11th Annual Klezmerquerque at Congregation Nahalat Shalom, Albuquerque
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11th Annual Klezmerquerque

KlezmerQuerque 2013

Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe consisting mainly of dance tunes and large instrumental ensembles for weddings and other celebrations. This weekend marks the return of the 11th annual KlezmerQuerque music and dance festival. This anticipated event is produced by Congregation Nahalat Shalom, its 20-piece intergenerational Community Klezmer Band and Rikud Yiddish dance troupe. Beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m., enjoy a weekend of concerts, workshops, dance parties, traditional instruments, services, tasty foods and more. You can even learn the art of Profane Jewish Dance (aka “Yemenite hip-hop”). Visit nahalatshalom.org or facebook.com/KlezmerQuerque for more information. (Emily Aragon)


Friday Feb 15, 2013

Additional Dates:

3606 Rio Grande Blvd. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107






Beth Cohen, KlezmerQuerque Ko-ordinator

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

Music and dance festival includes concerts, workshops and dance parties featuring ‘Klezmer,’ the traditional dance and instrumental music of the Eastern European Jewish people.

KlezmerQuerque is produced by Congregation Nahalat Shalom, its 20-piece intergenerational Community Klezmer Band and Rikud Yiddish dance troupe. KlezmerQuerque presents a wide variety of events for all ages and abilities with prices ranging from free to $15-$20 per event.

KlezmerQuerque begins on Friday, February 15th at 6:30pm, with ‘Der Freylekher Shabbos’ featuring guest artists and also local klezmer favorites The Rebbe’s Orkestra, The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band, and Rikud dance troupe. A free joyous ‘Shabbos Koydesh’ service is on Saturday, February 16th from 10am-noon with Nahalat Shalom’s Rabbi Deborah Brin, and the concert and dance party begins at 7:00pm (doors at 6:30pm) with local Klezmer band ‘The Rebbe’s Orkestra’ as the opening act for the Hoffman-Watts/Watts duo [Tickets available in advance ONLY at Bookworks, 4022 Rio Grande NW, ABQ (505) 344-8139]. There will be three 90 minute long MUSIC & DANCE WORKSHOPS with the Hoffman-Watss/Watts duo and dancer Bruce Bierman on Sunday, February 17th.

KlezmerQuerque 2013 features dancer & choreographer Bruce Bierman and Philadelphia’s renown award-winning mother & daughter klezmer dynasty duo: Elaine Hoffman-Watts: drums & percussion and Susan Watts: trumpet & voice. Highlights of the festival include a cameo concert-performance by the duo as part of Der Freylekher Shabbes on Friday evening February 15 and a full concert and dance party on Saturday evening, February 16. Yiddish dance master Bruce Bierman will lead the dancing at both evening events. On Sunday, February 17 between 10:00am and 5:30pm there will be three 90 min. hands-on workshops taught by the guest artists in instrumental music and dance. Bruce will teach 3 unique Jewish dance classes: #1- Sacred Ecstatic Jewish Dance, #2- Bawdy and Profane Jewish Dance (aka “Yemenite hip-hop”), and #3- Yiddish Tango. Bruce Bierman, an award winning actor/director/playwright and choreographer who lives and works in Los Angeles, never suspected that Yiddish dance would play a big part in his life. Upon hearing an album by ‘The Klezmorim’ during his college years in the 1980’s, he became wholly inspired and soon adapted, directed and choreographed a klezmer musical based on Isaac Bashevis Singer's 'Gimpel the Fool' for his senior thesis. After graduating with a degree in Theater Arts, he toured the country with the acclaimed Aman Folk Ensemble of Los Angeles performing and teaching traditional dances from around the globe. Bruce Bierman is a leading presenter of Yiddish dance for major festivals, performances and conferences including the prestigious Berkeley Jewish Music Festival and the Jewish Contemporary Museum of San Francisco.

Elaine Hoffman Watts and Susan Watts are descendants of Philadelphia’s prominent Hoffman family musical dynasty. Beginning with Susan’s great-grandfather, musician, composer, cornet-player, and poet, Joseph Hoffman, this important klezmer dynasty reaches back to the Jewish Ukraine of the 19th century. Third and fourth generation klezmorim (musicians) Elaine and Susan are internationally celebrated for their musical skill, ingenuity and cultural knowledge. Elaine is a musical national treasure. Born in 1932, Elaine Hoffman Watts is a winner of the prestigious 2007 National Heritage Award from the National Endowment of the Arts. She is one of only eight artists from Pennsylvania, and one of only six Jewish artists from the entire country, to be so honored over the last 28 years. Elaine is also the recipient of the Leeway Transformation Award and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She was the first woman percussionist to be accepted at Curtis Institute, from which she graduated in 1954. Hoffman-Watts has performed and taught drums, timpani, and mallet instruments for more than forty years, working in symphonies, theaters, and schools. In addition to performing with a variety of noted Klezmer musicians from around the world, trumpeter & vocalist Susan Watts has shared the stage with Mandy Patinkin at Carnegie Hall, Dudu Fischer, Theodore Bikel, Claire Barry, Boban Markovic, So-Called, Alicia Svigals, Margot Leverett, Henkus Netsky, The Klezmer Conervatory Band, among others. Susan is a member of The Fabulous Shpielkes, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Mikveh, and The Klez Dispensers. Recently, she scored and recorded the soundtrack for the award winning film ‘Breath’, and she recorded the soundtrack for a documentary on Philadelphia klezmer ‘A Joyful Noise.’ Susan teaches at klezmer festivals, is an ambassador for womens’ rights around the world and loves good coffee, fine vodka, singing and playing her trumpet.

Elaine & Susan will teach klezmer tunes from their klezmer-dynasty family's repertoire and Bruce will teach 3 unique dance classes. At 10am Bruce teaches 'Sacred Ecstatic Jewish Dance' -- From the moment Miriam took out her timbrel and began to dance after the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea, dance has played a continuous vital role in Jewish ritual life. According to folkologists, Yemenite and Hasidic dance are the original source of all other Jewish dance to follow. This workshop will explore the fascinating gestural language, movements and styling of these two ecstatic dance forms and the percussive rhythms and nigns (wordless melodies) that accompany them. The workshop will begin with stretches and poses inspired by the Hebrew letters. At 2:15pm he'll teach 'Bawdy and Profane Jewish Dance.' Participants in this workshop will experience on their feet how the more sacred Yemenite and Hasidic dance influenced their future secular offsprings: Klezmer and Israeli folk dance. Then, take a listen and bust a move as Yemenite and Hasidic dance enter the 21st century and meet hip hop, rap, swing and the mambo! The workshop will begin with stretches and poses inspired by the Hebrew letters. And at 4:00pm Bruce leads YIDDISH TANGO. Inspired by the body of Yiddish tango music that came out of the Jewish theater and cabarets of the Twenties and early Thirties, this workshop explores the meeting place between the more communal Yiddish circle dance and the intimate embrace of the Argentine tango. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes to dance in for all of the dance workshops. On Sunday there will also be a ‘Lunch ‘n Learn’ with the documentaries: “Eatela: A Life in Klezmer” and “Good Night Mishegas” featuring Elaine (Eatela) Hoffman Watts & Susan Watts. Enjoy a delicious ‘milkhik’ (dairy, fish, veggies, no meat) lunch, followed by the films, which will be followed by a brief question & answer period with Elaine & Susan. Reservation deadline for the Lunch ‘n Learn is February 8th.

For festival details contact: Beth Cohen, KlezmerQuerque Ko-ordinator (505) 243-6276,   cohenedmunds@netzero.net www.nahalatshalom.org Klick on “Klezmer music/dance” & “KlezmerQuerque”--and find KlezmerQuerque on facebook. All events take place at Congregation Nahalat Shalom, 3606 Rio Grande Blvd. NW (between Candelaria & Griegos) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Congregation Nahalat Shalom is a non-profit and tax-exempt organization: www.nahalatshalom.org, office:(505) 343-8227.