A Focus On Isaac Bashevis Singer
The latest special issue of Pakn Treger—“Isaac Bashevis Singer: Relaunching Our Greatest Storyteller”—includes a range of features, including the discovery in Poland of printing plates that are the only remaining artifact of Singer’s earliest known work; a piece about Singer’s childhood obsession with a series of Yiddish detective novels; an interview with renowned photographer Bruce Davidson, who directed Singer in a little-known art film, Isaac Singer’s Nightmare and Mrs. Pupko’s Beard, based on a short story by the writer, who also stars in the film; as well as a compendium in which contemporary writers write about their favorite Singer story. We've selected a few pieces from the issue.
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Handpicked Lisa Newman
As the Yiddish Book Center's director of communications, Lisa Newman plays an integral role in helping to shape the lineup and coordinate the always lively four days of Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music. Here, she shares some of her favorite finds from the performers that appeared at this year's event.
How Klezmer Defined a Community
Hankus Netsky discusses his book Klezmer: Music and Community in Twentieth-Century Philadelphia, a portrait of the folk music and traditions of the city’s Jewish community. A musical ethnographer and teacher, Netsky is a founder of the Klezmer Conservatory Band.
From Hip Hop to Klezmer
In this video, recorded at the Yiddish Book Center in 2008, Josh Dolgin—known to fans around the world by his stage name, Socalled—gave the audience a peek at his creative process. He's since returned to the Center several times to take the stage at Yidstock, including in 2018.
Anthony Russell, Yiddish Opera Singer
Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell has always been a singer—since a young age, he sang along to opera records—but his journey to the Yiddish repertoire of the legendary Sidor Belarsky was a bit more circuitous. Learn about his artistic voyage from opera to Yiddish folk song in this oral history.
But is it Klezmer? Rock, Jazz, Punk, Hip-hop, and Techno Bring New Sounds to the Jewish Mix
Seth Rogovoy, Yidstock's artistic director and the author of The Essential Klezmer, writes that "klezmer has always spoken in the particular language and accent of its time and place." In this article, he explores the exciting fusion of the music with state-of-the-art hip-hop and funk.