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Eighty Years of Clarinet Klezmer History From Ternovka to New-York
Born Dovid Tarraschuk (1897) in the Shtetl Ternovka in Podolia (Southern-Ukraina which was part of the Russian
His father and Grand-father were Hasidic Klezmorim, mostly playing at Jewish weddings.
At the age of 9 the little Dovid began his musical education which he got from his father (a trombonist and a
badkhn). His first instrument was the flute, but he managed to learn different instruments like guitar, mandolin,
balalaika and fiddle. Tarras had a lot of uncles and relatives who were klezmorim and formed a Kapelye (orchestra)
making their living playing at Jewish celebrations as well as at goyim (non Jewish) festivities....
The David Tarras's repertoire was very extensive, not confined in any particularly
style. It is unique and constitutes a genre of his own.
It was rather the reflect of the cultural and musical regional background from his
native Eastern Europe blended with his unique skills, talent and capabilities as a musician.
Dave Tarras was a versatile musician, the virtuosity of his tone and phrasing is
legendary, he created a unique and new Klezmer sound which is a genuine mixture of his European roots with the
popular music of America. His technique is impeccable and his ornamentation is exquisite.
Dave Tarras felt that the traditional melodies and Klezmer tunes were too "simple"
thus he highlighted the Bessarabian-derived repertoire as well as he approached the Southern-European ethnic music
including Greek and Gypsy. He assimilates American contemporary popular music without losing the Klezmer
traditional feeling and inflections.
Dave Tarras left us in 1989 but his heritage is well alive in the heart of each of
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