Friday, December 28, 2007

Well, THAT was quick!

Yet again, the week for we spend months and months planning, is gone for another year. KlezKamp23 is over, and with it, the memories we created for the over 425 people who joined us -- 70% of them first timers -- are now in place.
It seems like only hours ago that we made our quiet arrival on Saturday the 22nd in advance of an uncharacteristically thick London-like fog which enveloped scenic Kerhonkson. Our tiny crew which set up KK (Dan Peck, Sherry Mayrent, Sabina Brukner. Carol Master, Laura Wernick and Amber Feldman, among others) were soon joined by the eager masses of people from around the world who came to share the lush bounty of Yiddish culture with us. It was non-stop from then on.
Highlights for me this year were: My sessions on khazntes, Yente Telebende and Yiddishe Mames and my enthusiastic class of over 60; Part 2 of the late night bluegrass jam session with Andy Statman on mandolin and Mark Rubin on guitar and myself on banjo included warp speed bluegrass instrumentals -- one of which Andy is being nominated for a Grammy this year -- and a bevy of terrific Jesus-themed songs for which the ultra Orthodox Statman knew all the words; the rip roaring popularity of "Liquid Apple Pie" an accurately named mason jar filled confection imported all the way from Rockingham County, North Carolina; playing for Steve Weintraub's "Go Figure" dance class with Cookie Segelstein, Mark Rubin, Josh "P.J." Horowitz and Mike Cohen; Michael Winnograd's 3:00 AM tsunami of musicians who flooded the hotel lobby in advance of Steve Weintraub and hordes of followers dancing backwards in an eye popping flashback to the old KlezKamp days at the Paramount Hotel; performing and recording with the great Elaine Hoffman-Watts orchestra and the release concert of the new Living Traditions CD by Ray Musiker; my mother singing in the late night cabaret; Bob Berkman's kickass Klezmerola concert/lecture and the amazing contraption he brought to play his Yiddish piano rolls. There are many, many more memories but I have to leave SOMETHING to the imagination...
Now begins the real work: finding a new year round home as the Workmen's Circle has sold the building in which we have our offices and have evicted us with less than a month's notice....
Despite that, we are excitedly planning KK24. See you then!

Carpathian Jewish Ensemble

Lead by one time Kamper, now staffer, Jacob Shulman-Ment:

Jake Shulman-Ment is among the premier young performers of klezmer violin. He has performed and recorded with many of the stars of the international klezmer scene, as well as with his own groups. Proficient in a variety of styles, Jake has travelled extensively in Hungary, Romania, and Greece documenting, recording, and performing traditional folk, Gypsy, and Jewish music.

Elaine Hoffman Watts Ensemble

A short excerpt of the epic Philadelphia Sher, which ran close to 20 minutes of continuous playing and dancing, the later ably lead by Steven Weintraub.

Elaine Hoffman Watts on traps, Mike Cohen, clarinet, Ken Maltz, alto sax, Adrian Banner, piano, Susan Watts, trumpet, Dan Blacksburg, trombone, Henry Sapoznik, tenor banjo, Mark Rubin, tuba and conductor-arranger Aaron Alexander.