I am very excited to announce that I will be joining Kol Tzedek Synagogue in West Philadelphia as their Simcha Band Leader and Klezmer Musician in Residence for this coming Jewish year! For members of Kol Tzedek who I haven’t had the chance to meet yet, you may have seen me when I played trombone at Let My People Sing concert in January and when I led the Simcha band at the Purim Party in March.
In this coming year, I plan to bring a lot of klezmer music and Yiddish culture to the synagogue, grow the membership and skills of the Simcha band, and to make amazing music for some great holiday celebrations! The primary activity of my residency will be rehearsing and leading the Simcha band to get you all celebrating and dancing for specific holidays – Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, and Purim. In addition, I will lead two workshops with the band apart from these holiday performances to work on klezmer style and repertoire. I will also hold two congregation-wide Yiddish song workshops throughout the year, at least one of which will be about old songs that speak to social justice issues of today.
Klezmer music was central to the life of many Ashkenazi Jews back in Europe and in our early days in America and no Simcha would be complete back then without it. Now, in bringing this music and culture to Kol Tzedek in a concentrated way, I hope we can use the joy the music brings to fuel deeper and broader conversations of Jewish identity and place in today’s world.
Klezmer music is a major part of my life and how I live in the world as a Jew. I believe that it’s history and how it exists today provides us with lots of resources and insights for us all to use and enjoy. I am very honored to be able to bring this music and culture that I love to you all.
Please email me at Simchaband@kol-Tzedek.org with any questions and be on the lookout for a synagogue-wide request to join our Simcha band! And mark your calendars for these holidays that’ll involve the band!
10/11/17 Simchat Torah
2/24/18 Purim Party
Zay Gezunt un Shtark (In Health and Strength),
And here’s some music from our amazing Purim Part in March!