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Maxwell Street Klezmer, Steve Weintraub, South Orange, NJ, Mar 13

at 4:00 p.m.
in celebration of the 145th anniversary
of Oheb Shalom Congregation
170 Scotland Road
South Orange, New Jersey 07079

Recapture the optimism and spirit of Jewish-American music from the 1920s to the 1940s. Maxwell Street's original arrangements combine theatre, jazz, and classical styles with melodies that are infused with Hassidic soul. Their energy and humor make a Maxwell Street performance fun for the whole family!


One of America's top Yiddish Dance Masters, Steven Weintraub, will lead a class on Dances from a Shtetl Wedding. Maxwell Street members Alex Koffman and Donald Jacobs will teach the klezmer instrumental style, while Lori Lippitz teaches Yiddish songs. Workshop participants will be invited to join in during the concert! Registration required by Tuesday, March 8. Contact Arlene Silikovitz: (973) 762-7067.

Can't wait for the concert? For a forshpeis of the music, go to our website (www.ohebshalom.org)!

Sponsored by the Cantor Edgar Mills Memorial Concert Fund

Chicago's Maxwell Street Klezmer Band Performs in South Orange

Sisters don't necessarily share everything, but in the Lippitz family in Evanston, Illinois, Jewish music was a passion for the Lippitz sisters, Riki and Lori.

Riki went on to become one of the first female Cantors in the Conservative Jewish Movement and the Cantor at Oheb Shalom Congregation in South Orange. Lori became one of the first (and only) female klezmer band leaders, founding the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band in Chicago.

In honor of Oheb Shalom 145th anniversary, Lori's 11-member band will perform on Sunday, March 13th at 4:00 PM. Workshops in Yiddish singing, dance, and klezmer ensemble will be offered at 2:00 PM, just prior to the concert.

"If this is going to be a revival, we have to do more than just play concerts," says Lori, whose band is credited with bringing klezmer music back into vogue at Jewish celebrations in Chicago. "We have to give people the skills to carry on the music, the songs and the dances themselves.

That's why we are inviting the entire community to workshops before the show. The concert will be an audience participation experience, and they'll have skills they can carry on with long after we go."

This will be Maxwell Street's fourth East Coast performance, the most memorable one having been their Carnegie Hall debut in 1998. The band's 2002 CD, Old Roots, New World, (Shanachie Entertainment) was named Best Jewish/Hebrew/Klezmer Album in the 2004 Music Awards of the California indy music organization, Just Plain Folks.

Cantor Lippitz admits being partial to her sister's band. "All of the musicians are soloists in their own right. Hearing Alex (the violinist) takes you back at least a century! They add their own original touch to the music while keeping it very old-world. It's moving, even if you didn't grow up with this kind of Yiddishkeit (Jewish tradition). There's nothing quite like it in New York."

One of the stars of "Klezkamp" (an annual klezmer music event in the Catskills), "Dancin' Steve" Weintraub, will be featured as teacher and performer. "When Steve dances to the instrumental music, he brings it to life," says Lori. Steve relocated to Chicago last year and became a part of the Maxwell Street troupe.

Tickets are available from Oheb Shalom Congregation, ranging from $5 for children under 18 to $40 for families. Senior and Student discounts are available. Contact the synagogue at (973) 762-7067 for tickets or more information.

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