Welcome to the May edition of the JMI newsletter…

We're gearing up for a busy summer at JMI. Bookings are coming in fast for our Summer Schools so we recommend booking now to secure your place for Ot Azoy and Golden Peacock. Der Nayer Klang, our bi-monthly singing programme, also returns to SOAS this term with Rachel Weston.

We're pleased to be supporting some other exciting musical events this month – Klezmer in the Park favourites Los Desterrados are launching their new album at the Jazz Café and Avishai Cohen will be performing at the Barbican.

We're also proud to announce that Michael Haas, Director of the JMI International Centre for Suppressed Music, will be launching his new book FORBIDDEN MUSIC The Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis on May 7th through Yale University Press so watch this space for further information on the forthcoming launch event.

And coming up in June – El Gusto at the Barbican, the JMI Cantors Convention and the SOAS World Music Summer School with klezmer tuition from Ilana Cravitz.

Be sure to pencil in a date for July – Once Upon A Time In The East -  our newly launched season of concerts at Jamboree on Cable Street – Geoff Berner and his own blend of anarchic klezmer folksongs.

All best wishes

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JMI Radio Show  
JMI RADIO Our monthly radio show on SOAS RADIO is ready to listen to.

Our May 2013 show showcases some of the great artists and events happening in the month.

Our producer Seonaid Weightman joins host Gil Karpas on air to interview AVISHAI COHEN ahead of his event at the Barbican. LOS DESTERRADOS also come into the studio to talk about their album launch at the Jazz Cafe and DAVID CONWAY joins us on the telephone from Kiev, Ukraine to tell us about the Jewish Composer and Pianist ALKAN.

As well as these features we also have information on other events plus lots of exciting new music.

You can listen to the show in its entirety and the individual features on our radio page here:

JMI Learning  
Der Nayer Klang

Der Nayer Klang

‘Der Nayer Klang‘, our vocal workshop programme for singers and musicians, returns for another term at SOAS. Led by Rachel Weston it will focus on the two major strands of the Jewish Eastern European vocal tradition. The first workshop of each month will explore lesser known songs from the Yiddish folk, contemporary and art song traditions. The second workshop of each month will focus on the voice as a tool for inner reflection via the medium of Chassidic Niggunim (wordless melodies). Workshops will start in May 2013 and run bi-monthly throughout term time at SOAS Russell Square.

Places are limited in each session and you therefore are advised to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
  Event information

Date: 8 May - 19 June
Time: 7-9pm
Venue: SOAS
Price: £8 per session

Ot Azoy! and The Golden Peacock

Ot Azoy & The Golden Peacock

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 4 levels, led by world renowned Yiddish Lecturer Helen Khayele Beer and her distinguished team of fellow Yiddishists, Sonia Pinkusowitz, Heather Valencia, Lily Kahn and Barry Davis.

The Golden Peacock is the Yiddish Song course led by internationally acclaimed Yiddish singer and teacher Shura Lipovsky with esteemed colleagues Hilda Bronstein and Polina Shepherd. It is designed for advanced singers who wish to deepen their knowledge of the rich Yiddish song repertoire. Mornings are spent studying vocabulary, syntax, grammar and pronunciation with the outstanding language teachers of Ot Azoy!
  Event information

Date: 11 - 16 August
Venue: SOAS

May Event: Los Desterrados  
Launching their new album 'Dos Amantes' at the Jazz Cafe in Camden, Los Desterrados are building on their reputation of bringing a vibrancy to the ancient music of the Sephardic Jews. Fusing Spanish Flamenco, Gypsy melodies of the Balkans and Greece with the rhythms of North Africa and Turkey, the band have created a rootsy Mediterranean sound that is wholly their own.

Their forthcoming new album “Dos Amantes” will be previewed and they’re celebrating its forthcoming release with a party featuring a special live performance by a ten piece line up of the band. Guest artists will include Guy Schalom and Sheik Taha from the Baladi Blues ensemble and Pete Radcliffe from the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, plus DJ Jamie Renton before and after the band.

Date: 7 May 
Time: 7-12pm
Venue: Jazz Cafe
Price: £10

May Event: Avishai Cohen  
Israeli bassist, Avishai Cohen has earned his reputation as one of the world's greatest Jazz musicians. His rich compositions with vocals in Hebrew, Spanish and Ladino, combine his Israeli roots with his contemporary jazz background.  His latest project, Avishai Cohen with Strings, is the culmination of this musical journey, bringing the two worlds of classical chamber music and jazz together.

The evening's performance will include arrangements of several Israeli love songs, such as 'Nigun Atik' by the poet Nathan Alterman and melodies from Mordechai Ze'ira, one of Cohen's favourite composers. Ladino songs have also been arranged for strings, including the Argentine song 'Alfonsina Y El Mar', along with the powerful centre piece of Avishai's own, 'Concerto for Bass'.

Expect an evening of exquisite and moving music from this inspired Israeli composer supported by a truly gifted ensemble.

Date: 7 May
Time: 730pm
Venue: Barbican Hall
Price: £15-30

Books: Michael Haas  
Michael Haas, the research director of JMI's Suppressed Music department, publishes his new book; "Forbidden Music" this month. 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 contribution of Jewish composers in Germany and Austria before 1933, 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.

The book is published by Yale University Press and will be available from online Amazon and all good book stores.There will be a talk and book signing being given next month at the Chancellors Hall, Senate House, London. We will give you more information on this event in the next newsletter.
  Publication Date
7 May

Launch Event: 6 June
Time: 5pm
Venue: Senate House

Lecture & Recital: Alkan  
2013 is the bicentenary of the French-Jewish composer Charles-Valentin Alkan. An extraordinary musician, who was one of the greatest pianists of his day, he entered the Paris Conservatory aged just six years old and rose to be one of France’s most celebrated composers. As an adult he flourished as a piano virtuoso and teacher and became good friends with other great composers of his generation such as Liszt, Delacroix and Chopin.

In this exclusive event for New North London Synagogue, one of the UK’s leading authorities on Alkan, NNLS member 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, another NNLS member, Claudia Conway in a performance of Alkan’s rarely heard, unpublished, Hebrew songs.

Date: 30 May
Time: 730pm
Venue: NNLS
Price: £8-12

El Gusto
3rd June

Travel back to Algeria in the 1950s, when a blend of Berber sounds, Andalusian melodies, jazz and chanson were heard within the walls of the historic Casbah in Algiers. The music is called chaâbi - meaning 'of the people'; and it's played by groups of Jewish and Muslim musicians. Separated by history for fifty years, the 25-piece orchestra of Jewish and Muslim musicians returns to the Barbican after a critically-acclaimed performance in 2007. Together again, they share the passion that never left them, standing as a proof that music’s universality transcends prejudices. For those of you who know of Maurice el-Medioni, Enrico Macias, Raymond Leyris and Nino Biton will already know of this great cross-cultural heritage.

Barbican event details: here

European Cantors Convention
Tues 18 - Thurs 20

This year the convention looks to build on its seven year legacy by bringing two great learned authorities on Cantorial music from equidistant parts of the globe for its 8th Convention in London. Special guest Cantors included in the programme are: Sol Zim (USA), internationally celebrated composer, practitioner and educator from New York and Yehezkel Klang (Israel), an outstanding teacher and practitioner who has proved to be very popular in previous years.

JMI is supporting and collaborating with the newly formed European Cantors Association whose aim is to ensure that the beautiful and unique legacy of music in Jewish prayer continues to enhance synagogue services for future generations.

Convention details: here

SOAS Summer School
Klezmer Fiddle with Ilana Cravitz
Mon 24 - Fri 28

Come and discover the joys of klezmer with Ilana Cravitz (fiddle), one of the UK’s top teachers and performers. Over the course of the week you’ll learn how to play the soulful and celebratory music of Jews from Eastern Europe from the last century. We’ll be looking at tunes, ornamentation and accompaniment, as well as dance steps to go with the melodies that form this rich & enjoyable musical tradition.
Open to all instruments and ages. Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent; no klezmer experience necessary.

Course booking details: here
July: MRJ Music Conference  
Movement for Reform Judaism Music Conference 2013

JMI is proud to be supporting this years MRJMC.

Come together with musicians and singers from around the world for an energetic, inspiring musical experience.

Following the success of the 2011 event, the MRJ Music Conference is back and will be in London from the 11th – 14th July 2013.

Learn new repertoire and sing old favourites Shabbat services led by dynamic clergy and songleaders. Learn from experts in their field through a series of workshops and tefillot, offering the opportunity to learn for new repertoire – both for choirs and individual sh’lichei tzibbur as well as those who just love to sing.

An international faculty of cantorial and musical talent will include; Craig Taubman, Shira Klein, Cantor Rosalie Boxt, Cantor Zöe Jacobs, Josh Nelson and Cantor Ellen Dreskin to name a few.

Chose from multiple sessions including:
Composition and Song Writing, The Power of Community Choirs, Music for Young People Prayer, Adding Meaning With Music, Techniques for Storah-Telling, Outstanding Songleading on Camp, Creating an Effective and Exciting Synagogue Band.

There are various prices available, please see the MRJ website for details.

  MRJ Music

Date: 11-14 July
Price: £70-200

Forthcoming JMI Events  
Musical East End Walk Musical East End Walk

Take a musical walk through the Jewish East End.  In a special East End walk with music devised for the JMI, local historian and East End aficionado David Rosenberg will tell the story of the area from 1880 to the First World War through its buildings and their occupants, explaining the impact of Jewish immigration on all aspects of life, from housing and commerce to education and the arts.

The walk will take in landmark buildings such as the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Rothschild Buildings, the Workers Circle, the first Yiddish workers co-op and the first Yiddish theatre and guest musicians Dave Shulman (clarinet) and Zachary Gvirtzman (accordion) will pop up en route to perform pieces by local East End boys such as Ronnie Scott, Solomon Schwartz, Joe Loss and Bud Flanagan. Finish off the walk in style by stopping off at the Brick Lane Beigel Bake for an old-time taste of the East End.

19 May 2013

Geoff Berner Trio

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.

6 July 2013

  Musical East
End Walk

Date: 19 May
Meet: Whitechapel Gallery
Price: £10

Geoff Berner

Date: 6 July
Time: 7pm-12
Venue: Jamboree
Price: £10