17th Annual KlezmerQuerque: Festival of Klezmer Music and Dance

Sunday Feb 17, 2019

Additional Dates:

3606 Rio Grande Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107






Beth Cohen

Phone: 505-243-6276
Website: Click to Visit

A four-day festival featuring klezmer dance and instrumental music, rooted in the traditional wedding ceremonies of the Eastern European Jewish people.

The 17th Annual KlezmerQuerque is a four-day festival featuring ‘klezmer’ dance and instrumental music which is rooted in the traditional wedding ceremonies of the Eastern European Jewish people. The festival will take place from February 14-17 (Thursday-Sunday over Presidents Day weekend). The festival presents a wide variety of events for all ages, abilities and budgets including a free children’s Romanian folk dance event, concerts, dance parties, Jewish religious services, and music and dance workshops.   This year's festival theme is "Oy! Romanya! Romanya!" a celebration of Jewish, Yiddish & Romanian connections in dance, music, history & culture. Four special guest artists known for their expertise in klezmer music and traditional Romanian music and dance will be featured at all events throughout the weekend: Miamon Miller-violin, composition and ethnomusicology, Isaac Sadigursky-accordion and Yiddishe culture, and Cristian Florescu and Sonian Dion-traditional Romanian dance and Romanian–Jewish culture. KlezmerQuerque will also feature music and dance by many local klezmer artists including: The Rebbe’s Orkestra, The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band, Rikud Yiddish Dancers, Alavados ensemble, Di Kavene Kapelye and Beth Cohen.

The festival begins on Thursday, February 14th (6:30-8:30pm) with a free video/ movie presentation and discussion with special guest artist Miamon Miller, composer for the 2012 production of "The Blackbirds of Białystok" performed and presented in that city by the Białystok, Poland puppet theater “Teatr Lalek” in collaboration with the Sandglass Theater of Putney, Vermont.  The play, authored and directed by Eric Bass, centers on three 20th century events that profoundly affected Jewish life in that city: a 1906 pogrom, ghetto existence during the nazi occupation and the ‘zionist’ purge initiated by the communist government in 1968.  Watch a trailer/ excerpt of the movie on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENCei-BtW4Y&t=28s

On Friday, February 15th KlezmerQuerque’s free Mega-celebration begins at 6:00p.m. with a children’s and family’s dance event led by guest dance artists Cristian Florescu and Sonia Dion. All ages are welcome. At 6:30 der Freylekher Shabes (“Joyous Shabbat”) begins with a danced participatory old country-style heimishe (“homey”) Shabbat service led by Nahalat Shalom’s cantor Beth Cohen, Alavados ensemble and Rikud dancers. At 7:15 there will be a vegetarian potluck dinner which will be followed by the dance music of The Rebbe’s Orkestra. A performance by special guest musicians Miamon Miller and Isaac Sadigursky will begin at 8:10pm, which will be followed by more dancing and music by The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band, Rikud, Cristian Florescu and Sonia Dion and ending at 9:30pm.

On Saturday, February 16th from 10:00am to 12:00pm join Nahalat Shalom’s cantor Beth Cohen with Alavados ensemble for the Shabes Koydesh Service. The Jewish religious service is free and is open to all. It will include a torah reading, a guided meditation, and will conclude with a Kiddush Oneg (grape juice and bread).

On Saturday evening February 16th, the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. to the lively music of local klezmer trio Di Kavene Kapelye.  At 7:00 p.m. The Rebbe’s Orkestra-klezmer & Judaic band, will open the show. At 7:30p.m. the special guest musicians Isaac Sadigursky (accordion), Miamon Miller (violin) & Paul Brown (bass violin) will present the featured concert of klezmer wedding tunes, Romanian dance tunes and more. From 9:00-10:00p.m. following the concert and intermission, the dance party will begin with traditional folk dancing led by guest dance artists Cristian Florescu and Sonia Dion to live music by the special guest musicians. Tickets can be purchased on-line or at the door for $20-general and $18-seniors/ students.

On Sunday, February 17th from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. there will be four 90 minute workshop sessions taught by the special guest artists. In each 90-minute session, workshop participants will choose either klezmer music or traditional Romanian-Jewish dance. Session #1 is from 10:00-11:30 a.m., session #2 is from 1-2:30p.m., session #3 is from 2:45-4:15 p.m., and session #4 is from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Tickets for each session are $25-general and $20-seniors/students.

Individual event prices range from free to $25. After February 7th, the senior/student All-event price $95 and general admission all-event $115. To purchase tickets and for more details:   https://www.nahalatshalom.org/klezmerquerque-tickets   
Office: 505-343-6227, e-mail: office@nahalatshalom.orgFor more information contact the KlezmerQuerque co-ordinator Beth Cohen at (505) 243-6276, cohenedmunds@netzero.net     Visit and like the KlezmerQuerque facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KlezmerQuerque/

Guest artist BIOS:
Violinist Miamon Miller is also a nationally recognized composer, ethnomusicologist, and violist who has recorded with many well-known artists including Neil Sedaka and Neil Diamond.  Miamon has also composed and arranged music for award-winning film and television productions including Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Arabs in Detroit, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, Keeping Up with the Steins and the PBS documentary Swimming in Auschwitz. Miamon’s web site: http://www.mmillermusic.com/index.html

Accordionist Isaac Sadigursky is a major exponent of the Bessarabian klezmer tradition and its rich Ottoman/Balkan-influenced repertoire. Isaac learned to play the accordion and clarinet as a child in Beltz, Moldova. He played in the military band in Odessa and then began playing in folk orchestras as well as the State Symphony Orchestra. In 1974, he immigrated to Los Angeles, where he performs in several orchestras and bands, and also works as a Piano Technician.

Cristian Florescu was born in Bucharest, Romania. He started dancing in 1982 with different Romanian folk ensembles, and studied with various specialists. Cristian was principal dancer with the National Ensemble Cununa Carpatilor with whom he toured extensively in Europe, Asia and North America. In 1990-91, the Romanian Ministry of Culture and the ACAFR a certified him as registered solo dancer and choreographer in the field of folklore. He also was chief répétiteur for the Folk Ensemble Balada in Romania and worked as choreographer for the Academic Ensemble Joc in Moldova.

Sonia Dion was born in Québec and has been a professional dancer for over 20 years. She was lead dancer and choreographer for Les Sortilèges Dance Company, Canada's oldest professional folk dance ensemble. Sonia has toured worldwide and has been exposed to a wide range of dance techniques including Romanian folk dance, Scottish highland dancing, French-Canadian clogging and ballroom. Cristian and Sonia’s web site: