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ROCKIN' THE SHTETL, A MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION ON THE HISTORY OF KLEZMER MUSIC, WILL BE PRESENTED AT BARD November 6 Program Traces Klezmer's Journey from Old World Shtetls to New World Nightclubs

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Rockin' the Shtetl, a multimedia presentation on the history of klezmer music by Seth Rogovoy, will be held at Bard College on Tuesday, November 6. The program, free and open to the public, begins at 7:00 p.m. in Room 102 of the F. W. Olin Humanities Building and is presented by the Jewish Studies Program at Bard and the Y'DIYAH Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Music critic Rogovoy, author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover's Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music, will trace klezmer's journey from Old World shtetls to New World nightclubs. He explains that "for centuries klezmer music was the soundtrack of celebration for Jewish communities in Europe and America. Today, the bittersweet sounds of clarinet- and violin-driven klezmer are performed on the world's greatest concert stages, in the hippest urban jazz and rock clubs, in coffeehouses, at folk festivals, and, as always, at Jewish weddings and other life-cycle celebrations."

"An informative and entertaining guide . . . Seth Rogovoy lucidly explains what's culturally significant about klezmer; better yet, he captures the music's fun," writes Francis Davis, jazz critic of the Atlantic Monthly, of Rogovoy's book The Essential Klezmer. Rogovoy is a columnist for the Berkshire Eagle, covering pop, rock, folk, jazz, country, soul, and world music. His music journalism has also appeared in national and regional magazines and newspapers including Sing Out!, Moment, Audition, Berkshire Magazine, Newsday, the Boston Phoenix, and the Forward.

Rogovoy is an arts commentator for WAMC Northeast Public Radio and is the "cultural czar" of the morning program Roundtable. He recently wrote and narrated a segment on klezmer for the PBS series Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and has contributed to documentaries on klezmer and Jewish music for ABC and CNN. His lecture schedule has included talks at the New York Public Library, the National Yiddish Book Center, Yiddishkayt L.A. Festival, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Skidmore College, Williams College, the Berkshire Museum, and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.

Rogovoy is an adjunct faculty member at Yeshiva Chadasha in San Mateo, California, and at Williams College in Massachusetts, where he taught a course on klezmer last year. He was scholar in residence at the Workmen's Circle's Circle Lodge and at the National Havurah Committee's Summer Institute. He lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with his wife and their two children.

For further information, call Rona Sheramy at 845-758-7090 or e-mail

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This event was last updated on 10-11-2001