Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi at the Congregation of Moses with special guest Rachel Barton Pine
Date(s) - Saturday, November 14, 2015
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Congregation of Moses
Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi will be in concert at the Congregation of Moses Nov. 14 with special guest Rachel Barton Pine.
Violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer and playwright Yale Strom is a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Rom communities since the early 1981.
At first, his work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music among these two groups. Gradually, his focus increased to examining all aspects of their culture, from post-World War II to the present. Over more than three decades and 75 such research expeditions, Strom has become one of the world’s leading scholar-ethnographer-artists of klezmer music, history and culture.
His klezmer research was instrumental in helping form the repertoires of his klezmer band, Hot Pstromi. Since he began his first band in 1981, Strom has been composing his own New Jewish music, which combines klezmer with Khasidic nigunim , Roma, jazz, classical, Balkan and Sephardic motifs.
These compositions range from songs to quartets to a symphony, which premiered with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He composed original music for the Denver Center production of Tony Kushner’s The Dybbuk.
He also composed all the New Jewish music for the National Public Radio series Fiddlers, Philosophers & Fools: Jewish Short Stories from the Old World to the New, hosted by Leonard Nimoy, as well as numerous film (A Life Apart) and dance (Malashock Dance Troupe) scores.
Strom is also one of the only top composers of Jewish music to carry on the tradition of writing original songs, with Yiddish lyrics, about humanitarian and social issues, as well as melodies for synagogue liturgy commissioned by synagogues like B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.
His many recordings run the gamut of traditional klezmer to “new” Jewish music and have appeared on Top Ten, Year’s Best and critically acclaimed lists across North America. Strom has performed with many world-renowned musicians including Mike Block, Andy Statman, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Mark O’Connor, Alicia Svigals, Samir Chatterjee, Salman Ahmad, Damian Draghici, Adam del Monte, Lulo Reinhardt, Sunny Jain, Rachel Barton Pine and many other virtuosi.
Elizabeth Schwartz is celebrated for her uniquely dusky timbre – Multiple reviews have hailed her “soulful”, “passionate” and “penetrating” vocals. She has drawn numerous comparisons to both Edith Piaf and Romania’s Maria Tanase. From her many appearances with Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi and as a solo artist, Schwartz has built a loyal following among fans, critics and collaborators. Her first recording of Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino vocals for the Naxos World label, “Garden of Yidn”, debuted on Canada’s Mundial Top World Music poll. It was hailed as “a landmark in modern Yiddish song” (Sing Out! Magazine). Her vocals can be heard on the soundtrack for the documentary film “L’Chayim, Comrade Stalin!”, as well as on the acclaimed Naxos World releases “Garden of Yidn” and “ Café Jew Zoo”, ” Dveykes (Adhesion)”, with Yale Strom, Marty Ehrlich, Mark Dresser, Diane Moser and Benny Koonyevsky (Global Village Music) “The Absolutely Complete Klezmer II” (Transcontinental), “Borsht with Bread, Brothers” and “The Devil’s Brides” (both with ARC Music UK).
In a historic, barrier-breaking concert, Schwartz was the first woman invited to sing in New York City’s 125 year-old, landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue. She performs regularly across North America and Europe in venues ranging from jazz clubs to concert halls (including Carnegie Hall), as well as synagogues and festivals. She regularly performs with Yale Strom, Alicia Svigals, Mark Dresser, Salman Ahmad andSamir Chatterjee and has recorded and concertized with many others, including Hungarian supergroup Muzsikas , Tsimbl maestro Kalman Balogh , Romanian panflutist Damian Draghici , guitar legend Lulo Reinhardt, Marta Sebestyen, fiddle legend Mark O’Connor, Andy Statman, Tovah Feldshuh, violin virtuoso Rachel Barton Pine and others. Schwartz also performs with the “Common Chords” ensemble, which explores harmony, peace, understanding, improvisation and great music between traditionally conflicted cultures. She is the subject of the documentary film, “Rumenye, Rumenye: Searching for Schwartz”, directed by acclaimed Romanian filmmaker Radu Gabrea. As a writer, Schwartz contributes a food blog, “Di Grine Cuisine: A Vegetarian Yiddish Eater, At Home and Abroad” to theweiserkitchen.com, co-created the award-winning audio drama “The Witches of Lublin”, contributed a chapter on klezmer vocal technique to “Shpil: The Art of Playing Klezmer” (Scarecrow Press).
Tickets for this concert are available HERE beginning Aug 17. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door
If you plan to attend more than one MFSM 2015 event, please consider a Festival Pass for $120. This pass provides admission to Tapestry (Nov. 6), Trio Speranza (Nov. 7), Tisra with Rohan Krishnamurthy (Nov. 8), Anzaldua (Nov. 8), Hildegard (Nov. 9), Shaheen (Nov. 12), Rachel Barton Pine (Nov. 13) and Hot Pstromi (Nov. 14). Festival pass does NOT include admission to Kalamazoo Junior Symphony with Rachel Barton Pine (Nov. 15). A Festival Pass can be purchased HERE.
What people are saying about Yale Strom and Hot Pstromi
“…The music is superb, in turns joyful and mournful, recorded in such an intimate acoustic that the listener is really caught up in the ebb and flow of the often brilliant improvisations on violin, cimbalom, accordion and bass”
– John Pheby, Folk Roots Magazine (#346, April 2012)
“Yale Strom has assembled all the key ingredients of great klezmer on this recording. There’s his own weeping fiddle, the powerful expressive voice of Elizabeth Schwartz, the deep throbbing accordion of Peter Stan, and the woodwind virtuosity of Norbert Stachel on clarinet, sax and flute. Jim Whitney’s double bass is solid throughout too, bowed or plucked.”
“Strom and his fellow musicians are indeed the Paganinis and Coltranes of this genre “