Peace, love and klezmer: Yiddish Center brings Yidstock back

  • Klezmer and jazz trumpeter Frank London, right, will perform at this year’s Yidstock, which is online July 11. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Monday, July 05, 2021

Yidstock, the Yiddish Book Center’s yearly festival of klezmer and new Yiddish music, was canceled last year because of COVID-19, but this year it returns, though in an online format.

“We wanted to bring it back, but we weren’t in a position yet to have a live show,” said Lisa Newman, the book center’s public programming director.

But given the internet’s reach, this year’s prerecorded show, which will begin streaming July 11 at 4 p.m., will bring together over a dozen musicians based in the U.S., Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands, with roots extending further (one performer was born in Siberia and another in southern France).

The theme for this year’s Yidstock is social justice, which according to program notes is drawn from the book center’s Decade of Discovery, a 10-year programming initiative. The songs include “labor anthems, protest songs, humanitarian odes, songs of struggle, and songs based in Yiddish poetry.”

Participating musicians perform on a wide range of instruments, from piano to violin to clarinet, trumpet, and wooden flutes, and some are also involved in theater and choir direction.

Tickets for the 75-minute show are $18 and are good for streaming the concert for 72 hours. To reserve a ticket and read more about the performers, go to yiddishbookcenter.org/yidstock.