" Klezmer is an interpretation of art and life based not solely on Jewish folklore, but rather on a cosmopolitan divergence of musical genres" Giora Feidman 

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Klezmer History

The klezmer history is intrinsically linked to the Jewish history and the fate of Jewish people throughout the centuries, from the Levites in Biblical Jerusalem to the klezmer revival.
The diaspora, the expulsions, the migrations, the persecutions, the ghettos, the plagues were part of the daily life of the Jewish communities in Europe.

From the destruction of the temple and the mourning that followed, the prohibition of instrumental music prevented the flourishing of the music. Nevertheless, the music was aimed to accompany joyful secular events, birthdays, but also religious celebrations ('simkhes') like weddings, circumcisions, or inauguration of new tora's rolls.

At the end of the Middle-Age appeared the first guilds of Jewish musicians and gradually the banning was relaxed.

In the next pages we will try to enlighten some aspects of klezmer history like the origin of klezmer and an introduction to klezmer, discover or rediscover some great figures of the klezmer history like Joseph Gusikov, the virtuoso straw fiddle players who amazed the concert halls and musical salons of the 19th century or A.Z. Idelsohn, the great ethnomusicologist who compiled hundreds of traditional melodies, the emblematic "Hava Nagila", the best known Israeli song . Finally we will discuss some milestones like the klezmer revival, why it was put into oblivion and why it came to life again.

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Giora Feidman
"We have one Torah, one shofar, one flag, and the expression of all that is the nigun, any nigun. It's not a song, it's an energy which results from an interpretation of the faith."




"Long live Giora, his clarinet and his music! He builds bridges between generations, cultures and classes, and he does it with perfect artistry!" Leonard Bernstein