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KlezFest London, London, UK, Aug 13-18, 2006

klezfest logoThis year KlezFest London (Sunday August 13 - Friday August 18) will again be led by Frank London, with Veretski Pass as the Resident Band. New this year will be a special strand for professional Klezmer bands and players. Also running parallel is the now famous Jewish Song Summer School and they all are preceded by Ot Azoy! - how to read, write and speak (and specially sing) Yiddish in one week (6-11 August 2006). See details below!!

See the website for details of each European Academy course: www.yiddish-klezmer.net

'Dr Klez' himself (AKA Joshua Horowitz—the renowned performer and scholar of klezmer music of Budowitz and other fame), will be a principal guest at the JMI's 6th annual KlezFest London in 2006. Frank London, who created an outstanding programme last year with the Klezmatics will again be the Programme Director and this time has invited the new ensemble Veretski Pass to be the resident band.

This means that not only will we have Joshua Horowitz, an expert on button accordion and tsimbl, but we will have the exciting fiddler Cookie Segelstein for the first time on the violin faculty, and Stuart Brotman will be back dealing with bass instruments. Other returnees are of course Deborah Strauss (fiddle), Jeff Warschauer (plucked strings), Merlin Shepherd and Christian Dawid (clarinets), Sanne Moricke (accordion), Guy Schalom (percussion), Ilana Cravitz (fiddle assistant) and Andreas Schmitges dance-leader assisted by Helene Domergue. Also special to JMI KlezFest London is a contingent of outstanding musicians and singers from the Former Soviet Union who contribute greatly to the calibre and atmosphere of the event.

New to KlezFest London this year, in addition to the work with amateurs, is a special strand for professional klezmer players. Professional bands will have a chance to perform at KlezFest in the Park on the opening day, and in our showcase of Klezmer: The Next Generation organised by Guy Schalom. Professionals will have special lectures and hands-on workshop sessions as well as individual and ensemble masterclasses with Josh Horowitz, Frank London and others on composition and ensemble arrangements. There will be sessions on professional development with music industry leaders on how to make a demo and get a record deal; how to get gigs, how to present yourselves on stage, how to manage being a live performer and how to teach Klezmer.

KlezFest London is a hands-on learning experience with luminaries of the Klezmer revival from Europe and America, focusing on the style, ornamentation, rhythm and repertoire of Eastern European Jewish music, song and dance. It is an inspirational and life-enhancing experience for amateur and professional instrumentalists and singers. In 2006, KlezFest includes a special parallel strand for professional klezmer players as well as the parallel Song School. KlezFest is preceded by a fantastic one-week Yiddish course ideal for complete beginners and for singers but catering also for advanced language students. All the students of KlezFest and Song School, work together each morning till tea break - learning the Shers and Bulgars - the dances of old Europe to a live band led by Merlin Shepherd and singing Chassidic nigunim. After parallel sessions for instrumentalists and singers everyone comes together again in the last session to join in vocal ensembles. Meals and evening entertainment are included and taken together (except on Wednesday which is a free afternoon).

Details of fees and registration forms are now available. Full fees are £285; Students £185. There is an early booking discount of £15 if booked by 15 April and paid in full by 31 May. Further discounts if attending with an ensemble and if booking for Ot Azoy! as well as KlezFest or Song School. Some scholarships are available, to apply fill in a registration form and send with deposit and letter describing the need for financial assistance and the reason you want to do the courses. Book soon and have the benefit of the early booking discount. Website www.jmi.org.uk to register

JMI KlezFest London, the Song School and Ot Azoy! are part of the European Yiddish and Klezmer Academy 2006 for the Transmission of the Yiddish cultural heritage. Four European institutions in London, Paris, Weimar and Vilnius give you the chance to learn Yiddish language and song and Klezmer music. This programme is supported by the Culture Program 2000 of the European Union. Participate in one course or in several. Some European scholarships are available. See the website for details of each European Academy course: www.yiddish-klezmer.net

JMI KlezFest London, the Song School and Ot Azoy! are also part of a World Music Summer School at SOAS University of London www.SOAS.ac.uk/summermusic

KlezFest, Song School and Ot Azoy! will be held this year again at West London Synagogue, 33 Seymour Place, London, W1, and KlezFest and Song School will end with KlezFesters invited to participate with their voices and instruments in a moving service welcoming the Sabbath in the sanctuary and optional partaking of a meal with the community on Friday 18 August.

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