Welcome to the April edition of the JMI newsletter…
March has flown by with some fantastic JMI projects, with a particular focus on children.  We were delighted to present two sell-out sessions of our Great Big Story Adventure workshop at the Jewish Museum as part of Little Bookniks.  This exciting interactive story workshop has proved thoroughly inspiring for all those who have taken part and we look forward to offering more sessions later this year.  We have also been working with Harrow Music Services on Antonimpurile – the Seasons, a pilot in-school programme for primary-age children, led by Monooka with guest musicians including She'koyokh's Meg Hamilton and Guy Schalom on drums.  This culminated with an exciting final concert, including 60 children playing klezmer and Romanian folk-inspired music on accordion and percussion.
April is another busy month.  Highlights include the UK's largest Yom Hatzmaut party, the Royal College of Music concert of four Viennese composers who escaped Nazi persecution and the Hackney Prom East European Klezmer Extravaganza.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Best wishes


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JMI Radio Show: Yasmin Levy  
Yasmin Levy Interview for JMI The latest episode of the Jewish Music Insitute Radio show features an exclusive interview with Yasmin Levy.

We also interview Drew Salida of Los Desterrados and get a sneak preview of their stunning new album, "Dos Amantes".

Plus we have singer and vocal teacher Rachel Weston in the studio to talk more about the JMI's vocal course Der Nayer Klang.

All that as well as music, news and forthcoming events makes for a packed show.

To listen, visit:
Ot Azoy & The Golden Peacock

May 1st: Discount deadline!

Our ever popular Yiddish Language and Song course's early-bird discounts are causing the flock to flutter. If you are thinking of getting in on the metsias, with only a month left to get the generous discounts and with limited places available we advise that you do not delay. If you are a student we can offer even more subsidies, scholarships and assistance. For more information on the courses and the booking discounts available, go to our website. If you still have any questions then please give us a call and talk your situation and needs through with us.
  Event information

Date: 11th-16th August
Venue: Vernon Square

Thanks from the Chair

The JMI JOKE LUNCH was held this year for the first time in the beautiful and historic Kent House, the home of Westminster Synagogue. 

The JMI team wish to profoundly thank our new Joint President, Lord Michael Grade, Maureen Lipman CBE and newly-joined David Schneider for helping to make this event the funniest and the most successful ever Joke Lunch. Additional thanks go to Renee and Rabbi Thomas Salamon for their warm welcome to the JMI team.

The generosity of you, our supporters, and the Jokester team, has allowed JMI to cover the support needed to run our OT AZOY/GOLDENE PAVE - Yiddish Song and Language course in August 2013 at SOAS. This year we are looking forward to welcoming more students than ever, and the JMI sponsorship that you have enabled us to offer, is crucial for each and every one of them.

Thank you everyone for your warmth, your laughter, your care for the work we do - and note that next year, we have already booked TUESDAY 11th March for our next Joke Lunch.
A wonderful way to share a few hours of delicious food, great friendship and many really funny jokes.

Jen Jankel
Chair, JMI.

Geoff Berner returns to London  
Geoff Berner plays East London!

Once Upon A Time In The East is JMI’s new series presenting original artists who draw on the heritage of Jewish music and culture and express them within the frame of 21st century London. Hosted at Jamboree, in the legendary Cable Street Studios, we pay homage to the old Jewish East End where identity, politics and people collided to help make London the global city it now is.

We launch the series with Canada’s finest alt-klezmer Geoff Berner and his trio.  Berner fuses klezmer melodies and Ashkenazic rhythms with a cabaret flavour and more than a dose of punkish posturing, gaining a cult following for his controversial wit, politically charged songs and legendary showmanship. 

With DJ Jamie Renton in support.
  Event Info

Date: Sat 6th July
Time: 8pm - Midnight
Venue: Jamboree
Price: £10 advance

Forbidden Music – Michael Haas Book Release  
Michael Haas - Forbidden Music
Michael Haas, the research director of JMI's Suppressed Music department, is about to publish his new book; "Forbidden Music". In this book he sets out to unravel the story of the Jewish composers who were banned by the Nazis and whose legacies had to a large degree all but disappeared. Despite their fate at the hands of the Third Reich, by the turn of the 20th century these composers were collectively responsible for countless original ideas in both the popular and serious music of the day, with many being at the leading edge of the century's most creative avant-garde.

Looking at the actual contribution of Jewish composers in Germany and Austria before 1933, at their increasingly precarious position in Nazi Europe, their forced emigration before and during the war, their ambivalent relationships with their countries of refuge, such as Britain and the United States and their contributions within the radically changed post-war music environment.
Forthcoming Sponsored Events  
JMI: proud to sponsor!
An Evening with Alkan, The 8th European Cantors Convention and the Movement for Reform Judaism's Music Conference
are just three forthcoming events that JMI is proud to be sponsoring.

An Evening with Alkan - 30th May

2013 is the bicentenary of the French-Jewish composer Charles-Valentin Alkan. One of the UK's leading authorities on Alkan, David Conway will talk on the composer's mysterious career and personality. British piano virtuoso Jonathan Powell, will present an evening of Alkan's most "Jewish" music and he will be joined by Claudia Conway in a performance of Alkan's rarely heard, unpublished, Hebrew songs.

8th European Cantors Convention - 17th to 20th June

Music and Jewish prayer have always existed in partnership. Every phrase in the bible has a sign to show how it should be sund or chanted. This is possibly the oldest is possibly the oldest known form of musical notation and is still sung in synagogues around the world every week. With that heritage also comes new compositions for cantors, service leaders, choirs and the congregation. Through this interaction between script and song, congregations the world over have benefitted from this vocal, emotional and intellectual participation for over two thousand years. This year the convention looks to build on its 7 year legacy by bringing two great learned authorites on Cantorial music, Sol Zim (USA) and Yehezkel Klang (Israel) from equidistant parts of the globe for its 8th Convention in London.

Movement for Reform Judaism's Music Conference - 11th to 14th July

JMI are proud to be supporting this years MRJ Music conference, housed mainly at the Sternberg Centre, will bring together an international spectrum of cantorial and musical talent for this 4 day event. Some of the faculty from the USA include; Craig Taubman, Josh Nelson, and Shira Kline. These will all appear together with the Cantor of Finchely Reform Synagogue; Zoe Jacobs.

Early-Bird rate available until 20th May for more information please visit:

For more information please visit the sponsored events page on our website:

Yom Ha'atsmaut Party: Israel is 65!
Yom Hatzmaut Party

16 April – Yom Hatzmaut concert - Wembley Arena
Possibly the largest Independence day party ever seen in the UK is being thrown to celebrate Israel turning 65. Wembley Arena will host a stellar line up of Israeli artists which includes: Ishtar with Alabina, Ivri Lider alongside UK Singer Alexandra Burke and many many more.
For more information and to book tickets please visit:

Singing a Song in a Foreign Land

24 April  - Royal College of Music - Singing a Song in a Foreign Land - Music for String Quartet & Voice

The Royal College of Music continues its exploration of music and emigration with this concert featuring works which channel the experiences of émigré composers. The concert presents compositions for voice and string quartet by four Viennese composers who escaped from Nazi persecution and settled in exile in Britain, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. 
Supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union.
Tickets: £8

Hackney Prom East European Klezmer Extravanganza

28 April – Hackney Prom East European Klezmer Extravaganza.

The Merlin and Polina Shepherd quintet take us on a journey which crosses borders and takes us deep into ourselves. They bring together Klezmer, the music of Jewish Eastern Europe, with Demotika and Fasil from Greece and Turkey, as well as tunes from Hebraic, Yiddish and Russian traditions.
Tickets and booking information
Looking ahead to May  
Los Desterrados Album Launch
7 May – Los Desterrados album Launch at The Jazz Cafe
Celebrated London based Sephardi band who are a highlight of our summer festival "Klezmer in the Park", launch their long awaited album "Dos Amantes" at the Jazz Cafe in Camden.
Tickets and information:

7 May – Avishai Cohen with strings at the Barbican
Israeli Jazz bassist of international acclaim supported by an ensemble of exceptional talent brings a new performance of compositions to the Barbican.
Tickets and Information:

19 May - Application Deadline – Israeli Music and Ernest Bloch music competitions
This prestigious award is open to all musicians of the highest quality; with a total prize fund of £3000 and once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunities for 1st and 2nd prizes. This is a chance for musicians of great talent to elevate themselves to an international stage.
For all the details on how to apply including the terms and conditions, please visit:
Looking ahead to June  
June highlights forthcoming
3rd June – El Gusto Orchestra of Algiers - Barbican
Separated by history for fifty years, an orchestra of Jewish and Muslim Algerian musicians reunites.

20th June - European Cantors Convention
Two international scholars in Liturgical music, from USA and Israel,  join us here in London for the 8th Cantorial Convention

24th-28th June – SOAS Summer School: Klezmer Fiddle with Ilana Cravitz
One of the UK’s top teachers and performers who over the course of the week will teach how to play Klezmer fiddle. Open to all instruments and ages. Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent; no klezmer experience necessary.