Welcome to 2016 from all the JMI team

We’re super busy right now preparing for the UK tour of Drawing Life by Jocelyn Pook and Emma Bernard. If you haven’t already bought tickets to see this incredible performance featuring soprano Melanie Pappenheim and tenor Lorin Sklamberg of The Klezmatics, then don’t delay as these are likely to be sell-out events.

Other highlights coming up very soon are a fantastic concert at Belsize Square Synagogue on 7 February in honour of the 70th birthday of one of our Trustees, the renowned composer, pianist, scholar and teacher Alexander Knapp - and the inspiring Alyth Music Fair on 21st February.

And if you’d like to get singing in 2016, then check out our singing workshop ‘Zing’ in partnership with JW3 or get in touch with JMI to learn more about our Companion Voices initiative.

Very best wishes for the New Year

Support the JMI and enjoy
the many benefits by
becoming a FRIEND


Visit our website for more news and info...


JMI is delighted to announce that "Drawing Life" will tour the UK this month. After winning Arts Council funding for the second time, we have secured three performances: Nottingham Lakeside, Warwick Arts and Barbican Milton Court, London. The tour commences on 27th January 2016, Holocaust Memorial Day. The date for a London School performance in Tower Hamlets will take place at Toynbee Hall Theatre on January 22nd.

Drawing Life is a dramatised song cycle with film and video based on the book 'I Never Saw Another Butterfly'. It features poems and drawings by Jewish children imprisoned in Terezin. Composer Jocelyn Pook draws inspiration from the creative and hopeful spirit of the children. This multi-media work was commissioned to mark the seventieth anniversary of the liquidation of Terezin. 

Following the preview at Kings Place for Jewish Book Week, a gala performance of Drawing Life took place at JW3 to mark JMI's thirtieth anniversary in 2014. All information about Drawing Life, future performances and the story that inspired it can be found on our webpage here

  Tour info
January 2016

Dates and locations:
Nottingham Lakeside 27th,
Warwick Arts 28th,
Barbican - Milton Court 30th


Tour dates

Schools performance
Friday 22nd January
Toynbee Theatre

Wednesday 27th January, 8pm
Lakeside - Djanogly Theatre
£16.50 (£14.50 concessions, £11 restricted view)
Details here

Thursday 28th January, 7.30pm
Warwick Arts
Details here

Saturday 30th January
Barbican - Milton Court:
Details here

We interviewed composer Jocelyn Pook about her inspiration for the music. That feature can be heard here 



Alex Knapp at 70: a Belsize Musical Celebration

The celebration features: The Wallace Ensemble with Cantor Paul Heller and the Choir of Belsize Square Synagogue, directed by Benjamin Wolf. 

The popular annual orchestral concert this year celebrates British composer, pianist, scholar, teacher and Jewish music specialist, Alexander Knapp. Alex was the first Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music at SOAS University of London. Enjoy music by Elgar, Handel, Bloch and Alexander Knapp.

Tickets: £15 
Phone: 020 7794 3949
Venue: Belsize Square Synagogue, 51 Belsize Square, NW3 4HX 

The concert is presented in association with the Jewish Music Institute and supported by the Joe and Mildred Loss fund.

  Concert info: 

Date: Sun 7th Feb 
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Belsize Square Synagogue
Price: £15



JMI and JW3 are very excited to announce their new singing workshops with an exciting difference!

Whether you can read music or not - Rachel Weston welcomes you to her dynamic set of six workshops. Together, melodies from around the Jewish world will be explored from ancient tunes to modern niggunim, from Yiddish to Ladino and from well-known modern composers. Join this group, form friendships, share your enthusiasm for the Jewish tradition of enjoying and making music.

Twice monthly Tuesdays on the following dates:

12th & 26th January
9th & 23rd February
8th & 22nd March

Time: 6.45-8.45pm

  Zing info: 

Dates: Jan to March 2016 
Time: 6.45-8.45pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £12 per session 


Companion Voices

JMI are very proud to continue our partnership with Judith Silver and her singing group for end-of-life care. Companion Voices is a group of singers who can be called to the bedside of people who are dying, to share their voices and loving presence. Monthly learning and preparation sessions are led by Judith Silver, a singer, composer, choir leader and Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network member. Currently there are groups in Brighton and Watford.

Join the Companion Voices group for 2016 here

The sessions will be held at the North London Hospice from 6pm – 8pm on:

13 January
10 February
9 March 
13 April
11 May
&  8 June (celebration) 2016

Price: £75 for the term. Places are limited.
Location: North London Hospice Finchley, 47 Woodside Avenue, London N12 8TT

For information and to book, please contact Naama by email here or by telephone: 020 7898 4307

We interviewed Judith to find out more about her as a practitioner and the choir itself and that interview can be heard here

  Group info:

Dates: January to June
Time: 6pm-8pm
Venue: North London Hospice
Price: £75 for full term


UK Album Launch 

For the first time Sklamberg & The Shepherds will play the whole 'Aheym -Homeward' programme in the UK.

Sklamberg & The Shepherds brings together three renowned performers of traditional Eastern European Jewish music: Lorin Sklamberg, co-founder and lead singer of the Klezmatics, clarinetist/composer Merlin Shepherd, a uniquely innovative force in the klezmer renaissance, and Polina Shepherd, a virtuoso vocalist/pianist/composer originally from Siberia. This fresh collaboration blends traditional and newly composed Yiddish and Russian song with klezmer and southern Mediterranean music.

Read Keith Wolzinger (Klezmer Podcast) album review here

Hear all three artists in interview in our recent podcast here

Dates and Venues:

Sunday, January 10  – Brighton
Brighton Unitarian Church – New Road Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1UF GB. 7pm

Sunday 24 January – London
Jamboree – Cable Street Studios Courtyard, 566 Cable Street, Limehouse, London, E1W 3HB.

Please book here

  Launch info:

Dates: 10th & 24th January 
Venues: Brighton & London
Price: Various 


25th Anniversary 

The UK's leading Jewish male voice choir, the Shabbaton Choir, was formed in 1990 out of the B'nei Brith Festival Singers (which itself was formed in 1986). Stephen Levey has been conductor and Musical Director since 1991. The Choir’s innovative choral sound has been heard in synagogue services and concerts throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. The harmonies and arrangements are written with the aim of bringing out clearly the mood and meaning of the words. The main aims of the Choir are to advance Judaism and in particular Jewish Prayer, through participation in synagogue service, singing at public performances and in television and radio broadcasts, recordings and through other media.

This concert will feature Lionel Rosenfeld, Jonny Turgel and special guests for two memorable performances.

  Gala info:

Date: Sun 17th Jan 
Times: L3.30 & 7.45pm
Venue: Artsdepot, North Finchley
Price: £25


East End Festival

JMI and JW3 are proud to be sponsoring this festival celebrating the legacy of Jewish music, art and culture in the East End of London. 

The House of Schmutter opens its doors to you - step inside to explore the tastes, sights and sounds of the Jewish East End. Served up will be a delectable feast of music, film, storytelling, taster tours, crafts and workshops, accompanied by a boxing ring, bagels and pickling. Some of the on-stage highlights include: The Cockney Yiddish Music Show with Vivi Lachs, storytelling with Rachel Rose-Reid, Rachel Weston's Yiddish Quartet, film screening of "Cable Street to Brick Lane", live performance from Don Kipper. There will also be DJ's, Bar, walks and tours of the east end, family activities and much more.

We interviewed festival producer Liat Rosenthal and Cockney-Yiddish expert Vivi Lachs to find out more and that feature can be heard here

  Festival info: 

Date: Sun 24 Jan 
Time: 1pm til 11pm
Venue: Rich Mix, Bethnal Green
Price: Free


(Norbert Meyn)

Blatter vom baum des Lebens
17-24 JANUARY 2016
In January 2016, the The Liberal Jewish Synagogue offers an exciting series of workshops and talks, culminating in a special programme of words and music weaving together the stories of emigré composers commemorating National Holocaust Memorial Day.

Shabbat Shirah: Sabbath of Song
Sat 23 Jan 2016, 11am
The Shabbat Shirah morning service inaugurates a weekend of music, featuring choral music by Viktor Ullmann composed at the end of his life in Theresienstadt. Guest Speaker in the service will be Norbert Meyn, Curator of Singing A Song In A Foreign Land - an exploration and celebration of music by composers who had to emigrate from Germany and Austria because of Nazi persecution. Norbert Meyn is a professor of German Lieder at the Guildhall School of Music and the Royal College of Music, as well as a professional singer. 

Leaves from the Tree of life--Blätter vom Baum des Lebens
Sun 24 Jan 2016, 5.30pm
The culmination of all our music-making in January will be an extraordinary programme of words and music commemorating National Holocaust Memorial Day. Join Norbert Meyn (tenor), Marianne Olyver and Nigel Yandell (violin/piano duo 'Postcards from Europe'), Cathy Heller Jones, and students from the Royal College of Music for a special evening of readings, music and song that weaves together the stories of emigré composers in a theatrical libretto by artist, writer and academic, Joseph Kohlmaier. 

The programme includes works by Gerhard Felix Braun, Hans Gál, Robert Kahn, Karl Rankl, Viktor Ullmann, Alexander Zemlinsky, Ernst Toch and others. 

For futher information and to book tickets for the event on Sat 24 Jan 2016


Some of Britain’s finest Jewish musicians will inspire and teach you from a vast array of topics. There will be stalls featuring many Jewish music societies and organisations you may wish to join and CDs and music for you to browse and purchase. 

Choose from 20 different workshops throughout the day with a chance to perform, participate, listen, learn, chat, network, eat, drink and have a stimulating or relaxing day depending on your mood. 

Session leaders for 2016 include: Viv Bellos MBE, Robert Davis, Joseph Finlay, Katie Haibach (New Director of Music), Daniel Jonas, Ronen Kozokaro, Vivi Lachs, Alexander Massey, Malcolm Miller, Polina Shepherd, Annita Tischler and Benjamin Wof

Tea, coffee and biscuits are available throughout the day, free of charge.

Last year we interviewed Viv Bellos MBE, the previous director of music at Alyth Gardens synagogue. Listen to the podcast here

  Fair info:

Date: Sun 21 Feb
Time: 10am to 5.15pm
Venue: North Western Reform Synagogue
Price: £25-35


Klezmer in the Peak District

JMI are proud to support KlezNorth, the north of England's premier Klezmer course which is run by a dedicated and talented team of Klezmoriim, song and dance leaders. KlezNorth 2015 was a resounding success with the very talented Deborah Strauss as Musical Director. KlezNorth 2016's dates are Friday 11th to Sunday 13th March. This year Kleznorth are delighted to announce that the Musical Director will be Ilana Cravitz, with a wonderful team of tutors including Andreas Schmitges, Susi Evans and Indira Buraczewska, as well as the Kleznorth Team.

This is a calendar highlight for Klezmer devotees. Attendees of KlezNorth 2016 receive a discount for JMI's summer schools, a strong incentive to attend both KlezNorth and JMI summer schools. More details on KlezNorth can be found at their website here

In 2014 we interviewed artistic director Christian David and Kleznorth's very own Phil Tomlinson to find out more about the festival and that can be heard here

  Kleznorth info: 

Date: 11-13 March 2016 
Venue: Derbyshire
Price: See website


Alternative Menuhin

An all-star line-up led by JMI's Artistic Director Sophie Solomon with Tcha Limberger, John Etheridge, Dave Kelbie, Andy Crowdy, Sheema Mukherjee and others will take place on 10 April 2016 at JW3 for what is set to be a stunning concert.

Yehudi Menuhin had a life-long involvement in a wide range of musical genres. He was the most prominent classical musician of his generation to embark on cross-genre collaborations and his work with Indian musician and sitar player Ravi Shankar and jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli is legendary. The programme will be directed by British violinist, songwriter, composer and Artistic Director of JMI, Sophie Solomon. The concert will celebrate the musical diversity of the violin in a tribute to Yehudi Menuhin during the centenary year of his birthday.

Tickets for this exciting concert are now on sale at JW3 here

  Concert info: 

Date: Sun 10 April 2016
Time: 8pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £25


Michael Grade, Maureen Lipman and David Schneider 

For the fourth year running, the unique JMI JOKE LUNCH returns on Tuesday 7th June 2016 to beautiful Kent House in Knightsbridge. We are thrilled to be welcome 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 our Master of Ceremonies. All funds raised at this event are deeply appreciated and are essential for JMI's continuing and expanding programmes of Jewish Music and culture. A delicious lunch will be interspersed with seriously large quantities of mirth and merriment. Save the date and secure your place by calling our office on 020 7898 4307 or by emailing 

  Lunch info: 

Date: Tue 7 Jun
Time: 12-3pm
Venue: Kent House

OT AZOY 2016  

Learn Yiddish

Discover JMI's famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all ages, levels and backgrounds, where complete beginners can learn to speak, read, write, sing and even dream in Yiddish in a week. Ot Azoy Yiddish language classes are held at 5 levels and are directed by the head of Yiddish at UCL, Dr Khayele Beer with a faculty of world class Yiddish tutors and experts. As well as hands-on classroom teaching, the course also features an extensive cultural programme of music, theatre, poetry and lectures from a world of Yiddish past and present. Shura Lipovsky, the outstanding Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. These courses are always sold out, attracting participants from across the world, so we recommend early booking. If you are booking before May 1st you receive £15 off the full price and if you are a returning student you receive a further £15 off making it a total of £30 off the full price. (Students/Senior receive only the early bird discount or the returning discount)

  Course info:

Date: Sun 7 - Fri 12 Aug
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150


Sing Yiddish

Our annual summer song school returns this year to provide a complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture. There will be repertoire classes, masterclasses and a Yiddish Choir for all. This year the confirmed faculty are course leader Shura Lipovsky, Berlin's Yiddish folk-bard Karsten Troyke, Rachel Weston and we are delighted to welcome back Lorin Sklamberg of Klezmatics/YIVO all the way from New York to teach on the faculty this year.

Singers will also be taught Yiddish for Singers with Helen Beer and no day will be complete without joining in the Yiddish choir. There are also social events, Yiddish theatre, film, concerts and much more, so do not delay and book your place early.

We interviewed Shura Lipovsky, Karsten Troyke and Lorin Sklamberg from the faculty about their love of the music, the songs and the culture. To hear that feature and to book your place, please visit here

  Course info:

Date: Sun 7 - Fri 12 Aug
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150


Learn Klezmer

We are delighted that after a very successful relaunch last August, our world famous Klezmer summer school return for 2016. Join our music school and learn klezmer this summer at KlezFest 2016. Here is a peek into what you can expect:

• Hands-on tutoring from world leading experts.
• Traditional klezmer; history, melodies, ornamentation, dance and accompaniment
• Play music in ensembles and delve into improvisational techniques
• Interpret scores, jam and perform to the public.

Faculty confirmed so far::

Ilana Cravitz (Violin - UK)
Susi Evans (Clarinet - UK)
Guy Schalom (Percussion - UK)
Francesca Ter-berg (Cello - UK)

More faculty to be announced very soon, please keep yourself updated by checking the website.

Minimum instrumental proficiency: Grade 5 or equivalent. No klezmer experience necessary. All are welcome. For more information and to book please visit our website here

  Course info:

Date: Mon 15 - Fri 19 Aug
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150-£120
Early bird prices available


(Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch)
Events by Date

Bucimis Trio 

Friday 8th Jan
Jam in a Jar
London More details here 

Friday 8th January
More details here

Vivi Lachs 
Sunday 10th January 7.30-10.30
On the Rocks Benefit
Short set of Cockney Yiddish songs about women
The Calthorpe Arms, 252 Gray's Inn Rd, London WC1X 8JR
Tickets £4-10 Proceeds to NIA Ending violence

Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch
Wednesday 20th January
Wigmore Hall
More details here

Thursday 21st January
More details here

Wednesday 27th January
More details here

Saturday 30th January
More details here

Guy Schalom and Magdy Tewfik 
Sunday 31st January
Green Note
More details here

Events by Band

Don Kipper 

Friday, January 22, 2016
7:30pm  10:30pm
Cable Cafe Bar 

Royal Academy's Masquerade
Saturday, January 23, 2016
6:30pm  10:30pm
Royal Academy of Art 
More details here

London Klezmer Quartet 
21 January 2016, 8pm 
Maidenhead, Berks 
Norden Farm Arts Centre

23-24 January
Lyme Regis

23 January 7.30pm 
Lyme Regis, Dorset 
Winter Warmer Dance -  
LKQ with Guy Schalom

24 January, 3pm 
Afternoon concert
Exeter Synagogue. 

24 January 7.30pm 
Portesham, Dorset 

27 January 7pm 

29 January 7.30pm 
Colchester, Essex 

All concert details can be found here

January 28, 7.30pm
Royal Spa Centre
Leamington Spa    
More details here



Daphna Sadeh & Jyotsna Srikanth

The acclaimed double bass player - Daphna Sadeh and the South Indian Violin player - Jyotsna Srikanth collaborate with new and exciting Balkan Jazz and Indian Carnatic compositions. Their performance will celebrate their virtuosity of Klezmer and Carnatic musical heritage together with new sound they create from the Violin and Double bass. The performance will feature Daphna's brilliant group The Voyagers with Stewart Curtis (Sax), Mark Bassey (trombone), David Frankal (piano),Chris Nicholls (drums). Daphna and Jyotsna will perform on Sunday Lunchtime February 7th at 1:30pm (doors open at 12pm ) at the Pizza Express Jazz club in Soho, London .
More details here

Drawing Life and The House of Schmutter

This month JMI's radio series continues with two features for you to enjoy.

The first is a feature on the UK tour of JMI's commission by composer Jocelyn Pook "Drawing Life".
We interview Jocelyn to find out more about her inspirations that went to writing this outstanding composition and how she brought the stories, poems and drawings of the the children of Terezin into the musical narrative of this piece. That interview and feature can be heard here.

The second is a feature on The House of Schmutter, a celebration and exploration of Jewish life in the east end through a full-immersion day of events, workshops, arts and culture at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green. We interviewed festival producer Liat Rosenthal and Cockney-Yiddish expert Vivi Lachs to find out more and that feature can be heard here

All our other radio shows and features since 2012 can be found archived for your listening pleasure at our radio page here

Marketing and Creative Projects Manager
(Maternity Cover)

We are looking for a 'people person' with experience of working closely with performers and creatives. A background in, and passion for, the arts and/or culture is necessary as are strong administrative skills.

Applicants will also have experience of developing on and off line marketing materials, writing copy and a thorough knowledge of the Jewish cultural world.

You will be required to create and implement marketing strategies to promote JMI and the work it does. Skills include the ability to manage, facilitate and administer events, projects and relationships with JMI's partner organisations and artists.

If you also have experience in nurturing relationships with the press and are diligent, organised and have a good eye for detail, please send JMI your CV accompanied by a personal statement. Apply here