of the Beatles singing "A Hard Days Night," but replaced the original soundtrack with Tenney's Yiddish version. So, now Tenney gets some deserved recognition. This is a good thing.
  • "Songbook Recaptures Lost Melodies, by Alexander Gelfand, publicizes the recently-released Yiddish Folksongs from the Ruth Rubin Archive.
  • Gelfand makes it a double-header with his article on December's Yiddish Dance symposium finally seeing print: "Symposium Seeks to Save Yiddish Dance
  • In "Yelling Melodiously, Rachel Ament does a lovely article on the "Shondes," who have recently released a CD, "The Red Sea."

February 19, 2008

Two interesting articles

Snagged these from Jack Zaentz' blog, Teruah Jewish Music:

A rather nice article on Basya Schaechter, of Pharaoh's Daughter: From niggunim to Led Zeppelin, by Leah Hochbaum Rosner, of World Jewish Digest

From the Forverts, an article about that surprisingly hip band with the outlaw name, Yelling Melodiously, by Rachel Ament

November 13, 2007

Call for papers: "Music of Yiddishkayt"; Deadline 3 Dec 2007

Dear friends and colleagues!

The new issue of Jewish musical annual "Music of Yiddishkayt" is being
prepared. We announce a call for papers.

The annual "Music of Yiddishkayt" is published in Russian. Its volume is 240 -260 pages. It is dedicated to Klezmer music and Yiddish song, this will be the 4th issue. It is not a scientific publication, we focus on combining a research and popular view of subject. We try to make a book interesting for both a newcomer to Yiddish music, for "an experienced klezmer" and a person who just want to throw a glance at this culture
(and maybe - to stay with us). Among the authors are: Psoy Korolenko, Dmitry Slepovich, Polina Sheperd, Efim Cherny, Zhenya Lopatnik, Evgeny(she) Khazdan, Nina Stepanskaya, Jeffrey Veidlinger, Anna Shternshis, Alexandr Ivanov, Adrianne Cooper, Anatoly Pinsky and others.

Continue reading "Call for papers: "Music of Yiddishkayt"; Deadline 3 Dec 2007" »

January 14, 2004

Cleveland paper reports on Steven Greenman's latest project

Lori Simon spots this one for the Jewish-Music list

There is a lovely article about Steven Greenman and his current project in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland brings out the best in a fiddler, by Tom Feran

Yiddish article on 'KlezKamp" 2003

Roger Reid sent this to the Jewish-Music mailing list:

In this weeks "In Der Velt Fun Yidish" column by Freynd Itzik Gottesman (January 9 2003) is a good spread with 3 photos from KlezKamp 2003.

There's even a picture of me (you need to know it was me because my head's about 1/8 inch in the picture) tsmibling along with Joshua Horowitz and Dan Wikler; under the caption "un di tsimbldike tsimblert". I'm the seated on at the rear; Josh is seated in foreground.

If your newstand doesn't carry it, and you don't subscribe, the article is also online with a picture of Christan David and kinderlach.

January 8, 2004

Rogovoy on Asia in Forverts

Seth Rogovoy notes to the Jewish-Music list his article on Daniel Asia. I had never heard of Asia before, but my knowledge of modern Jewish classical doesn't go much past Copland (love that klezmer "Carpathian Spring" piece!) or Bernstein or a touch of Messaien and Wyner, father and son:

This week's Forward includes an article by me about contemporary composer Daniel Asia, one of the premiere Jewish classical composers of our era. In honor of his 50th birthday, there will be a retrospective concert of his works at Merkin Hall in NYC on January 17th.

You can read the article here: Restoring Spirituality To Music ... And Life, English-language Forward, Jan 9, 2004, by Seth Rogovoy

December 23, 2003

New Jeffrey Wollock article in ARSC

In response to the news about the early European discography, Pete Rushefsky was reminded of another significant article recently released:

[There is a] recent article by Jeffrey (Itzik-Leyb) Wollock in the most recent ARSC (Archives for Recorded Sound Collections) Journal-- in it he provides a discography and excellent background on the State Ukranian Ukranian SSR band -- this is the band than list members may be most familiar with for the recording of the badkhones with virtuosic violin by Rabinovitch and a whole lot of theatrical boo-hooing from the bride.

Wollock was able to meet and interview two people who were in Kiev in the 1930's and had direct knowledge of the band-- one was actually at the recording session.

Provides great details on the background of Rabinovich the violinist (turns out he was in his 70's at the time and also that he didn't have a reputation as a great fiddler -- hard to imagine given the virtuosity exhibited on the badkhones recording). Should be noted that Rabinovich's grandfather was a teacher of the legendary Berditchev fiddler Kholodenko (aka Pedotser).

Also very interesting that the article makes a direct link between Beregovski and the ensemble-- Beregovski it seems was personally involved in putting the ensemble together and setting up the recording.

Should also put in a plug for Wollock's older article in the ARSC Journal from 1997 which provides a discography for European recordings 1911-1914 and provides a number of great details on the Belf Orchestra.

The journal (Spring 2003, Vol.34, no.1) may be ordered from the ASRC website. Although the website is unclear (new website early 2004), I have confirmed that the journal is $18 postpaid US. More for international orders - email folks with specifics from the webpage.

Continue reading "New Jeffrey Wollock article in ARSC" »

Discography of early European Jewish recordings

Joel Bresler reports on the Jewish-music mailing list:

I am pleased to relate that my colleague Michael Aylward has started to publish some of the results of his impressive seven-year effort to compile a discography of commercial European Jewish recordings on cylinders and 78s. His article (title above) appears in Vol. 16 of "Polin, Studies in Polish Jewry", Oxford and Portland, OR, The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2003.

He is covering traditional Jewish music, defined here as excluding performances in the classical tradition. So far, Michael has documented 5,500 recordings. It's well worth getting a copy of the article.

List members then came up with the following contact info: To get the volume of Polin look at the website of the publisher, or, in the US, go through International Specialized Book Services (ISBS).

Continue reading "Discography of early European Jewish recordings" »

December 5, 2003

Rogovoy on new Klezmatics/Guthrie collaboration

Seth Rogovoy has written an article about the new collaboration between the Klezmatics and Woody Guthrie, via Guthrie's daughter Nora. Those of us in the Boston area got to hear some of the new songs during a recent performance by Frank London and Lorin Sklamberg. The real deal, however, is the concert on Dec 20th in NYC

Read all about it in The Klezmatics uncover the Jewish Woody Guthrie, by Seth Rogovoy, originally published in the Berkshire Eagle on December 5, 2003.

November 16, 2003

Gerard Edery Sephardic Song Book released

songbook coverThis highly anticipated song book by Sephardic singer/composer/guitarist, Gerard Edery, contains 40 musical gems from the Sephardic oral tradition. Includes ballads, songs of courtship, love and marriage, as well as liturgical pieces honoring Elijah the Prophet, Abraham and Moses, among others. The song book also includes a 17 track accompanying CD, Ladino pronunciation guide, lyrics and translations, and a forward by renowned author/storyteller, Peninnah Schram. The songs are arranged in an easily readable format that highlights melody and guitar chords with suggested accompaniments.

This collection includes both familiar and lesser known pieces such as Montañas Altas, Shalom Alechem Señores, La Roza Linda, Cuando El Rey Nimrod, La Comida La Mañana, Eli Eliyahu, Tus Cavellos Seda Son, Dúrmite Mi Alma and many more!

To learn more about the song book and to order, please visit or contact Thia Knowlton directly at:

Sefarad Publishing
392 Central Park West
Suite 17Y
New York, NY 10025
Phone/Fax: (212) 662-9712

November 15, 2003

Chopin for the Oud

Judith Cohen found this delightful article in Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper:

Chopin for the Oud, by Noam Ben Ze'ev, Friday, Nov 14, 2003

Two cellists and three oud players join a kanunist and two flautists, violinists (both of the Arabic and the Western variety) and players of percussion and wood instruments and piano. They hail from Sakhnin and Ramat Gan, Shfaram and Modi'in, Herzliya, Nazareth and Kafr Kana. This multicultural orchestra, and its unique assortment of human and musical talents, is the Jewish-Arab Musical Youth Orchestra - a longish name for a young ensemble, whose teenage members gather together to make music with one another.....

August 12, 2003

Robinson feature on Rashanim, Shtreiml

George Robinson just did a feature on Rashanim and also on Shtreiml (both are playing Makor this week), which can be found at:

Great bands. I have reviewed both recently on the KlezmerShack Excellent article. Enjoy!

May 25, 2003

Klezmer articles in Israel

Moshe Berlin found this and posted it to the Jewish-Music mailing list. For those of us who read Hebrew, there is a nice article about Klezmer music and klezmer in Israel, featuring an interview with Zev Feldman, in "Makor Rishon":

Archeologist of a Jewish Sub-Culture", datelined Apr 16, 2003.

But where is the article about Moshe Berlin, surely the embodiment of Israeli klezmer traditions as brought over to Israel by 18th century hasidim? That is printed in this article, from "Mekor Rishon," May 23, 2003 (also in Hebrew):

"Klezmer is alive and well in Israel".

April 7, 2003

Italian Jewish musical traditions, article

book coverWe were distracted last summer and almost missed this wonderful article about Italian Jewish Musical traditons, by Ruth Gruber (whose most recent book is the rather amazing "Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe"). In particular, she highlights work done by Francesco Spagnolo, one of my favorite Italians, who seems to be single-handedly responsible for growing awareness in the field:

Centuries-old liturgical tradition comes alive on CD of Jewish tunes.

February 28, 2003

Jozef Jankowski tsimbl article

Jozef JankowskiPete Rushefsky posts to the Jewish-music mailing list:

Some of you had the pleasure of meeting tsimbl player/maker Jozef Jankowski at KlezKamp. Just wanted to let you know that he's the coverboy of the latest issue of Dulcimer Player's News. Yes-- shameless self promotion-- I did write the article. Can see the cover and read an excerpt of the article at the following link:

For more on Jankowski tsimbls, see his page here on the KlezmerShack.

February 26, 2003

new issue of Zukunft on Jewish Music

The yiddish literary journal the Zukunft is now in its 110th year. It is the oldest Yiddish periodical today. The current issue is a special issue with a focus on Jewish Music.

This issue of the Zukunft (vol. 107, no.1) is available from The Congress for Jewish Culture for $6.00. A subscription to the Zukunft, a quarterly is $30.00. Please make checks out to the Congress for Jewish Culture. Please subscribe and have your library subscribe too!

Zukunft, 25 E. 21st. NY NY 10010

Continue reading "new issue of Zukunft on Jewish Music" »

February 23, 2003

Israeli Bus Station music, 1993

When I was in the former Leningrad years ago, I remember browsing the street stands for cassettes of incredible local bands. Good street music is always found in lousy, crowded marketplaces, and it comes on poorly recording cassettes.

The subject of Mizrahi (of Jews from the former Ottoman Empire) music came up on the Jewish music mailing list a while back. Longing and nostalgia were expressed for those cassettes available at the bus station or in the open air food markets. As was to be expected, Dr. Judith Cohen, wandering ethnomusicologist and author of our Short Bibliography of Sephardic Music (and many articles and publications) had been there and written about it. We are delighted to make her 1993 article on "Israeli Bus Station Music" available online,

February 17, 2003

"Mediterraneanism" in Israeli music:

Eva Broman found this article by Israeli scholar Edwin Seroussi about ""Mediterraneanism" in Israeli music: an idea and its permutations" from Music & Anthropology, Journal of Musical Anthropology of the Mediterranean, Number 7


Yiddishe Cup brings fun brand of Jewish music to Dallas

Yiddishe Cup bandleader Bert Stratton turned the Jewish-music list on to this article about his band and it's music.

The Other Jewish Music

Lori Lippitz passed along this URL about Sephardic music to the Jewish-music list. Thought it might be of interest to KlezmerShack readers:

7-Feb-2003 Arts & Ents > Reviews
Klezmer it ain't
Jenni Frazer

There's far more to Jewish music than the sounds of the Eastern European shtetl. Jenni Frazer heads east.

Turn to the east and listen to the sounds of the Sephardim. This year's Jewish Arts Festival has some particularly choice examples of Sephardi music, including songs of passion and tragedy as celebrated by the Spanish-Jewish group, Los Desterrados.

January 31, 2003

More on "Oriental" Israeli music

From: "Eva Broman" on the Jewish-Music mailing list:

Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 +0100

For anyone interested in the development of "Eastern style" (Musica Mizrahit) music in Israel, here's an interesting piece from The Jerusalem Post, by Helen Kaye who has written several articles on the subject:

September 29, 2002

Sephardic Songbook, 2nd Edition released

The Sephardic Songbook (2001 ISBN 3-87626-222-4) released 10 months ago by Aron Saltiel and Josh Horowitz is just entering the second edition (the first sold out).

Continue reading "Sephardic Songbook, 2nd Edition released" »

Kloset Klezmer Akkordeonists

Find out the most excruciating details of klezmer accordion history in this scathing and exhaustive article, written by Josh Horowitz and just released IN ENGLISH, in the mammoth issue of: 'The Accordion in all its guises - an issue of Musical Performance' (Harwood Academic Press, imprint of Gordon and Breach Publishers, Taylor and Francis, UK)

Continue reading "Kloset Klezmer Akkordeonists" »

September 28, 2002

Special Jewish Dance Publication

Jewish Folklore & Ethnology Review, Vol. 20, No. 1-2, Spring 2001. This issue, edited by Judith Brin Ingber, features richly illustrated articles about Israeli folk dance and dance in Israel; the first Israeli folk dance tour to European Displaced Persons camps in 1947; contemporary choreography in Israel and the U.S.; Jewish dance in Renaissance Italy and under Stalin; dance rituals of the Hasidim, Yemenites and Ethiopian Jews. The authors are expert European, Israeli and American dance scholars.

Continue reading "Special Jewish Dance Publication" »

February 10, 2002

New book on Synagogue Music

"The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue: History and Definition by Sholom Kalib." Publication date: March 2002. Publisher: Syracuse Univ Pr. Binding: Hardcover. Subjects: Music; Ethnomusicology; History & Criticism.

January 6, 2002

Sephardic Songbook edited Saltiel, intro by Josh Horowitz

The Sephardic Songbook has just been released by the classical music publisher, Peters Edition, Frankfurt. It is a collection of 51 Judeo-Spanish tunes from Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece and Bosnia, collected and edited by Aron Saltiel, one of the leading exponents of the Sephardic music community and a native speaker of Ladino, with transcriptions and an extensive introduction by Josh Horowitz.

Continue reading "Sephardic Songbook edited Saltiel, intro by Josh Horowitz" »

December 16, 2001

Jewish music curriculum available in German

Juedische Musiktraditionen (in German) is intended for use by school teachers and other interested readers. It provides an introduction to the spectrum of Jewish music -- religious and secular, Ashkenazic and Sephardic -- via case studies of selected traditions (with accompanying CD).

Continue reading "Jewish music curriculum available in German" »

Klezmer in Berlin: Whose Klezmer Is It, Anyway?

From New York's Jewish Week: A tour of Berlins fascination with things Jewish reveals some frayed nerves and a growing sensitivity by a new generation, by Elicia Brown - Staff Writer.

December 9, 2001

Writing about the Klezmer Revival, by Ari Davidow

There has been some excellent writing about Klezmer Music in recent years. Prompted in part by the guilt Ari Davidow feels at reading Ruth Gruber's new and excellent "Virtually Jewish: Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe" which he knows he'll want to write about as soon as he finishes, he has caught up a bit by writing about recent klezmer-related books by Henry Sapoznik, Seth Rogovoy, and Mark Slobin.