Welcome to the first JMI Newsletter of 2013 – I'm excited to be bringing you news of some great events coming up soon to banish those winter blues.  I'm pleased to say that JMI is again supporting the fantastic Alyth Garden Synagogue's Jewish Music Fair which promises to be as inspiring and entertaining as ever, with an amazing line-up of workshops, talks and performances.  I'm also thrilled to be able to announce this year's collaboration with Jewish Book Week at Kings Place – JMI is coproducing the opening night of Book Week this year with a double-bill tribute to one of the greatest Jewish poets and songwriters, Leonard Cohen.

Also new for 2013 is Der Nayer Klang, our bi-monthly vocal workshop programme for singers and musicians led by Rachel Weston which will focus on Yiddish song and Niggunim.  This kicks off on February 6th at SOAS and I encourage you to sign up for what promises to be a very enriching set of sessions.

We are busy putting the finishing touches to our summer school programme and will have some exciting announcements to make in the next newsletter…

Happy New Year and see you all very soon

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Jewish Music Fair 

We are proud to be supporting Alyth Garden Synagogue's annual Jewish Music Fair again this February. You can choose from 30 different workshops throughout the day including choral singing, torah cantillation, shofar blowing, Sephardi song, and klezmer music. There will be a chance to learn and perform as well as enjoying the relaxing sociable buzz of the day. You will have the opportunity to learn from some of Britain’s finest Jewish musicians including Merlin and Polina Shepherd, Ilana Cravitz, Guy Schalom, Chani Smith, Benjamin Wolf, Daniel Jonas and Judith Silver. There will be stalls featuring many Jewish music societies and organisations you may wish to join and a market area with an extensive range of CDs and music on sale.

For more information or to book tickets please cllick here.

  Event information

Date: 17 February  
Time: 10:00-18:00
Venue: North Western Reform Synagogue, Alyth Gardens, NW11 7EN
Price: £10-£20

Jewish Book Week - The Words & Music of Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen has had many incarnations: seen by many as a living musical legend, he has been a novelist, poet, folk singer, and Buddhist monk. Admitting to influences as wide ranging as Hebrew prayer and Lorca, Cohen himself has in turn inspired generations of artists. Salman Rushdie said, “If I could write like that, I would.”

Jewish Book Week, in conjunction with the Jewish Music Institute and Faber Books presents an evening of appreciation for Cohen’s poetry, prose and lyrics.

Part 1 – Words
In the first part of the evening, there will be a discussion of Cohen’s lyrics and continuing legacy with music journalist Dorian Lynskey, musician Sophie Solomon, and poet, Daljit Nagra.

Part 2 - Music
In this second part of the evening, a stellar cast of self-confessed Leonard lovers, including Emily Barker, Mara Carlyle, Liz Green, Ed Laurie, Sam Lewis and Sophie Solomon, offer their own versions of Cohen’s music, backed by a house band featuring some of London’s finest musicians.

Tickets are selling fast, so we recommend booking your seat early to avoid disappointment!
  Event information

Date: 23 February

Part One

Time: 19:30pm
Venue: Kings Place, Hall One
Price: £9.50 / £19.50 for both shows

Part Two

Time: 21:00pm
Venue: Kings Place, Hall Two
Price:  £14.50 Online*/ Online Savers £9.50** / £19.50 for both shows

Musical East End Walk

Due to popular demmand we are pleased to announce there will be another Musical East End Walk to take place in May 2013.  David Rosenberg will capture the essence of the old Jewish East End with interesting and unusual facts accompanied by the musical mastery of Dave Shulman and Zac Gvirtzman who will take you through a musical journey with renditions of pieces by local East End boys such as Ronnie Scott, Solomon Schwartz, Joe Loss and Bud Flanagan.
  Event information

Date: 19 May 2013
Time: 11:00-13:00 & 14:00-16:00
Venue: Whitechapel Gallery
Price: £10, under 10's go FREE

Der Nayer Klang

‘Der Nayer Klang' is a new vocal workshop programme for singers and musicians which focuses on the two major strands of the Jewish Eastern European vocal tradition; Yiddish song and Niggunim.
The first workshop of each month will explore lesser known songs from the Yiddish folk, contemporary and art song traditions. The second workshop of the month will focus on the voice as a tool for inner reflection via the medium of Chassidic Niggunim, (wordless melodies).
Come and discover the captivating charm of Yiddish song through exploring cultural, linguistic and musical narratives of Jewish Eastern Europe.

Der Nayer Klang will be led by Rachel Weston, one if the UK's leading Yiddish song experts. She has studied and performed Jewish music throughout the UK, North America and Israel both performing and researching Jewish vocal repertoire. She graduated last year from SOAS with a Master’s in Ethnomusicology.

Workshops will be starting on February 6 and run bi-monthly throughout term time at SOAS, Russell Square.
  Event Information

Date: Bi-monthly from 6 February 
Time: 19:00-21:00
Venue: SOAS, Russell Square
Price: £8 (£6 conc.) drop-in rate, £26 (£21 conc.) for 4 sessions

Ot Azoy! and the Golden Peacock
JMI’s famous full immersion course in Yiddish Language and Culture for people of all ages, levels and backgrounds – where even complete beginners learn to speak, read, write and even dream in Yiddish in a week. Classes are held at 4 levels, led, as ever by Helen (Khayele) Beer with her popular team of  Sonya Pinkusowitz, Heather Valencia and  Lily Kahn and with Barry Davis presenting films. Shura Lipovsky, Director of the JMI Yiddish Song School, will be teaching a daily session of Yiddish through song. You will also be amazed at how much you are able to learn about reading writing and speaking Yiddish in only one week.

Booking will commence soon.  Contact for more information.
  Event Information

Date: 11-16 August 2013 
Time: 9:30-18:30
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Square Campus, WC1X 9EW

Emunah Young Musician of the Year Competition

Solo musicians and singers aged 8-18 are invited to enter the national Emunah Young Musician of the Year 2013 competition run in conjunction with the Jewish Chronicle. Heats will be held on Sunday 3 February at the Royal Academy of Music in London and on Sunday 10 February at Leeds College of Music.  The winner will be chosen at the competition finals and showcase concert in London on Sunday 3 March when the judges will be: Malcolm Singer, Director of Music at the Yehudi Menuhin School; opera singer Teresa Cahill, concert pianist Norma Fisher and Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard. The competition raises funds for the Lord and Lady Sacks Music Therapy programme at Emunah projects in Israel and will benefit children who can no longer live in their own homes.  The overall winner will receive £500 of musical instruments for his or her school, courtesy of Wienerworld, with the option of donating part of the prize back to the charity.

The closing date for entries is Friday January 18. Details on or call 020 8203 6066.