The book is structured from the universal to the specific, beginning with the definition and history of klezmer music in Eastern Europe to the twentieth-century history of the klezmorim
(musicians) in Philadelphia.
Artists like Giora Feidman, The Klezmorim
, and Kapelye, and more recent bands such as the Klezmer Conservatory Band, The Klezmatics, and Brave Old World have sparked renewed inquiry into questions of Jewish/Yiddish identity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Klezmers or klezmorim
were men who traveled to perform, mostly at Jewish weddings.
On their pioneering 1981 album Metropolis, the Klezmorim
never mentioned Jews or being Jewish.
Now it's taught in universities: The first klezmer revival band, the Klezmorim
[from Berkeley], started at exactly the same time we did.
On Saturday, the legendary Nat Hentoff raved over a 3-CD set of classic Yiddish tracks called Cantors, Klezmorim
and Crooners 1905-1953 in the Wall Street Journal.
Part 1 uses five traditions to "represent the deep historic structure of American sacred song" (10): Native American in a powwow in Denver; the Hispanic Southwest via the Virgin of Guadalupe and Holy Week at Chimayo, New Mexico; Sacred Harp singing at an annual sing at Little Vine Primitive Baptist Church in Creeltown, Alabama, and through a survey of Sacred Harp groups in the north; the Black Church by way of the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, part of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World; and Jewish music under two headings, Klezmorim
in the world premiere of Schlemiel the First in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and medieval Sephardim by way of Judith Wachs and her group, Voice of the Turtle.
The second and most extensive chapter extends the chronology until the Holocaust, weaving klezmorim
and other Jewish musicians into the broader history of Ashkenazic Jews in Europe.
It is for this period that one can document semi-professional and amateur musicians who would later be called klezmorim
, or folk musicians.
IN JOSEPH GREEN'S POPULAR 1936 YIDDISH FILM, YIDL Mitn Fidi (Yidl With His Fiddle), we meet a group of itinerant Polish-Jewish klezmorim
(1) straight out of a Sholem Aleykhem story.
The Last Klezmer," a look at Leopold Kozlowski, the last of the many klezmorim
musicians of Eastern Europe and a survivor of concentration camps; 82 min.
were travelling musicians with a historical reach back to the troubadours.