Rockwell Hall Hosts A Gathering or World-Renowned Klezmer Musicians

Posted: September 10, 2007
On Saturday, October 20th at 8:00 p.m., the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall will bring together thirteen of the world's most influential klezmer musicians for a concert and educational program inspired by the iconic 1958 photograph of jazz musicians "A Great Day in Harlem." This event is part of the Eldridge Street Project's Great Day Tour, a multi-faceted cultural, preservation, performance and documentation project to take place from October 12-22, 2007 across New York State. Conceived of and led by klezmer virtuoso Yale Strom, this notable gathering of musicians will introduce audiences to klezmer, the wedding and folk music played by Eastern European Jews.

Tickets for the Great Day Tour are $15 each, with a discount for seniors, students and children. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at the Rockwell Hall Box Office, 1300 Elmwood Ave., by calling 716-878-3005 or online at www.buffalostate.edu/pac. Box Office hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Great Day Tour begins with a photograph of 50 klezmer musicians on the steps of the magnificent 1887 New York City and National Historic landmark Eldridge Street Synagogue (October 12) and two NYC concerts at Eldridge Street and Symphony Space. A select group of thirteen leading musicians will then perform in select cities around New York State including the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall and at venues in Poughkeepsie, Fredonia and Rochester.

The Great Day Tour will highlight klezmer music, a traditional art form dating back to the Middle Ages. Derived from Near Eastern and East European influences, and influenced by the regions' classical and folk traditions, klezmer is a decidedly multi-cultural musical form. Traditionally played in Eastern European Jewish communities, klezmer lost popularity in the United States after the 1950s as Jews looked to American musical sources. It began experiencing a revival in the 1970s, as young musicians interested in their roots began to reclaim this tradition and incorporate American jazz and rock influences.

Yale Strom (violin, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, and playwright) is a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Rom communities. Initially, his work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music among these two groups. Gradually, his focus increased to examining all aspects of their culture, from post-World War II to the present. From more than 2 decades and 70 research expeditions, Strom has become the world's leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history.

The Eldridge Street Project, a non-profit, non-sectarian cultural organization, is preserving the 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue as a center for historical reflection, aesthetic inspiration and spiritual renewal. Concerts, tours, literary events, art installations, workshops for school children, and other cultural and educational programs at the site serve audiences of all backgrounds.

The Great Day Tour is funded in part by the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Gess Foundation and the Forward Foundation, among other funders.

http://www.buffalostate.edu/pac/season/greatday.asp
Media Contact:
Jeff Marsha, Director of Operations, Performing Arts Center | 7168783032 | marshajl@buffalostate.edu
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