This will be one of the most fidl-oriented KlezKanada summers ever. This year’s gloriously international string faculty includes violinists Deb Strauss, Mark Kovnatsky (Russia/Germany), Amit Weisberger (France/Israel), Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin (Russia/USA), Jake Shulman-Ment (USA with a strong dose of Hungary), Amy Zakar and fidl Fellow Abigail Reisman. Classes will focus on technique, style, repertoire, the fidl music of Carpathia, Roma/Gypsy styles, Belf’s Orkestar and other historical bands, writing and arranging for strings, and non-stop playing for dancing.
This year’s diverse string faculty also includes tsimbl-players Pete Rushefsky and Zev Feldman; Turkish oud player Nicolas Royer-Artuso; acoustic guitarist & mandolinist Jeff Warschauer; electric guitarist/composer/improvisor/bandleader Yoshie Fruchter; and two virtuoso bassists, Martin Lillich (from Germany) and Montreal’s Joel Kerr, master of modern Jewish bass.
For the first time ever, we have three different and unique saxophone/multi-instrumentalists who are all deeply imbued in Jewish music: composer/arranger/bandleader/funkmeister-supreme & Tzadik recording artist Paul Shapiro; Tokyo’s Wataru Okuma, master of chindon (street advertising music, the commercial medium before the advent of TV) and its predecessor, Jinta (original Japanese brass band music, a form for anti-establishment expression); and Afrobeat-ska-klezmer sax man Zach Mayer (from the band Zion 80). Each of their music is a mixture of old and new, east and west, north and south, borrowing openly from Klezmer, Jewish simkhe music, Turkish, African, African-American and Balkan music, progressive rock, punk, free jazz and folk to create its own world.