Saturday, December 30, 2006

At home after KlezKamp and finally getting out from under the kind of sleep deprivation usually associated with religious cult indoctrinations or prisoner interrogations and a vocal croak eerily identical to Froggy the Gremlin's...
This was an exceptionally amazing KK on so many levels. While as per other years, nearly 60% of the attendees were there for the first time, a regularly reoccuring miracle. Our demagraphics have shifted in the most amazing way: we were excited to be host to more young, articulate and exciting musicians (like trumpeter Ben Homes and mandolinist Eric Stein) and to Jews who are part of more Orthodox communites where Yiddish is spoken -- and read -- on a regular basis. This broader footprint makes the context of the living Yiddish culture which we champion all the more exciting and viable. Highlights for me: playing in the German Goldenshteyn memorial concert; recording Ray Musiker's new CD in yet another converted hotel bedroom (this time room 4112) along with Aaron Alexander, Jim Guttmann, Alex Kontorovitch, Ken Maltz under the leadership of Pete Sokolow and recorded by King Django. The music (a mix of great traditional tunes, an unpublished Yiddish theater song by Abe Ellstein and some Ray originals) was amazing and we'll have the CD out later in 2007; my interview with old pal Andy Statman before a packed house. Speaking of Andy: another great high point was grabbing my banjo and sneaking away with him and Mark Rubin on bass and guitar, for a breathtaking ride through Andy's amazing bluegrass mandolin playing.... (and you haven't lived until you've heard Andy sing tenor harmony on bluegrass standards like Don Reno and Red Smiley's "I Know You're Married")...Had a blast at my book party, a gossamer thin excuse to play tunes with Rubin and Cookie and to zhloke (drink) Steve Weintraub's amazing martinis.. Thanks mucho to the jaw droppingly wonderful Faith Jones for organizing it. Of course, there are always those things I meant to do which didn't happen like a midnight screening with MIchael Wex of the new all Yiddish Hasidic heist film "Der Gesheft.' Maybe at the next KlezKamp, which, I am happy to say, we are already planning for December 23-28 2007.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

I don't think I've been this sorry about missing an event since my mom wouldn't let me go to the original Woodstock ... (no fair doingthe math). Henry, next year in Ellenville!

Joe Hayes