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Ari Davidow's Klezmer Shack

The Klezmer revival is the music that speaks to me. It's blues and spirit and jazz all mixed together. To paraphrase Emma Goldman, one of my role models and heroines, I wouldn't want any revolution that didn't encourage klezmer dancing. That's what these pages are about.

Quick Guide

We have klezmer news and the latest reviews.

If you are looking for sources of sheet music, several online vendors carry books and music. If you are looking for album recommendations, browse the reviews and try what sounds like you. Be aware that I don't know what band would be best for your simkha or who would be available--contact your local Jewish community newspaper, book store, or federation--or any of the bands from your area. And, mazel tov! Oh, and don't forget to browse the "klezcontacts" page. If you'd like to be listed, just send me e-mail telling me a bit about yourself.

I never make any recommendations beyond what is listed here. For that, or for gossip, discussion, or to look for stuff that I clearly don't know about, the best place to ask is the jewish-music mailing list. To keep track of changes to these pages, themselves, there is now a separate "what's new" page.

If you have a klez story to tell, comments, reviews to add, or just want to let people know about your band, or have something else to say that I haven't already mentioned (and especially about bad links or other mistakes)--send me e-mail, or use the new feedback form. I'll get it all online as I have time. It's a pleasure!

Klez news

Why we are now a

5/1/97. One of the pioneer web discussion forums is called "Bianca's Smut Shack." (No, it isn't about smut or someone named Bianca.) In a recent move, Radio Shack has filed a cease-and-desist order, apparently because both entities use the word "shack". This is pretty silly, and pretty bad news for those of us who see languages as being comprised of more than trademarkable nouns. The most useful response, of course, is to make "shack" generic for web spots. You can also send e-mail to Radio Shack from a page maintained by Jim Hart.

Epstein Brothers Film

There is now a movie about the Epstein Brothers. And about time! It's called A Tickle in the Heart and was produced by Stefan Schwietert. For more info, see the Jewish Film webpage.

2nd Ashkenaz Fest in Toronto, July 1997

The Second Ashkenaz festival will be held this coming summer. There will be theatre, dance, music, poetry, art, chatchkes--everything that the organizers can cram into Toronto's Harberfront section. Their web pages are just up and should evolve quickly as the program and events become fixed.

Related and not-so-related pages

When I was originally setting up my pages, I found a recording of something klez-ish. Kim Goldov, of the Freylakh Klezmer Band, suggests that it may be played by Howie Less on alto sax with Sid Beckerman on clarinet. Correspondent Andrew Siegel of New York City suggests that the song is a few seconds of "Ot Azoy." He also notes that Kapelye play the melody on their album, "Chicken". Henry Saponik eventually pointed out the obvious: That this is the Beckerman/Lees version of "Ot Azoy" from their wonderful "Klezmer Plus album. as Henry put it, having a fun tune by the masters be first on the Internet is a good way to begin.

Here are some other items of interest:

  • The jewish-music mailing list covers all forms of Jewish music. For information about subscribing, see the feedback pages.
  • Detlev Mueller has begun German Klezmer Pages. These are the "klezmer" pages for fans of the music of Giora Feidman (something that I am most emphatically not).
  • Mika Kovalainen, in Sweden, has put together a very interesting klezmer resource page. Great background graphic, and not too big!
  • A fascinating page on the Abuyadaya Jews of Uganda and their music, suggested by Abbe Don.
  • Michael Scott Armel has a page on Klezmer music theory. You probably want to turn automatic image loading off unless you have a very fast modem/WAN Internet connection. This is vaguely readable in either color or black and white. You might want to just use lynx.
  • Philip "Fishl" Kutner is a wonderful and warm person who lives across the Bay from me. He puts out a lovely (print) newsletter, Der Bay networking folks doing anything with Yiddish around the world. Send e-mail to
  • Mendele: Yiddish Literature and Language, is a wonderful mailing list about all things yiddish. It's a free "subscription" list: e-mail with the one-line message"
    subscribe mendele YourFirstName YourLastName.
  • One of these days I'm going to set up a section called "not klezmer but close enough." In the meantime, be sure to check out the Balkan tunes. A wonderful presentation of a favorite subject!
see caption for description Old time Tzimbalist Mordkhe Peyorman (1810-1895), from the old-time Klez compilation, Yikhes
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Copyright (c) 1995-1997 by Ari Davidow, . All rights reserved. Last revised 5/25/97.