Sunday, November 11, 2018, 3:30-6:30 pm

Chasing the Changes, with Jeanette Lewicki
Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave. (S of Oakland Ave.), Piedmont
More info

Each klezmer mode has some typical chord progressions that usually "work." We'll explore chord changes for the klezmer modes called freygish and misheberakh. How can you hear chord changes coming and make an educated guess about what they will be? Does every tune have just one set of "right" changes or are there alternatives? Who decides? How do we solve disagreements? We'll also survey some klezmer forms and rhythm patterns, see how the chords support the melody, and learn ways to switch between melody and rhythm. People who "usually" play melody will get more comfortable with the underlying structure of the tune, and rhythm players will learn to support and join in melodies. Everybody will get more comfortable playing by ear and feel more ready to jump into a jam session, march around on the dance floor, or tackle new tunes.

This will be primarily an "ear" class. That is, we will be playing by ear, listening to tunes, and trying to catch the chord changes. We will analyze some written music, and you will go home with some written music as well. If you'd like to break free from little dots on a page...if you're not sure how to jump in and out of the tune...if you want to keep up with the changes...this may be the class for you!

Sunday, October 21, 2018, 1-4 pm
Cracking The Code: The Fun Way to Practice, with Josh Horowitz
Congregation Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores (at 16th St.), San Francisco

If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite musicians got really good at what they do, the answer is: Creative and Fun Practicing. Yes, Practicing can be as creative and exciting as playing polished versions of tunes!
This workshop deals with super creative ways to develop skills that emerge directly from the tunes you’re playing, so the application is already there. Forget Scales and Arpeggios (unless they occur in the tunes you're playing of course). Each tune presents its own set of characteristics that can be spun into exercises that not only solve technical problems, but can also be used within the tunes right away. The main thing Josh will show is how to develop your own practicing tools that can be applied in each circumstance you encounter, including:
1. Creating patterns and sequences that come from the melodies you are playing
2. Isolating fragments that repeat in the tune and spinning them round and round
3. Strategizing how to navigate the most difficult parts of the piece
4. Developing emergency exits from parts of the tune where you might stumble
And much, much more. This may be the most useful workshop you’ll ever attend, with dividends paid out for years to come.

Sunday, June 3, 2018, 3:45-6:45 pm
The Nign: A Subway to Paradise, with Jeanette Lewicki
Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave. (S of Oakland Ave.), Piedmont

FOR SINGERS AND INSTRUMENTALISTS! What is a nign? A catchy tune? A mystical formula? The source of klezmer music? What are nigunim? Songs without words—music without instruments—a subway system of the heart? We can ask these questions and more while learning to sing and play nigunim collected by folklorist Ruth Rubin in 1948. We will be working with the newly-released Ruth Rubin collection, now available through YIVO's online archive. Jeanette participated in digitizing these files and feels they represent some of the most beautiful Yiddish recordings she's ever heard. We’ll look at deceptively simple written transcriptions, and consider elements like ornamentation, phrasing, and tone that are easy to hear but awkward to write. This class will combine music-reading & ear-training; singers and players; sacred song & circus music. We’ll answer questions, question answers, and learn a spiritual drinking song. “In the next world, will there be vodka?” 

Sunday, May 6, 
2018, 3:45-6:45 pm
The Sheet Music is Lying: How to Interpret Written Klezmer, with Dmitri Gaskin
Kehilla Community Synagogue1300 Grand Ave. (S of Oakland Ave.), Piedmont

We've heard that using sheet music for klezmer is sacrilegious (sinful, disrespectful). But can it be done? This class will explore the ways that written klezmer sheet music can be misleading, and provide advice for what to do when faced with a piece of music that's written down (hint: we can do more than putting it in the recycling!).

Sunday, April 15, 2018, 1-4 pm Klezmer Dance Band: Adding the Lift to Klezmer Dance Tunes, with Cookie Segelstein
Jewish Community Library1835 Ellis St. (near Pierce St.), San Francisco

Playing in a band for a klezmer dance party is a fun collaboration between dance leader, dancers and musicians. Yet it’s rare when dancers, leader and musicians seem in sync. We will cover the main dance rhythms, and explore rhythmic techniques to put the necessary lift in the music to facilitate a lively dance party. Also: how to put together a medley, when to change rhythms, when to end the set, and developing signals between band leader and dance leader.

Sunday, March 4, 2018, 2-5 pm
Klezmer Kalisthenics, with Josh Horowitz
Urban Adamah, 1151 Sixth St. (N of Gilman St.), Berkeley

“Speed-learn" klezmer music? Josh’s new teaching method promises to open your eyes to a completely different way to approach learning a tune. By the end of the session, students will not only play, but also understand and improvise in the traditional style. Money-back guarantee anyone who got in for free.

Palo Alto February 26; Berkeley March 19; San Francisco April 30, 2017
Welcome to 2017 and a new series of klezmer workshops and jams. Thanks to the support of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, we will be holding monthly such events in 2017!

We welcome participants of all ages, on all instruments. Must be at least intermediate level on your instrument. Registration, including refreshments: $25 sliding scale, for participants. Listeners welcome, too! Donation requested. 

SCHEDULE
Sunday, February 266:45-9:45pm, led by Dmitri Gaskin
At Congregation Etz Chayim, PALO ALTO

Sunday, March 192:00-5:00pm, led by Joshua Horowitz
At Art House Gallery and Cultural Center, BERKELEY

Sunday, April 302:00-5:00pm, led by Cookie Segelstein
At Congregation B'nai Emunah, SAN FRANCISCO

FORMAT
We have modified the format in response to comments by last year's participants. The Palo Alto and Berkeley events will consist of three sections, with breaks: 

* 60-minute workshop with teaching, including by ear 
* 45-minute playing through songs with sheet music, with coaching on klezmer style 
* 45-minute traditional jam, without sheet music. 

The San Francisco event will be an extended workshop with teaching by ear (sheet music provided after class) and an extended traditional jam, without sheet music.
  
REGISTRATION
Rsvp to jams[at]klezcalifornia.org or on site. Please specify which event (date/location), your name, instrument, and any questions. 

PREPARATION
To see sheet music and/or (slowed down) audio files, go to klezcalifornia.org/events/jams and scroll down. Material is already there for March 19. If you registration in advance, we will let you know when that event's files have been loaded.

WHAT TO BRING

Required: mute if you are a brass player
Optional: recording device, music stand 

We look forward to playing with you!
                                   
Images by Talia Shaham and Les Plack. 
October 30 in Palo Alto & November 6, 2016 in San Francisco
The klezmer workshop and jam September 25 in Berkeley were a great success!  Eighteen people playing various instruments learned and enjoyed Jeanette's Lewicki's lead. With your participation (and donations!), we hope to continue workshops and jams almost every month. 
 
KlezCalifornia invites you to participate in our next two klezmer workshops and jams:

Sunday, October 306:30-9:45pm
PALO ALTO

Sunday, November 61:00-4:15pm
SAN FRANCISCO

September 25 jam in Berkeley. Photo by Les Plack. 
 
Sunday, October 30, in Palo Alto 
Congregation Etz Chayim
  (near CalTrain)
4161 Alma Street, PALO ALTO

Led by Dmitri Gaskin

Workshop: 6:30-8:00pm
Klezmer Jam: 8:15-9:45pm

Please share this event with your friends via Event Facebook page 
 
Sunday, November 6in San Francisco
Congregation B'nai Emunah 
  (part of their monthly Sunrise Sunset Cafe!)
3595 Taraval Street, SAN FRANCISCO 

Led by Dave Rosenfeld

Workshop: 1:00-2:30pm
Klezmer Jam: 2:45-4:15pm

Please share this event with your friends via Event Facebook page 
 

Session 1. Klezmer Instrumental Workshop for musicians with little or no klezmer experience but who are proficient on their instruments. The workshop will include playing tunes with charts, getting familiar with klezmer techniques, and learning some tunes by ear at a slow pace. NOTE: Learning by ear is the traditional way to play klezmer and the best way to pick up the style. However numerous participants in recent jams have requested charts. 

Session 2. KIezmer Jam Session for those with at least intermediate familiarity with playing klezmer and/or jamming. After the leader begins the session with a warm up tune or two, musicians will take turns "calling" a tune, with everyone learning new tunes by ear or enjoying playing or improvising on familiar ones.The leader will provide guidance for pace, transitions, and ensure an overall smoothly run and fun afternoon!
First Palo Alto jam in July

Reservations are requested at jams[at]klezcalifornia.org .
Please tell us which venue you plan to attend, which session(s), and what instrument(s) you play (all instruments welcome). Listeners welcome as well.

Donation of $10-$20 requested. KlezCalifornia will provide beverages and light snacks. 

What to bring:
* Recording device, if you like
* Music stand, for Session 1 
* Mute, if you play a brass instrument 

Participants are encouraged to check out the Klezmer Jam Session page on the KlezCalifornia website, including the resource links, and sheet music from the recent workshop in Berkeley.

About the instructor/jam leaders:

Palo Alto workshop leader Dmitri Gaskin 
  plays accordion with Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band. Having played piano from the age of five, Dmitri began playing the accordion a few years later. He has studied with accordion masters Josh Horowitz and Alan Bern. Dmitri has served on the advisory board of the Jewish Music Festival. By day, Dmitri is a computer programmer.





San Francisco workshop leader Dave Rosenfeld 
  has been playing klezmer music since 1992. He has performed or recorded with the Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band, Davis Klezmer Orchestra, Klez Dispensers (of Colorado), Kugelplex, Red Hot Chachkas, and Saul Goodman's Klezmer Band. Dave's klezmer workshops focus on the feeling and personality of the style, including tempo, ornaments, improvisation, scales, modes, and chord theory. With a B.A. in Art, M.A. in Music Composition, and background in theater, Dave's approach is well rounded. He plays fiddle, mandolin, bass, and drums.

To RSVP: 415.789.7679jams[at]klezcalifornia.org. Please indicate which venue you plan to attend, which session(s), and what instrument(s) you play (all instruments welcome). More info: klezcalifornia.org/jams. 
 

Over the next year, we will try out several models of workshops and jams.Your feedback is critical, so let us know your preferences!

 


Sunday September 25 in Berkeley

KlezCalifornia warmly invites you to participate in our next klezmer workshop and jam:

Sunday, September 25, 2016
1:00 - 4:15pm


at Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley 94705
 
This venue is a short walk from Ashby BART.

 

Session 1. 1:00-2:30pm. Klezmer Instrumental Workshop for musicians with little or no klezmer experience but who are proficient on their instruments. Taught by klezmer instrumentalist and singer Jeanette Lewicki, the workshop will include playing tunes with charts, getting familiar with klezmer techniques, and learning some tunes by ear at a slow pace.

NOTE: Learning by ear is the traditional way to play klezmer and the best way to pick up the style. However numerous participants in recent jams have requested charts. For at least the next several workshops, we will include both forms of learning, with the exact mix determined by the teacher. Please give us your feedback.

Session 2. 2:45-4:15pm. KIezmer Jam Session for those with at least intermediate familiarity with playing klezmer and/or jamming. After the leader begins the session with a warm up tune or two, musicians will take turns "calling" a tune, with everyone learning new tunes by ear or enjoying playing or improvising on familiar ones.The leader will provide guidance for pace, transitions, and ensure an overall smoothly run and fun evening!

Let us know you are coming:Reservations are not necessary but are greatly appreciated at jams[at]klezcalifornia.org. Tell us what instrument you play (all instruments are welcome) and which Session(s) you plan to attend. Listeners are welcome as well.

Donation of $10-$20 requested, but everyone is welcome. KlezCalifornia will provide beverages and light snacks. 

What to bring:* Recording device, if you like* Music stand, for Session 1 * Mute, if you play a brass instrument 

Participants are encouraged to check out the Klezmer Jam Session 
  page on the KlezCalifornia website, including the resource links.

About the instructor/jam leader:

Accordionist/bandleader Jeanette Lewicki has played klezmer music and sung in Yiddish since 1987. She plays with the San Francisco Klezmer Experience (Klez-X), leads the gonifs klezmer band, and frequently leads rotating-membership bands at Porto Franco Music Parlor and at Revolution Cafe, including such stellar musicians as Sheldon Brown, Ben Goldberg, Darren Johnson, Peter Jaques, Lisa Mezzacappa, Stuart Brotman, Rob Reich, and Michael Alpert. She is heavily influenced by the teaching style of Dr. Alan Bern, founder of the Other Music Academy.

Jeanette is the producer/arranger for numerous recordings including Mayn Shtetele Soroke (with Bessarabian Yiddish singer Arkady Gendler), Fli Mayn Flishlang (Yiddish children's songs by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman), and the gonifs CD.

Jeanette loves to teach, and feels she learns from every musician she plays with. Her teaching style is inclusive, enthusiastic, and informed. She encourages close listening, inventive arrangement, and learning by ear, as well as chart-based reading skills. For Session 1 she will share charts (Concert & Bb) of lesser-known klezmer dance tunes, including the dance forms bulgar, kolomeyke, zhok, freylekhs, and khosidl, and some tips on playing for singers.

More information about the event and to rsvp:
415.789.7679jams[at]klezcalifornia.org. Over the next year, we will try out several models of workshops and jams.Your feedback is critical, so let us know your preferences!

SAVE THE DATES for the next workshops/jams at other locations:
  • Sunday, October 306:30-9:45pm, led by Dmitri Gaskin, at Congregation Etz Chayim.     PALO ALTO
  • Sunday, November 6, 1:00-4:15pm (not November 16, as mistakenly announced in the Sept. newsletter), led by Dave Rosenfeld, at Congregation B'nai Emunah. SAN FRANCISCO



Sunday July 25 in Palo Alto
We warmly invite you to the third KlezCalifornia klezmer jam session (and our first in Palo Alto)! Around 20 people have said they are coming, but there's room for more.
 
WHEN: Sunday, July 17, 2016 -- 6:00 - 9:00pm.

WHERE:
 Private home in Palo Alto. Contact us for address.

WHO: Musicians of any level, any instrument (klezmer experience not required), and people who just want to listen and enjoy.                                                                  


Photograph of May 1 jam by L. Rosenberg

WHAT: 6:00pm - guided slow jam. 7:30pm - "regular" jam. Both will be led by Dmitri Gaskin.  

DONATION REQUESTED: $10-20, sliding scale. No donation required.

FOOD: Light refreshments provided.
 
RSVP: Email jams[at]klezcalifornia.org to get the address. Let us know what instrument you play and which session you are hoping to attend (slow jam, regular, both). A piano will be available. 



 
Sunday May 1 in Berkeley
KlezCalifornia warmly invites you to our second klezmer jam session! 
 
WHEN: Sunday, May 1, 2016 -- 12:00noon - 4:00pm

WHERE:
 Art House Gallery & Cultural Center, 2905 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, a short walk from Ashby BART.

WHO: We welcome musicians of any level with any instrument (klezmer experience not required), and people who just want to listen and enjoy.

WHAT: The first two hours will be a guided slow jam where you'll learn and practice several klezmer tunes. The following two hours will be an open, faster, jam session consisting of klezmer and Eastern European folk music.

DONATION REQUESTED: $10-20, sliding scale.

FOOD: Bring a snack or beverage to share, if you wish.
  
 
RSVP: Rsvp's welcome, but not needed, to jams[at]klezcalifornia.org.
Photography by Lea Delson, delsonphoto.com.




Sunday December 6 in Oakland
Sunday, December 6, 2015 -- 3:00-8:00pm, Klezmer Jam and Khanikeh Party.  KlezCalifornia is sponsoring a klezmer/Balkan/etc. jam and party for musicians, singers, and dancers, led by Peter Bonos, trumpet and euphonium player and member of Orchestra Euphonos and Fanfare Zambaleta. 

All levels are welcome. If you are a klezmer beginner it could be challenging, but we hope you'll find it fun. Please don't publicize this event on social media since it's in a private house and we'd like to know who's coming. No charge! 
Photography by Lea Delson, delsonphoto.com 
 


Rsvp by December 4 to klezcaljam2015[at]gmail.com
At a private home, OAKLAND.