Welcome to JMI's May Newsletter,
We’re sending this a little early to give you a final reminder of the May 1st deadline for early bird registrations for our Summer School programme – Ot Azoy, Golden Peacock and Klezfest -  so if you needed a reason to book your place, this is it! We have an awesome world-class faculty as ever, and I’m particularly excited to be welcoming Frank London to join us for this year’s Klezfest. 

Also, May 1st is the Sephardi Festival at JW3 with a not-to-be-missed gig featuring three of the UK’s finest – Baladi Blues, Los Desterrados and and She'koyokh. With family activities and culinary events, this promises to be a fantastic celebration.

There’s lots of great concerts around London this month – so do be sure to check out our listings section below and enjoy the Spring weather


Support the JMI and enjoy
the many benefits by
becoming a FRIEND


Visit our website for more news and info...


Jennifer Jankel, the Trustrees and the JMI team wish everyone a very Happy Pesach.

Jewish Music Institute




In Memoriam

To commemorate Yom Hashoah JW3 and JMI are hosting an event together at JW3. This event will feature words, prayer and music to remember those who perished in the Shoah.

The Nazi campaign against so-called ‘degenerate music’, saw works by composers such as Weill, Schoenberg and Hindemith denounced and suppressed. More than 70 years later, much of this music is still unknown. This event will feature a performance piece by Peter Braithwaite and Nigel Foster with visual projections and art from James Symonds.

There will be choral music from the Shalom Youth Choir.

Speakers will include Dr. Malcolm Miller and Rabbi Roni Tabick.

This event is endorsed by both the Slovakian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HE Lubomir Rehak and the Czech Ambassador to the United Kingdom HE Libor Sečka.

We interviewed Peter Brathwaite and Nigel Foster about the piece and that interview can be heard here


  Event info:

Date: Wed 4 May
Time: 7pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £8


Learn Yiddish

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 5 levels and are directed by the head of Yiddish at UCL, Dr Khayele Beer, with a faculty of world class Yiddish tutors and experts. As well as hands-on classroom teaching, the course also features an extensive cultural programme of music, theatre, poetry and lectures from a world of Yiddish past and present.

Shura Lipovsky, the outstanding Director of The Golden Peacock (Goldene Pave), will also teach a daily session of Yiddish through song. We are very happy to welcome back Brussels' Yiddish expert Sonia Pinkusowitz, UCL's Lily Khan, SOAS's Barry Davis and for the very first time, Yuri Vedenyapin all the way from Harvard.

These courses are always sold out, attracting participants from across the world, so we recommend early booking. If you are booking before May 1st you receive £15 off the full price and if you are a returning student you receive a further £15 off making it a total of £30 off the full price. (Students/Senior receive only the early bird discount or the returning discount)

We interviewed Khayele, Sonia, Lily, Barry and Yuri from the faculty. To hear the feature and to book your place please visit here

  Course info:

Date: Sun 7 - Fri 12 Aug
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150


Sing Yiddish

Our annual summer song school returns this year to provide a complete immersion in Yiddish song and song culture. There will be repertoire classes, masterclasses and a Yiddish Choir for all. This year the confirmed faculty are course leader Shura Lipovsky, Berlin's Yiddish folk-bard Karsten Troyke, Rachel Weston and we are delighted to welcome back Lorin Sklamberg of Klezmatics/YIVO all the way from New York. The year we are delighted to welcome Joseph Finlay as accompanist.

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, Lorin Sklamberg and Rachel Weston 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

  Course info:

Date: Sun 7 - Fri 12 Aug
Venue: SOAS Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150


Learn Klezmer

We are delighted that after a very successful relaunch last August, our world famous Klezmer summer school returns for 2016. Join our music school and learn klezmer this summer at KlezFest 2016. 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.

Faculty confirmed so far::

Ilana Cravitz (Violin - UK)
Alan Bern (Accordion - USA/DE)
Frank London (Trumpet - USA)
Susi Evans (Clarinet - UK)
Guy Schalom (Percussion - UK)
Francesca Ter-berg (Cello - UK)

More faculty to be announced very soon, please keep yourself updated by checking the JMI website.

Minimum instrumental proficiency: Grade 5 or equivalent. No klezmer experience necessary. All are welcome. For more information and to book please visit our website here

We interviewed Ilana, Frank, Alan, Susi and Francesca to hear about their excitement for Klezfest and their passion for Klezmer and that podcast can be heard here

  Course info:

Date: Mon 15 - Fri 19 Aug
Venue: SOAS, Vernon Sq.
Price: £250-£150-£120
Early bird prices available


Michael Grade, Maureen Lipman and David Schneider 

For the fourth year running, the unique JMI JOKE LUNCH returns on Tuesday 7th June 2016 to beautiful Kent House in Knightsbridge. We are thrilled to be welcome back our Joint-President Lord Grade CBE and actress Maureen Lipman CBE to entertain us with their selection of hilarious jokes. Compere David Schneider,one of the funniest stars of UK stage and screen, will again serve as our Master of Ceremonies. All funds raised at this event are deeply appreciated and are essential for JMI's continuing and expanding programmes of Jewish Music and culture. A delicious lunch will be interspersed with seriously large quantities of mirth and merriment.

Places are already filling up - secure your seat by calling our office on 020 7898 4307 or by emailing

  Lunch info: 

Date: Tue 7 Jun
Time: 12-3pm
Venue: Kent House


Companion Voices

JMI are very proud to continue our 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. Currently there are groups in Brighton and Watford.

Join the Companion Voices group for 2016 here

The sessions will be held at the North London Hospice from 6pm – 8pm on:

13 April
11 May
&  8 June (celebration) 2016

Price: £75 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 by email here or by telephone: 020 7898 4307

We interviewed Judith to find out more about her as a practitioner and the choir itself. That interview can be heard here

  Group info:

Dates: January to June
Time: 6pm-8pm
Venue: North London Hospice
Price: £75 for full term



JMI and JW3 are very excited to present their new singing workshops with an exciting difference!

Whether you can read music or not - Rachel Weston welcomes you to her dynamic set of six workshops. Together, melodies from around the Jewish world will be explored from ancient tunes to modern niggunim, from Yiddish to Ladino and from well-known modern composers. Join this group, form friendships, share your enthusiasm for the Jewish tradition of enjoying and making music.

Twice monthly Tuesdays on the following dates:

10th & 24th May
7th & 21 June
5 & 19 July 

Time: 6.45-8.45pm

  Zing info: 

Dates: May to July 2016 
Time: 6.45-8.45pm
Venue: JW3
Price: £12 per session 



Bahla sonically paints a picture from the broad spectrum of Jewish music traditions, drawing inspiration for new compositions from liturgical melodies, North African rhythms and Yiddish Art songs. Their music seamlessly combines intimate chamber group textures and roaring, contemporary jazz inspired interplay. It tells a story of the past but always looks ahead, embracing our multi-cultural, modern society.

The group was selected to perform at the BBC Proms in 2015 as a promising emerging band and since then have performed at The Wigmore Hall, The Cockpit Theatre and The Vortex. Their much anticipated debut EP will be available in June. 

(As an open platform for sharing their research, they have created 'Potchka', Click to find out more)

Joseph Costi - Piano/Compositions
Tal Janes - Guitar/Compositions
Greg Gottlieb - Double Bass
Ben Brown - Drums

Highlights from 'The Festival of the Between' at the Vortex last month:


1st May - The Green Note, Camden info
30th May - The Vortex (RAM Finals), Dalston info 
28th October - Dales Brewery, Cambridge info
13th November - The Omnibus, London Jazz Festival, Clapham info

JMI interviewed the band in December 2015 and that interview can be heard here


Hafla Sephardi

JW3's first ever Sephardi Festival: a celebration of film, food, history, music and more.

The Happy Hamsa
Sunday 1 May 3pm

Crafternoon: Happy Hamsas
Sunday 1 May, 2pm

Sephardi Wine Routes
Sunday 1 May, 4.30pm & Monday 2 May, 2pm

UK Jewish Film: The Midnight Orchestra
Sunday 1 May 6pm, 8.15pm, Monday 2 May 12noon & 6.45pm

Baladi Blues, Los Desterrados and She'Koyokh
Sunday 1 May, 8pm

Sephardi Classics from Around the World
Monday 2 May, 2.30pm

Sephardi London
Monday 2 May, 4pm

Delicious Dishes; Tasty Tales
Monday 2 May, 7pm

  Festival info:  

Date: May 1 & 2 
Venue: JW3 London


Maya Levy and Yoav Oved

In celebration of Pujya Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai's 50th Year, Golden Celebrations, Shrimad Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur (London Centre) in hosting a unique 'AMAZING GRACE' Multi-Faith concert. The concert will be taking place on Sunday 8th May 2016 at the prestigious Union Chapel, Islington. The evening promises to be a programme of spiritually uplifting music uniting faiths from the world over. Coming together in a spirit of harmony and elevation, music transcends all barriers and touches the heart of all. Faiths to be present include; Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Baha'I and Zoroastrianism.

Maya Levy and Yoav Oved will perform at this event.

  Event info:

Date: Sun 8th May
Time: 7.30pm 
Venue: Union Chapel, London



Echoes from the Mantuan ghetto, provided by music from the Hashirim Asher Li’Shlomo, a collection of psalm settings in Hebrew by Salomone Rossi, an Italian-Jewish contemporary of Monteverdi. Performed by a prize-winning young ensemble founded in Galilee, the concert also explores Rossi’s secular madrigals and trio sonatas.

Part of London Festival Of Baroque Music 

  Event info:

Date: Mon 16th May
Time: 7.30pm 
Venue: St John's Smith Square
Price: £15-30


Philippe Sands’ A Song of Good and Evil offers new insights into the conflict and connections between three men at the heart of the Nuremberg trial who shared a passion for music. The renowned German actress Katja Riemann, who acts as a co-narrator, celebrates her London debut at this event.

16 & 18 May
Kings Place
More information here

  Event info:

Date: 16 & 18th May
Time: 8pm 
Venue: Kings Place, London
Price: £24.90-13.50


Memorial Concert

The late Sir Nicholas Winton rescued 669 Czech children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. There will be a memorial for him on May 19th at The Guildhall, (which would have been his 107th birthday), followed by a concert to celebrate his life and raise money for refugee children, at St John's Smith Square on May 20th, which is open to all.
The concert will feature readings by actors Jason Isaacs and Rupert Graves, and young musicians from the Birmingham Conservatoire. Its principal, Julian Lloyd Webber, has said, "I am delighted that our cello students from Birmingham Conservatoire will be joining in the musical celebration on this momentous occasion!"
There will also be performances by professional musicians who are the children and grandchildren of some of the Kindertransport children whose lives Nicholas Winton saved and who would not be here, were it not for him. These artists are: cellist Sara Lovell, pianists Karin Lechner and Natasha Binder, violinist Marianne Olyver.

  Concert info:

Date: Fri 20th May
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: St. John's Smith Square
Price: £18-5


The Great Big Yiddish Parade

The last session had the band and chorus working together for the first time and created a fabulous sound. They are looking for more people to sing, to create a big vocal sound to be heard alongside the brass. All new singers and musicians welcome. No Yiddish necessary, but it’s a great way to learn.

Sunday 22nd May 12-3pm. Sliding scale £8-15
SOAS main building, rooms 51 and 51A. Nearest tube Russell Square.

Katsha’nes: Cockney-Yiddish Music Hall 

After big crowds at national and local Limmuds, Katsha’nes are performing at a more intimate house concert in North London on Lag ba’omer. Limited space so book early.

Wednesday 25th May, 7.30. Suggested donation £10 (£7)
For venue and booking information book below.




(Picture: Students of the Yehudi Menuhin School)

London Klezmer Jam
Sunday 1st May
The Harrison, Kings Cross, London
More details here

Stewart Curtis
Sunday 1st May
More details here

Yaz Fentazi
Friday 6th May
Southbank, London
More details here

Tell Tale Tusk
Friday 6th May
Jamboree, London
More details here 

Students of the Yehudi Menuhin School
Monday 9th May (pictured)
Wigmore Hall, London
More details here

Kronos Quartet play Steve Reich
Saturday 14th May
Saffron Hall, London
More details here

EdKlez Course
April and May
Edinburgh, Scotland,
More details here

Manchester Klezmer Concert
Sunday 8th May
The Klondyke, Manchester
More details here

The Gershwins in Hollywood
Thursday19th May
JW3, London
More details here

Geneva Camerata: Balkan-Baroque!
Thursday 19th May
Kings Place
More details here

Solana and Van Twolips
Friday 20th May
Jamboree, London
More details here

Dunajska Kapelye
Friday 20th April
no. 14 Bacon St, London
Details here

Friday 20th May
Clapham North, London
More details here

The Turbans 
Friday 20th May - London
Thursday 26th - Manchester
Sunday 29th - Scotland
More details here

Friday 20th May
Styx, London
More details here

Don Kipper
Saturday 21st May
Jamboree, London
Details here

Baladi Blues Ensemble
Saturday 21st May

More details here

Steve reich's music for 18 musicians
Tuesday 24th May
Southbank, London
More details here

Petro Klampanis, Gilad Heckselman & Bodek Janke
Sunday 29th May
Vortex, London
More details here



Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre

Out of the Shadows in Leeds and York features cabaret, chamber music and songs from the Terezín Ghetto, choral music by émigré composers, a powerful oratorio of Jewish suffering and redemption. The programme is presented by such illustrious artists as The Nash Ensemble of London, the New Budapest Orpheum Society (Chicago), and cello–piano duo Noreen and Phillip Silver (Maine, USA). They also present an exhibition of drawings by children in the Terezín ghetto, and several premieres: a recently-discovered harp piece by Gideon Klein, works by 12-year-old prodigy Josima Feldschuh, and newly-composed opera scenes based on Jewish archival materials, all prefaced by the first ever performance in York’s Clifford’s Tower.

“Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music and Theatre”,is taking place in June 2016, with pre-festival events at Clifford’s Tower in April.
There will be 17 performances over 23 days, as well as the Clifford’s Tower performances, from cabaret to chamber music, straight drama, melodrama, solo song, oratorio, children’s performances, and more besides.
1st-23rd June
York and Leeds
More details here


Leading the congregation

EAJL'S T’filla Leaders European Retreat is for people who are hungry to learn, people who lead or who want to lead prayer, people who sing in tune & use their natural voice, people who have fluency in reading Siddur Hebrew and people who have a love of community.  4th UK Retreat for a very special learning experience for all prayer leaders.

For 2016, the retreat will be led by four inspirational teachers from all over the world - Joey Weisenberg from the USA, Rabbi Dr. James Jacobson-Maisels from Israel, Chazan Jalda Rebling from Germany and Chazan Jaclyn Chernett from UK.

We interviewed Jaclyn and Joey. That featured can be heard here

Date: 7-10 July 2016
Venue: Wantage, Oxfordshire


For well over a decade now, SOAS is proud to offer an exciting summer school of world music with a unique programme of courses which are both varied and truly multi-cultural. If you are passionate about music and cultures, there is something for everyone. This summer they are offering a more varied programme than ever. These intensive and inspiring courses include; practical workshops, taster sessions and master classes for students of all backgrounds, beginners to advanced, amateur and professional.

The full course prospectus is here 

Judith Silver: A World of Jewish Song in a Week

This course offers an opportunity to explore a rich array of songs in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino - some also include English lyrics. The material will focus partly on Judith’s own compositions (including some from her songbook, 'Jewish Songs for Harmony Singing') as well as priceless gems from both folk and liturgical sources. Harmonies and opportunities to improvise will abound and everyone is welcome, regardless of experience. 

An emphasis on joy, companionship, connection and inspiration runs throughout Judith’s work. Whether performing or teaching, composing or leading music in services, she always brings her own deep experience of the power and potential in singing and her passion to share these with others

Course Dates: 11-15 July, Mon-Fri 6-8pm
Course Fee: £90 (concs £70) 
More info here
  Date: 11-15 July 2016
Venue: SOAS, London


This month JMI's radio series continues with three special features for you to enjoy.


Ot Azoy, our Yiddish Language Summer School is happening this summer with an international faculty of excellence ready to teach for the week long intensive course. We interview Course director Khayele Beer, Brussels University's Sonia Pinkusowitz-Dratwa, UCL's Lily Kahn, SOAS' Barry Davis and new this year Harvard University Yiddish Lecturer Yuri Vedenyapin. That feature can be heard here


The Golden Peacock Yiddish Song School returns to JMI this summer with an esteemed international faculty of famous singers. Outstanding course director Shura Lipovsky from Amsterdam, Berlin's excellent Yiddish Folk Bard Karsten Troyke, London's wonderful singer Rachel Weston and coming all the way from New York's YIVO institute is the Klezmatics lead singer Lorin Sklamberg. All four were interviewed by us and that feature can be heard here.


Klezfest relaunched last year with an astounding result with a huge amount of students joining to learn this wonderful rich musical heritage. We are continuing on its success with Klezfest this year bringing together faculty from across the UK, USA and Europe. In this feature we interview Ilana Cravitz, Frank London, Alan Bern, Susi Evans, Francesca Ter-Berg and Guy Schalom. That feature can be heard here

All our other radio shows, podcasts and features since 2012 can be found archived for your listening pleasure at our radio page here

Seeking New Members 

Founded in 1926 in London's East End, the London Jewish Male Choir has, for 90 years, sung at the most prestigious venues and toured across the world, perfoming with some of the greatest cantors such as David Kusevitsky, Naftali Herstik, Pinchas Faigenblum and Moshe Korn. Today they perform a diverse repertoire of Jewish music including yiddish, musical theatre, cantorial, folk music and contemporary music. Recent international tours have included Strasbourg and Berlin, where they sang at the Louis Lewandowski Choral Festival. With 2016 being their 90th anniversary they are reaching out and are keen to welcome new members.

You will find a friendly and welcoming group who perform several concerts a year and who seek to have fun whilst striving for the highest musical standards. They rehearse on Thursday evenings in North London. Contact musical director Joseph Finlay for more details or via their website