KlezmerQuerque is coming to town this week, and man, am I excited!
KlezmerQuerque 2019, a yearly festival—now in its 17th year—produced by Congregation Nahalat Shalom, takes place this year from Feb. 14 through 17.
This year’s theme focuses on the genre’s affiliative association with the music found in Romanian culture and how that affiliation contributed to a form of music created by Ashkenazi Jews influenced by canonical music and later revitalized and re-envisioned by 20th century Jewish immigrants who were exposed to American musical forms like jazz and the blues, as they assimilated into our great melting pot of a nation.
This year’s fest will be especially notable as it features the work of several local artists as well as internationally renowned musicians who’ll be making the trip to the Duke City to play some of the most engaging, heartfelt folk music ever devised and disseminated by the human tribe.
Violinist and ethnomusicologist Maimon Miller, who used a Fulbright scholarship to spend a year studying Transylvanian folk music will perform on Saturday night along with Isaac Sadigursky a clarinetist and accordionist who is a major proponent of the Klezmer tradition and its Balkan-influenced repertoire.
Additionally, Cristian Florescu and Sonia Dion will present a brief program of Romanian folk dance, demonstrating how two folk traditions became danceably intertwined.
This compelling combination of music, dance and spirituality includes movie screenings on Friday night as well as a children and family dance event, a potluck dinner and a Holy Shabbat service on Saturday morning that includes a performance by Beth Cohen and the Alvados Ensemble, a reading from the Torah, a guided meditation and community conclusion featuring traditional Kiddush Oneg (grape juice and fruit).
Most importantly this event is also an opportunity to hear some of Burque’s most accomplished folk musicians as they jam to a form of music that is ancient, arcane and awesomely fun to experience.
The Rebbe’s Orkestra, featuring Burque folk stalwart and Nahalat Shalom Cantor Beth Cohen, local Klezmer trio Di Kavane Kapelye as well as the Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band and the Rikud Dancers will also lead performances during the course of the festival.
This year’s KlezmerQuerque comes to an informed and innovative conclusion on Sunday night, Feb. 17 with four 90-minute workshops on Klezmer music and traditional Romanian-Jewish dance.
Individual event prices range from free to $25; the senior/student all-event price is $95 and general admission is $115. All events take place at Nahalat Shalom (3606 Rio Grande Blvd. NW), between Candelaria and Griegos, in beautiful Burque. For more details, a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit nahalatshalom.org/