P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2000
July 15, 2000
Rockin' the Shtetl Looks at the Renaissance of Klezmer Music
Author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music, Rogovoy uses examples from a century's worth of recorded klezmer to trace the evolution of klezmer music from its origins as a ritual dance music to its popularization in the early 20th century as a nostalgic evocation of a lost world, through its triumphant breakthrough to the masses in the Swing era to today's thriving, contemporary klezmer revival. Library Journal calls Rogovoy a "passionate aficionado of klezmer music [who] carefully and lovingly chronicles klezmer with a journalist's eye for detail."
Along the way the audience will meet characters such as Stempenyu, the legendary violinist whose music wove a magical spell throughout the Old World . They will hear snippets by great immigrant-era clarinetists like Dave Tarras and Naftule "Nifty" Brandwein, whose antics on the bandstand - he was known to play with his pants around his ankles - nearly overshadowed his soulful genius. The truth about the supposed klezmer connections to Benny Goodman and George Gershwin as well as the roles of Garrison Keillor, classical violinist Itzhak Perlman and African-American jazz clarinetist Don Byron will be revealed. The Phoenix-like tale of the klezmer revival will be recounted through the music of Andy Statman, the Klezmorim, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Seth Rogovoy has written for the Berkshire Eagle since 1986 interviewing hundreds of performers, including Billy Joel, Melissa Etheridge, Ani DiFranco, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Sonny Rollins, David Byrne, Randy Newman, Suzanne Vega, Dave Brubeck, and Jerry Seinfeld. Rogovoy's music journalism has appeared in national and regional magazines including Sing Out!, Moment, Leak CD, and Berkshire Magazine, and in newspapers including Newsday, the Boston Phoenix, the Forward, Pakn Treger, the Bennington Banner, and the Woodstock Times. Seth also hosts a weekly radio show focusing on klezmer and Jewish music.
Rockin' the Shtetl is free with museum admission. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office at 87 Marshall St. in North Adams from 10 am until 6 pm daily. Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.
For Immediate Release