Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Técsői Banda

I got in an email discussion recently with the host of a freeform world music radio program. I was trying to convince him (it's funny how the word convince starts with "con") that he should do a show on the intersection of gypsy and Jewish music. It'd be easy to pull great recordings of both historic and contemporary collaborations. Here's one video I was thinking of. Consider it Exhibit A.

Técsői Banda: Medley of Mixed Gypsy and Jewish Melodies

The video was uploaded by YouTube user Dumneazu, who also writes an eponymous blog. As he notes...
"The Técsői Banda playing in Budapest after the premier of the film "The Last Kolomajka" at the Nyitott Muhely gallery. We had just played a Yiddish song I learned from Arkaday Gendler, and after Yura began to sing the Gypsy version, which led into a medley of tunes from the mixed Jewish and Gypsy repetoires of the Western Ukraine, Hungary, and Romania. The Técső Band are Hutsul Gypsies from Tjaciv, Ukraine."
The exchange he's describing is not uncommon. With the loss of Yiddishkeit culture during the Holocaust, many klezmer musicians have sought insight and material from surviving Gypsy musicians. These musicians often played with Jewish klezmers at both Jewish and Gypsy gigs, and knew the klezmer repertoire well. For another example of this exchange, check out Bob Cohen's, of Di Naye Kapelye, tale of learning from Romanian Gypsies. Here's a second video, also by Dumneazu, featuring members of Di Naye Kapelye.

Florin Kodoba Teaching Transylvanian Fiddle Style

"Florin Kodoba, lead fiddler of the Palatka Band (Palatca, Romania) from the central Transylvanian plains leading students in a workshop on fiddle style. The students are learning by ear, as this is a traditional music that - in its village context - is "learned but not taught" by Gypsy dynasties of musician families. Jake Shulman-ment is assisiting as both appeared with Di Naye Kapelye to teach Roma instrumental music traditon at the 2008 Weimar Yiddish weeks folk dance seminar in Weimar, Germany"


Dowy said...

wow very interesting - i love that second vid, very soulfull.

Jack said...

Hey Dowy, glad you enjoyed it.