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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

“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

"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

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

The Vertical Shtetl: Boston's Organized Housing For the Jewish Elderly

Jeff Warschauer talks about his interactions with the elderly Jewish community in Boston in the 1980s. Every Thursday evening he would go to meetings in apartment buildings where many Jews lived and there would play klezmer music and speak Yiddish wi...

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

Can Yiddish Music Be Heard As Word Music?

Henri Oppenheim, klezmer musician based in Montreal, critiques the focus on lyrical content in Yiddish music over musical experience. He considers this to reflect prejudice about the purpose of Jewish music, and seeks to make Yiddish music that focus...

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

Her Daughter at Weinreich's Desk

Adrienne Cooper z"l talks about her daughter, Klezmer musician Sarah Gordon, growing up in the Yiddish world and her early exposure to Yiddish culture. She describes her daughter at the age of four sitting at Max Weinreich's desk in YIVO, pretending...

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

The Beginning of A Catskills Career

Peter Sokolow, a full-time professional musician active in Klezmer revival, describes his first gig in the Catskills playing in an Orthodox hotel and being treated like a non-Jew by the ultra-observant guests. He goes on to speak about his second Cat...

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

Setting Yiddish Poetry to Music

Henri Oppenheim, klezmer musician based in Montreal, describes the process that led him to his album "Tur Malka," if which he sets Yiddish poetry to music. He recalls how he found the poetry of Chava Rosenfarb, and his surprise at receiving a grant a...

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

What's the Matter with the Klezmer? The Peter Sokolow Story

A professional journey, from the Borscht Belt to becoming a master teacher of the “old-country” tunes

Part of Pages

Klezmer: Music and Community in Twentieth-Century Philadelphia, with Hankus Netsky

Acclaimed musician and ethnomusicologist Hankus Netsky, an originator of the klezmer revivalist movement, talks about his latest book on klezmer music and community in twentieth-century Philadelphia.

Part of Pages

נפֿתלי גראָס - שמועס מיט אברהם טאַבאַצניק

נפֿתלי גראָס
אברהם טאַבאטשניק

Naftoli Gross - a conversation with Abraham Tabachnik

Naftoli Gross
Abraham Tabachnik

September 30, 1956

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Frances Brandt Online Yiddish Audio Library

Clare Burson

Clare Burson, former Yiddish Book Center intern and musician, was interviewed by Pauline Katz on July 10, 2011 at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. The interview focuses on Clare's Jewish upbringing in Tennessee, education, interna...

2011-07-10

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Sruli Dresdner

Sruli Dresdner, Jewish musician, scholar, and educator, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on August 25, 2011 at KlezKanada, in Montreal, Quebec. His father was born into a Hasidic family in Belgium right before World War II. They were one of the fam...

2011-08-25

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

The Current Status of Klezmer and Yiddish Music

Pete Rushefsky, executive director of the Center for Traditional Music & Dance, outlines the statuses of various kinds of Jewish music in the world today.

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

"I'm not part of the whole Klezmer business": The Generational Divide in Yiddish Music and the Preservation of Culture at the Yiddish Book Center

Jalda Rebling—Renewal Cantor, Yiddish performer, and daughter of performer Lin Jaldati—discusses how Yiddish culture and music is evolving with new generations.

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

Avia Moore

Avia Moore, freelance performing artist, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on December 14, 2011 at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her parents were self-described hippies; her father was Jewish and not very religious. She reme...

2011-12-14

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Sophia Holtz

Sophia Holtz, Yiddish language student in the January term intensive at the Yiddish Book Center, was interviewed by Lesley Yalen on February 25, 2011 at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. Sophia grew up in New York City, on the Uppe...

2011-02-25

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Michael Wex

Michael Wex, novelist, translator, and scholar of Yiddish language and literature, was interviewed by Pauline Katz on December 29, 2010 at KlezKamp, in the Catskills of New York State. Michael Wex's interview takes us through a beautifully detailed...

2010-12-29

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

Avi Hoffman

Avi Hoffman, actor, was interviewed by Christa Whitney on March 12, 2013 in Boca Raton, Florida. He grew up in the Bronx, part of a group of Yiddishist families who raised their children surrounded by Yiddish language and culture. His father survived...

2013-03-12

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project