Hello and welcome to the JMI October newsletter,

It’s astonishing how swiftly this year is passing and that very soon the wonderful UK Jewish Film Festival will be upon us. JMI have a longstanding partnership with UKJFF and this year we will be collaborating to bring you ‘Sophie Tucker and the Joe Loss Quartet’ at the Barbican Cinema. Do book your tickets now for what promises to be a super event.

While we’re on the subject of tickets, our Drawing Life tour in January 2016, which culminates in a performance at the Barbican Centre in London, is selling fast and so I’d urge you to book as soon as you are able.

Many thanks to everyone who came down to yet another hugely successful Klezmer in the Park this year. It is always such a great way to bring an end to the summer and send everyone toes tapping into the new year.

Very best

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Drawing Life on tour 2016

 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


UKJFF 2015 & JMI


Sophie Tucker and The Joe Loss Quartet

“For those who think Madonna and Lady Gaga represent the heights of outrageousness, this is a reminder that they have a very large debt to payThe Hollywood Reporter

Bringing to life the story of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated performers: Sophie Tucker. “The Last of the Red Hot Mamas” was born to Orthodox Jewish parents and, through a combination of talent, attitude, and a genius for self-promotion, became the world’s biggest female star by the late 1920s. Featuring interviews with Tony Bennett and Carol Channing, this is a loving tribute to Tucker’s astonishing career, an irrepressible trailblazer who set a world-shaking precedent for today’s female superstars.

The screening will be preceded by live music from the Joe Loss Quartet from 3.15pm.

A partnership between the UK Jewish Film Festival and Jewish Music Institute.

We interviewed Michael Etherton and Jennifer Jankel, daughter of Joe Loss, and that feature can be heard here

  Event Info:

Date: Sun 15 Nov
Time: 3.15pm
Venue: Barbican
Price: £5-11.50


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


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


Future Menuhin

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Yehudi Menuhin’s birthday, the Menuhin Competition returns to London for the first time since 2004. International soloists and 44 of the world’s best young violinists will star in an 11-day festival of concerts and events for all ages.

The competition is hosted by the Royal Academy of Music and presented in partnership with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Southbank Centre, Yehudi Menuhin School and held in association with the Jewish Music Institute, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Live Music Now.

With a star-studded jury, many of them former prize winners, and a programme dedicated to Yehudi Menuhin, the Menuhin Competition London 2016 calls for entries from young violinists born after 17 April 1994.

The applications have to submitted by 31st October and if you're interested for yourself or someone you know, please visit here



Closing date: Sat 31st Oct


Alternative 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


Klezmer Century

For those of you who did not manage to secure a place at one of the many events during this summer's London Klezmer Festival, JMI's "Klezfest", this is the opportunity to own a piece of history.

One of the key events in Klezfest was the
Album Launch of “Chekhov’s Band”, Eastern European Klezmer Music from the EMI Archives 1908-1913. This album was produced by Julian Futter and with a 40 page booklet written by the internationally renowned clarinettist and ethnomusicologist, Joel Rubin and the distinguished expert on Jewish recordings Mike Aylward, the recordings are put into their musical and cultural perspective. For more than one-hundred years the recordings on this CD had lain, forgotten and unheard in the EMI archives. Until their rediscovery, not many people had an idea of how a typical pre-first world war Eastern European Klezmer band actually sounded. What we knew was based on recordings made at a later date in the USA by recent immigrants. This ground breaking release of these extraordinary early recordings rewrites the story of Jewish instrumental music. Their exuberance and life affirming feeling allow us a glimpse into a world that has completely vanished.

We interviewed Joel Rubin and Julian Futter about this release ahead of the launch and that feature can be heard here

The album is now on public release and it available through Honest Jons Records here





Learn and play Klezmer

The new academic year offers a chance for students to come and play Klezmer together at SOAS. If you are a student at SOAS and know other students who would like to play Klezmer, please join the SOAS Klezmer Band. The band is a student-led society, with help, advice and support from both the SOAS music department and JMI. Last year's band was engaged, enthusiastic and successful. They performed in and around the UK and many of their members performed at the JMI Klezfest summer school.

If you would like to find out more information about the band and how to join, then please visit the facebook page here





Debate and Concert 

Silenced Voices: Alexandre Tansman, Viktor Ullmann, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Schreker

Exploring the music and lives of three composers whose music was suppressed, this event will examine the impact and the legacy of the Nazi persecution of Jewish composers. The concert will be introduced with a debate between philosophers Robert Eaglestone and Andrew Bowie and musicologist Erik Levi. They will examine the impact of the Nazi programme of banning music and art as 'degenerate' or 'Entarte'. The debate will ask and discuss the question; "What does this loss and reconstruction mean for music and freedom of expression, aesthetically, historically and philosophically?"

The concert will follow the debate with performances of four pieces of music dedicated to the music of Silenced Voices (Les Voix Etouffees). Composers such as Franz Schreker (1878-1934), Alexandre Tansman (1897-1986), Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) and Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) have all fallen victims to state terror and persecution and their music has never been heard before.

Concert programme:
Franz Schreker Der Wind
Alexandre Tansman Musique à Six
Viktor Ullmann Liederbuch des Hafis, Op. 30
Arnold Schoenberg Ode To Napoleon Buonaparte, Op. 43

Assaf Levitin baritone 
Ensemble Voix Etouffées
Amaury du Closel conductor

JMI Partners with the ICSM (International Centre for Suppressed Music) and more information and interview features can be found here

  Event info:
Date: Mon 16 Nov
Time: 7pm
Venue: Kings Place, York Way, N1, London
Price: £9.50-12.50


America and the Jews - Concert with Daniel Hope

One of the world's most celebrated violinists, Daniel Hope, brings a fabulous "America and the Jews" concert to Central Synagogue's International Concerts Series. Playing incredible masterpieces ranging from Leonard Bernstein's plangent Sonata for violin and Piano to Aaron Copland's effervescent Hoedown, from Miklos Rosza's gorgeous love theme from Ben Hur to John WIlliams's Schindler's List - by way of three of George Gershwin's most popular songs ("Summertime", "It AIn't Necessarily So" and "I Got Rhythm"), and pieces by Dvorak and Ravel. This promises to be an unforgettable concert.

Concert at Central Synagogue, 36-40 Hallam Street, London W1W 6NW. Book via: 020 7580 1355

  Concert info: 

Date: Sun 1 Nov
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Central Synagogue, W1W 6NW
Price: £20 


Enchanting and ornate, Ismail Fencioglu is a rare talent whose soaring vocals and fleet-fingered oud playing conjure images of the Bosphorus at sunset and transport the listener to a different time and place. Together with Shtreiml, led by Jason Rosenblatt, one of the world’s premier harmonica players, the ensemble performs compelling original music rooted in the Jewish and Ottoman traditions, but brimming with hard rock sensibilities and dexterous improvisational know-how. Featuring Jason Rosenblatt (harmonica, piano, vocals), Ismail Fencioglu (oud, vocals), Rachel Lemisch (trombone), Thierry Arsenault (drums) and Joel Kerr (bass).

  Concert info: 

Date: Wed 18 Nov 
Time: 8pm
Venue: JW3, London
Price: £20


Moishe's Bagel on Tour 
Moishes Bagel are on tour with their score written for the Soviet silent film 'Salt for Svanetia' this autumn. The first set will be a straight gig (with plenty of Bagel classics) and the second half will see them playing the score live along with the film. Here are the dates:

Thursday Oct 1st, Eden Court, Inverness
Friday Oct 2nd, An Tobar, Mull
Saturday Oct 3rd, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, Skye
Sunday Oct 4th, Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Friday Oct 9th, Queens Hall, Edinburgh 
More details here

Jewish Song Session 
Jewish Song Session with Chani Smith 
Chani Smith is a musicologist, composer, lecturer in Hebrew, writer, and wife of Rabbi Danny Smith of Edgware Reform Synagogue.
Sunday 11 October at 7.30pm Hendon venue All welcome, no singing experience needed Friendly and informal atmosphere £3 entry.
For more information contact Diana Bramson email - Landline - 020 8905 9093 Mobile - 07932 604731

Treasure (Pictured)
Treasure, or Der Oytser, is a comic masterpiece of Yiddish theatre. Written in 1906 and first performed in 1912, it remained popular in the Yiddish repertoire until the 1940s: most notably, Max Reinhardt’s production in Germany in 1919, an English-language version on Broadway in 1920, as well as a production staged in the Vilna Ghetto in 1943. A timeless fable that digs down into the depths of our folly and greed and, in the midst of the chaos, celebrates one woman’s ingenuity.
20 October - 14 November
Finsborough Theatre
Details here




Saturday 3rd October
Jamboree, London
Details here

Harmonic Series: Philip Glass 
Saturday 3rd October
Hayward Gallery, London
Details here

Klezmer Jam 
Sunday 4th October
The Harrison, Kings Cross, London
Details here

Friday 9th October
Jamboree, London
Details here

Amadou Diagne & Mark Smulian 
Southbank Centre
Friday 9th October
Details here

Phil Tomlinson's Yiddish Song Workshop 
Saturday 10th October
Pilrig St Paul's Church Halls, 1b Pilrig St, EH6 8AH,
Email Simon Carlyle

Saturday 10th October
The Artisan Bar, 35 London Road, EH7 5BQ,
for an evening Klezmer Session on Sat 10th October, 7.30pm
Email Simon Carlyle

Feldman: For Samuel Beckett
Saturday 10th October
St. John's Smith Square
Details here

Sunday 11th October
Arts Depot, Finchley
Details here

Guy Schalom & Baladi Blues Ensemble 
Saturday 17th October
Robert Ludlam Theatre, Derby
Friday 23rd October,
Brighton Early Music Festival 
Wednesday 28th October
Sands film, Rotherhithe, London 
All details here

Friday 16th October
Chats Place, London.
Details here 

Spielers Present Blitz
Sunday 18th October
JW3, London
Details here 

Don Kipper 
Wednesday 2st October
Jamboree, London
Details here

Theatre of the Wandering West
Sunday 25th October
JW3 London
Details here

Randy Newman
Monday 26th October
Royal Festival Hall
Details here

Tantz: Album Launch (pictured)
Thursday 29th October
Details here

Katsha'nes: Cockney Yiddish Music Hall
Saturday 31st October 
Seven Artspace, 31(a) Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds, LS7 3PD 
Details here

UKJFF 2015 & JMI

This month we look ahead to working with the UK Jewish Film Festival for the fourth year running with a special event of film and music at the Barbican. We interview UKJFF's Chief Executive Michael Etherton and JMI's CEO Jennifer Jankel to find out more about the event. In this interview we hear from Michael about how they came to choose the film 'The Outrageous Sophie Tucker' for the festival and we talk to Jennifer to hear about her late father Joe Loss and his musical legacy. The feature contains both music from Sophie Tucker and Joe Loss and his Orchestra and that feature can be heard here
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