Welcome to JMI's March Newsletter.


We are right in the middle of Jewish Book Week, one of the most exciting events in the cultural calendar.  Last weekend saw a breathtaking preview performance of our new commission Drawing Life together with an inspiring post-show discussion with Zdenka Fantlova, author of The Tin Ring, Emma Bernard (director/dramaturge), Jocelyn Pook (composer) and Dragan Aleksic (visual artist).  It was a wonderful opportunity to perform Drawing Life for the first time. If you missed this preview performance, worry not.  There is a special 30th Anniversary Gala Performance coming up on July 2nd at JW3 while the World Premiere will be at LSO St Luke's in the Autumn.  I was also thrilled to chair a very lively session featuring Henry Goodman and Jeremy Dauber (Professor of Yiddish Literature at Columbia University) in celebration of 50 Years of Fiddler on the Roof – and perhaps you were lucky enough to catch the Fiddler Flashmob in the foyer of Kings Place.  If not, you can watch it here:   Coming up at Jewish Book Week this week are Michael Haas in conversation with Norman Lebrecht about Jews and Music under Nazi Rule (March 2nd) and The Lives We Live, a series of free foyer music events programmed by JMI, including vibrant klezmer and gypsy sounds from Don Kipper on Sunday March 2nd.


We are pleased to announce that our Yiddish language summer programme Ot Azoy and the Yiddish Song School Goldene Pave are now open for booking. And if you can't wait until then, I'm personally thrilled that klezmer clarinet virtuoso Christian Dawid from Berlin is leading a workshop session at SOAS on Monday 31st March. And on 19th March, we will be presenting the third in the Joe Loss Lecture Series welcoming from the USA Dr. Itzik Gottesman, Associate Editor of the Yiddish Forward newspaper (Forverts), who will be speaking on "The Life  of the Yiddish Folksinger".  


Also this month, we are very happy to be able to announce that actor and comedian David Schneider is hosting JMI's annual fundraiser, the Joke Lunch at Kent House on Tuesday 11th March where he will be joined by Maureen Lipman and JMI Joint President Michael Grade.  Do book your tickets now for what promises to be a really entertaining and lively event.


Have a wonderful month


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A special preview performance of Drawing Life took place at Kings Place for the opening night of Jewish Book Week. After the interval 94 year old survivor Zdenka Fantlova, author of 'The Tin Ring', shared her experiences of Terezin and other concentration camps with an enthralled audience, as part of a post-show discussion about the evolution of the piece with composer Jocelyn Pook, dramaturge Emma Bernard and visual artist Dragan Aleksic chaired by Sophie Solomon.



Jews and Music under Nazi Rule 

Cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht will chair a discussion between Michael Haas and novelist Raphael Jerusalmy on how music has both suffered and served as a powerful form of resistance. Michael Haas is Head of Research at the JMI's International Centre for Suppressed Music and is based at Royal Holloway College. He was initiator and executive producer of Decca's Entartete Musik series and was also music curator at The Vienna Jewish Museum. His book "Forbidden Music" was published by Yale University Press late last year to great acclaim from the international music community Michael Haas was initiator and executive producer of Decca’s “Entartete Musik” series. He was also music curator at The Vienna Jewish Museum and is Head of Research at the Jewish Music Institute’s International Centre for Suppressed Music based at Royal Holloway College. His book "Forbidden Music" was published by Yale University Press late last year to great acclaim from the international music community. Cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht will chair a discussion between Haas and novelist Raphaël Jerusalmy, on how music has both suffered and served as a powerful form of resistance. 

Date: Sun 2 Mar
Time: 12.30pm
Venue: Kings Place
Price: £6.50


Free Foyer Performances 

The Jewish Music Institute is proud to be programming a series of Free Foyer performances at Jewish Book Week. Simply turn up and enjoy the music. So far we have enjoyed Man Overboard, Dunajska Kapelye and Katy
Carr. In March we look forward to two performances from Don Kipper with their original blend of Jazz rhythm, Klezmer and Mediterranean styles on the closing day of Jewish Book Week.


Date: Sun 2 Mar
Time: 1.05 & 4.05pm
Venue: Kings Place
Price: Free


Ot Azoy 

Discover JMI's famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all  ages, levels and backgrounds, where even complete beginners learn to speak, read, write, sing and even dream in Yiddish in a week. Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 4 levels, led by world renowned Yiddish Lecturer Helen Khayele Beer and her distinguished team of fellow Yiddishists, Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa, Annick Prime-Margules, Lily Kahn and Barry Davis. Shura Lipovsky, Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. This year we are leased to welcome to the faculty Annick rime-Marguiles of The Medlem Yiddish Institute in Paris. Last summer the course was full, attracting participants  from countries as diverse as Canada, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania and Scotland, so we recommend early booking.

Golden Peacock

Our annual summer song school returns this year with the addition of new faculty, courses and syllabus. This year the course will be a complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture, where each day will start with
a repertoire class and will be followed by teaching classes on roots, modality and traditions. The afternoon will have repertoire classes that will see both schools combined with Ot Azoy students joining in. This will be followed by a master class with our esteemed international faculty of acclaimed Yiddish singers, Shura Lipovsky, Polina Shepherd and 2014 Songlines Awards Nominee Karsten Troyke. Singers will also be taught Yiddish for Singers with Helen Beer and no day will be complete without joining in Polina's Yiddish Choir. This course is now open to apply.


Dates: Sun 10 - Fri 15 Aug 
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £145-£245


Michael Grade, Maureen Lipman and David Schneider 

Following last year's enormous success, the Joke Lunch returns on March 11th 2014 to the beautiful Kent House in Knightsbridge. We are pleased to be welcoming back our Joint-President Lord Grade CBE and Actress Maureen Lipman CBE to entertain us with their selection of hilarious jokes. Compere David Schneider, one of the funniest stars of UK stage and screen, will again serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Funds raised at this event contribute towards JMI's educational fund supporting students of Jewish Music and culture of all ages. Delicious lunch will be interspersed with seriously large quantities of mirth and merriment. With nearly all the places already taken, secure one of the last few by calling our office on 020 7898 4307.


Date: Tue 11 Mar
Time: 12.00-3.00pm 
Venue: Kent House, Knightsbridge


Limited places available

"World class clarinettist with a magically lyrical phrasing" Jüdische Allgemeine

The Jewish Music Institute is proud to present the first date in our 'Masterclass with' series. Our invited teacher for this launch event is internationally renowned clarinettist Christian Dawid. Trained classically, Christian has explored styles from chamber music to Jazz and Alpine Brass. He has performed with such artists as Frank London, Alan Bern, Brave Old World, Theodore Bikel, Lorin Sklamberg and Shura Lipovsky. As a teacher, Christian has been invited to Yiddish music institutes and festivals all over the world, including Yiddish Summer Weimar, KlezKanada, KlezFest St Petersburg, KlezFest London, Klezmer Paris, KlezKamp and the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow. Christian was the KlezNorth Musical Director in 2012 and takes the role again 2014. In this exclusive London Masterclass for JMI, Christian will explore the techniques, modality and ornamentation of playing Klezmer. Open to all instruments.


Date: Mon 31 Mar
Time: 5.00-7.00pm
Venue: SOAS
Price: £10/£15 




The Life Of The Yiddish Folksinger

Dr Itzik Gottesman was the Associate Editor of the Yiddish Forverts newspaper in New York for 14 years. He has a PhD in folklore from the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of the book "Defining the Yiddish Nation: The Jewish Folklorists of Poland". He has taught Yiddish and Jewish folklore at the University of Texas and University of Pennsylvania and has recorded Yiddish folksingers in New York, Mexico and Israel. Jewish folklorists have collected hundreds of Yiddish songs but there is little information on the life of the folksinger who performed them and how the songs fit into the life of the performer. Playing rare field recordings, Dr. Gottesman will examine these issues and look at the Yiddish folksong collectors of pre-Holocaust Poland. To book your place for this lecture then please click here


Date: Wed 19 Mar
Time: 7.00-9.00pm
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: Free


A new play by Philip Glassboro

In October 1941, the Czech town of Terezin was turned into a ghetto for Jews and renamed Theresienstadt by the occupying Nazi forces. But what was Terezin? Was it really the Paradise Ghetto the Nazis claimed it to be? A sanctuary where Jewish actors and singers and artists were detained for their own protection during the Second World War? Or was it another concentration camp? Phillip Glassboro's powerful new play has a strong cabaret-style, has been specially commissioned for Act One and features some of the actual songs that were created and performed in Terezin and is sponsored by JMI, BBC South and more information about it can be found here.

Sunday 30th March performances will be available by emailing titling your email "Sunday Tickets"


Date: 26-30 Mar
Time: 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Venue: Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Guildford
Price: Adults £10




Last few places left.. 

Once again Kleznorth is being held the village of Youlgreave in the Peak District, with a great line-up of class and workshops across the board instrumentally, vocally and in dance. This year Christian Dawid returns as Musical Director and he is by accompanied by Rachel Weston who leads on Yiddish song. There will be talks, films and a Saturday night Tish and other windows into Yiddish culture. The full range of workshops and classes is published on the Kleznorth website. This year JMI Radio interviewed Phil Tomlinson and Christian Dawid to find out more about what is in store and you can hear that interview here. Please be aware that the places are close to selling out, so visit the Kleznorth website here 




Date: Fri 28 - Sun 30 Mar
Venue: Youlgreave, Derbyshire
Price: £27/£60





Live at Union Chapel 
A rare London appearance of the mighty Tcha Limberger and his group of Budapest musicians who will be performing Csardas, Verbunk and Laments from the Budapest ‘Magyar Nóta’ Gypsy orchestra tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries, with the beautiful voice and playing of blind violinist Tcha Limberger and his incredible band. His Orchestra, in true Hungarian Gypsy Band style, play with bursts of soaring intensity and smouldering pathos, delivering a passion and technical virtuosity that is astounding. This event is sponsored by both the Hungarian Cultural Centre and JMI.


Date: Fri 28 Mar
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Union Chapel
Price: £15/£18




Polina Shepherd

Led by Polina Shepherd, one of Europe’s leading musicians in the field, JMI's Zingt! The People's Chorus at JW3 is open to all. Participants learn traditional and modern Yiddish songs, nigunim and specific ornamentations of this singing style.  They sing Yiddish songs in 1-4 parts with and without sheet music and nigunim accompanied by piano and a cappella. To book your place with this ever-popular choirmaster, please go here


Date: Tue 4, 18 Mar
Time: 7.00-8.30pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £10 per session 




2014 Conference now open for booking 

We are delighted to give you advance notice that booking is now open for the 9th Annual European Cantors Convention in Budapest 10 – 14 July 2014 at the Bethlen Square Synagogue. Budapest has some of the most beautiful synagogues in Europe and an outstanding musical tradition. This year's theme is "The High Holydays: Inspire and Be Inspired" and features guest teachers Asher Hainovitz (Jerusalem) and Yaakov Motzen (Florida). Organised and hosted by the Central and Eastern European branch of ECA, headed by Rabbi/Cantor David Schwezoff and Cantor Laszlo Fekete. In a recent statement the ECA said, "We are honoured to have as our guest teachers this year, the revered cantors, Asher Hainovitz of Jerusalem and Yaakov Motzen of Florida. They will be supported by Toronto’s Eric Moses and others. Sessions include nusach and davening as well as masterclasses and a session on ‘Leadership, Goal Setting, and Job Satisfaction’." This is a must for all cantors and those involved or with an interest in synagogue music.


Georgia Mancio at JW3
Award-winning jazz vocalist/lyricist, Georgia Mancio, has proved herself to be one of the UK’s most original, inventive and important new artists. She has worked with Bobby McFerrin, Sheila Jordan, Ian Shaw, Liane Carroll, and Alan Broadbent; played several residencies at Ronnie Scott's and now comes to NW3 for Jazz at JW3.
March 2nd
Tickets: Here

Idan Raichel at Koko
Israeli groundbreaker, BBC World Music award winner, cultural ambassador and acclaimed multi-instramentalist Idan Raichel comes to Koko for this special one-off concert. Idan presents songs for the first time the way he composed them back home in Kfar Sava, Israel.
March 2nd
Tickets: Here

Amaya Trio at Kings Place
Schoenberg's Transfigured Night is played in the version for piano trio. The programme also includes Zemlinsky's Songs From Op 22 And Op 27 Collections, Schoenberg's Verklarge Nächt For Piano Trio, Gerhard's Dances From Don Quichotte For Piano Solo and Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony No 1 arranged for two pianos, featuring pianist Batia Murvitz from Israel.
March 5th
Tickets: Here

Hopkele Klezmer Keilidh at Chats Palace 
The London Klezmer Quartet are back from their anitpodean adventures and hosting Klezmer Jam at The Harrison Pub in Kings Cross on March 2nd. They are also performing at the Hopkele Klezmer Keilidh, where they are joined by percussionist and dancer Guy Schalom to call and lead a Yiddish style barn dance. In association with Cut A Shine Hoedown Collective.
March 8th
Tickets: Here

Ester Rada at JW3  
Israeli-Ethiopian Jewish rising star of the international music scene, singing in English, Hebrew and Amharic, she brings a blend of Ethio-Jazz, African American soul and West African rolling afrobeat rhythm to London as seen and heard at series of sold out dates last summer ahead of her Glastonbury 2013 dates.

The programme for the day includes:
a live session on BBC London Radio (1500-1700)
a free Q&A as part of international women's day at JW3 (1800-1845)
and a ticketed live concert with a 9-piece band.

Plenty of opportunities to catch the woman being dubbed by the Israeli press as "Israel's first lady of soul".
March 9th
Tickets: Here

Daphna Sadeh and The Voyagers at Vortex 
Daphna Sadeh and the Voyagers are: Daphna Sadeh (Bass and Compositions), Stewart Curtis (Clarinets, Flutes, Recorders), Ivor Goldberg (Guitars), Mark Bassey (Trombone), Eddie Hession (Accordion), Guy Schalom (Percussion & Drums). A rich tapestry of Balkan, Klezmer, Middle Eastern and Jazz led by acclaimed composer and double bassist Daphna Sadeh. The band has played festivals and clubs in the UK and Europe and Daphna’s fourth CD is due for release this year.
"...a brilliant and hypnotic mix of Jazz, Western classical, Middle Eastern, Arabic Taqsim and Jewish music reflecting her eclectic life experiences. Seductive and powerful music..." John Zorn.
March 12th
Tickets: Here

East and West at JW3
In Goldin and Abramson's silent movie East and West (1923), streetwise New Yorker Maly (Molly Picon) travels to her demure cousin's wedding in a traditional Polish shtetl. Lemez Lovas (Oi Va Voi, Shtetl Superstars, Yiddish Twist Orchestra), Moshikop and Kriwaczek's cheeky accompanying score takes us from traditional klezmer to contemporary electronica as love blossoms onscreen and traditional and modern Jewish worlds are brought into collision.
March 13th
Tickets: Here

Charlie Siem and Alison Rhind at LJCC
Virtuoso violinist Charlie Siem and dynamic pianist Alison Rhind combine to create a duo of irresistible musicianship. Siem has sparkled with orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra, and Rhind is the regular accompanist of Nicola Benedetti. These sought-after artists exemplify an expressive interweaving of violin and piano.
March 16th
Tickets: Here

Steven Isserlis Masterclass at LJCC 
The LJCC is delighted to present a masterclass with the world-acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis, distinguished for his diverse musicianship and as an educator and author. Isserlis was awarded a CBE in 1998 and was included in Gramophone’s Hall of Fame in 2013. Watch him teach and demonstrate the art of the cello with promising young cellists.
“The music world – and music itself – is infinitely richer for the presence of Steven Isserlis.” Gramophone
March 23rd
Tickets: Here

RAM at Central Synagogue for Jewish Care
Central Synagogue Presents ‘A Night of Music ‘ with musicians from the Royal Academy of Music. The concert includes a classical first half, Clarinet Quintet featuring clarinet soloist, Matthew Scott and the Delmege Quartet, followed by a musical theatre second half. All proceeds from the concert will go to Jewish Care.
March 26th
Tickets: Here

She'Koyokh Album Launch at The Forge
In 19th century Eastern Europe, Jewish musicians travelled from town to town performing at weddings and other celebrations, meeting and playing with local musicians and sharing repertoire. In the same vein London-based group She’Koyokh, “Britain’s best klezmer and Balkan music band” (Songlines), has spent more than a decade exploring the rich musical cultures of Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Balkans.
Their third album, Wild Goats and Unmarried Women, tells tales of love and death, nature, philosophy and jumping goats, and reflects band members’ origins and their travels in Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
March 27th
Tickets: Here



Gil Karpas presents this months radio show, with music and interviews from the world of Jewish music. March's show focuses on Tcha Limberger and his Gypsy Orchestra with two interviews featuring Dave Kelbie of Lejazzetal and the violinist Tcha Limberger. "Welcome to Terezin" makes its debut at the Yvonne Arnaud Youth Theatre in Surrey and in celebration, we interview playwright and broadcaster Philip Glassboro. To listen to the whole show and the individual podcasts please visit our radio page here