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(2004 Archived Page)


Welcome to the Jewish Music Page of Rainlore's World of Music. Here, you will find all manner of news and information, including articles, Jewish music reviews, information on artists, and more, concerning all types and aspects of any kind of music that is even vaguely Jewish.




Good news for those who either missed the splendid Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush with the BBC Concert Orchestra concert back in February or would like to repeat this extraordinary experience. The concert is to be repeated on Thursday, 3rd February 2005, 7.30pm at the Chichester Festival Theatre in Chichester, West Sussex. Full details can be found on the newly set up 2005 Jewish Music UK Calendar page. This repeat performance is part of the BBC Concert Orchestra's new residency at Chichester, comprising five concerts between October 2004 and February 2005 as well as a series of education workshops and broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3. Details of the other concerts in this series are also listed on the calendar pages. A price reduction is available for those attending all five concerts, and the BBC CO have also set up a special discounted room rate with The Ship Hotel in the centre of Chichester for those visiting for the occasion and wishing to stay overnight. Full details are in the BBC CO's new season brochure and shortly on the BBC CO web site.

Abigail Wood of the Southampton University Klezmer Band invites everybody to come along to their lunchtime concert on Friday 14th May, 12.50pm, at Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton University, Southampton. They are also looking for a drummer, so if you're interested, please contact Abbi. Other instruments also welcome. They're based at the university and meet Monday nights.

Slowly catching up on the backlog of CD reviews - I'm doing the best I can. There are another six albums reviewed, and what an outstanding crop they are!

There's Afro-Cuban jazz legend Mark Weinstein's extraordinary homage to traditional Jewish music - klezmer, Yiddish song, Ladino song, Chassidic nigunim are covered -, Shifra Tanzt. It's a work of sheer genius. This is Weinstein's heart. Also, we have the re-issue of the phenomenal album that most created the Weinstein legend, Cuban Roots, although this is not connected to Jewish music as such. Long overdue, Lori Cahan-Simon's more-wonderful-than-free-beer Vessel of Song - The Music of Mikhl Gelbart is finally reviewed. Pure manna from heaven for any Yiddish song lover. Oud virtuoso Adel Salameh's Nuzha - Promenade also features Israeli-born drum genius Asaf Sirkis and Israeli Turkish clarinettist extraordinaire Eyal Sela. This album is of particular interest also because of its close ties to Sephardi/Andalusian and Mizrakhi music. The music is exquisite. Last but by no means least, more from David Chevan, Warren Byrd and The Afro-Semitic Experience, Let Us Break Bread Together and This Is The Afro-Semitic Experience are outstanding albums.

The next site update will include an illustrated review of the fabulous Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers in concert at London's Purcell Room late last month, and, also from the Nomadica - Roots Revisited concert series,  the excellent The Soul of the Fiddle concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall will follow shortly, with more illustrated live reviews coming up soon.

Staying with the latter topic for a moment, if tangentially, whenever an illustrated review goes online I tend to get a good few emails from aspiring music photographers asking about how they could make a start photographing live music events, gaining access to events and permissions, and what equipment and film I use and other technical matters. It is obviously impossible for me to answer such inquiries individually apart from a brief polite acknowledgement. So, if you're one of those people please accept my apologies but it simply can't be done. This site is dedicated to music, not photography, so an article addressing these kinds of queries would be rather tangential, and certain aspects of such queries would be difficult or impossible to address without mentioning brand names, which further disinclines me to engage in this matter. After all, that would practically amount to free product/brand advertising, something that goes totally against the grain as far as I am concerned.

Finally, the Other World Music page is active as of now. This will cover anything that broadly falls into the world music category and that generally isn't already covered here.

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music
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More computer problems, including the best part of two weeks offline, have unfortunately delayed this update further. (A proper replacement computer is now being sought, and then a few weeks will be taken up installing applications and migrating data - argh! The joys of computers!) Hope everybody had a good escape from Egypt. Here a good part of it alas tied in with a real, if temporary, "migration" from home necessitated by a major utilities crisis and resultant lack of heating and cooking (still no proper heating, if at least electric cooking of sorts now). Matza I can live with, happily, but no heat and no hot food at all I cannot.

A little delayed then, we have the review of The Burning Bush with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler, concert at the Royal Festival Hall at last. Lavishly illustrated as usual, this one is spread out over two pages, with extra photos on the second page. The concert itself was a sensation. And after having heard recordings of the other events in this BBC Radio 3 series of East Meets West concerts, the BBC CO / The Burning Bush one stands out even more as clearly and far and away the best and most successful of them, which certainly also seems to be born out by audience reactions on various online message boards. Perhaps the less said about the other concerts in this series the better, and instead to concentrate on the positive side and the BBC Concert Orchestra with The Burning Bush event. It was a most memorable occasion indeed, where East really did meet West in a musically productive way, with an excellent selection of orchestral pieces by Jewish composers or on Jewish themes, an orchestral arrangement of traditional Sephardi pieces by conductor Robert Ziegler, traditional Yiddish songs, klezmer tunes, Ladino songs and Chassidic nigunim from The Burning Bush, and a world premier of a specially commissioned work by Roderick Skeaping, The Vanished Shtetl, for band and orchestra, and more.

Associated with this splendid concert was a series of pre-concert performances in the Royal Festival Hall foyer, presented by the BBC Concert Orchestra as part of Concert Connections / BBC CO Learning under the title Vessels of Sound. Featuring a number of performances by students who were the beneficiaries of the BBC CO's learning programme as well as a spoken word poetry performance by the most excellent Leah Thorn, one of the facilitators in the learning programme, Vessels of Sound was an outstanding event celebrating Jewish culture and surely an occasion for Jewish pride. This delightful celebration is therefore given its own illustrated review.

While some long overdue artists' profiles had to wait yet again (the drafts are still awaiting retrieval from a dieing hard disk), there's a whole bunch of equally long overdue album reviews at least, with more to follow very shortly now.

Even though not coming under the umbrella of "Jewish music" per se, Afro-Latin Jazz legend Mark Weinstein's latest superb album Tudo de Bom, a selection of compositions from leading Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal's Calendario do Som series, is mentioned here by way of a "lead-in". With his previous album, Shifra Tanzt, Mark Weinstein entered a deeply personal exploration of his Jewish musical roots, and a review of this exquisite recording will be included in the next site update.

David Chevan's latest album, The Days of Awe, is a series of truly awesome instrumental interpretation of prayers from the High Holy Days. A sensitive blend of Jewish liturgical material and styles with contemporary jazz, this album is sub-titled Meditations for Selichot, Rosh Hshanah and Yom Kippur, and also features Warren Byrd and other members of Chevan's band The Afro-Semitic Experience as well as ace trumpeter Frank London. More from The Afro-Semitic Experience next time. Also reviewed is Wolf Krakowski's extraordinary English language singer-songwriter album, Unbounded - not to be missed! A young singer-songwriter talent definitely to look out for is Lenka Lichtenberg, whose debut album Deep Inside and 2003's Open The Gate are reviewed here. A big-hearted and gifted singer both of traditional Yiddish as well as Ladino material and her own original material, Ms. Lichtenberg's albums are a delightful blend of traditional Yiddish and contemporary singer-songwriter and world music styles. And last but by no means least, it's nostalgia time with two excellent abums distributed by Simon Rutberg's Hatikvah Music. Our Way! The Barry Sisters Sing "Bei Mir Bist Du Sheyn" is a wonderful compilation of mainly 1960s hits and show tunes sung in Yiddish by the famed Barry Sisters, while Joe & Paul - The Best of  The Barton Brothers puts together the most popular and successful of The Barton Brother's Yiddish musical comedy sides from the late 1940s.

Also coming up soon, illustrated reviews of two of the concerts in the excellent Nomadica - Roots Revisited series presented by the Jewish Music Institute in association with MultiCulti at London's South Bank. First, the brilliant Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers concert at the Purcell Room, then the excellent The Soul of the Fiddle concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, both having taken place at the end of March.

The Classical Music Reviews index page is now also active and lists all reviews of music broadly falling into the classical category or overlapping with it.

The Jewish Music UK Calendar page continues to be constantly updated, and there will be another "silent" update in the coming days.

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music
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Just another quick interim update. Regrettably, I've been falling further behind, not least thanks to an uncooperative computer that insists on being on its last leg (a couple of its aging disks have been failing intermittently). However, things are running reasonably smoothly again now (for now!), and a whole bunch of album reviews should be up in the early part of next week. Some real gems among them, too.

Also coming up very shortly, an illustrated review of the Lucie Skeaping and The Burning Bush with The BBC Concert Orchestra concert, with conductor Robert Ziegler, at London's Royal Festival Hall last week. If you missed this outstanding performance you can listen to it on BBC Radio 3 90-93 FM (also online at the BBC web site) on 10th March, 7.30pm (BST). Presented alongside the main concert was an excellent series of free pre-concert recitals in the Royal Festival Hall main foyer as part of the BBC Concert Orchestra's Concert Connections, the BBC CO Learning Programme, entitled Vessels of Sound, and there will be seperate review of this as well. The Vessels of Sound performances will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 during the week of 8-12 March as part of the BBC Radio 3 'Diverse Orchestras' Project. Taken altogether, the evening was a superb celebration of Jewish culture on which the BBC CO really cannot be congratulated, and indeed thanked enough.

Whilst on the topic of broadcasts, also don't miss Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers live on Charlie Gillett's The Sound of the World show on BBC London Radio (94.9 FM) on Saturday, 13th March, 8-10pm. If you're not in the London area, you can listen anywhere on the planet online anytime during the week following the broadcast.

The calendar page is being updated as frequently as possible and as dates come in. Dates in Western Europe can also be included, as of course any radio and TV broadcasts, workshops, and the like.

Finally, anybody I owe email, please accept my apologies, I'll try and catch up as quickly as I can after Shabbes. I estimate I should be more or less up-to-date with mail by the end of next week, with a bit of luck.

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music


Just an interim update today, but what an update! There's the review of the legendary Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's fabulous gig at London's Pizza Express Jazz Club last month, held over from last time and lavishly illustrated with photos from the gig. This amazing jazz colossus just keeps on surprising with his innovative and adventurous genius and through his uncanny ability to keep on surpassing himself. Atzmon's gigs recapture all the raw excitement of past greats like Bird (Charlie Parker) and 'Trane (John Coltrane) and add considerably to it. Regardless of what one makes of his politics, it's impossible to ignore Gilad Atzmon's musical genius.

Also, the "All Live Music Reviews"  (index) page is now active and lists all current reviews of live gigs available on Rainlore's World of Music.

Finally, this page has been trimmed somewhat and its older content fully archived.

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music
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A total of seven album reviews have made it onto the site, however, due to time constraints and in order to not delay the current update any further it had to be curtailed somewhat, leaving some artists' profiles and an illustrated review of the phenomenal Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble live at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London, to be added ASAP.

However, the current crop of albums reviewed is a veritable treasure trove! Back in 1984, a remarkable performance of Shostakovich's song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry, Opus 79, took place in London as part of the first London Festival of Jewish Music. What was so remarkable about this performance was that the songs had been translated back into Yiddish from Russian. Fortunately, this performance in Yiddish was recorded shortly afterwards with the same performers and released on audio cassette by B'nai B'rith Recordings. The performers were Helen Lawrence, soprano (now mezzo), Carole Rosen, mezzo, Louis Garb, tenor, Louis Berkman, baritone, and Antony Saunders, piano. In addition to the Shostakovich cycle, the recording included extracts from Samuel Alman's Yiddish opera King Ahaz, with piano accompaniment. This historical release is still available in limited quantities and is now reviewed, along with another historical B'nai B'rith Recordings release from the same year, featuring Sybil Michelow, soprano (now alto) and the late Master of the Queen's Music Malcolm Williamson In Recital. This features an outstanding selection of songs covering the period from the late Romantic to the late 20th century, all by Jewish composers or on Jewish themes. Both of these historic releases are available from Jewish Music Distribution UK, and CD re-issues are being contemplated by the JMI, who own the rights.

If you're even vaguely into chansons and cabaret song, don't miss the fabulous Alexandra Yaron's stunning album, Irgendwo Auf Der Welt..., and most of all, don't miss this incredible performer! Alexandra Yaron will already be familiar to regular visitors through the review here of her recent cabaret date at The Spitz. The zany Aussie band Monsieur Camembert who won their second ARIA Award for Best World Music Album for their 2003 release Absynthe provide a super taster of their live performances on the 2002 ARIA Award-winning Live On Stage. One-time keyboardist/sideman for Tom Waits, Willy Schwarz is an incredibly versatile multi-instrumentalist as well as an accomplished singer who takes us on a musical travelogue to explore most major traditions of Jewish music throughout the diaspora with his album Jewish Music Around The World, distributed in the US by Hatikvah Music. One of the best aspects of this album is also that it presents Ashkenazi as well as Sephardi and Mizrakhi traditions together and all mixed up nicely. It also highlights the fact that sadly at present, Sephardi and Mizrakhi traditions are seriously under-represented in reviews on this site. This is by no means by design or any kind of bias or preference but simply because artists/bands (and/or their distributors/labels etc.) have been somewhat backward in coming forward. A very regrettable state of affairs in my opinion.

Asaf Sirkis, more familiar perhaps as the drum genius at the heart of the rhythm section of Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble, can be heard with his own trio, Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise with their recent outstanding album Inner Noise. A kind of fusion for the 21st century, Inner Noise goes far beyond the fusion familiar from Miles Davis and John McLaughlin and followers, combining elements of jazz, progressive rock, classical and Middle Eastern music and influences as diverse as Olivier Messiaen and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The trio comprises in addition to Sirkis on drums, organist Steve Lodder on church organ and guitarist Mike Outram. The work was recorded at St. Michael's Church, Highgate, North London. While perhaps not falling under the umbrella of Jewish music, this album is nonetheless of interest here as not only is Sirkis Israeli and the work was originally partly commissioned by the City of Tel Aviv's Art Department, but also because of the Middle Eastern elements of the music. Last but not least, there's more from clawhammer banjo klezmer extraordinaire Andy Rubin, with his regular band The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band and their 1998 debut album The Flower of Berezin, a joyful blend of klezmer, American Old Time Dance music, Irish music and more. This stuff is highly infectious!

Some of the major annual klez fests have also been listed in the Info section and on the links page. If those that are still not mentioned would like to send me details, I'll gladly add them ASAP.

Finally, with the next (partial) site update it is about time to move some of the news content of this page to the archives.

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music
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No less than five album reviews this time, with lots more in preparation. Be sure not to miss the extraordinary Wolf Krakowski's albums, Transmigrations - Gilgul and Goyrl: Destiny. Krakowski re-intepretes traditional Yiddish songs in a modern blues based idiom that blends blues, R&B, folk-rock, country-rock, reggae and Latin flavours in his own inimitable style while fully preserving the Yiddish essence of the songs. At the height of her career, Yaffa Yarkoni was probably Israel's most popular singer. Thanks to the endeavours of Simon Rutberg and his Hatikvah Music label, a collection of her singing Yiddish songs is for the first time available on CD in the form of Yaffa Yarkoni Sings Yiddish - Rumania, Rumania. Whether you're into "Early Jewish Music" period style performances, tsimbl, or you just like klezmer duets, Pete Rushefsky and Elie Rosenblatt's Tsimbl un Fidl: Klezmer Music For Hammered Dulcimer And Violin is guaranteed to offer everybody something. Finally, the recently released Shalom Ireland by CeiliZemer is the soundtrack of the documentary movie of the same name and there simply aren't enough superlatives to describe this fantastic album - it's a real blast! CeiliZemer of course features among others Andy Rubin and David Kidron of The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band, of whom more next time.

Coming soon is a live review of a recent Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble date at the Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho. It's easy to see why they're fast acquiring the status "legendary"!

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music
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A Happy C.E. New Year!

Long overdue, a profile of eclectic Aussie band Monsieur Camembert is finally up. Hoping to catch up with a few more over the next couple of months.

Also up, a full six album reviews. While not strictly speaking falling under the umbrella of any kind of Jewish music, The Amazing Assaf's Explicit Lifestyles and Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't are nevertheless relevant here. For starters, they are fine music, period. Moreover, they are very rare beasts in the present day and age - popular music, in this particular case, Hip Hop, that actually qualifies as original, inventive, creative and even accessible and eminently listenable-to. Even if Hip Hop is not your usual "bag", I'd urge you to give The Amazing Assaf's albums a listen. This Hip Hop and percussion genius takes the genre and turns it upside down and inside out with very interesting results. And there isn't even a loop in sight. Last not least of course, The Amazing Assaf will already be familiar to regular visitors of these pages as the percussion wizard of the all-star supergroup Daphna Sadeh And The Voyagers. For more on The Amazing Assaf and his albums also check here.

Then there are two more albums from Stewart Curtis, the multi-woodwind phenomenon also already familiar through his association with Daphna Sadeh And The Voyagers as well as his previously reviewed debut album with Stewart Curtis' K-Groove. Smoked Salmon Salsa is K-Groove's most recent album, and Curtis faces the trio trial on Saracubana - The Stewart Curtis Trio Plays B.B. Cooper; extraordinary albums both. Equally extraordinary are two more albums from Dutch duo Mariejan van Oort and Jacques Verheijen, their debut album Brikele - A Concert of Yiddsh Songs, and their latest release, Mayn Fayfele - Songs of Gebirtig, a tribute to Mordekhay Gebirtig that includes material only recently discovered.

Several new musical categories and links to them are starting to appear on these pages. There is a lot of material that is relevant to more than one sphere of interest, e.g., a lot of klezmer and other Jewish music involves fusion with jazz and it would therefore be of interest to general jazz aficionados. Adding other categories and cross-referencing material is aimed at broadening the appeal of such material. Also of course, there will always be other material that I find of interest but that doesn't really fit into the previous limited categories. However, rest assured that the primary focus of this site will firmly remain all forms of Jewish music, and a bit of steel pan (which will finally come along real soon now). The first of the new categories to become "active" are Jazz and Other Music. The latter will cover all forms/genres of music not already encompassed by a seperate category.

Finally, a "silent" update of the Jewish Music UK Calendar page will follow, it is hoped, in the next few days.

More soon.

Rainlore's World of Music

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The reviews pages are one of the major features of this site. Generally, reviews feature CD albums, but they will by no means be limited to CD releases. Previews and live performances, and even the odd demo, will also be covered as and when opportunities present themselves. Also, reviews are not necessarily of the latest releases only, rather, I aim to generally cover the best of what's around and that will often include reviews of older releases. Also, there is a page listing all CD reviews available on Rainlore's World of Music, which includes reviews of music from other genres, for example steel pan music, World Jazz, classical, in fact just about anything!

Latest reviews as of 2004/04/27:

The Lori Cahan-Simon Ensemble :  Vessel of Song - The Music of Mikhl Gelbart (2004/04/23)

Mark Weinstein :  Shifra Tanzt (2004/04/21)

Adel Salameh :  Nuzha - Promenade (2004/04/20)

David Chevan and Warren Byrd :  Let Us Break Bread Together (2004/04/19)

Warren Byrd and David Chevan :  This Is The Afro-Semitic Experience (2004/04/19)

Latest reviews as of 2004/04/13:

BBC Concert Orchestra, Cond. Robert Ziegler, with The Burning Bush :  In Concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, 25th February 2004 (2004/02/26)

The BBC Concert Orchestra Presents as part of Concert Connections/BBC CO Learning :  Vessels of Sound - A pre-concert programme in the main foyer, Royal Festival Hall, London, 25th February 2004 (2004/02/26)

David Chevan :  The Days Of Awe (2004/02/23)

Wolf Krakowski :  Unbounded (2004/02/10)

Lenka Lichtenberg :  Open The Gate (2004/02/09)

Lenka Lichtenberg :  Deep Inside (2004/01/29)

The Barry Sisters :  Our Way! The Barry Sisters Sing "Bei Mir Bist Du Sheyn" (2004/01/21)

The Barton Brothers :  Joe & Paul - The Best Of The Barton Brothers (2004/01/21)
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Latest reviews as of 2004/02/15:

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble :  Live at The Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London, 13th January 2004 (2004/01/14)

Latest reviews as of 2004/02/04:

Helen Lawrence et al :  Shostakovitch - Song Cycle: From Jewish Folk Poetry / Alman - King Ahaz - Opera Excerpts (2004/01/27) (Audio Cassette)

Sybil Michelow & Malcolm Williamson :  In Recital (2004/01/27) (Audio Cassette)

Alexandra Yaron :  Irgendwo Auf Der Welt... (2004/01/22)

Monsieur Camembert :  Live On Stage (2004/01/21)

Willy Schwarz :  Jewish Music Around The World (2004/01/19)

Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise :  Inner Noise (2004/01/18)

The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band :  The Flower Of Berezin (2004/01/18)

Latest reviews as of 2004/01/17:

CeiliZemer :  Shalom Ireland (2004/01/14)

Pete Rushefsky & Elie Rosenblatt :  Tsimbl un Fidl: Klezmer Music For Hammered Dulcimer And Violin (2004/01/11)

Yaffa Yarkoni :  Yaffa Yarkoni Sings Yiddish - Rumania, Rumania (2004/01/09)

Wolf Krakowski :  Goyrl: Destiny (2004/01/09)

Wolf Krakowski :  Transmigrations - Gilgul (2004/01/07)
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Latest reviews as of 2004/01/01:

Mariejan van Oort & Jacques Verheijen : Mayn Fayfele - Songs of Gebirtig (2003/12/31)

The Stewart Curtis Trio :  Saracubana - The Stewart Curtis Trio Plays B.B. Cooper (2003/12/30)

Stewart Curtis' K-Groove :  Smoked Salmon Salsa (2003/12/29)

Mariejan van Oort & Jacques Verheijen : Brikele - A Concert Of Yiddish Songs (2003/12/29)

Latest reviews as of 2003/12/23:

Stewart Curtis' Klezmer Groove :  Too Loud For Dinner (2003/12/17)

Mariejan van Oort & Jacques Verheijen :  Benkshaft - Yiddishe Lider (2003/12/17)

Budapest Klezmer Band :  Live at Union Chapel, Islington, London, 29th November 2003 (2003/12/01)

Alexandra Yaron :  Berlin & Paris Cabaret, at The Spitz, London, 25th November 2003 (2003/11/26)

The World Quintet (formerly known as Kol Simcha) :  Live at Union Chapel, Islington, London, 20th November 2003 (2003/11/26)

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Artists' Pages

Another major feature, the artists' pages consist of brief profiles, complete with discographies, contact/booking and other useful information, for artists whose work has been reviewed on Rainlore's World of Music, or that have been given a special feature or profile. Additionally, in some cases, these pages may be styled to serve as the artist's or band's home page if they don't have a web site/page of their own yet; these are identified accordingly.

Latest profiles of Jewish music artists as of 2004/01/01:

Monsieur Camembert

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Articles & Features

An index of both formal and informal articles, both on as well as off site, on all manner of topics relating to Jewish music. Titles are accompanied by brief descriptions of the content.

Articles on aspects of Jewish music by various authors, off-site

The Main Klezmer Modes by Joshua Horowitz  is an extract from an unpublished paper by Horowitz on the modes or shteygers commonly in use in klezmer music, which derive from the modes of the Ashkenazi chazzanut. It is both fascinating and practically required reading for anybody with an interest in the theory of Jewish music.

Tsimbls and Their Kin by Joshua Horowitz is a riveting article by this eminent musicologist and of course one of the most outstanding contemporary tsimblists himself, on this wonderful instrument - the tsimbl, the Eastern European Jewish hammered dulcimer or cimbalom.

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Annual Jewish Music Festivals, Workshops and Similar Events
Sources for Buying Jewish Music Recordings

Annual Jewish Music Festivals, Workshops and Similar Events

KLEZCALIFORNIA is an annual five day celebration of Klezmer Music, Yiddish Language, Literature, Dance and Folk Arts, with evening events and a full children's program, held every summer in San Francisco, California. Course offerings, teachers, registration instructions and other details are available from the KlezCalifornia web site as well as by email or phone on (+1) 415-789-7679. The 2004 event takes place from June 20th to 25th 2004.

KlezFest is the UK's annual five day celebration of Yiddish and klezmer music and culture with a full programme of courses, workshops, concerts and more. Held in London based at the Jewish Music Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) of the University of London every summer, KlezFest is usually preceded by a week long Yiddish language and culture course. Full details and online registration forms are usually available in the early part of each year at the JMI website. The 2004 Yiddish language and culture course is slated for Sunday 1st to Friday 6th August 2004, while KlezFest will take place Sunday 8th to Thursday 12th August 2004.

KlezKamp is the grandaddy of all klezmer and Yiddish culture fests. The brainchild of Henry Sapoznik of Kapelye and The Jewish Radio Project fame, and acclaimed author of one of the modern standard texts on klezmer and the klezmer renaissance of the late 20th century, Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World, KlezKamp was first held in 1984 and takes place annually in December in the Catskills of New York State. Now also known as the Yiddish Folk Arts Festival, KlezKamp features "innovative classes, great teachers and the finest schedule of Yiddish culture programs in the world", to quote the official blurb. Full details of each year's event and online registration are usually available on the official KlezKamp web site in the autumn, or you can email for a printed brochure.
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Sources for Buying Jewish Music Recordings

Your local HMV, Tower, Virgin or whatever CD mega store is extremely unlikely to carry any sort of Jewish music recordings. Amazon and Barnes & Noble and similar online outlets have the odd few releases in their catalogues, but you'd have to be very lucky to find everything you want there.

However, there are very much better sources from which to obtain CDs (and/or audio cassettes etc.) -  for a start, two wonderful specialist Judaica outlets, one in the USA and the other in the UK. Both are run at least as much as a labour of love as as a business, and are certainly deserving of every Jewish music connoisseur's support and patronage. Their respective owners are not only extremely knowledgeable in the field of Jewish music and recordings, but are also extraordinarily helpful and will go the extra mile to try all they reasonably can to track down an obscure recording that they might not have in stock (and their range of stock is nothing short of amazing anyway!) - if it's out there and at all obtainable, these dedicated people are your best hope of getting it!

Specialist outlets like this are always at best marginal and often struggling to survive, while providing an invaluable service, so if you love Jewish music and are looking to buy, may I urge you to please take your custom to :

Banner - Hatikvah Music InternationalHATIKVAH Music International

is based at:  436 N. Fairfax, L.A., Ca. (USA)
(323) 655 7083

Simon, Hatikvah's friendly helpful owner, carries every imaginable kind of Jewish music and then some. You can also contact Simon by email with any specific queries you might have, for example concerning a recording you're looking for that isn't listed on his web site.

Hatikvah Music also take particular pride in offering the largest selection of Sephardic music in the world, seperated into "Ladino" (Judeo-Spanish) and (non-Spanish) Sephardi categories, and here are the two direct links to the start of those respective pages:

Banner - Hatikvah - LadinoBanner - Hatikvah - Sephardic

Sephardic and Ladino recordings tend to be especially hard to find generally, so the above should provide a convenient shortcut.

Banner - JMD UKJewish Music Distribution UK

is based at: PO Box 67, Hailsham, BN27 4UW (UK)
Tel/Fax: (+44) (0)1323 832863
(between 8.30am and 6pm UK time)

JMD UK is run by the friendly helpful Noa and carries an incredible range of all kinds of Jewish music, in fact, probably the widest range of recordings available anywhere uner one roof. For any specific queries concerning e.g. recordings that you are looking for (chances are, Noa's got it!), you can also contact Noa by email. Previously hosted by the Jewish Music Institute (SOAS), London, Noa's  own brand new web site is now online and also offers secure online ordering.
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