If you take my long term passion for writing and add it to my long term passion for checking out everything the world has to offer, you get me writing for WeekendNotes.
Published March 24th 2013
Jews jive the night away
Three things were foreign to me prior to attending a gig for The London Klezmer Quartet, as part of the Brunswick Music Festival at the Spotted Mallard and that was the band, the festival and the location. That is what's so great about Melbourne, that you can live here for 30 years and still discover something new all the time.
The Brunswick Festival has been running since 1989 and embraces anything folky, anything worldly and anything a little bit different.
So what's in a name? Well, this talented four piece all female band hailing from London play a Klezmer style of music, which is of Yiddish origin and is a Jewish folk genre. Formed in 2009, this talented foursome takes on both the old traditional Yiddish songs with some new personally written Jewish tunes.
With Susi Evans on clarinet, Carol Isaacs on accordion, Indra Buraczewska on double bass and Ilana Cravitz on violin, they have toured mostly around London and first came down under in March/April 2012 and are back to impress us again in 2013.
From the word go, the girls had the audience engaged in their upbeat storytelling tunes and at one point I felt like I was taken back to a different era to a sunny day skipping down an old cobblestone laneway in Eastern Europe.
The group are extremely humble and genuine and expressed their gratitude to the audience, the venue and the support act multiple times. Their unique style of conversing with the audience in a humorous way between each song was as equally as entertaining as their music.
As the set progressed, the audience got louder and more appreciative of what was being presented before us.
There were songs about the Yiddish staple diet of potatoes, a shiksha (non-jewish woman being the object of a jewish man's affection), a drinking song and each song sounded like a story where you made your own interpretation of the storyline to which my imagination ran wild. The tempo mostly fast had my hands a clapping and feet a stomping to the inviting beat throughout the performance.
It's very obvious that this group of ladies are not only exceptionally talented in what they do but it is clear that they have an amazing connection and a passion for making beautiful music together.
But wait there's more, the group also run workshops. One workshop is focused on the instruments and vocals whilst the other workshop focuses on Yiddish style dance. Both workshops cater for people at all different levels of musical experience and can be booked through their website.