Live from Klezkamp! the Staff Concerts 1985-2003
Ask any of the thousands who have attended KlezKamp over the years about what they remember most and you'll hear about the ambience of spoken Yiddish, the multitudinous classes, the textured diversity of fellow attendees. And you'll hear about the music, the omnipresent music: muffled fiddles practicing from behind closed bedroom doors, mass jams in the lobby, ensembles rehearsing for the student concert, late night impromptu sessions held in catch-as-catch-can spaces. Music permeates the environment 24/5. For KlezKamp staff it's also the music. For musicians--professional and amateur alike--KlezKamp is a kind of Yiddish Fantasy Camp, with the thrill and excitement of playing with the most visionary musicians in the world-wide Yiddish music movement. The Staff Concert provides one of the few venues during the whole year when our busy and far-flung music instructors can stimulate and inspire each other by playing together. The music that is created in these moments speaks for itself: haunting renditions of beloved traditional melodies; new works in their first public performances; and works-in-progress test-driven in an unusually open, supportive, yet knowledgeable and demanding environment. The music we present in these two CDs are not safe, studied, studio recordings: they are live in every sense of the word, snapshots rather than portraits. And, not incidentally, they capture some of the most dynamic moments in the contemporary rejuvenation of Yiddish music. These unique recordings are an audio time capsule of the greats--some no longer with us--who have contributed to the high level of Yiddish cultural literacy through their participation at KlezKamp and, from there, around the world.