From Nowogrodek to New York City and Beyond: The Music and History of Klezmer

Thursday, November 16

USA 12:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm ET

UK 8:00 pm / France 09:00 pm / Israel 10:00 pm

The talk will last approximately 90 minutes

About this talk

The word "klezmer" comes from the Hebrew "kli zemer" which means "instrument of the singing". Over time it came to signify the musicians themselves, and in current usage, it also refers to the musical genre of East European Jewish dance music.

As the Jewish people moved throughout Central and Eastern Europe, the music was influenced by local cultures. The mass immigration of Jews to the United States coincided with the development of commercial recording technology, and recordings made between 1912 and 1940 have been the major source for the current revival of klezmer music.

This lecture will look at the development of klezmer from medieval times through the 20th century, with the inclusion of photos, video and musical examples (some from Yale Strom himself) as a way of illustration. Many of the locations that will be discussed have been personally visited by Strom, who has done ethnographic research there.

About Yale

Yale Strom is a professor in the Music San Diego State University. Prior to this he taught at New York University. Yale is also one of the world's leading ethnographer-artists of klezmer and Roma music and history. He has conducted extensive ethnographic research throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans since 1981. He has made nine documentary films, written fourteen books, has had numerous photo-exhibitions throughout the world and with his band Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi has made fifteen recordings. They run the gamut from traditional klezmer to "new" Jewish jazz. His band is on the ARC-UK label. Strom has also composed for theater, film, radio, television, symphony orchestras and various artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Sara Caswell, Salman Ahmad and many others. His latest documentary film is "American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs". His newest music recording is Yale Strom's Broken Consort: Shimmering Lights, and his latest audio drama ( is "Debs in Canton."

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