Posts filed under ‘Klezmer’
Awaken Your Creative Senses in an Evening of Leading Edge World Fusion with Jazz Artists Eastern Blok: December 7th, Wednesday @ 8:00 p.m.
Innovation! Innovation! Innovation! Such is the musical mantra for popular world fusion jazz ensemble Eastern Blok. This group remains ever ready to outdo themselves by pushing the envelope just a little further with each subsequent performance, often through the employment of unconventional rhythmic patterns and offbeat phrasings. They further challenge themselves by experimenting with music that varies in mood from the intensely lyrical and profoundly emotional to the more animated and light hearted yet electrifying. Their inventive re-interpretations of old standards and innovative original compositions are a by-product of the artful blending of many diverse styles with jazz including classical, Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Serbian folk, Klezmer, rock and a smattering of Middle Eastern flavorings as well. The band members are all formally trained musicians and virtuosos in their own right. So as one might expect, their music is as distinguished in its complexity as it is technically advanced. Nevertheless however, Eastern Blok takes pride in creating music that appeals to all types of listeners and that also ultimately continues to stand the test of time. They will tell you that key to their success in this regard lies in the masterful blending of both classical and jazz genres in a musical setting that is ever evolving yet still highly pleasing to the vast majority of listeners’ ears.
Founded in 2004 by Goran Ivanovic, lead composer of the group, and Doug Rosenberg the band continues to tour nationally, performing at America’s top entertainment venues. The current membership includes Ivanovic on classical guitar, Rosenberg on woodwinds, Matthew Ulery on upright bass, and Michael Caskey on percussion. A major breakthrough in the group’s career came in 2005 when their self-titled debut release “Goran Ivanovic Group” (became Eastern Block in 2006) received a national award for Album of the Year by the publishers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine. More accolades followed that same year when the group’s single entitled “Blacksmith’s Dance” stood out from thousands of other competition entries in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest to make it all the way to the finalist’s round! They have also been featured on Chicago Public Radio and in 2007 were among the ensembles specially showcased at that city’s World Music Festival, one of the largest musical celebrations of its kind in the US. So, if you’re in the mood to get your creative juices flowing, an evening with world fusion artists Eastern Blok, should definitely be on your “to do” list!
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (Somerville)
More Info: 617-776-2004 OR 617-800-9720
Join Klezwoods @ Johnny D’s for First Rate Klezmer Music and a Whole Lot More: May 17th, Tuesday @ 8:00 p.m.
Listen to Klezwoods.
As their name would imply, Klezwoods is indeed a Klezmer ensemble, however, their actual repertoire entails quite a bit more than that. Concentrating on music of the ancient Ottoman Empire characterized by a wide range of cultural, religious, and political influences, the band plays selections originating from Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Israel, and beyond. As one would expect, much of the music which they perform is of Jewish origin, however, it is often artfully infused with smatterings of other styles and ethnic flavorings including, emo, nu-jazz, reggae, East Coast swing, gypsy, ska, Celtic, bluegrass, rock, groove, and Latin generally in the form of various folk genres further branded with the band’s own contemporary flair. Much of their music is bursting with energy which just begs the audience to get up and dance!
Despite all of the many ever-present diverse styles within their Klezmer-oriented musical offerings, Klezwoods, being the accomplished world fusion artists they are, manage to blend them all beautifully into one aesthetically pleasing package filled with intense emotion. In keeping with the character of their music, the members of this 11-piece ensemble, consisting of vocals, horns, strings, guitars, woodwinds, percussion, and an accordion, come from diverse backgrounds, and yet are able to perform together effectively as a unit in their very own trademark style. It is this variety of musical personalities that makes this band’s brand of music so unique and intriguing. Klezwood’s performances are further enhanced by the frequent occurrence of improvisational-style solos, designed to display each band member’s individual virtuosic talents. They have taken their show on the road both nationally and internationally and have recorded a cd entitled “Oye Yeah!” It is the band’s ultimate aim to “reinvigorate” the Klezmer genre and they seem to have succeeded with their reputation for creating a fun-filled, party-like atmosphere for audiences wherever they perform. Most importantly, these band mates have fun playing together and sincerely want to share their heartfelt joy with one and all through their music. So, why not come on out and join the party at Johnny D’s!
Also sharing the stage for the evening, will be another great band, the Underscore Orkestra. This heavily touring group from Portland, Oregon will be contributing their own special version of Klezmer, Balkan music, gypsy jazz, and swing to the show.
Note: This event may be 21+ (Call for more info)
When: May 17th, Tuesday @ 8:oo p.m.
Where: Johnny D’s Restaurant & Music Club (Somerville)
Admission: Call for cover charge fees
Make reservations for dinner and be guaranteed a seat for the show
More Info: 617-776-2004 / Mo (12:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.), Tu-Fr (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.), Sa-Su (9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.)
Come Celebrate a Very Special Musical Reunion of Klezmer and Roma Cultures @ Johhny D’s Uptown: August 31st, Tuesday (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
World music history in the making can be witnessed at Johnny D’s Uptown at the end of this month! World fusion ensemble The Other Europeans is embarking upon their first North American tour and they are coming to Boston. What makes this band’s music so monumental is the fact that it represents the revival of a long-lost valuable cultural partnership between the Jews and the Roma people of Moldova. These two ethnic groups shared a strong bond between each other back in the old country that resulted in an artful blending of various elements of their two distinctive heritages, one of course being the traditional music. However, thanks to armed conflict, persecution, and eventual evacuation efforts, this precious cultural affiliation ended, sadly enough. Fortunately, through the concerted efforts of the European Union and a number of festival and cultural project committees, this age-old genre of klezmer/gypsy fusion music has been brought back to life through the formation of group of very talented and highly accomplished musicians, all of whom are considered established virtuosos of their instrument.
The Other Europeans is a group of 14 klezmer or lautari performers hailing from 7 different countries. The band’s instrumentation includes: piano, cimbalom, accordions, trombone, trumpets, tuba, violins, double basses, flutes (some of ethnic character), clarinets, saxophones, and percussion. While the ensemble’s music has managed to re-capture the true traditional flavor of the old European sound it also displays a distinctly modern interpretive flare giving it a fresh new character. The Other Europeans have thus managed to successfully re-established the old, once extinct, Jewish/Roma cultural ties through their intense, emotionally charged music. This rare fusion of the klezmer and gypsy genres makes for quite an interesting listening experience indeed. Come on out to Somerville and experience it for yourself.
When: August 31st, Tuesday (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (across from the Davis Square T stop)
More Info: 617 – 776 – 2004
Learn to Dance Yiddish Style with the Experts on Klezmer Music – Sunday, April 18th (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Ever listening to a really great Klezmer band that was so fantastic their music just begged you to get up and dance the hora but … you didn’t know how? Well, just spend the afternoon at the Arlington Senior Center with three very enthusiastic and knowledgable Yiddish dance instructors and you’ll never have to face that agonizing sense of frustration again. Not only will they teach you to dance the hora, but they will also introduce you to other basic Jewish dances as well.
These instructors are experts on Yiddish music and just how to move to it. Hankus Netsky is a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band which he, himself, founded and currently directs. This ensemble is considered to be among the best the world and has toured extensively, for many years. Mr. Netsky has been an instructor at the New England Conservatory of Music for over 20 years, where he has given courses on Yiddish music as a part of his teaching repertoire, and has additionally taught the subject at Hebrew College and Wesleyan University. He lectures world-wide and has won numerous awards for his accomplishments. Judy Bressler graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and sang with the Klezmer Conservatory Band for many years. Dena Ressler. clarinetist, leads the local Klezmer band di Bostoner Klezmer, which she also co-founded. So, with all of this available expertise there to help on your way, you should be up and dancing Yiddish style in no time!!! This event is designed for learners aged 8 and up, so why not bring the whole family along, and as an added plus- you can enjoy all the action entirely free of charge.
When: Sunday, April 18th (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Where: Arlington Senior Center
More Info: (781) 316-3421
Looking for Klezmer music entertainment in the Boston area? Then pay a visit to the KlezmerShack and check out their nifty KlezCalendar. Although this web site itself is not tailored exclusively to the Boston area by any means, the author is local and there is definitely a home-oriented presence here. There are plenty of relevant event listings to be found and this section is searchable by keyword, a nice little feature that makes things a whole lot easier for Boston users. There’s even a link provided for those who want to share a local event announcement of their own with the rest of us Bostonians.
Of course, it was the KlezCalendar that originally got me interested in the site, but there is a whole lot more great local info to be had here, as this web site is devoted entirely to Klezmer and other Jewish music genres. The blog, which is also keyword-searchable by the way, contains additional local event listings, reviews on concerts, cds, and videos produced by artists in the area, regionally oriented podcasts, and other music news of interest. There are tons of video clips throughout, thus giving the reader ample opportunity to enjoy the sound of lots of wonderful Jewish music. All cds which have been reviewed by the author are listed in one place, so that they can be browsed more easily. There are artist’s directories included for both individuals and ensembles. The ensemble directory is additionally categorized by geographical location and there is a nice long listing provided for Massachusetts. One last section I wanted to point out here is the listing of Jewish music radio programming airing from Massachusetts. This is really helpful, as it can be very difficult indeed to isolate and locate programs of specific interest. I encourage you to go ahead and poke around this very interesting and in formative web site on your own, as I have given you just the local highlights here. Oh, and one last thing, if you have any interesting tidbits relating to Klezmer/Jewish music that you want to share with your fellow Bostonians, feel free to email the author. He points out that his visitors, most of all, love to read descriptions of local concerts and other regionally oriented music news. Got a question you want answered? Even if it’s related to the local music scene in our area only, go ahead and post it anyway on one of the mailing lists the author has provided. You just never know who might have the answer- no matter how specific it is!
Don’t Miss Boston’s First Jewish Music Festival: One Whole Week of Top-Notch Cultural Entertainment – March 6th – 14th
The Boston Jewish Music Festival (March 6th-14th) looks indeed to be a full week of some of the very best in world music entertainment! This musical extravaganza is designed with the aim of further uniting the local Jewish community through it’s exposure to some of the native culture’s best and brightest international and local stars, while entertaining the rest of us non-Jews as well. The opening concert will start things off on a “high note” with performances by Klezmer revival greats The Klezmer Conservatory Band along with prolific recording artists Golem. Other well-known names appearing throughout the week will include Ladino star Flory Jagoda, platinum recording artists Habanot Nechama of Israel, and the increasingly popular Israeli vocalist, Ruth Dolores Weiss.
Audiences will be treated to international Jewish music of all genres from classical to folk to rock-n-roll, and everything in between in the form of concerts, workshops, lectures, parties and more, designed for listener’s of all ages. Events are to be held at various concert venues throughout the Boston area. Take a look at the festival brochure for performance details, complete with photos of the participants. If you want a general idea as to what the festival is all about, as well as a bit of an education on certain aspects of Jewish music, then you will find this article from the Phoenix to be of interest.
In order to obtain tickets, just visit the festival web site and look in either the Event Info or Tickets sections for purchasing details which will vary with each individual event. If need be, you can also contact the event organizers for further info.
If you are interested in further supporting the Boston Jewish Music Festival, there are various ways to do it including donating either funds or your time, or just by keeping abreast of local news relating to the festival itself or Jewish music in general. In order to stay informed, you can read the blog or join the mailing list (see far right of web site screen). However, the very best way to support this most valuable cultural cause is, of course, to simply come to the festival and enjoy it! And don’t forget to tell others all about it so the event will become even bigger and better next year.