Welcome to our September Newsletter

We have had a very busy summer at JMI thanks to the awesomely inspiring faculty and students of our Yiddish summer schools Ot Azoy and Goldene Pave and a hugely successful relaunch of Klezfest, our instrumental klezmer programme.

I'm thrilled to be able to announce that the Arts Council will again be supporting our new commission Drawing Life, composed by Jocelyn Pook with dramaturge Emma Bernard, facilitating a UK tour in January 2016, which culminates in a performance at the Barbican Milton Court. Do buy your tickets quickly as the tour is already selling fast.

We're gearing up now for Klezmer in the Park on September 6th, our annual free day long festival in Regents Park, with a great line up of bands and activities for all the family.

Wishing you a happy and fruitful new year

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It has been a significant year for JMI.

We have entered into our fourth decade and have expanded our mission to educate, entertain and inspire people with Jewish Music. We are absolutely thrilled to have just been awarded an Arts Council grant to tour Drawing Life in January 2016.

Our relaunch of the ever-popular Klezfest was a resounding success. This past year has seen an expansion of our Joe Loss Masterclass and Lecture series and sponsorship of the ECA's and the PTJA conferences at the University of Leeds. Other highlights include the outstanding EAJL song leader's conference led by Joey Weisenberg, Kleznorth 2015, the Alyth Music Fair and ICSM events throughout the year. 

We are honoured and excited to work with Jewish Book Week, JW3, UK Jewish Film Festival, Jewish Care, Jewish Museum and the music department at SOAS on many different programmes.

Together with our Joint-Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Board of Trustees and team at JMI, we wish our friends and partners, Shana Tova, and a sweet year ahead.




The Festival Returns

JMI's unique annual festival, Klezmer In The Park, returns again to Regents Park Bandstand. This year we have another brilliant musical line up for you to enjoy. Come on down for a fun-packed afternoon for all the family in one of London’s most beautiful parks with special guest presenter BBC Radio 3 DJ Max Reinhardt.

12.15pm: JFS Klezmer Band
1pm: Don Kipper
2pm: Stewart Curtis’ K-Groove
3pm: The Turbans
4pm: She’Koyokh
5pm: Tantz

Visit our Kids Zone featuring workshop and activities run by Jewish community organisations. Klezmer in the Park features Judaica and Jewish music stalls. Enjoy Kosher Food, Klezmer on Stilts and much more.

We interviewed Producer Noa Lachman, DJ Max Reinhardt, Susi Evans of She'Koyokh, Dan Gouly of Don KIpper and Darius Thompson of The Turbans and that podcast can be heard here


  Festival info: 

Date: Sun 6th Sep 
Time: 12-6pm
Venue: Bandstand, Regents Park
Price: Free

More Info here

Drawing Life across the UK 

We are thrilled to announce that JMI’s "Drawing Life," will tour the UK in January 2016. After winning Arts Council funding for the second time, we have secured three performances at Nottingham Lakeside, Warwick Arts and Barbican Milton Court London for the week following Holocaust Memorial Day 2016. The date for a London School performance in Tower Hamlets will be announced next month.

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. 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, we staged a gala performance of Drawing Life 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:  

Dates and locations: Lakeside Nottingham 27th, Warwick Arts 28th, Barbican 30th Jan

Singing for the End of Life

JMI are very proud to announce a 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 and there are currently groups in Brighton and Watford. JMI is supporting the formation of a new Companion Voices group, to be held at the North London Hospice from 6pm – 8pm on:

30 September
28 October
25 November
& 16 December (celebration) 2015

Price: £50 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, 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.

  Choir info:

Dates: Sep to Dec
Venue: North London Hospice
Price: £50 for the term
Book here 


Sing Yiddish!

JMI’s Zingt! is open to singers at all levels and is led by Rachel Weston, one of the UK’s leading Yiddish song performers. Learn traditional and new Yiddish songs and nigunim. Sing Yiddish songs in one to four parts with and without sheet music. A professional pianist will accompany you whilst you visit the melodic past of Yiddish tradition and folklore. Sing, make new friends and enjoy the music.

October 13 & 27
November 10 & 24
December 8

Culminating in a concert at JW3 on December 22 2015
£10 per session

To check if you are eligible for a concessionary fee, please e-mail
Book now at

We interviewed Rachel at the beginning of 2015 to find out about her vision for Zingt! and that podcast can be heard here 

  Choir info:

Dates: Oct to Dec
Time: 6.45-8.45pm 
Venue: JW3
Book here

Century of Menuhin

In the lead-up to the International Menuhin Violin Competition London 2016, 1989’s 1st Prize winner Joji Hattori and Menuhin Competition Austin 2014 Junior prize-winner Ludvig Gudim perform a gala concert with the Orpheus Sinfonia in the awe-inspiring iconic Temple Church on the banks of the River Thames. A programme will be presented spanning Bach’s vibrant Concerto for Two Violins to Poulenc’s remarkable Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings feature Temple Church’s wonderfully restored organ. This concert is guaranteed to be a truly unique evening of world-class performance, and a fitting prelude to Menuhin’s centenary in 2016.

A Prelude to Menuhin’s Centenary is part of Totally Thames and held in support of the Menuhin Competition London 2016. 

  Concert info: 

Date: Tue 22 Sep 
Time: 7pm
Venue: Temple Church, London
Price: £25-35

Book here

Many sides of 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.

  Concert info:

Date: 10 April 2016
Venue: JW3, Finchley Road, London
Book here 

Anotimpurile - The Seasons

This educational journey in Romanian and Yiddish storytelling, music, dance and accordion playing is composed of a 10 week programme introducing Jewish and Romanian folk music to primary school children.

Created around the four seasons as a narrative structure, children learn to play the accordion, sing traditional songs and learn folk dances. Each term culminates in a performance to parents, teachers and the children themselves.

This project initially created for the Harrow Music Education Hub by the Jewish Music Institute brings together some of the UK's best educators in Eastern European music to inspire students with a rich programme of folk tales and song.

Students explore the colour and energy of the four seasons through interactive sessions that include instrumental workshops, puppetry and dance. Central to the programme is the opportunity for each student to learn the accordion, one of the key instruments played in both Romanian and Yiddish folk music.

JMI delivers three courses per year, each consisting of 10 sessions per term with the aim of working with more boroughs in the future. We are delighted to announce that as we move into the third year there is a waiting list of schools who wish to work with JMI.
For more information on our schools programme please contact Naama Zohar at the JMI office on 0207 898 4307 or email her here




Northern Klezmer 

Come along and engage with music that is both exhuberant and tinged with melancholy. Learn to play in authentic Klezmer style with some of the UK's top Klezmer musicians. Susi Evans, on clarinet plays with bands She'Koyokh and London Klezmer Quartet. Frances O'Rourke on piano accordion has also performed with London Klezmer Quartet. Josie Wexler on fiddle, sings and plays with Minnie Moosika in Sheffield. The dance leader will be Kleznorth's Judith Plowman who has been running Klezmer dancing classes in Manchester for several years.
Suzi Evans - clarinet (London)
Josie Wexler - fiddle (Sheffield)
Frances O'Rourke - piano accordion (Manchester)
Judith Plowman - dance leader (Glossop)
Expect to learn about history, different repertoire, style and ornamentation. Join the Klezmer dance orchestra and perform in the evening 'Klezmer Keilidh'


  Klezmer day info:

Date: Sat 19 Sep
Venue: St Matthews, Stretford
Price: £8-25

Book here

Shostakovitch, Bernstein & Copland

This programme celebrates the life and work of Shostakovich on the 40th anniversary of his death. The Rautio Trio will perform dramatic 20th century works spanning two decades leading to the end of the Second World War.
Despite the apparent contrast of American and Soviet musical styles, these three composers are linked by several historical, cultural and personal connections and all display influences of Jewish Eastern European musical tradition. A champion of Shostakovich's music in the West, Bernstein's lively trio is an explosion of American post-depression optimism, whilst his mentor, Copland, draws us into a bleaker world with his striking trio based on a Jewish theme.
Shostakovich's youthful and exuberant first piano trio is programmed alongside the monumental second trio which plunges us back into the darkness of Stalin's USSR.

  Concert info:

Date: Thu 10 Sep
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Kings Place, London
Price: £14.50-29.5
Book here


A cultural cornerstone of the British musical establishment, the BBC Proms 2015 offer the public an enormous choice of music from across both classical and contemporary genres with many Jewish composers included in the programme. See details below.

Prom 64: Mahler
Thursday 3rd September
Royal Albert Hall
Details here

Prom 66: Schoenberg
Friday 4th September
Royal Albert Hall
Details here

Proms Late Extra: Follow The Rats
Friday 4th September
Elgar Rooms
Details here

Prom Extras: Bernstein
Saturday 5th September
Royal College of Music
Details here

Prom 67: Bernstein: Stage and Screen
Saturday 5th September
Royal Albert Hall
Details here


  Proms info:

Dates: Until 12 Sep
Venues: Various
Price: See individual listings

Klezmer Jam
Ilana Cravitz and the LKQ, fresh from leading at Klezfest, return to The Harrison for the monthly London Klezmer Jam session. This is an auspicious occasion for two reasons, firstly because Klezfest is still fresh in the minds of many and secondly it is the after party for Klezmer in The Park. So this month's Jam will be even more buzzing and buoyant than ever.
Sunday 6th September
The Harrison
Kings Cross, London
Details here

Oysland at Hootananny 
Oysland is a London-based klezmer band. Their exuberant sound is rooted in the Yiddish musical tradition. But they also draw on other music from abroad–in Yiddish, "muzik fun oysland" –including folk songs from across southern and eastern Europe and urban sounds from New York, Amsterdam, Istanbul and beyond.
Saturday 12th September
Details here

Ot Azoy regular, occasional pianist for JMI's Zingt! and all-round loveable Nick Cassenbaum tours his one man show across London with tales all about London. Featuring music from Don Kipper and friendly support from the likes of Joseph Finlay. What's not to like?
Performance Dates;
RichMix Saturday 5th September 7.30pm. Tickets here
Jamboree Wednesday 16th September 7pm- 11pm collaboration with klezmer band Don Kipper Tickets here
Camden People's Theatre Tuesday 13th October to Thursday 15th October 7.30pm. Tickets here


Polina Shepherd
Tuesday 1st & 15th September
Yiddish Choir
Details here

Don Kipper
Friday 4th September
Green Note
Details here

Festival of Jim
Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th September
Lewes, Sussex
Details here

Sir Ralph Kohn FRS
Tuesday 8th September
Wigmore Hall
Details here 

Don Kipper
Wednesday 16th September
Details here
Friday 18th September
Details here

A Celebration of Itzhak Perlman 
Thursday 17th September
Details here

Manchester Klezmer events
Fri 18th Sep Session organised by Frances O'Rourke to precede Manchester Klezmer Day. Please see item above for details.
Sat 19th Sep Manchester Klezmer Day
Mon 28th Sep The first of a regular session organised by Ellie Sherwood of L'Chaim Kapelye ( at the Ducie Pub (just behind the university)
All details here

Shirley Smart & Maurizio Minardi
Sunday 20th September
Arts Depot
Details here

Mahler: Symphony No. 4
Sunday 20th September
Details here

Mahler: Symphony No. 7
Wednesday 23rd September
Royal Festival Hall
Details here

Singers at Six: Mahler's Vienna
Thursday 24th September
St Giles, Cripplegate
Details here 

Saturday 19th September
Abergavenny Food Festival
Details here
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th September
Cornucopia Festival
Details here

Chroma Ensemble: Phillip Glass
Sunday 27th September
Kings Place
Details here


Volunteers wanted for Klezmer in the Park – 6th September 2015
We are currently looking for energetic, friendly and responsible volunteers, age 16+ to assist with several different roles across different time slots, from 10am-8pm.
The roles will include:
setting up and clearing of the area,
assisting with the children’s zone
and assisting the JMI team with various tasks.
Recommendation letters can be provided.

To apply please contact Naama Zohar here: or call the office on 0207 898 4307



Klezmer in the Park and Companion Voices

This month we look forward to an exciting and inspirational new year with events and programs that will serve to inspire and educate many.

This year's Klezmer in the Park features a stellar line up of just some of the UK's most brilliant Klezmoriim. We interview The Turbans, She'koyokh and Don Kipper to find out about the people behind the music and we hear from DJ and host Max Reinhardt and also the festival producer Noa Lachman about what inspires them most about the event. That feature can be heard here

We also interview Judith Silver to hear more about her inspirations as a vocal practitioner, choir leader and her new JMI commission of Companion Voices, the choir that sings bedside for end-of-life at North London Hospice. This feature can be heard here

To hear any of our podcast or radio features please visit our radio page here