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"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Winograd

Michael Winograd, lauded Brooklyn-based klezmer clarinet player, was interviewed (remotely) by Nina Pick on March 24th, 2022 in Brooklyn, New York. Collecting These Times: American Jewish Experiences of the Pandemic project with the Council of Ameri...

2022-03-24

Part of Yiddish Book Center's Wexler Oral History Project

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

נפֿתלי גראָס - שמועס מיט אברהם טאַבאַצניק

נפֿתלי גראָס
אברהם טאַבאטשניק

Naftoli Gross - a conversation with Abraham Tabachnik

Naftoli Gross
Abraham Tabachnik

January 01, 1956

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

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

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