Monday, October 25, 2010

Passing of a Maven

Old Enough:  Yes, I have achieved an age where I am comfortable reading obituaries, especially those in The New York Times. Today, I was saddened and intrigued to read the obituary of Sol Steinmetz:
Sol Steinmetz, a lexicographer, author and tenured member of Olbom (n., abbrev., On Language’s Board of Octogenarian Mentors), whose opinions on matters semantical, grammatical and etymological were widely sought by the news media, died on Oct. 13 in Manhattan. He was 80 and lived in New Rochelle, N.Y.
I haved never read any of Mr. Steinmetz's writing - but I will now.  Of how many can it be said:
“He never had a bad word to say about anyone,” said Jesse Sheidlower, the editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary and a former protégé. “And he knew a lot of bad words.”
May his memory be for a blessing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm With The Band!

Yes! Sat in with the Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band for the first time Sunday. What a hoot! Great music, great people!  ‎No, the 5-string banjo is not a traditional klezmer instrument, although tenor banjo sort of is. Nevertheless, I think I fit right in, mostly playing the "chuck" part of "boom-chuck" (that is, rhythm, not melody).  You can watch and listen to Sirba, one of the tunes we newbies learned, on this clipBefore you click: turn your volume way up, and make room to dance!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Freylekhe Simchas Toyreh!

Lomir Alle Tantzen!  Happy is the only way to describe Simchas Torah at Nahalat Shalom.  The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band played, members and not-yet members of the congregation danced . . . what a marvelous evening!

The Band first began in 1995 as accompaniment to a Hanukkah service. Some musicians are members of Nahalat Shalom and some are not, some are Jewish and some are not: there are no special requirements to play in the Band, but the love that its members have for klezmer music reverberates throughout every performance.
Band members are drawn to klezmer music for a variety of reasons: its beauty, its exotic sounding scales and modes, its technical challenges, its emotional and joyous nature, the connection it makes to Jewish roots and ancient traditions, and the opportunities it gives them to play for dancers, concerts and simchas.