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  • SPOTLIGHTS

    JIM KWESKIN AND
    GEOFF MULDAUR

    jim and geoff

    Sunday, December 4, 2016 - 7:00pm
    Four Friends Gallery
    1414 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
    Presented by Brogden Bay

    While Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur are appearing as a duo, it is important to place them in the context of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Jim and Geoff, along with Fritz Richmond, were the constants in the Jug Band. The rock critic Ed Ward once listed the most important bands of the early 1960s as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Byrds, and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Apparently thinking that some people might be surprised to find the Kweskin gang on that list, he added: "I'm not kidding." No one who has ever seen the Jug Band would have thought he was.

    Read more: JIM KWESKIN AND GEOFF MULDAUR


    RISING APPALACHIA

    Rising Appalachia

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 8:00pm
    Thursday, December 1, 2016 – 8:00pm
    SOHo Restaurant and Music Club
    1221 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

    Friday, December 2, 2016 - 8:00pm
    Teragram Ballroom
    1234 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

    Read more: RISING APPALACHIA


    CD REVIEWS

    TITLE: One Light Many Windows

    ARTIST: Merlin Snider

    LABEL: Barking Dog Music

    RELEASE DATE: November 21, 2016

    By Terry Bailey

    Merlin Snider - One Light Many WindowsYears ago I visited painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser in his Venice (Italy) studio. I was surprised to see canvases lining the walls in all sorts of styles – not just the colorful spiral and raindrop paintings he was well known for at the time.

     “My gallery owner prefers that I stick to one style. He believes that is what art buyers want from artists: a consistent identity,” he explained to me. “Sadly, I cannot even bring these other works of mine into the gallery.”

    This marketing identity demand bleeds over to all art forms: too often writers, filmmakers, composers, songwriters – all creators – are pressured to create in one style and stick to it.

    Read more: MERLIN SNIDER - ONE LIGHT MANY WINDOWS


    TITLE: THE BEAUTIFUL NOT YET

    ARTIST: CARRIE NEWCOMER

    LABEL: AVAILABLE LIGHT RECORDS

    RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

    By Jackie Morris

    Carrie.Newcomer.TBNY .AlbumPageProfound and poetic, Carrie Newcomer’s 16th album, The Beautiful Not Yet, soothes the soul as it stimulates the senses. Capturing the mystery and miracle in the everyday, the songs are at once spiritual and down to earth, filled with wisdom and heart.

    If you simply read the lyrics on her website, you’ll find the words read like poetry. But in truth, even if I didn’t understand a word of English, I would still think this is one beautiful album. The primary reason is Newcomer’s voice – that celebrated, rich contralto that is so luscious, warm and honest, so natural yet perfectly nuanced, that it makes you feel good just to listen to it. Additionally, The Beautiful Not Yet features an array of gorgeous harmonies and an exciting blend of traditional roots instrumentation (banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin) and chamber music (cello, violin, and piano).

    Read more: CARRIE NEWCOMER - THE BEAUTIFUL NOT YET


    FEATURE ARTICLE

    ARTFUL SLACKER MUSIC 

    JIM “KIMO” WEST AND KEN EMERSON – RECORDED AND LIVE

    By Audrey Coleman

    Emerson  WestThe opening selection on Slackers in Paradise: Slack and Steel Guitar Duets conjures up the bliss of kicking back on a hammock near surf-washed sands, caressed and refreshed by island trade winds. The recently-released CD by Jim “Kimo” West and Ken Emerson ushers you into an unhurried world free of traffic jams and family frenzy. With West on slack-key guitar and Emerson on acoustic steel guitar, the slow pieces are dreamy and tantalizing while even the fast-paced numbers evoke a time when life seemed simpler.

    Read more: ARTFUL SLACKER MUSIC - JIM “KIMO” WEST AND KEN EMERSON


    PASSINGS

    WAYNE SLATER-LUNSFORD

    (February 14, 1951 – November 4, 2016)

    Wayne Slater-Lunsford

    By Lyndsay Ortiz

    Wayne was the main man behind Desert Song Productions, and was also a “ringtailed raconteur” (his words) and an accomplished musician in his own right, with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things music, and really, all things in general.  But then, what do you expect of a U.S. Air Force brat with a brain about two sizes too big? Wayne was born in Georgia, and raised in a dozen locations across the US and England, eventually graduating from high school in Jacksonville Florida, where he learned to sight-read choral music.

    Read more: WAYNE SLATER-LUNSFORD


    LEONARD COHEN

    (September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016)

    leonard cohenLeonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. Cohen was inducted into both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Read more: RIP: LEONARD COHEN


    TED SHAPIN

    (November 10, 1927 - November 16, 2016)

    Ted ShapinTheodore Shapin Jr., known as Ted, recalled that as a child his father encouraged his interest in things mechanical and electrical, and helped him build a crystal radio set. He was an avid folk dancer and enjoyed playing folk songs on his banjo and guitar. Ted received a scholarship to the University of Illinois and graduated with a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering.

    Read more: TED SHAPIN


    COLUMN OF THE WEEK

    November-December 2016

    FIDDLERS FROM CAPE BRETON – PART I

    By Audrey Coleman

    AndreaBeatonAs I drove my rented Ford Fusion south on Cape Breton Island’s Route 19, the name of the folk festival I had attended, Celtic Colours, took on glorious meaning. Maple and oak trees on both sides of the highway were busting out yellow, orange, and red. They were as vibrant as the music I had experienced for five days. As fragile too: The fiddling tradition that had all but vanished some 60 years ago has made a spectacular comeback since the seventies.

    You aren’t familiar with this island? Cape Breton is part of Canada’s eastern province of Nova Scotia on the Atlantic Coast, occupying 3,981 square miles. In the 1600s, French settlers emigrated and established a thriving community. They came to be known as Acadians. The mid-18th century spelled catastrophe for them. The British, following victory in an Anglo-French war, deported approximately 10,000 Acadians between 1755 and 1758. They were sent principally to the southern colonies where survivors became the Cajuns who eventually developed their own musical style. Several hundred Acadians escaped exile; their descendants are French-speaking residents of a few Cape Breton towns such as Cheticamp on the west coast. British loyalist settlers partially filled the population void left by the exiled Acadians. But the character of the colony shifted dramatically in the 1800s when some 50,000 Gaelic-speaking immigrants from Scotland, fleeing famine, settled on the island. Its character is now decidedly Scottish. In fact, because of its isolation, musicians from Scotland now consider Cape Breton fiddling more representative of centuries-old musical traditions than styles currently played by Scots.

    Read more: FIDDLERS FROM CAPE BRETON – PART I

    everything but ...

    PATRICK SKY

    Patrick Sky (born Patrick Lynch: October 2, 1943 in Liveoak Gardens, Georgia) is a musician, folk singer, and songwriter of Irish and Native American ancestry (Creek Indian). Sky was raised near the Lafourche Swamps of Louisiana).

    Read more: PATRICK SKY


    FULL CALENDAR

    MUSIC       DANCE

    TODAY'S CALENDAR 12/2/16


    MUSIC


    fwpick

    7:30pm PEPPINO D'AGOSTINO / RICHARD SMITH

    Dana Point Community House

    24642 San Juan St., Dana Point, CA 92629

    949-842-2227 or 949-244-6656

    Presented by Lord Of The Strings Concert Series


    fwpick

    8:00pm DOUG MACLEOD & DENNY CROY

    Hong Kong Inn

    435 East Thompson, Ventura, CA

    805-816-9663


    fwpick

    8:00pm JAKE SHIMABUKURO

    Cerritos Performing Arts Center – Arena

    12700 Center Court Dr., Cerritos, CA 90703

    562 916-8501 or 800- 300-4345


    fwpick

    8:00pm RISING APPALACHIA / AROUNA DIARRA / DUSTIN THOMAS

    Teragram Ballroom

    1234 W. 7th St., Los Angeles, CA 90017

    213-689-9100


    fwpick

    8:00pm THE JANGLE BROTHERS

    Coffee Gallery Backstage

    2029 N. Lake Ave., Altadena, CA 92675

    626-798-6236 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:30pm GILL LANDRY

    From Old Crow Medicine Show

    Bootleg Theatre – Bar Stage

    2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90057

    213-389-3856



    DANCE


    NO EVENTS TODAY


    RECURRING EVENTS


    MUSIC


    4:00pm - 9:00pm WESTCHESTER FIRST FRIDAYS

    first Friday

    Westchester Triangle

    6200 Block of West 87th St, Los Angeles, CA

    Dan McNay This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    6:30pm - 9:00pm TRADITION IRISH TUNES WITH THE QUINNS

    every Friday

    La Arcada Bistro

    1112 State St., Santa Barbara, CA

    Willie Quinn


    8:00pm SEVERIN BROWNE AND FRIENDS

    first Friday

    Kulak's Woodshed

    5230-1/2 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91607-4934

    818-766-9913

    Severin Browne


    8:00pm - 10:00pm KATTYWOMPUS CONCERT / JAM

    every Friday

    Dollmakers Kattywompus

    412 S. Myrtle Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016

    626-357-1091

    Jennifer Ranger 626-357-1091


    8:00pm PLOUGHBOYS CELTIC

    first Friday

    Tam O' Shanter (Ale & Sandwich Bar Lounge)

    2980 Los Feliz Bl, Los Feliz, CA 90039

    323-664-0228

    818-507-8445 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm KEN O'MALLEY

    first Friday

    Gallagher's

    2751 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    DANCE


    9:30am - 12:00pm KAYSO FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Casa del Prado, Rm. 206, Balboa Park

    1800 El Prado, San Diego, CA

    Jerry Waddell 619-479-8015`


    7:15pm - 10:00pm WEST VALLEY FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Canoga Park Senior Center

    7326 Jordan Ave., Los Angeles, CA

    Jay Michtom 818-368-1957 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:30pm - 11:00pm SAN DIEGO CONTRADANCES

    first & third Friday

    Trinity United Methodist Church

    3030 Thorn St., San Diego, CA

    619-283-8550


    7:45pm - 11:00pm PASADENA FOLK DANCE CO-OP

    every Friday

    Throop Unitarian Church

    300 S. Los Robles, Pasadena, CA

    Jan Rayman 818-790-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    7:45pm - 10:45pm WEST LOS ANGELES FOLK DANCERS

    every Friday

    Brockton School

    1309 Armacost Ave., West Los Angeles, CA

    Beverly Barr 310-202-6166 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:00pm - 11:00pm L.I.F.E.BALKAN DANCE

    every Friday

    LA DanceFit Studio

    10936 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

    Sherrie Cochran 626-293-8523 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    8:30pm - 11:00pm KYPSELI GREEK DANCE CENTER

    every Friday

    The Tango Room

    4346 Woodman Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA

    Louise Bilman 323-660-1030 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    9:00pm - 11:00pm BEVERLY HILLS ISRAELI DANCING

    every Friday

    Temple Emanuel

    8844 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA

    James Zimmer 310-284-3638 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Anyone for Yiddish Tango?

By Audrey Coleman

Gustavo BulgachPut the two words “Yiddish” and “tango” together, and some might respond, “You’re joking?” But history bears out a strong connection between the two. These will be evident in the upcoming performance of Yiddish Tango Club at the Skirball Cultural Center on Thursday evening, August 21. Having investigated Vietnamese tango in my June column, this gives me yet another opportunity to dig for treasures in music history.

But first here’s the scoop on the show. Virtuoso klezmer clarinetist Gustavo Bulgach, who launched the Yiddish Tango Club project in 2012, will lead his ensemble in accompanying tangos with lyrics written in Yiddish as well as Argentine tango instrumentals from the early days of the genre and the innovative tangos of Astor Piazzolla. They also will be performing pieces from the klezmer repertoire, freilachs (happy, fast-paced numbers) and nigunim (improvised vocal numbers with roots in religious and particularly Hasidic texts and music). Along with the Bulgach on clarinet and saxophone, the multi-ethnic ensemble includes Andrew Markham on piano, Ken Rosser on guitar, Hiroo Nakano on drums, Hector Pineda on bass and Mariano Dugatkin on accordion and that tango signature instrument, the bandoneón.

Divina GloriaInterpreting the lyrics will be guest artist Divina Gloria, who, as her stage name suggests, is larger than life; I recall her vibrant vocals in a Yiddish tango-themed concert at Disney Hall’s Redcat Theater several years ago. Born Martha Gloria Goldsztern, the Argentine vocalist is equally mesmerizing interpreting traditional Yiddish songs, tangos in Spanish and Yiddish, and jazz and pop material. Her background includes numerous appearances as a dramatic actress on stage, screen, and television in Argentina since the mid-seventies. Together, Divina Gloria and Gustavo Bulgach are sure to ignite the Skirball stage. The outdoor setting will allow room for spontaneous dancing by audience members.

Now to history. The roots of Yiddish tango extend from Argentina to Western and Eastern European centers, and New York. Researcher Lloica Czackis traces its path in articles published in the Jewish Quarterly (2004) and European Judaism (2009). In her opening to the former article, she comments that tango music and Jewish folk music share the prominence of the violin as well as an indefinable sense of yearning. The Argentine tango, born in the brothels of Buenos Aires in the first decade of the 20th century, emerged at a time when the Jewish population of Argentina was beginning to swell. The East European Jews fleeing the brutal Russian pogroms of the 1880s initially resettled in North America but before the end of the century Argentina became an equally attractive destination. Thus, whereas in the 1880s there were about 1500 Jews in the entire country, by the 1920s a thriving Jewish population of mainly Ashkenazi origin had reached 200,000 in Buenos Aires alone. The Jewish community of Buenos Aires boasted a rich cultural life mainly conducted in Yiddish. But this was no ghetto. Jewish immigrants also learned Spanish and interacted in matters of business and culture with the outer society. After the tango gained status from its enthusiastic reception in Paris, Jewish musicians began playing in tango orchestras. When, thanks to the interpretive talents of Carlos Gardel, the tango became a form of passionate vocal expression, Jewish lyricists penned tangos with Spanish lyrics.

The next step was the composition and performance of tangos in Yiddish. In Eastern Europe, where tangos were already performed in Polish and Russian due to the success of the genre in Paris, Yiddish theater troupes composed their own tangos in addition to adopting the Argentine Yiddish tangos. By the 1930s, Yiddish Theater companies from both Buenos Aires and Eastern Europe were touring to New York, performing tangos and other genres to great acclaim. Some of the most popular East European tangos Czackis cites are from the Ararat Yiddish revue company of Lodz: Ikh ganve in der nakht (“I steal at night”) and Tsi darf es azoy zain? (“Must I be this way?”). Touring companies from New York, Eastern Europe, and Buenos Aires cross-pollinated creatively until the outbreak of the Second World War.

The tango has always had its dimension of emotional darkness, but the era of the Holocaust was its darkest chapter. Jewish musicians and lyricists living in Nazi-imposed ghettos in Vilna, Kovno, Lodz, Bialystok and other urban centers composed, among other songs of resistance, tangos bitterly decrying the conditions under which they struggled to survive. This also occurred in concentration camps. Most of these compositions were lost, but Shmerke Kaczerginsky collected fraction of them was and in 1948 published Lieder fun di getos und lagern (Songs from the Ghettos and Concentration Camps). More macabre still, it is documented that Nazi officers regularly ordered concentration camp orchestras, the lagernkapellen, to play tangos to accompany the marching of prisoners to their deaths. This nightmarish scenario was immortalized in the poem Todestango (Tango of Death) published by Paul Antschel in 1947.

It is amusing to hear the Yiddish tangos that emerged from Jewish communities that flourished in Buenos Aires, Europe and New York through the 1930s but also it is necessary–and I don’t know if Thursday’s performance will represent it—to acknowledge tangos that grew in the desert of despair brought on by the Holocaust. In either case, Yiddish tangos are no joke.

The Yiddish Tango Club performance officially starts at 8:00pm on Thursday, August 21 at the Skirball Cultural Center located at 2701 Sepulveda Blvd. (near Mulholland Drive exit), Los Angeles 90049. The event is free. Doors open at 7:00pm. Apparently Gustavo Bulgach will be informally sharing vintage Yiddish tango recordings between 7:00pm and 8:00pm.

Audrey Coleman-Macheret is a writer, educator, and ethnomusicologist who explores traditional and world music performed in Southern California and beyond.