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BANJEW: A Century of the Banjo in Klezmer Music
The mass emigration of Eastern European Jews to the United States in the late 19th century occurred while the banjo was a dominant force in American popular music corresponding to ragtime and jazz -- and the brash new instrument the tenor banjo -- offered an unfettered ground floor for this new collaboration.

Join musicologist and performer Henry Sapoznik to exolore how commercial recordings such as those by Alexander Olshanetsky's Orchestra, Joseph Cherniavksy's Hasidic-American Jazz Band, Abe Schwartz, Dave Tarras, Al Glazer, the Broder Kapelle and more, reveal how the banjo not only became a mainstream Jewish presence in the Yiddish theater but also how traditional old-time klezmer bands adapted traditional rhythmic figures onto it.

The talk will cover Sapoznik’s reintroducing the banjo in the mid-1970s klezmer “revival” and its subsequent worldwide renaissance in Jewish bands today including Jerry Wicentowski, Nefesh Mountain, and Dobronotch.

Mar 10, 2022 06:45 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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