Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Klezmer Music Outreach

"In January of 2001, the Timberlane Regional High School Wind Ensemble started working on an intricate piece entitled Five Yiddish Dances to be performed in their March concert." From this start, the documentary follows the TRHSWE as they get a crash course in klezmer and Yiddish culture organized by their band director Tony DiBartolomeo and provided by Concord, New Hampshire klezmerim Seth Austen and Beverly Woods.

It's great to see this kind thing happening. The students clearly appreciated the time that Austen and Woods spent with them and understood how it benefited both their performance and their understanding of the Jewish community. My only concern, and this happens a lot, is that they seem to have developed a sense a historical Yiddish culture that is disconnected from current Jewish culture. I would have loved to hear one of them comment about wanting to catch the Klezmatics or the Bester Quartet on their next tour. Ahh well. One step at a time.

So congrats to DiBartolomeo, Austen and Woods for making it happen and congrats to the students for what I'm sure was a fine concert. Wish I was there to see it.

And to other Jewish music folks who read this... we really need to seek out opportunities to do this kind of audience and musician development. I'll be visiting some Detroit area Jewish schools next year to talk about Jewish music in general and "progressive Jewish music" (e.g. pop/rock/hip-hop) in particular. My goal is to get the students engaged and excited about next years Detroit JCC Stephen Gottlieb Music fest, and the Progressive Jewish Music Showcase in particular. All I had to do was make some connections and ask. I haven't made the step to visiting non-Jewish schools but that's something to think about too...

1 comment:

xlpharmacy said...

It sounds beautiful, the combination of instruments give a perfect sound.