Hot music on a cold night

We had the good fortune to open up the spring season of the NY Klezmer Series last night at Stephen Wise Synagogue. My trio shared the evening with vocalist and songwriter Miryem Khaye Seigel. We played one long set and switched between instrumental and vocal selections to keep it interesting. Our repertoire for the evening included compositions by Beresh Katz, Louis Grupp, Eli Basse, Hymie Jacobson and others. We also performed several of Miryem Khaye’s originals. On another note I had an old record of my dad’s cleaned up and mastered and it should be out digitally sometime this spring. My grandfather is the trombonist on the album which was recorded in 1962. The repertoire on this album is not typical of what today’s Klezmer aficionado would be accustomed to. It’s safe to say that 99.9 percent of the people who enjoy this type of music have probably never heard most of this material before. I’ve been incorporating some of this repertoire into the set when we do a gig. I guess you could call this new old music. It’s new if you’ve never heard it before. Until the next one….

3 thoughts on “Hot music on a cold night

  1. I am Louis Grupp’s grand daughter. I was not aware that Louis composed any music–he might have arranged some but my father, his son, is not aware of any compositions.
    Louis died in 1983 (at age 95) and is buried in Edison, NJ in an area of the cemetery for musicians. Two of his brothers are also buried there.
    We still have his fiddle as a family heirloom and I have the flute his father played in klezmer bands/orchestras in Russia.

    • Wow! So nice to hear from you. I believe your grandfather is laid to rest very close to mine in Beth Israel of Woodbridge, NJ. The land was owned by the Progressive Musical Society which a lot of old time Jewish musicians belonged to. A lot of the older “Klezmer” material is not credited to any particular composer. My dad always called this one tune “Grupp’s Bulgar”. Perhaps your grandfather was known for playing it and people thought it was his composition. Can you please email me at Levittdf@gmail.com? I’d love to catch up more with you.

      • I’m wondering if one of the other brothers of my grandfather might have done the composing. The whole family (including cousins) were musicians and would have been able to compose and hand write music.

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