Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Possible artists for the next JCC Stephen Gottlieb Music Fest: Yiddish Singers

As I've mentioned, I'm on the steering committee for the Detroit JCC's Stephen Gottlieb Music Fest. We're just starting to plan next year's fest. To help out, I'm putting together some lists of possible musicians we should consider. I started with Yiddish singers because ever since I found out that the International Association of Yiddish Clubs will be having their annual conference in Detroit next August I've had Yiddish on the brain.

Caveat 1: These are just some bands I like, that I believe to be currently active, that I want other members of the committee to check out. It's not an exhaustive list, just a starting point.

Caveat 2: I'm not the only one making suggestions and I have no idea if any of these bands will be available or affordable, so these aren't a short list of candidates. Just some initial brainstorming....

So..if I didn't include a band you love and that you think is still active, feel free to comment and give me a dope-slap. And if you're local to Michigan, feel free to yell a lot. If we get early feedback that you'll come out for your favorite band, it will help get them here next year.

Wolf Krakowski & Fraidy Katz
Wolf is a Yiddish singing roots rocker from New England. He was produced by Frank London for John Zorn's Radical Jewish Culture label. Amazing. This "video" is really just his album cut stuck on YouTube. He has concert footage that he's going to get me. Personally, I think that Wolf would be an amazing show.
His Website: http://www.kamea.com/
His "Shabbes, Shabbes" video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foBrQy7IaxU

Fraidy Katz, Wolf's wife, is also a fine Yiddish singer. They come as a pair, with their touring band the Lonesome Brothers. Again, this video is just an album cut. I'm expecting some concert footage soon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnAstY693Ik

Lori Cahan Simon
Lori's a traditional Yiddish singer & folklorist from Ohio.

Daniel Kahn
Daniel is a local, but now living in Germany. He plays a raucous "Yiddish punk cabaret" drawing on the history of radical urban, intellectual, socialist Yiddish culture. I saw him play a fantastic
set for 400 at Temple Israel last year. He got a great reception from the mixed generation crowd. He just played at the Detroit Craft and Folk fest this past Sunday.

Adrienne Cooper
Adrienne is "Internationally recognized as one of this generation’s stellar performers of Yiddish vocal music"
website: http://www.yiddishdivas.com/html/adrienne.html
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dc3jypBEXo&feature=related

Cooper sometimes performs as one of the "Three Yiddish Divas" along
with theatrical singer Joanna Borte (http://www.yiddishdivas.com/html/joanne.html) and jazz singer Theresa Tova. Here's a video of the three of them.

A ferocious Yiddish klezmer/house band from London. Video quality
isn't great, but the sound is fine.

Klezmer Punk band (emphasis on klezmer) from Brooklyn with excellent Yiddish vocals

Elizabeth Schwartz
Elizabeth typically sings with Yale Strom and their klezmer band Hot Pstromi. She also sings in Ladino, Hebrew, and English. This is a rehearsal video.


Leyele said...

Thanks for putting me in your list for consideration, Jack! I wanted to let you know there are a bunch of new videos just uploaded to Youtube of my performances with Cindy Paley, Henry Carrey and Gerry Tenny from the 13th IAYC conference in San Francisco just past in April. You can find "Shteyt in feld a beymele" at this url, and others in the sidebar:
Hope you enjoy them!

Jack said...

Great, Lori. Thanks. I'll make sure to share them with the rest of the committee.