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"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yiddish as a Post-Vernacular Language

Frank London - founding member of the Klezmatics and Frank London's All-Star Klezmer Brass Ensemble - discusses Yiddish as a "post-vernacular" living language, based on Jeffrey Shandler's writings.

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

אלע ווערק פון שלום עליכם

באַנד: 10

שלום עליכם

Ale ṿerḳ fun Sholem Aleykhem

Volume: 10

Sholem Aleichem, 1859-1916
Sholem Aleichem, 1859-1916

Buenos Ayres : Iḳuf, 1952

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Spielberg Digital Yiddish Library

"Tradition is what we create right now"

Christian Dawid - Berlin-based, world-renowned klezmer clarinet player - discusses the idea of "tradition" and explains that tradition is created everyday and comes from actively thinking about the musical process.

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

Interest in Jewish Culture

Sarah Bunin Benor - professor of Jewish studies and linguistics - describes the evolution of her interest in Yiddish beginning with her teenage interest in klezmer and continuing at Columbia University and the Yiddish Book Center.

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

Working with Dave Tarras

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, talks about some of the famous Jewish musicians he played with, including Dave Tarras and the Epstein Brothers.

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

Tine Kindermann

Tine Kindermann - German artist and wife of prominent klezmer musician Frank London - was interviewed by Pauline Katz on December 30, 2010 at KlezKamp 2010 in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.

2010-12-30

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Finding a balance

Jeff Warschauer advises the younger generation of klezmer musicians and Yiddish enthusiasts to go "broadly and deeply" into the past. He suggests that creative artists learn the rudiments of their discipline while remaining true to themselves.

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

Opera is Gesamtkunstwerk

Frank London - founding member of the Klezmatics and Frank London's All-Star Klezmer Brass Ensemble - explains why he decided to write a Yiddish opera and argues that opera is well suited for Yiddish.

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

The first Yiddish song about smoking pot

Frank London - founding member of the Klezmatics and Frank London's All-Star Klezmer Brass Ensemble - describes collaborating with Michael Wex, author of Born to Kvetch in order to write the first Yiddish song about marijuana.

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

On Feeling Different and Developing A Jewish Identity

Polina Markovna Shepherd, Yiddish performer, composer, and choir leader, describes feeling different and marginalized and discusses the development of her Jewish identity at the age of 16, including her introduction to the klezmer music scene in Kaza...

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

“I Found Out I Could Play Tunes on That Thing”: The Beginning of A Music Career

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, talks about the records which informed his early love of Swing and Jazz and recalls when he began to make his own music.

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

A Proud Father: Taking a Place In Our Family Jewish Band

Jerry Weinstein, former Education professor at University of Massachusetts in Amherst, describes how he learned to play piano in the Klezmer style so that he could play gigs with his musician father, and reflects on how proud this made his father.

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

"Living with a wound that will never heal"

Tine Kindermann - German artist, convert to Judaism, and wife of prominent klezmer musician Frank London - discusses the ways in which Germany has tried to cope with the Holocaust, yet is also aware that Germany can never really overcome its past.

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