Klezmer music

From Shtetl to Swing

Documentary. Between 1880 and 1924, 2.5 million Jews fled persecution in Russia and Eastern Europe and arrived in the land of milk and honey...America. Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Benny Goodman, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker and many others from the first and second generation of Jewish immigrants, combined their Jewish heritage with the African-American Jazz style, and changed the cultural face of their newly adopted homeland.

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Klezmer music in America: revival and beyond


Klezmer music has experienced changing musical content and social function since the late 19th. c. In the immigrant period, mostly Eastern European dance tunes were performed by fairly large groups (12-15 performers). As more klezmer music was recorded, it took on the role of a cultural buffer. From the 1940s to the 1960s, however, it shifted back to a live performance context (weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc.) and was associated especially with the Jewish resort milieu of the Catskills.

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Articles in Journals

Joel Rubin

American clarinetist, Klezmer musician and Ethnomusicologist

Joel Rubin is an American clarinetist, Klezmer musician, Ethnomusicologist, and scholar of Jewish music. Since becoming involved in the Klezmer revival in the late 1970s, he has been researching, teaching, and performing Klezmer music and related genres. He has been a member of, or performed with, such groups as Brave Old World, the Joel Rubin Ensemble, and Veretski Pass.