[Dixielandjazz] Jews and Jazz

luis daniel flores luda at arnet.com.ar
Wed Oct 5 18:01:12 PDT 2005

The Klesmer music has many similarities with jazz, this is what I found :

Klezmer Music is a style of music that is inherently Jewish in nature. The
word Klezmer comes from two Hebrew words, clay and zimmer, meaning vessel of
music or song. The idea is that the instrument ie. the violin, clarinet, takes
on human characteristics like laughing and crying. With a joyous exuberance or
a soulful wailing.
 Klezmer music was a product of Eastern European Yiddish Culture which the
Jewish immigrants brought with them to the United States in the 1880's.

 Klezmer musicians (also called Klezmorim) were an informal group of
musicians. Many were itinerants who went from village to village in Eastern
Europe. They played traditional music, folk songs, folk dances and solemn
hymns before prayers.

 These musicians rarely knew how to read music. What Jews could afford music
lessons and who in the shtetl would teach them? They earned very little money
and had to keep moving, seeking out country fairs, weddings, synagogue
dedications, Purim festivities etc...

Although untrained in any formal sense, many were extremely gifted men. As
characters, the shabby Klezmorim were familiar to all Ashkenazi Jews. They
were regarded as drifters, odd types and itinerant minstrels.
 A typical group contained three to six musicians. Their music was played on
trumpets, bugles, flutes, clarinets, fifes, violins, cellos and drums. In some
ways Klezmer music was like the music of Jazz combos in that it grew out of
improvisation, ingenious harmonizations and solo innovations.

Dr. Luis Daniel Flores FRCOG
domingos/Sundays 9:30/12:30 GMT

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list