Shaman-journalist is still a microniche compared to singer-songwriter. That may explain why Psoy Korolenko is something of an enigma to English-speaking audiences.
There’s a new sound in Jewish music. It’s coming from young musicians with one foot in Brooklyn and the other on klezmer’s silk road through Europe: Paris, Berlin, Krakow, Budapest and points east. These musicians have bands with cheeky names, like Yiddish Princess and Electric Simcha, and they’ve come of age in a cultural landscape utterly transformed by the past 35 years of what is usually called the “klezmer revival.”
In 1979, when Henry Sapoznik founded the klezmer band Kapelye, he was among a cohort of passionate young musicians, musicologists and cultural workers who sought to reclaim Eastern European Jewish music and link themselves to still-living masters of that tradition. It was hard work. Relatively little had been done to preserve or transmit the culture of Eastern European Jewish immigrants in America.