Klezmer Concert and Lecture at Ithaca College

By Dave Maley, November 8, 2019
Performance and discussion of the Polish roots of Jewish klezmer music.

The klezmer ensemble Veretski Pass will be joined by clarinetist Joel Rubin in a concert and discussion at Ithaca College on Friday, Nov. 15. Free and open to the public, the event will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Textor 101.

Titled “The Making of Poyln: A Gilgul (Poland: A Metamorphosis),” the presentation will highlight a research project by Rubin and Veretski Pass into the Polish roots of klezmer music. With field and archival recordings and historic manuscripts, they demonstrate how they transformed both Jewish and Polish melodies into cohesive and colorful suites, peppered with lively and spiritual arrangements as well as their own compositions. The project is the meeting of Jewish and Polish music — a missing link of the klezmer revival.

Klezmer music of the late 19th and early to mid 20th century was a cultural bond that brought Jewish families and communities together. Inspired by the 1901 story “A Gilgul Fun a Nign (“Metamorphosis of a Melody”),” written by Polish Jewish author I.L. Peretz, the Veretski Pass repertoire draws from previously unknown Hasidic tunes, country dances and contemporary and 19th-century ethnographic collections as well as from field research by the musicians and their colleagues.

Veretski Pass is a trio of Jewish music veterans who have been at the forefront of the klezmer revival for over 25 years and whose output spans the ultra-traditional to the avant-garde. Rubin is considered to be one of the foremost clarinetists of the klezmer revival.

The presentation is sponsored by the Ithaca College Jewish studies program. For more information visit the Facebook event page or contact Peter Silberman, associate professor of music theory, history, and composition, at psilberman@ithaca.edu.