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Yiddishland

Christian Dawid - Berlin-based, world-renowned klezmer clarinet player - discusses the term "Yiddishland" and explains how it has become a reality.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Jewish Boyhood in Rural Wales: My Grandfather's Story

Merlin Shepherd, klezmer musician and instructor, discusses his grandfather's experiences growing up in a tiny Protestant farming village in rural Wales

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

"There Was Always a Flavor, Without Being Dogmatic": Growing Up in a Secular Jewish Home

Merlin Shepherd, klezmer musician and instructor, shares what it was like growing up in a non-religious, yet strongly Jewish-identified home.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Peter Sokolow

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on December 5, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York.

2013-12-05

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Learning Yiddish and Love of Words

Henri Oppenheim, klezmer musician based on Montreal, talks about how learning Yiddish felt - encountering something special, a world of words.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Peter Sokolow Remembers Humorously Bad Gigs

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, recalls one of his worst, and most humorous, gigs at a landsmanschaft event.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Jewish Moldovan Gypsy music

Klezmer musician Assaf Talmudi talks about dicovering a great but unknown musician who was part of Jewish and Roma (Gypsy) collaboration in Moldova.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

My Father's Piano

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, talks about his beloved Steinway piano, left to him by his father.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Andy Statman

Andy Statman, acclaimed Bluegrass mandolinist and Klezmer clarinetist, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on July 17, 2017 at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.

2017-07-17

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Activism and Jewish Music for Francophones

Henri Oppenheim, klezmer musician based in Montreal, discusses why he identifies as an activist. He reflects on his work with Jewish music, and the process of making it for Francophone listeners.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Connecting with Jewish folk music

musician Assaf Talmudi explains that he started playing Klezmer music because it felt unauthentic to play folk music from other cultures.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Sruli Dresdner

Sruli Dresdner, Jewish musician, scholar, and educator, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on August 25, 2011 at KlezKanada, in Montreal, Quebec. Sruli begins with a discussion of his family origins. Both of his parents fled Europe at the time of W...

2011-08-25

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

"Can you teach me how to sound more Jewish?"

Christian Dawid - Berlin-based, world-renowned klezmer clarinet player - explains that people ask him, a non-Jew, to help them sound "more Jewish."

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

The Roughness of Yiddish

Christian Dawid - Berlin-based, world-renowned klezmer clarinet player - explains that he likes Yiddish for its "roughness" and the ways in which it can be both beautiful and obscene.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

"Rumania, Rumania"

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, performs Aaron Lebedeff's classic "Rumania, Rumania" and explains the Yiddish lyrics.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

"My Grandparents Would Speak in Fluent Yiddish When They Didn't Want Us to Understand"

Merlin Shepherd, klezmer musician and instructor, recalls an incident in which his grandfather started yelling at another driver in Yiddish in order to keep him from understanding.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

The Plum Tree: Old Music, New Lyrics

Elizabeth Schwartz, singer, introduces and performs The Plum Tree, a traditional klezmer melody she composed English lyrics for in honor of historian Itzik Schwartz and his wife Tzila.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

Reflecting on a Secular Jewish Upbringing

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, talks about his secular upbringing in Crown Heights and his mother's unique political philosophy.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

What’s a Club Date?: Peter Sokolow Explains

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, remembers his first professional gigs playing in Country Clubs for weddings and other simkhes.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts

He Spoke My Parents' Dialect

Israel Bartal - Professor of Jewish History at Hebrew University - shares the story of getting a letter from a klezmer musician from Galicia who spoke his parents' dialect.

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project Excerpts