Discovering Klezmer: East European Jewish Music

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TERM 5, 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Frank Hamilton (bio)
TIME: Thu – 6:00pm, In-person
LEVEL: Level 1

Klezmer (kley-instrument, zemer-song) is the music of small villages in Europe called shtetl’s.  Rooted in the Jewish Ashkenazik culture, it borrows from German, Spanish, Romani, and other European cultures.

It’s played on any instrument, though traditionally on fiddle, clarinet, flute, cymbalom (like a hammered dulcimer), mandolin, and accordion, and is accompanied by guitar, piano, and even banjo. And of course, there’s a singing aspect as well.

Klezmer has a connection to jazz in that much of it is improvised.  It became Americanishe by players such as Benny Goodman, Bunny Berigan, Mickey Katz, Dave Tarras, and Naftole Brandwein.

It’s folk and dance music, played at Jewish weddings and other ceremonies, and is accessible to beginner and advanced players.

This class meets in person.