Alicia Svigals and Lauren Brody Wow Crowd With Klezmer Gems at Yivo Concert

Lesbian violinist Alicia Svigals swept people off their feet at the Center for Jewish History in New York

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“This concert is in celebration of Yiddish Summer Program” Ben Kaplan, YIVO Education Administrator, told the August 3 full house at the Center for Jewish History at its “Zumer Concert” featuring violinist-vocalist-composer Klezmer maven Alicia Svigals and accordionist, singer researcher and piano tuner/technician Lauren Brody.

Svigals got the audience foot tapping with her klezmer “bulgar” and invited the audience to join in a sing-along of “Oy Tate“ (Oh Daddy!)— “a classic klezmer chorus for ‘Oy Got’— or Mama—if that is your conception of the deity.” She performed a song by cantor Moyshe Oysher who, she noted, recorded about his childhood with his sister Freydele—herself a cantor—about a house with a green roof, surrounded by trees and each year the father bings toys…a goat. a wagon—a song many in the audience knew (Bay dem shtetl, shteyt a shtibl, mit a grinem dakh…).

Svigals—on violin— and Brody—whose animated accordion playing—had me humming along throughout—shone the spotlight on Yiddish women poets “who wrote “froyen lider”—women’s songs.”

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This Saturday, Aug. 20, at 7:30 p.m., the Tompkins Corners Cultural Center in Putnam Valley New York will present a concert of klezmer fiddle music and Yiddish songs performed by violinist, vocalist and composer Alicia Svigals and accordionist Lauren Brody read more