A Summer in Europe - feels so good! Performing at the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow meant getting to perform with Grammy Award Winner Frank London’s Ghetto Songs project and an incredible line-up of artists including Karim Sulayman (vocals), Sveta Kundish (vocals), Brandon Ross (guitar/voice), Zeno De Rossi (drums), Ilya Schneyveys (keys & accordion) & Martin Lillich (bass) and of course once of my oldest musical pals and collaborators Frank (trumpets of many sorts). Frank has guided me through many a Klezmer journey and it was an honour to be part of this incredible band for the festival. The old Temple Synagogue in Kazimierz, Krakow could definitely have done with some air conditioning - it was about 40 degrees in there, but we made it through! I also managed to eat my body weight in Polish food - anything from cold Borsht mmm to Pierogi's, Georgian food and literally everything in between. Paying for it now buttttt now regr-eats!!!! I also got to hear my Chassidic Cantor fave from Brooklyn perform with some other incredible dudes featuring arrangements by the rather talented Jeremiah Lockwood. Lucky me. Ahhhh the Jewish eccentric-isms of Brooklyn, NYC.
Thankyou to Shendl Copitman for the beautiful Weimar photos.
Yiddish Summer Weimar is a different story - although I have been attending both festivals as a keen Klezmer-head kiddo it was wonderful to be back at this prolific Summer festival celebrating all things Yiddish, Klezmer and beyond through in-depth study into the language, music and dance in Weimar for weeks on end. Myself and Klemer Fiddler wonderboy & long-time pal Jake Shulman-Ment (lets call him JSM for short) have been talking about collaborating for years. Jake plays a lot of notes very fast and he never repeats himself twice. That guy has a way of bending rhythm and creating space and time in the music like no-one else. We did 3 shows over the weekend exploring some of our favourite tunes through improvisations and had a phat jam before I skipped town with some of my favourite musicians including Abigail Reisman, Mamaliga band (Rebecca, Matthias, Raffi, Rachel), Szilvia Csaranko, Susie Evans, Olga Baron, Lorry Black, Ilya Schneyveys, new found Klezmer cello brother Raffi Bowden and many many more.
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