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Yidstock ’17 Features Top Names in Klezmer & New Yiddish Music

Eleanor Reissa and Frank London by Ben Barnhart.


Amherst, MA
– The sixth annual Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music will include concerts by legendary and up-and-coming bands, a folk oratorio by a founder of the Klezmatics, plus talks, workshops, and other special events.

Yidstock 2017 takes place July 13 to 16 at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts.

This year’s lineup includes Eleanor Reissa & Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars, the Hankus Netsky & Eden MacAdam-Somer Duo, the Nigunim Trio, Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band, the Alicia Svigals & Lauren Brody Duo, and the Andy Statman Trio. In addition, the schedule includes the multimedia oratorio A Night at the Old Marketplace, written by Frank London and based on the groundbreaking 1907 play of the same name by I.L. Peretz, one of the greatest Yiddish writers.

The four-day festival also includes a dramatic reading by actor, playwright, and singer Eleanor Reissa; talks on topics ranging from Yiddish theater to Hassidic music; dance workshops; and more. More information can be found at yiddishbookcenter.org/yidstock.

The full Yidstock 2017 schedule:
Thursday, July 13, 2 p.m.
Seth Rogovoy, Yidstock’s artistic director and the author of The Essential Klezmer, takes the audience on a multimedia journey through the history of klezmer, from Old World shtetls to New World stages.
Thursday, July 13, 4 p.m.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ethnomusicologist Hankus Netsky explores the evolution of Hassidic music, from its inception in the late 1700s to today.
Thursday, July 13, 8 p.m.
Two of the leading lights of the Yiddish music renaissance join forces in this program based on their recent joint album, Vilde Mekhaye (Wild Ecstasy): Eleanor Reissa, known as “the queen of Yiddish cabaret,” and trumpeter-composer Frank London of the Klezmatics.
 

Andy Statman by Jason Marck.

Workshop: Nigunim, with Hankus Netsky

Friday, July 14, 11 a.m.
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ethnomusicologist Hankus Netsky shares his favorite Hassidic nigunim (wordless vocal melodies).
Friday, July 14, 11 a.m.
World-renowned dance instructor Steve Weintraub offers an overview of the Yiddish style of dance.
 
Friday, July 14, 1 p.m.
A dramatic reading from The Last Survivor and Other Modern Jewish Plays, an anthology of Reissa’s works for the stage, followed by a discussion and Q&A with the audience.  
Friday, July 14, 2:30 p.m.
An afternoon of Yiddish and Hassidic song and klezmer dance tunes. Netsky is a pioneer of the klezmer revival and founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, of which violinist and vocalist MacAdam-Somer is a member.
Friday, July 14, 5:30 p.m.
Nigunim and zmiros—spiritual Hassidic-Jewish chants whose purpose is to induce a state of piety and ecstasy in both performer and listener—performed by Lorin Sklamberg and Frank London, cofounders of the Klezmatics, and keyboardist Rob Schwimmer.
Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m.
World-famous dance instructor Steve Weintraub explores the iconic Jewish square dance, the sher, with participants creating their own Yidstock sher.
 
Saturday, July 15, 1 p.m.
An instrumental workshop taught by trombonist/keyboardist Brian Bender of the Yiddishkeit Klezmer Ensemble, Little Shop of Horas, and the Wholesale Klezmer Band. Open to all ages, instruments, and playing ability. Bring your own instrument. 

Saturday, July 15, 1 p.m.
Seth Rogovoy, Yidstock’s artistic director and the author of The Essential Klezmer, presents a fanciful, multimedia exploration of the life and times of pioneering Yiddish political-protest

The Nigunim Trio.

singer Elyokum Zunser. 

Saturday, July 15, 3 p.m.
I.L. Peretz’s groundbreaking modernist 1907 play Bay nakht afn altn mark (A Night in the Old Marketplace) tells the story of the badkhn, a traditional Jewish wedding jester, who over the course of one long night challenges God’s authority by attempting to revive the dead and bring on the end of days. Yiddish theater scholar Caplan explores the play and its production history, with reference to this evening’s contemporary staging by Frank London. 
Saturday, July 15, 8 p.m.
A modern retelling of I.L. Peretz’s groundbreaking modernist 1907 play, conceived and directed by Alexandra Aron, with music by Frank London and lyrics and text by Glen Berger (Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark). This multimedia concert features an all-star cast of singers and musicians, including London and his Klezmatics cofounder Lorin Sklamberg.
Sunday, July 16, 10:30 a.m.
Learn Yiddish songs old and new with instruction by the Center’s Asya Vaisman Schulman and music by Brian Bender. Song lyrics will be provided in transliteration; no prior knowledge of Yiddish is required.
Sunday, July 16, 12 p.m.
Ezekiel’s Wheels Klezmer Band brings passion, virtuosity, and contagious energy to every performance, with the intimacy of chamber music and the intensity of a rowdy dance band.
Sunday, July 16, 1:30 p.m.
Aaron Lansky, the Yiddish Book Center’s founder and president, shares bold new plans for the coming decade and beyond, including a Universal Yiddish Library and a far-reaching initiative to repatriate Jews with their own literature and culture.
 
Sunday, July 16, 3 p.m.
Alicia Svigals, the world’s greatest klezmer violinist, and accordion wizard Lauren Brody, a major figure in the original klezmer revival, join forces in an electrifying concert of traditional Yiddish folk songs and klezmer tunes.
Sunday, July 16, 4:30 p.m.
Klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals offers a hands-on demonstration of what makes the violin (along with the clarinet) a quintessential instrument of the klezmer ensemble.
Sunday, July 16, 7:30 p.m.
National Heritage fellow and Grammy nominee Andy Statman performs a unique, contemporary fusion of Jewish, jazz, and Americana styles with his longtime musical partners, bassist Jim Whitney and drummer Larry Eagle.
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