Growing up as a liberal Jew in London in the 90's I don't remember having much fun in Synagogues or liking Jewish-related things. Through a serendipitous series of events I 'discovered' Klezmer music in my early 20's and this was partly what inspired me to spend some time studying at NEC in Boston. Knowing the Klezmer legacy of the school and having teachers there who were instrumental in the American Klezmer Revival period in the 1970's such as Hankus Netsky from the Klezmer Conservatory Band and having worked with numerous inspirational musicians from the Klezmer & Improvisation scene that had attended this school, I knew it was the place for me.
During my time in Boston I was invited on several occasions to perform at the Boston Synagogue, the only surviving Synagogue in the centre of town, which was rebuilt after an aggressive regeneration programme in the 50's where the slummy down area was bulldozed.
Nat Seelen, of Boston Klezmer band Ezekials Wheel skilfully curated a long season of events celebrating New Jewish Music and I am greatful to have had the chance to try out some of my own ideas there as well as to perform with Klezmer Fiddler and composer Abigale Reisman to showcase her original compositions.
So rarely is there funding from within the Jewish community and particularly the Jewish Arts community to provide a solid platform for professionals who work with Jewish music directly to develop and showcase their work. It is great it is happening and it should happen more!
Thank you to Nat for your enthusiasm and invitation to be part of the series, to Susan and the team at the Boston Synagogue.
Pandemic mask times. (Much stricter in Massachusetts than the UK of course) They don't have Boris to contend with over there.
It was to meat new musical collaborators and keep my creative focus during those cold winter months in Boston.
Supporting by JArts Boston.
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