Friday, September 12, 2014

Klezmer Kick

I have been on a Klezmer Kick all week.  It started with a book from the Cookery book section at the thrift.  I picked up this book - A Wandering Feast - A Journey Through the Jewish Culture of Eastern Europe, by Yale Strom and Elizabeth Schwartz.

It covers a young man’s journeys, Yale Strom, in Eastern Europe in the early eighties when that part of Europe was still under communist rule.  The hospitality that was shown to him by the old Jewish folk who survived the holocaust, the stories they told him and the main reason for his visit, the music they shared with him.  He was especially looking for the vestiges of Klezmer music, had any survived through this genocide.

There are a few photos, pieces of music, some of the songs that he found and a recipe to go along with each visit and country.  He is a vegetarian and therefore some solid hearty down to earth vegetarian Jewish recipes.

I am enjoying my journey through this book.  Plus I had Mr. B. rake out any Klezmer Music he had on CD.  He had this one -  Michele Gingras Clarinet and the Cincinnati Klezmer Project, some great music on there and if you like clarinet, it will carry you away.  Such a Romanian lilt to many of those pieces.

It reminds me of an early eighties series still to be found on Your Tube “Fortunes of War” based on the books by Olivia Manning,  “The Balkan Trilogy”.  Fortunes of War stars Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, much of the theme music has the balalaika and Romany gypsy lilt.  In fact Romany gypsies played a lot of Klezmer music, very often playing at Jewish weddings and other Jewish events, so Klezmer was in their repertoire.

Also Itzhak Perlman playing Klezmer.


Have a great weekend.



  1. I have never heard of Klezmer but after listening to the video clip, i recognize it. Reminds me of Fiddler on the roof. The book sounds interesting.

  2. The book sounds fascinating.
    Hugs to you and have a great weekend,

  3. I wrote A Wandering Feast and if you want some more stories about Jewish life in Eastern Europe and the Roma who interacted with the Jewish musicians go to my website Plus I have several new klezmer/Roma world beat CDs out.


01 09 10