SummerStage: Workmen’s Circle Yiddishfest 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 7:00 PM

Central Park, New York, NY


SummerStage celebrates the musical legacy of Eastern Europe with a day dedicated to Yiddish music celebrating traditional klezmer and modern interpretations that fuse the traditional with everything from rock to hip-hop influences. Special guests include:  the “Prince of Kosher Gospel” Joshua Nelson,  The National Yiddish Theatre’s production of Soul to Soul, an electrifying concert that explores the intersections between African-American and Yiddish folk music traditions and  pop/rock band, Yiddish Princess.

The Klezmatics are world-renowned and Grammy-winning superstars of the klezmer world. They erupted out of New York City’s East Village in 1986 and revitalized klezmer for the new century with music that is steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, while incorporating contemporary themes such as human rights and anti-fundamentalism with eclectic musical influences including Arab, African, Latin and Balkan rhythms, jazz and punk. In the course of over twenty years they have released nine albums of wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective, and ecstatically danceable music, forever redefining and transcending traditional labels.

Josh Dolgin, known as Socalled, is a rapper and producer, known for his eclectic mix of hip-hop, klezmer and other types of folk music. A pianist, accordion player, producer, composer, rapper, singer, journalist, photographer, filmmaker, magician, cartoonist and puppet maker, he has been making records and touring the world for over a decade with his unique mash-up of traditional Jewish meets urban hip-hop sound. Socalled continues on his mission of boundary-crossing with the mixing of acoustic and electric instruments and digital and analog recording techniques, all while exploring different cultures in the service of creating something catchy, smart, hilarious, emotional and timeless.

Detroit-born, Berlin-based Daniel Kahn is an integral part of the international Yiddish and klezmer scene. “To Klezmer what the Pogues were to Folk… polyglot, pan-European Punkfolk.” He sings old and original songs in Yiddish, English, and German that are poetically dark, tragically humorous and politically subversive. His band, The Painted Bird concocts a mixture of klezmer, radical Yiddish song, and political cabaret, kept together by Kahn’s amazing abilities as a songwriter, translator and performer. Their newest album Lost Causes, winner of 2011 Record of the Year by the German Record Critics’ Association, challenges the borders between radical/ traditional, lyrical/political, east/west and folk/punk.