Thursday, February 16, 2012

All About KlezmerQuerque 2012

Klezmer! Nahalat Shalom! This Weekend!  Yes, Abq Jew has mentioned this before. But once again, (maybe) for the last time (until 2013):

KlezmerQuerque 2012
 10th Anniversary
Presidents Day Weekend
Congregation Nahalat Shalom
Joel Rubin
Pete Rushefsky
Steve Greenman
Bruce Bierman

Here is the schedule:

Friday February 17 @  6:30 - 10:00 pm:  FREE & OPEN TO ALL
‘Der Freylekher Shabbes’ (Joyous Shabbat) featuring KLEZ-Q GUEST ARTISTS plus cantorial soloist Beth Cohen, The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band, Rikud Yiddish dance troupe and The Rebbe's Orkestra. 6:30-Joyous danced & participatory ‘old country’ Shabbat service, 7:15-vegetarian potluck dinner, 7:45-Brief performance by The Rebbe’s Orkestra for dancing. Approx. 8pm: Brief performance by Joel Rubin, Pete Rushefsky & Steve Greenman Trio ‘Concert Form Klezmer’; Followed by more music with The Community Band - dances led by Bruce Bierman & Rikud.

Saturday February 18 @ 10:00 am - Noon: FREE & OPEN TO ALL
Shabbos Koydesh Service - using traditional nusach, nigunnim and joyous melodies... Music led by cantorial soloist Beth Cohen with Alavados Holy Days band & chaverim, with teachings & kavannot given by Rabbi Deborah Brin - Nahalat Shalom’s Rabbi. Service followed by a short Oneg (kiddush & snack).

Saturday February 18 @ 7:00 pm (Doors @ 6:30): TICKET REQUIRED
CONCERT & DANCE PARTY!! Featuring Special GUEST ARTISTS -- plus special opening act @ 7pm: The Rebbe’s Orkestra Klezmer & Judaic ensemble! 7:30pm: An hour-long sit-down concert featuring Joel Rubin, Pete Rushefsky & Steve Greenman Trio (“Concert Form Klezmer”) then break for intermission (& CD / merch / snack sales & pushing some chairs back for dancing), then 45 mins. of music for Dance Party with dancing led by Bruce Bierman.

Sunday February 19 @ 10:00 am - 5:30 pm:  TICKET REQUIRED
THREE 1.5 hour-long workshops in klezmer music & dance featuring GUEST ARTISTS --PLUS a special catered Lunch 'n Learn featuring DR. JOEL RUBIN [The Legacy of Jewish instrumental klezmer music in eastern Europe].

Here are the guest artists:

Joel Rubin has long been considered by many to be the leading performer of Jewish instrumental klezmer music in the world today, earning accolades from sources as diverse as klezmer giants Dave Tarras and Max Epstein, international clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman, avant garde composer John Zorn, and Nobel Prize Laureate and poet Roald Hoffmann. He studied with Stoltzman and Kalmen Opperman, attended the California Institute of the Arts and received a BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase.

Rubin holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from City University (London) for his pioneering work on improvisation and ornamentation in klezmer clarinet music. He is currently Assistant Professor and Director of Music Performance at the University of Virginia’s McIntire Department of Music. He has concertized throughout Europe, North America and Asia since the 1980s. In addition to appearances with traditional performers such as the Epstein Brothers, Moshe “Moussa” Berlin, Seymour Rexsite and Miriam Kressyn, Leon Schwartz, Sid Beckerman, Pete Sokolow, Danny Rubinstein, Ben Bazyler, and Leopold Kozlowski, Rubin was the founder and clarinetist of some of the most internationally respected klezmer ensembles, including the pioneering revival group Brave Old World. Rubin’s albums Midnight Prayer (Traditional Crossroads), Beregovski’s Khasene (Beregovski’s Wedding), Bessarabian Symphony, Zeydes un Eyniklekh (Grandfathers and Grandsons) and Hungry Hearts are considered to be masterpieces of classical Eastern European and American Jewish music.

His music can be heard in several films, including the recent L’armée du crime (France, 2009), and the award-winning documentary portrait A Tickle in the Heart (Germany/Switz./USA 1996) about the Epstein Brothers Orchestra.

Pete Rushefsky is Executive Director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, a New York not-for-profit dedicated to preserving and nurturing the performing arts traditions of immigrant and ethnic communities. He is also a leading revivalist of the tsimbl (small Eastern European Jewish hammered dulcimer), one of a handful of young klezmer musicians to use field and archival research in recreating a performance style for the instrument.

Rushefsky performs and records with some of the leading performers of contemporary klezmer and Yiddish music, including violinists Alicia Svigals and Steven Greenman, flutist Adrianne Greenbaum, clarinetist Michael Winograd, and vocalist Rebecca Kaplan. A popular instructor at KlezKamp and KlezKanada who has performed across North America and Europe, Pete is also the author of a pioneering instructional book on adapting the American 5-string banjo for klezmer.  He is a well-known lecturer on klezmer and other traditional musics and has a number of published articles to his credit.

Steven Greenman is recognized internationally as one of the finest practitioners, composers and teachers of traditional East European Jewish klezmer violin music in the world today.  He has self-produced two landmark recordings documenting his original Jewish and klezmer compositions with Stempenyu’s Dream (2004) and Stempenyu’s Neshome (2010), the latter containing his original Jewish spiritual melodies.

A co-founder of the Khevrisa ensemble with cimbalist and historian Walter Zev Feldman Steven is also co-producer and lead performer of the recording Khevrisa-European Klezmer Music on the Smithsonian Folkways label.  Steven has performed internationally with notable klezmer ensembles Stempenyu’s Dream, Khevrisa, the Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble, the Klezmatics, Budowitz, the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Kapelye, Di Tsvey (The Greenman/Rushefsky duo) and the Steven Greenman Klezmer Ensemble. 

He has taught klezmer music at KlezKamp, KlezKanada, KlezFest London, Internationales Klezmer Festival Fuerth, Yiddish SummerWeimar and Master Class de Musica Tradicional Santiago de Compostela.  

In addition to klezmer music Steven is an accomplished performer of Hungarian nota, Romanian lautari music and urban East European Gypsy music and is a performer with the ensemble Harmonia. 

As a concert performer Steven has been a guest soloist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Canton Symphony and the Akron Symphony performing his own arrangements of traditional East European Gypsy violin music and klezmer music. 

Bruce Bierman:  "Yiddish dance? What's that?" That's what most people ask me when I tell them I lead Yiddish dance for workshops, simchas and festivals around the Bay Area.

And who can blame them? After World War II, Yiddish dance was almost wiped off the map, along with the shtetls in Eastern Europe that danced them. With many of our grandparents yearning to shed their immigrant past, and with the great push to link the community exclusively to Israeli culture and education, Yiddish dance, by the 1960s, was almost completely stuck in the tar pits of nostalgia and relegated to Jerome Robbin's choreography for "Fiddler on the Roof."  
.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   
With a newfound passion, I turned my focus to learning more about the rich treasures of Jewish dance that go as far back as Miriam dancing at the shores of the Red Sea. From the ancient dances of the Yemen Jews to the mystical folk dances of the Chassids, from the spunky Yiddish dances of the Ashkenazi to the free-spirited and elegant Israeli folk dances of modern Israel — one thing became clear to me. Jews dance!

Still, it's Yiddish dance that makes me and others laugh for some reason. No one has to worry about getting any steps "right." The dances are all improvised on the spot with a few basic steps — just follow the leader! You dance with community, but you bring your unique self into the circle to shayne. If there is a meaning behind Yiddish dance, that is it.

So with great pleasure, I am happy to announce that Yiddish dance is back and looking marvelous — thanks in part to the tireless fieldwork of Yiddish cultural historians such as Michael Alpert and Zev Feldman and to my own master teachers, Steve Weintruab, Deborah Strauss, Felix Fibich and Julie Egger. Their burning passion to pass on Yiddish dance and culture to the next generation is a gift of spirit, spunk and joy that can never be extinguished.

I hope to see you all out on the dance floor to experience this new ... er ... old dance come alive again.

See you there!

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