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Culture

YIDDISH IN THE PARK

Some people run away to the Hamptons or to the Jersey shore to escape the hazy, hot, humid summers typical of New York City. But those of us who stick around these concrete islands enjoy a number of seasonal benefits, not the least of which are the free outdoor concerts that dot the city’s public spaces and parks.

Head to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park next week for Yiddishfest 2006: With Heart and Soul (Mit harts un neshame), a concert in mamaloshn featuring an impressive line-up of Yiddish musicians. The bill includes Claire Barry of the legendary Barry Sisters, who sings in Yiddish, Russian, Hebrew and English. Barry was one of the first American Jewish artists to sing in Yiddish in the former Soviet Union, and, at the request of the Israeli government, she performed for Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War. Also on the program are The Three Yiddish Divas — Joanne Borts, Adrienne Cooper and Theresa Tova. The acclaimed performers, who are leading names in contemporary Yiddish music, blend their multilingual repertoire in the newly-formed Yiddish group.

Other highlights include Mitch Smolkin, a 27-year-old klezmer/Yiddish impresario who performs classic Yiddish songs, and the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, which plays upbeat dance music, folk songs, theater medleys and popular Yiddish tunes from the 1930s through the ’50s.

The concert is presented by the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring, which has hosted free public Yiddish concerts since 1969.

Lincoln Center, Damrosch Park, 62nd St. near Amsterdam Ave.; July 13, 7 p.m.; free. (212-889-6800)

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