Carnegie Hall has had many memorable performances, from Benny Goodman’s legendary Jazz concert of 1938 to Andy Kaufman treating the audience to milk and cookies in 1979. But Tuesday night’s National Yiddish Theatre – Folksbiene gala may be the first time the audience rose en masse and danced in the aisles.
Whiny trills of klezmer music reverberate from the towering coffered ceiling of the Museum at Eldridge Street as five firmly concentrating Israeli musicians connect deeply to their Jewish roots through the song of klezmer. Their focused brows and eased smiles signify the technicalities and synchronous timing of their music, as well as their delight in performing it. This is 12th Night Music, a quintet of highly creative classically trained Israeli musicians.
German Goldenshteyn Memorial Orchestra performs the famed clarinetist's best work.
Special To The Jewish Week
The late jazz writer Gene Lees frequently remarked that jazz musicians tended to speak the way they played.
The same seems to have been true of German Goldenshteyn, the great klezmer clarinetist and a man who was a veritable human archive of the rich musical heritage of Bessarabia. Goldenshteyn, who died in 2006, was a Yiddish speaker whose inflections had a lilting, melodic rise and fall and a rhythmic precision not unlike his solos.
Up in an attic are faded photos of old Joe Kushner ó young and dashing Joe Kushner in the picture ó on a wide, sloping Catskill lawn, near tall flowers by the casino porch. It is a 1930s August. You can feel the heat, the languor, the clockless afternoon of a hotel summer. Kushner, in light jacket and white ducks, stands behind his drum kit, hair slicked, sticks in hand.In another photo, heís with his klezmer band on that same lawn.