Hello and welcome to another packed JMI newsletter.

We are gearing up for an awesome summer here at JMI and you can hear all about it on this month’s podcast with interviews with, amongst others, Dr Alan Bern and Joel Rubin.

Meanwhile, this month, be sure to check out the amazing Swept Away series at Kings Place celebrating the music of 1920s Berlin and Vienna and remember you can catch the ever brilliant She’koyokh on tour too.

And don’t forget Klezmer in the Park is coming in September. Mark the date in your diary now!

All best wishes

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Learn Yiddish

Discover JMI's famous full immersion courses in Yiddish Language, Song and Culture for people of all ages, levels and backgrounds, where even complete beginners 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 Beer and her distinguished team of fellow Yiddishists, Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa, Annick Prime-Margules, Lily Kahn and Barry Davis. Shura Lipovsky, the outstanding Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. Last summer the course was full, attracting participants from across the world and this year also and therefore we recommend early booking.

We interviewed Khayele, Sonia and Lily from the faculty about their love of the language and what they all look forward to in teaching Yiddish at Ot Azoy. To hear that feature and to book your place, please visit here

Language School:

Date: 9 - 14 August 
Time: 930am - 8pm
Venue: SOAS
Price: £245 -  £130



Sing Yiddish

Our annual summer song school returns this year with the addition of new faculty, courses and syllabus. Once again the course will provide complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture. Each day will start with a repertoire class and will be followed by a teaching class.There will be a repertoire class in the afternoon, followed by masterclasses and a Yiddish Choir for all. This year the confirmed faculty so far are course leader Shura Lipovsky, Berlin's Yiddish folk-bard Karsten Troyke, Alex Knapp, Rachel Weston and we are pleased to confirm that Lorin Sklamberg of Klezmatics/YIVO will be coming 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

  Song School:

Date: 9 - 14 August 
Time: 930am - 8pm
Venue: LSOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £245 - £130


Learn Klezmer 

We are very happy that our world famous Klezmer summer school is back again for 2015. Join the world famous music school and learn klezmer this summer at KlezFest 2015. 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.

The international faculty will feature some of the very best klezmer musicians from around the world:

Dr Alan Bern (Piano / Accordion – Germany)
Ilana Cravitz (Violin – UK)
Joel Rubin (Clarinet – USA)

and outstanding guest tutors from the UK will be joining the faculty for masterclasses. Please keep yourself updated by checking the website.

Minimum instrumental proficiency, Grade 5 or equivalent; no klezmer experience necessary. All are welcome. We interviewed Ilana Cravitz, Alan Bern, Joel Rubin and Susi Evans and to hear that feature and for more information on the course, including how to book please visit our website here

  Klezmer School:

Date: 18 - 21 Aug
Time: 930am-10pm
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £165-£120


Sing Yiddish Together!

Led by Rachel Weston, a professional Yiddish singer, JMI’s Zingt! The People’s Chorus at JW3 is open to all. Participants learn traditional and new Yiddish songs, nigunim and specific ornamentations of this singing style. They sing Yiddish songs in 1 – 4 parts with and without sheet music, and nigunim mostly accompanied by piano but also a cappella.

June 2nd
June 16th

Culminating in a performance & last session on June 30th
from 6.45–8.45pm

£10 per session
To check if you are eligible for a concessionary fee, please e-mail 
Book now at

To hear a podcast with Rachel on Zingt! please listen here

  Choir info:

Date: 2nd, 16th & 30th
Time: 6.45-8.45pm
Venue: JW3, Finchley Rd
Price: £10 per session


Magnified and Sanctified

For the first time in Britain an International Academic Conference is being
devoted to the music of Jewish prayer. Internationally acclaimed scholars
in Jewish liturgical music will lead the programme presented jointly by the
School of Music, University of Leeds and the Academic Wing of the European Cantors Association.The conference is organised in association with the international research project "Performing the Jewish Archive" funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. For more information on the European Cantor's Association's full programme that will follow from Erev Shabbat through to Tuesday 23rd June, then please visit the ECA website here

  Conference info:

Date: Tue 16 - Fri 19 June
Venue: University of Leeds
Price: £160-85


The Continuum Ensemble 

Music in 1920s Berlin and Vienna: cool, sleek, jazzy and very modern. A generation of young composers swept away the 19th century and established a new kind of music that was bold, astringent, accessible and topical. But by 1934, denounced by the Nazi government and their music banned, they were swept away into exile leaving their work neglected and forgotten for over seventy-five years. Ripe for rediscovery, the exciting opera, chamber, orchestral and vocal music of Ernst Toch, Kurt Weill, Erwin Schulhoff, Mischa Spoliansky, Friedrich Hollander and others of this lost generation is performed in a festival of five concerts over three days, much of it never before performed in the U.K. These feature outstanding singers and soloists as well as informative pre-concert talks with leading experts and a reading of German poetry and literature from the 1920s. All concerts and events take place at King’s Place, London, N1.

We interviewed the conductor and co-artistic director of the Continuum ensemble Philip Headlam and the director of the International Centre for Suppressed Music, Michael Haas. You can hear that feature and read about the whole program here

  Weekend info: 

Date: Fri 19 - Sun 21 June
Venue: Kings Place, N1 London
Price: Various


Songs of Celebration

Shirei Chagigah is the new name for the Movement for Reform Judaism’s biennial music conference. It means ‘songs of celebration’ and reflects the celebration of music and prayer which we will enjoy over this very special weekend. USA faculty confirmed:  Merri Arian, Noah Aronson, Rabbi Noam Katz and Cantor Benjie-Ellen Schiller. UK faculty confirmed: Viv Bellos, Cantor Zöe Jacobs, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner,  Rabbi Josh Levy, Kath Vardi, Cantor Cheryl Wunch and Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers. Gain the tools and experiences to learn about and enjoy Jewish music and t’fillah (prayer). A unique opportunity to learn from the world’s foremost experts in the field of Jewish liturgical music. Through a series of workshops and services you will explore the use of music to enhance religious services, learn new melodies and choral harmonies for traditional prayers and be part of a remarkable community. We interviewed Cantor Zoe Jacobs for the MRJ conference two years ago and that podcast can be heard here

  Conference info:

Date: Wed 8 - Sun 12 July
Venue: Alyth, NW11 7EN
Price: Various 


Diversity of Yiddish Vocal Culture

The Golden Peacock song school will begin with a concert by the faculty of JMI's Yiddish Summer program. The concert will not only showcase the wealth of talent by the individual performers but also the vocal diversity in Yiddish culture.

Shura Lipovsky (Course director) is a highly valued performer and composer of new Yiddish songs. Karsten Troyke, is a Yiddish folk-bard with rare pieces of tango, folklore and theatre songs. Lorin Sklamberg is one of America's most celebrated contemporary Yiddish singers, a member of The Klezmatics and sound archivist at YIVO. Rachel Weston is a singer and song collector of Jewish and Yiddish repertoire and masters graduate from SOAS. Alex Knapp, a recognised academic composer and pianist, will accompany the singers on the grand piano.

This concert will be free to all students on both the Ot Azoy Yiddish Language course and the Golden Peacock Yiddish Song School. Members of the public who are not yet registered on the course will need to purchase tickets from our website here

  Concert info:

Date: Sun 9th August
Time: 3.15pm-4.30pm
Venue: DLT, SOAS, Russell Sq.
Price: £8-10


June to July

She'Koyokh are performing with the amazing Veda Slovena Bulgarian Choir on 11th June at the Forge, Camden. This will be a rare opportunity to hear Bulgarian voices with a 7-piece Klezmer/Balkan band, so do your best to be there!

Salisbury International Arts Festival, Wiltshire
Tues 2 June, 8pm
Info and tickets

Buckland Newton Village Hall, Dorset
Weds 3 June,
Info and tickets

Kids Concert @ Songlines Encounters Festival, Kings Place, London
Sat 6 June, 2pm
Info about the festival (4-6 June)

She'Koyokh + Veda Slovena Bulgarian Choir
Thurs 11 June, 8pm @ The Forge, Camden
Info and tickets

Global Rhythm Festival, Ipswich
Sat 11 July, 1-7pm (She'Koyokh 4.10-5.25)
Free entry


Chorus of Choirs

The Zemel Choir, the UK's leading mixed voice Jewish Choir will be celebrating and hosting its 60th anniversary in 2015 with the 4th European Jewish Choral Festival from the 11th-14th June in London.

In addition to the Zemel Choir, the Festival will include a further 5 choirs from France, Germany, Italy, and the Ukraine. These choirs are Ensemble Choral Copernic, Leipzig Synagogal Chor, Synagogal Ensemble Berlin, Coro Hakol, and Varnitshkes. The Festival will conclude with a Gala Concert at West London Synagogue.

Purchase of a ticket for the Gala Concert also entitles you to attend a choir-to-choir concert on 11th June at the Holiday Inn Hotel Wembley at 7.00pm. Please email if you also wish to attend the Thursday concert.

  Festival info:

Date: Sun 14th June
Time: 7pm
Venue: West London Synagogue
Price: £16-£14.50


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.

  Festival info:

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


British Friends of Israel Opera (pictured)
The Friends of Israel Opera hold a number of events throughout the year. From Gala evenings entertained by the most talented rising stars from the Meitar Opera Studio to special evenings at Covent Garden and the ENO, through to smaller informal evenings kindly hosted by supporters. Do not miss the chance to travel with them to see Carmina Burana and Tosca at the foot of one of Jewish history's most symbolic locations.
Carmina Burana - Fri 5th June
Tosca - Sat 6th June

For more info please see here

Shir at Mill Hill Music Festival
Shir will be taking part in this year's Mill Hill Music Festival with their own fusion of Klezmer, Israeli, Yiddish, Ladino, Sephardi and Simcha music - all played with a spontaneous energy, emotion and love for the rich and diverse repertoire they represent. Featuring Maurice Chernick on clarinet and vocals, Ivor Goldberg on guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and vocals, Piotr Jordan on violin and viola, Steve Rose on bass, piano and melodica and Ronen Kozokaro on percussion.
Mon 15 June
Mill Hill United Synagogue
For more information on this concert and the Festival itself please visit

Katsha'nes are an exciting new band, performing gems from the London Yiddish music-hall stage. As the East End immigrant Jews became upwardly mobile, they moved north to Dalston, Clapton, Stoke Newington and Stamford Hill and they took the East End Cockney-Yiddish music-hall songs with them. Join them as they go west, not to Goldene Medina but for Essex Unitarian Church. Expect songs and sketches that will make you laugh, cry and heckle. No Yiddish or Cockney language skills required.
Fri 19th June
Essex Unitarian Church
W8 4RT
More details about the band and the concert can be found here

Hebreo: The Search For Salomone Rossi 
An evening celebrating Renaissance composer Salomone Rossi, who gave the world the first collection ever of originally composed music for Hebrew psalms and prayers in 1622. JW3 will treat you to a screening of the documentary film Hebreo: The Search for Salomone Rossi introduced by its director Joseph Rochlitz, followed by a performance from early music specialists His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts, together with Minim Singers - in a first time collaboration - performing music by Rossi and his contemporaries. His Majestys Sagbutts & Cornetts are a group of virtuoso wind players who specialise in playing Renaissance and Baroque music in historically appropriate styles on original instruments who will be accompanied by chamber organ for this performance.
Sun 21 June
More information and tickets here


Fiddler on the Roof
The BBC Concert Orchestra is joined by Bryn Terfel playing Tevye in this classic musical adaption by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.
From Fri 5th June
Grange Park Opera
Details here

Don Kipper (Pictured)
Winners of the best newcomers award in the Moishe Beregovsky competition this group are heading up north to play a homecoming concert. One to watch!

Fri 5th June
Details here

Seen last year at Klezmer in the Park and returning this year too, these newcomers have been taking Klezmer the length and breadth of Britain. This month it's Bristol's turn.
Balkanikal Circus
Balter Festival
Fri 5th to Sun 7th June
Details here

Klezmer Jam
Join LKQ at the Harrison in Kings Cross for the monthly Klezmer Jam.
Sun 7th June
The Harrison
Details here

Thu 11th June 2015 at 7.00pm
The Chapel, WC1N 3BG
Tickets £15 UCLH staff £12 here
(Fundraising event for the UCLH Cancer Fund) 
Sun 14th June 2015 at 7pm
Lauderdale House, N6 5HG
Tel: 07444 637055
Tickets £12 and £10 conc here

Ivy House Music: Leonore Trio
One of the UK's best known and loved trios plays a selection of music by different composers including Mendelssohn
Sun 14th June
Details here

Classic Gershwin 
Seven Star Concerts presents the fascinating life story of the great American composer George Gershwin told through music and words. 
Tue 23rd June
Wilton's Music Hall
Details here


Lev-Yulzari and London in London

An evening of not-to-be-missed musical magic with the Lev-Yulzari Duo (Nadav Lev, guitar; Rémy Yulzari, double bass) showcasing their cross-genre virtuosity and versatility. They combine classical, Spanish and ethnic Jewish music traditions to create their distinct personal sound. They will be performing with founder of the renowned and Grammy Award-winning Klezmatics, Frank London. We interviewed Remy Yulzari and Frank London and that feature will be available mid-June. Keep checking our radio page here
  Concert info:
Date: Wed 8th Jul
Time: 8pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £12


Swept Away and Klezfest

This month we bring you two podcasted features for your to enjoy.

The first is a feature on Swept Away, the concert series at Kings Place that will look at many of the Jewish émigré and suppressed composers of the Nazi oppression. We interviewed principal organiser Phillip Headlam of the Continuum Ensemble and the ICSM's director Michael Haas to hear more about this exciting curated weekend of events. Expect to hear the music of Toch, Weill, Schulhoff, Spoliansky and Hollander. Those interviews and the feature can be heard here

The second feature in this month's JMI podcasts is with the lead faculty of Klezfest. We interview Joel Rubin, Ilana Cravitz, Alan Bern and Susi Evans to find out much more the faculty as artists, as well as discovering more about the summer school's history, legacy and inspiration. We also find out what we can look forward to in this year's course. Those interviews and that feature can be heard here.

We have a large back catalogue of podcasts for you to browse and enjoy, covering all aspects of Jewish music with guests from all over the world and those features can be accessed by visiting this page here