Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Great Day on Eldridge Street

At 10am on a sunny day in August 1953, 57 famous jazz musicians stood on 126th Street in Harlem for an iconic group photo called "A Great Day in Harlem." 50 years (and a month or two) later, over 100 klezmer musicians from all over the world paid homage to that photo, to the spirit of Jewish New York, to each other, and to the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the "first great house of worship built on the Lower East Side by Eastern European Jews."

100 Klezmer musicians in front of the Eldridge Street Synagogue
I missed the announcements for the event but heard about the photo shoot from Brian Bender. He had gone down to NYC for the event with Wholesale Klezmer Band-mates Joe and Peggy Kurland. WKB played at my wedding 7 years ago. They're wonderful musicians and wonderful people. Brian just released the fun and eclectic Little Shop of Horas, which I'll be posting about soon.

Since hearing about it from Brian, I've seen numerous stories about it. Nextbook podcasted it. So did The Forward. Time Out New York wrote about it. The Forward did too. Dumneazu was there and blogged about it (first post, second post, third post.) So did Richard Silverstien (Tikun Olam) and Ellen Kushner. There's also a great set of photo's on Flickr posted by Susanne Schwimmer.

So this post is clearly a "me too" sort of thing. I wasn't there and don't have anything to add other than noting that Klezmer has come along way over the last 30 years.


Richard said...

nice post & thanks for linking to my own. I posted before they'd taken their picture & so hadn't seen it. Impressive.

If you're on Facebook I just created a group for Jewish trad music.

Jack said...

Hi Richard. I just went and signed up for your traditional music group. Thanks for the invite.

Richard said...

And feel free to add any material or links there you like. And invite anyone else you know on Facebook with similar interests to join as well.

Jack said...

Will do. Most musicians I know hang out on MySpace, but I'll pass the word along.