If you’ve been watching the Ken Burns’ documentary on American Country Music, you've seen how tunes begat other tunes, lyrics get added or subtracted, and every new generation discovers the old songs anew.
It’s the same with any folk music. Veretski Pass, a trio made up of violinist Cookie Selegstein, accordionist Joshua Horowitz, and bassist Stuart Brotman, plays klezmer - the music of the Jews of central and eastern Europe. It was often performed at weddings and other gatherings in the 19th and early 20th centuries when Yiddish was the predominant language.
The two World Wars changed things dramatically, of course, but the music never truly died out. There’s been a rebirth of interest and scholarship over the past 30 years and Veretski Pass, along with clarinetist and ethnomusicologist Joel Rubin, has been at the forefront of bringing the old songs to new audiences.
They joined us in the studio to give us a taste of klezmer:
Veretski Pass will give a free concert Thursday evening at St John's on the Lake, sponsored by the UWM Stahl Center for Jewish Studies.