Dear ____,The KlezCalifornia
Festival at Palo Alto's
Congregation Etz Chayim, Presidents' Day Weekend, February 12-15, is only a week away! Check out the
program at www.klezcalifornia.org. How can you resist? Register now!
There's so much
to tell you in this newsletter. Be sure to read all the way down to the
bottom for some great concerts this weekend (Theodore Bikel, Zalmen
Mlotek, Beyond the Pale).
for ordering dinners has been extended until midnight Sunday,
Feb. 7. Email us at email@example.com
or leave a message at 415.789.7679; then pay via the registration page
of www.klezcalifornia.org or mail a check (details on
the website). The deadline for
reserving a hotel room at the Courtyard by Marriott at our
discounted rate has been extended until Monday Feb. 8. Call the Marriott
at 800.321.2211 and request a room
for the Yiddish Culture Festival.
We've told you in previous
newsletters about many of the exciting
teachers in the 59 workshops. We've told you about the Staff Concert & Dance Party
Saturday evening and the Sunday late afternoon Open Mic Cabaret and the Monday afternoon Finale party with more dancing! We've
told you about the three premieres of The Klezmer Shul
on Monday, Feb. 8, at Temple Israel in Alameda; Wednesday, Feb. 10, at
Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley; and Sunday, Feb. 14, at the
Festival. If you don't yet know about The
Klezmer Shul, see below.
Here are some thoughts from
several of the Festival teachers:
Christian Dawid, writing from
Weimar, Germany: "In November, I made first connections to the
North Moldovan musicians I met through the research of the Other
Europeans project that I will talk about in the Klezmer/Balkan/Roma
Connections workshop. Helping build regional networks in Eastern Europe
might seem a somewhat peculiar business for an outsider from the West,
but given the ever-expanding channels of Yiddishland, activities like
these become more and more normal. Coming back to Berlin, I recorded
with Californian expat and jazz trumpeter Paul Brody. Paul, one of the
most creative and productive Jewish artists in Berlin, wrote original
works based on those of Czech composer and holocaust victim Erwin
Schulhoff and poetry by Rose Auslaender. Writing from a mind-blowing and
eye-opening improvisation workshop in Weimar, I watch musicians like
Marcelo Moguilevsky, Cesar Lerner, Tcha Limberger and Alan Bern bring
together the traditional and the contemporary with an ease that makes me
wonder once again about the value of musical categories." Learn klezmer melody technique with
Christian, participate in (or watch) his master classes, study the
intersection of klezmer, Balkan, and Roma music with him and Peter
Jaques, and hear Christian play at the Saturday evening staff concert.
From song teacher Mark Levy, writing from the Santa
Cruz Mountains of California: "In 1981, I went to Israel for the
first time and played in several venues, including a cafe in Kibbutz
Gezer and included one or two Yiddish songs. While performing the first
song, I noticed that some of the young people were laughing or
uncomfortable. My wife acknowledged this to me later, but said when they
saw I was serious about putting the songs across, they warmed up and
gave me a nice reception. In 1981, Yiddish was still considered either
passe, painful or humorous in an old country way, and people were just
starting to feel comfortable with this thousand-year-old language. After
all, Hebrew was the national language and songs in Hebrew the cultural
norm. I am reminded of the great diva Isa Kremer, who sang her Yiddish
repertoire around the world the first half of the 20th century. She sang
Yiddish in Tzarist Russia, after the revolution, in Hitler's Germany,
and later in Israel. Each time people tried to dissuade her from
including the songs in her concerts, but she defied them and received a
great reception. When she came to Israel and was cautioned not to sing
Yiddish, she replied something like this: I sang them for the Tzar, for
the Bolsheviks, and for the Germans, and I will sing them here in our
new homeland-- these are the songs of our people. She was as unstoppable
as mameloshn, the language of
songs that are still today irresistible, songs of childhood, love, work,
and hardship that live in us and cry to be heard." Learn Yiddish songs of the Jewish labor
movement with Mark and hear him in the session on Yiddish Theatre: The
Popular and the Political.
From singer, actor and
director Eleanor Reissa, writing from New York: "I am currently
preparing the script adaptation of the classic Yiddish play, "Hershele
Ostropolye," for the Folksbiene Theatre in New York, where I will also
be directing the production. It's very exciting to try to universalize
the piece and make it a musical comedy that can transcend time. I have
also been performing in concerts with a variety of actors and musicians.
I love working with younger people who are all so different and so
cool. My own work grows as a result." Study
acting with Eleanor, participate in (or watch) her master class for
singers, hear about her life in the Jewish theatre, and listen to some
of her songs at the Saturday night concert.
hear and study with these (and 29 other) wonderful teachers!
Bikel in "Sholom Aleichem: Laughter Through Tears"
February 6, 8:00pm and
Sunday February 7, 1:00pm, JCC San Francisco.
The great Theodore Bikel
brings Sholom Aleichem and his colorful characters to life as he
magically melds long-gone lives and times with matters that tug at our
heartstrings even today. Singing in English and Yiddish, Bikel delivers
rare insight into the life and literary works of this fascinating
storyteller. JCC members $60,
public $65, https://tickets.jccsf.org/public/show.asp
to concert community partner
KlezCalifornia at our table in the lobby at both performances. Pick up
some Festival promotional cards for your neighbors, and you can register
for the Festival right there.
in Concert |
7, 7:00pm, "Zalmen Mlotek in Concert"
at Oshman Family JCC, Palo
Alto.This internationally recognized concert pianist, singer and Yiddish
perform with Sephardic singer Daniella Rabbani. $25 JCC members, $30
non-members, $20 seniors and students in advance. $30 members, $35
non-members at the door. www.paloaltojcc.org
Premieres of The Klezmer Shul
February 8, 10, 14
in Alameda, Berkeley, and Palo Alto, respectively.
touches our soul and moves us to smile, cry, dance and pray. A new
45-minute, four- movement instrumental suite, The Klezmer Shul
combines liturgy with jazz,
avant-garde, classical, klezmer and folk elements to inspire a feeling
of prayer -- without a single word. The three performances start at
8:00pm and will be followed by discussions in which the musicians will
ask audience members whether they experienced the piece as "religious"
and, if so, what that means to them. ·
Monday, Feb. 8, at Temple Israel in Alameda, 2183
Mecartney Road. For reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or 510.522.9355. Suggested donation: $15 for those with reservations,
$18 at the door. ·
Wednesday, Feb. 10, at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, 1316
University Avenue. $15 suggested donation at the door. No advance sales
or reservations. www.netivotshalom.org
Sunday, Feb. 14, at Congregation Etz
Chayim in Palo Alto. Tickets $10-$20 at www.klezcalifornia.org
mail check to
KlezCalifornia at 1728 Allston Way, or pay at the door (space
permitting). Concert tickets are included in the weekend Yiddish Culture
Festival pass.This premiere will by followed by a traditional klezmer
Have questions? Call KlezCalifornia at 415.789.7679.
|Sunday, February 7, 8:00pm
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, www.thefreight.org
.Monday, February 8, 7:30pm
, Don Quixote Music Hall,
.Beyond the Pale
, one of Canada's
leading world/roots fusion ensembles, combining klezmer, Balkan, and
Romanian styles with North American influences like bluegrass, jazz,
reggae and funk.
Put these (other) exciting events on your
21, 3:00pm, Eleanor Reissa in Love and Longing in Yiddish, Congregation
Sinai, San Jose, http://sinai-sj.org/ or call 408.264.8542. General
$36, seniors/juniors $20. Come on a journey
from shtetl tunes to
cosmopolitan Yiddish theatre hits, with music and
February 21, 7:00-9:00pm, Pamelakh Yidishe Salon. Email email@example.com
for information on this salon for intermediate speakers of Yiddish.
Held in a private home in Berkeley.
3:00-4:00pm, Intergenerational Klezmer Workshop with Julie Egger,
part of a Family Open House, Freight & Salvage, Berkeley,
The first Simcha Dance Jam,
a new monthly Jewish dance workshop with Bruce
Bierman at JCC East Bay, will be in May. Check this newsletter for
We appreciate your tax-deductible gift
in support of KlezCalifornia's
work. Help us keep building a warm, open, vibrant community to enjoy