You can hear it in the hottest clubs in New York, the hippest rooms in New Orleans, Chicago, and San Francisco, and in top concert halls around the world. It's a joyous sound that echoes the past. It's Old World meets New World. It's secular and sacred. It's traditional and experimental. It's played by classical violinist Itzhak Perlman (his all-klezmer album in his all-time best-seller!), the hypno-pop band Yo La Tengo, and avant-gardist John Zorn. It made the late great Benny Goodman's clarinet wail. It's klezmer and it's hot!
The Essential Klezmer is the definitive introduction to a musical form in the midst of a renaissance. It documents the history of klezmer from its roots in the Jewish communities of medieval Eastern Europe to its current revival in Europe and America. It includes detailed information about the music's social, cultural, and political roots as well as vivid descriptions of the instruments, their unique sounds, and the players who've kept those sounds alive through the ages. Music journalist Seth Rogovoy skillfully conveys the emotional intensity and uplifting power of klezmer and the reasons for its ever widening popularity among Jews and Gentiles, Hasidim and club kids, grandparents and their grandkids.
A comprehensive discography presents the "Essential Klezmer Library," extensive lists of recordings, artists, and styles, as well as an up-to-the-minute resource of music retailers, festivals, workshops, and klezmer Web sites.
The Essential Klezmer is as entertaining as it is enlightening.