By Jonathan Brodie
November 5, 2012
Klezmer, the traditional Jewish folk music of Eastern Europe, is powerful stuff. The up-tempo tunes could make an octogenarian dance. The poignant ones could make a cynic cry. Klezmer has migrated easily around the world and made itself at home everywhere. Swing bands in the ‘30s took it fresh from Vilna and gave it a new home in Flatbush. And where would we be without techno-klez?
Sunday, The Klezmatics (Frank London, trumpet; Lorin Sklamberg, vocals, accordion, piano; Lisa Gutkin, violin, vocals; Matt Darriau, reeds and kaval; Paul Morrisett, plucked strings; Richie Barshay, percussion) brought Klezmer to the Zelazo Center, as part of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Year of the Arts.
The ability to adapt is one of klezmer music’s greatest charms, but such flexibility doesn’t come without risk. If a genre of music welcomes anyone into the neighborhood, anyone can move in. The question is who, musically, will that be? Which way will the new arrivals make the music flex? The Klezmatics showed that they flex it the right way, toward the sublime.
Read the full article at ThirdCoast Digest.