This year, we ventured to create a set of five memorable 2013 releases that are not easily defined either as “Jewish music,” jazz, or klezmer, but represent alternative, thought-provoking musical experiments, rooted in yet transgressing Jewish musical traditions.
While some names on this best-of poetry list will be familiar, others are appearing here for the first time. Who do you think should be included?
If, as Shelley had it, poets are the legislators of the world, then at this past year’s KlezKanada Poetry Retreat their law was music. Hosted at the large, week-long klezmer festival, the poetry was surrounded by accordionists, tsimbelists, people tapping out rhythms or tuning their violins. I was privileged to be co-teaching the retreat along with poet, scholar, and performer Adeena Karasick. It is a further privilege to introduce some of the poems, written at the retreat, to Forward readers. This kind of Jewish poetry, as it became clear throughout our sessions, doesn’t merely escape definitions. It drops words like notes into a stewing, communal, dialogical collective, quite like the one that unfolded amongst us.
One of the stories of great Jewish music in America is its interaction with black art forms. Three new albums showcase the interplay between cultures — and the joyous sounds that result.
Charles Bernstein’s first collection of actual new poetry in seven years is a culmination of his ideas and here more than ever, the poet engages with his Jewishness.
Don Byron’s tribute to Borscht Belt musician and comedian Mickey Katz brought him plenty of attention 20 years ago. Now, the clarinetist looks back on his role in the klezmer music revival.
The klezmer movement was never just a fad. But now, with his new album ‘Storm Game,’ clarinetist Michael Winograd is moving the genre one step further.
In the annual Forward Fives selection we celebrate the year’s cultural output with a series of deliberately eclectic choices in music, performance, exhibitions, books and film. Here we present five of our favorite works of poetry of 2012. Feel free to argue with and add to our selections in the comments.
Adeena Karasick tries to beat information overcrowding at its own game, merging a whirlwind of techie lingo, urban vocabulary, Yiddishisms and more.