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Jewkbox Live

Details

Date:
Tuesday 13th September 2016
Time:
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Cost:
£15 – £20

Venue

Jewish Museum
Raymond Burton House 129 – 131 Albert Street
London, NW1 7NB
+ Google Map

Part of September JAM: JMI Festival of Jewish Arts and Music

Jewkbox Live: Celebrating the Recording History of Jewish Music

Learn more about the seminal Semer record lable from Lorin Sklamberg and listen to music from Sklamberg and The Shepherds as they take us on a musical journey. Explore the exhibition Jukebox, Jewkbox: A Century on Shellac and Vinyl after hours after hours and enjoy a tour by curator Joanne Rosenthal.

Jukebox, Jewkbox!

About the exhibition

Explore the Jewish Museum’s exhibition Jukebox, Jewkbox! A Century on Shellac and Vinyl after hours and enjoy a tour by curator Joanne Rosenthal.

In the late 19th century, a German-Jewish emigrant to the USA changed the world. With Emil Berliner’s invention of the gramophone and the record, the age of mass entertainment found its first global medium. Go on a musical journey of discovery through popular culture, featuring records that changed lives and the technology that made it happen. This interactive exhibition takes that moment in history as its starting point, exploring the experience of the 20th century through shellac and vinyl, celebrating the history of Jewish inventors, musicians, composers, music producers and songwriters.

See early examples of phonographs and gramophones and immerse yourself in the sounds of the 20th century; from Jewish folk music to Yiddish theatre songs, from Broadway musicals to rock‘n’roll via the rebels of punk and psychedelic rock.

Hear personal stories from artists, musicians and collectors. Explore the art of the record sleeve and enjoy a display of 500 records including iconic sleeves from Amy Winehouse, the Ramones, Bob Dylan, and Barbara Streisand.


Sklamberg and The Shepherds

Sklamberg & the Shepherds brings together three renowned performers of traditional Eastern European Jewish music: Lorin Sklamberg, cofounder and lead singer of the Klezmatics; clarinetist/composer Merlin Shepherd, a uniquely innovative force in the klezmer renaissance; and Polina Shepherd, a virtuosic vocalist/pianist/composer originally from Siberia. This fresh collaboration blends traditional and newly composed Yiddish and Russian song with klezmer and southern Mediterranean music.

More information here


Lorin Sklamberg

Lorin Sklamberg

Lorin Sklamberg is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Yiddish-American roots band the Klezmatics. He has been heard on innumerable recordings and live shows, solo and in collaboration with such diverse artists as Itzhak Perlman, Jane Siberry, Theodore Bikel, Chava Alberstein, Ehud Banai, Yoni Rechter, Emmylou Harris, Tracy Grammer, Neil Sedaka, Natalie Merchant and Tony Kushner. He has composed and performed for film, dance, stage and circus, and has produced a number of recordings of world and theater music. He also teaches Yiddish song from São Paulo, London, Paris and Weimar to Kiev and St. Petersburg. His and Frank London’s programs of Hasidic “spirituals” have resulted in three critically-acclaimed compact discs. Ongoing collaborations include Saints and Tzadiks, a concert and cd combining Yiddish and Irish songs created together with Dublin-born chanteuse Susan McKeown. Recent projects: contemporary klezmer pioneer Alan Bern’s Semer Label Reloaded, a celebration of Jewish recordings made in Berlin 1933-38, the award-winning Yiddish-Bavarian collaboration Alpen Klezmer with Andrea Pancur and Ilya Shneyveys, Sklamberg and the Shepherds, a joyous vocal/instrumental collaboration with Merlin and Polina Shepherd, and composer Jocelyn Pook’s Drawing Life, a multi-media song cycle commissioned by JMI. By day Lorin serves as the Sound Archivist of New York’s YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. “One of the premier American singers in any genre.” – Robert Christgau, All Things Considered, National Public Radio.Lorin Sklamberg (New York)

Lorin Sklamberg is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Yiddish-American roots band the Klezmatics. He has been heard on innumerable recordings and live shows, solo and in collaboration with such diverse artists as Itzhak Perlman, Jane Siberry, Theodore Bikel, Chava Alberstein, Ehud Banai, Yoni Rechter, Emmylou Harris, Tracy Grammer, Neil Sedaka, Natalie Merchant and Tony Kushner. He has composed and performed for film, dance, stage and circus, and has produced a number of recordings of world and theater music. He also teaches Yiddish song from São Paulo, London, Paris and Weimar to Kiev and St. Petersburg. His and Frank London’s programs of Hasidic “spirituals” have resulted in three critically-acclaimed compact discs. Ongoing collaborations include Saints and Tzadiks, a concert and cd combining Yiddish and Irish songs created together with Dublin-born chanteuse Susan McKeown. Recent projects: contemporary klezmer pioneer Alan Bern’s Semer Label Reloaded, a celebration of Jewish recordings made in Berlin 1933-38, the award-winning Yiddish-Bavarian collaboration Alpen Klezmer with Andrea Pancur and Ilya Shneyveys, Sklamberg and the Shepherds, a joyous vocal/instrumental collaboration with Merlin and Polina Shepherd, and composer Jocelyn Pook’s Drawing Life, a multi-media song cycle commissioned by JMI. By day Lorin serves as the Sound Archivist of New York’s YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. “One of the premier American singers in any genre.” – Robert Christgau, All Things Considered, National Public Radio.


Polina Shepherd

Polina Shepherd (Skovoroda) was born in Siberia and grew up in a home where songs were regularly sung at a family table. Now an internationally renowned performer, she brings the songs of the Steppes and the Shtetl up to date with passion and haunting soul. Her singing, though based on traditional forms, cuts a unique sound deeply rooted in east European Jewish and Russian folk song. Growing up in Tatarstan also placed her close to  Islamic ornamentation and timbre which can be heard in her unique vocal style and four octave range.


Merlin Shepherd

Merlin Shepherd’s clarinet provides the perfect foil for his deep musicality. Whether he’s playing traditional Klezmer with the Sound&Light Cinematic Duo or wild ecstatic music with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars and Boban Marcovic, or free-form wailing with Aaron Alexander’s Midrash Mish-Mosh or playing with his own quartet, his music is a powerful and emotional force that redefines the instrument.


Semer Reloaded

Semer Reloaded
(Piranha Records)
Click here

A Golden Age of Jewish music almost forgotten – the songs captured in 1930s’ Berlin by Hirsch Lewin on his Semer label. The Semer Ensemble brings this astonishing music back to life with critically acclaimed concerts and their first album, recorded live at the Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin, in November 2015.

1920s Berlin, a Golden Age of Jewish music and musicians. In this milieu we find Hirsch Lewin, formerly a forced laborer conscripted to Germany from his native Vilnius during World War I. After the war, Lewin decides to remain in Berlin, finds work in a bookstore, and eventually starts his own business: the Hebräische Buchhandlung (Hebrew Bookstore), Grenadierstrasse 28. The year is 1930.

In the midst of Berlin’s immigrant center, the Scheunenviertel, Lewin sells books in Hebrew; history books, children’s books and more; prayer shawls, candles and other religious items. His speciality: gramophone records! In 1932, Lewin creates his own label, “Semer”. One year later, the Nazis come to power, forbidding Jewish musicians to perform in non-Jewish settings. Semer becomes a Noah’s Ark for Jewish musicians who have nowhere else to go. For five years, Lewin makes recordings at a feverish pace, creating a precious time capsule of a world facing annihilation. On November 9, 1938, SA hordes attack the Hebräische Buchhandlung, demolishing stock and store, including 4,500 recordings and 250 metal plates. The memory of the Semer label falls into oblivion for the next 60 years.

Fast forward. From 1992-2001, musicologist Dr. Rainer E. Lotz travels the world to track down the Semer recordings. Miraculously, he is able to recover and restore almost the entire catalogue. In 2012, the Berlin Jewish Museum Berlin commissions New Jewish Music luminary Alan Bern to create new interpretations of the archival recordings. Bern puts together a world-class ensemble of musicians from all ends of his musical world – America and Berlin, the old generation and the new. Bern: ”It’s amazing, but 80 years after the destruction of this culture there is once again a critical mass of musicians in Berlin able to take on a project like this.”

Drawing amply from this new wealth of Berlin talent and backed up by jazz master Martin Lillich on bass, the ensemble brings together two of the most prolific pioneers of Jewish music – Lorin Sklamberg and Paul Brody – with four leaders of the new generation of powerful performers – Daniel Kahn, Sasha Lurje, Mark Kovnatskiy and Fabian Schnedler.

The Semer Ensemble’s depth and virtuosity can and does match the entire breadth of Hirsch Lewin’s original Semer label recordings. Its fresh interpretations and provocative, contemporary arrangements open a time tunnel between 1920s Berlin and today’s New Jewish Music: Berlin cabaret, Russian folk songs, Yiddish theater hits, operatic arias and cantorial music are just a small sample of this remarkable repertoire.


Video Trailer


Semer Label Podcast


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