OCTOBER 5th, 2015
21st ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL OF DULCIMERS
SATURDAY OCT 10th - 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 2850 Fairview Rd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
The Southern California Dulcimer Heritage group invites you to the 21st annual Harvest Festival of Dulcimers on Saturday, October 10, 2015! In addition to the workshops and concerts on Saturday, there are special 4-hour focus workshops the next day taught by two featured performers, both back by popular demand: Fretted dulcimer virtuoso Bing Futch from Florida and hammered dulcimist extraordinaire Jody Marshall of Virginia. Additionally, over a dozen excellent local players will also be teaching and performing, including mountain dulcimer legend Joellen Lapidus and Patti Amelotte’s Irish music band Looney’s Fortune with hot hammered dulcimer, fiddle, guitar and accordions.
The festival will be happening this year at a new, larger location: The Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in beautiful suburban Costa Mesa, CA. There is a ‘festival motel’ with a convenient location and lodging package at a reasonable rate for out of town visitors. Additional information will be at www.scdh.org
As always, there will be a large variety of 'other workshops' - including 'try out' fretted dulcimers (loaner instruments available), guitar, ukulele, keyboard backup, singing, banjomer, music computer software and bowed psaltery (with loaner instruments) - taught by various members of the folk music and dulcimer communities in Southern California. Two tracks of dulcimer workshops will be given by Jody, Bing and six other instructors. You’ll find a full range of topics and hands-on classes in the 28 hours/ 7 tracks of workshops, plus a free Mid-day concert “Celebrating Regional Dulcimer Jam/ Practice Groups” and free jamming throughout the day.
The annual SCDH Dulcimer Festival is the only California dulcimer festival for both hammered and fretted dulcimers and the closest dulcimer festival for players in many nearly states.
SUNDAY OCT 11th - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
304 N Los Carneros Rd, Goleta, CA 93117
The Old Time Fiddlers' Convention & Festival, a celebration of Traditional American Music, is held every year at Rancho La Patera & Stow House. The family-festival features all day entertainment, one of the premier Old-Time Music contests on the West Coast, free workshops taught by some of the best teachers in the industry, opportunity to "jam" with other musicians, entrance to the museums and much more. This year's lineup includes the Old Time sound of GRAMMY winner Kathy Kallick Band, the award-winning Bay Area group Front Country, Joe Sands Fontenot Creole Cajun Band, along with local bluegrass favorites Ventucky String Band and the Salt Martians. The goal of the festival is to share and preserve Old Time American Music, an important part of our country's rich heritage and encourage a new generation o
With Tannahill Weavers, Celtic Spring, The Angry Brians, Golden Bough, Highland Way
Seaside Park - Ventura County Fairgrounds
9:00am-8:00pm HARVEST FESTIVAL OF DULCIMERS
Presbyterian Church of the Covenant
Presented by Southern California Dulcimer Heritage
1:00pm JENI & BILLY
Sun City Library
6:30pm BUYEPONGO / ANDREA RODRIGUEZ
Jam session and Cumbia Dance
Downtown Pomona Art Walk
2nd St. between Thomas and Main St., Pomona, CA 91766
Holy Cross High School Youth Ministry
7:00pm THE KENNEDYS
8:00pm LEFTOVER CUTIES
8:00pm THE KATHY KALLICK BAND
California Institute of Technology - Beckman Institute Auditorium
Presented by Pasadena Folk Music Society
8:00pm FRONT COUNTRY
1:00pm - 5:00pm HERMOSA BEACH OLD-TIME MUSIC JAM second Saturday
3:00pm - 8:00pm SAN CLEMENTE SONG CIRCLE & BBQ/POTLUCK (SONGMAKERS) second Saturday
San Clemente (contact via Songmakers Website)
San Clemente, San Clemente, CA 92672
6:30pm BLUEGRASS CONCERTS every Saturday
Me N Eds Pizza Parlor
7:30pm LOS ANGELES MENSA FOLKSONG SIG second Saturday
Los Angeles Mensa Folksong SIG
Anyone for Yiddish Tango?
Put 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.
Interpreting 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.
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