Friday, December 31, 2010
As I was sadly saying goodbye to the klezkamp community, Joanne Borts shared with me the handout she used in her class, "Better With A Band". In this glossary, she gives non-musicians terms for basic "musician speak". She provides terms like, Major and Minor keys, Coda, Bridge, Tempo as well as Jewish music terms like Doina, Hora, Serba and even the mode names like Freygish, Mishebeyrakh and Mogon Ovos. What a great idea! As those of us who make our livelihood on the bandstand, an educated singer and dance leader makes our job easier.
But the best thing is the last section called "BWAB Secrets.....Shhh.." where she advises:
"Don't hook up with the drummer....it can turn out badly...."
Now she tells us.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
When's the last time you heard that?
BTW: all the cool kids speak Yiddish.
Clarinetist and producer Alex Kontorovich made the treacherous drive up from the city to lead a good chunk of the Klezkamp staff in a tribute concert (turned dance party) to the late clarinetist German Goldenshteyn. The occasion was the release of the latest Living Traditions CD "The Tradition Lives: Yiddish-Moldavian Music of German Goldenshteyn" by the Goldenshteyn Memorial Orchestra. Recorded at Klezkamp just last year, the release sees the reunion of all the players from German's first and only recording "German Goldenshteyn: A Living Tradition," (available on iTunes and CD Baby) playing material chosen by German and Alex for his second release, but sadly was unable to record after his untimely demise not long after the release of his first CD.
But it was with hearts filled with joy that the band hit the Hudson Valley stage last night, playing down German's repertoire as if that's the only music they had ever played. With no rehearsal and only a glass of vodka for preparation Kontorovich lead a band featuring Dan Blacksberg, Cookie Segelstein, Susan Hoffman-Lankin, Henry Sapoznik, Lauren Brody and yours truly through a solid 90 minutes of Moldavian tunes played in the Jewish style that German first introduced to us. (Accordionist Joshua Horowitz and drummer Aaron Alexander could not attend for family and weather issues, though they were with us in spirit.)
Links to purchase this CD, as well as the new Pete Sokolow CD, will be posted soon!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
The first nights fun was watching the documentary "A Jumping Night in the Garden of Eden" with it's director in attendance. It was amazing to see all our heroes live in person (Dave Tarras, Leon Schwartz) and many of our staff (Henry, Frank, Lauren, and others) in their youth. The intervening 25 years were presented in sharp contrast to the current state of Yiddish Cultural affairs. Tonight is the staff concert where I'm pretty sure I will be playing a few tunes with Elaine and Susan Hoffman-Watts and the Youngers of Zion w/ Cookie and Hank which is always a selfish highlight for me.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Sunday morning at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa. The skeleton crew showed up last night and we're getting KlezKamp on its feet. It's the calm before the storm: literally. Weather predictions are anything from snow showers to blizzards today. 40 years in the desert did little to prepare us for this kind of weather.