KlezmerFest 2013 is Oct. 13

KlezmerFest 2013 is Oct. 13

Knishes and matzo ball soup on a Sunday afternoon. Sounds like a nosh-fest. Pair those favorite Jewish comfort foods with kids’ activities and two of the top klezmer bands in the country, and you get KlezmerFest. KlezmerFest 2013, that is, at Temple Shalom on Sunday, October 13, starting at 3 p.m.

“We think of KlezmerFest as our congregation’s musical mitzvah,” says Helene Kramer Longton, Chair of KlezmerFest 2013.


“It’s also about preserving a great Jewish musical tradition that nearly perished in the Holocaust and inviting Jews throughout our community to celebrate our heimish roots together,” adds Judy Sharp, President of Temple Shalom.

KlezmerFest, which debuted in 2010, is the creation of Temple Shalom’s Kathy Karr, who is principal flute of the Louisville Orchestra and Music Chair of KlezmerFest 2013.

“On a Partnership trip to Northern Israel, I fell in love with klezmer music and thought Louisvillians shouldn’t have to wait for weddings and bar mitzvahs to enjoy it,” says Karr. “There was no klezmer music festival in our city or any other we knew of so we decided to produce KlezmerFest as a signature cultural event,” adds Karr.

So what’s new this year? Everything!

The bands

Both are playing in Louisville for the very first time.

From Chicago, the headliner of KlezmerFest 2013 is the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. The band is named after the Maxwell Street marketplace where thousands of new Jewish immigrant peddlers made a living in the early 20th Century. Much like the famous Lower East Side of New York City, the heart of the Eastern European Jewish community in Chicago was filled with the sounds of klezmer music. With its distinct big band sound, Maxwell Street Klezmer Band has performed all over the world and was honored in 2004 with an Indie Just Plain Folks Award as “Best Jewish Band.”

From Kalamazoo, MI, come the Red Sea Pedestrians. This classically trained ensemble will take you back to the sounds of the shtetls of our ancestors. Red Sea Pedestrians love to mix traditional klezmer music with a little bit of Greek and Gypsy. They have been described as a one-of-a-kind fusion phenomenon.

In the spirit of keeping KlezmerFest a genuine community-wide event, the voices of Louisville’s congregations will be back. Cantor David Lipp of Congregation Adath Jeshurun and Cantor Sharon Hordes of Keneseth Israel Synogogue will perform with Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and Rabbi Gaylia Rooks will perform with Red Sea Pedestrians.

The food

While KlezmerFest has usually featured Jewish-style deli, KlezmerFest 2013 will turn it up more than a notch with many of the Jewish comfort foods we love, all homemade by a committee led by Temple Shalom’s Paula O’Connell. On the menu, you’ll find knishes, matzo ball soup and rugelach. To keep the kids happy, KlezmerFest 2013 will also serve pizza.

Klezmer Kids Activities

With the expertise of Temple Shalom’s Andi Callam, who is also assistant director of Keneseth Israel Preschool, KlezmerFest 2013 will offer exciting activities for your children and grandchildren. For the first time, there will be giant inflatables in the parking lot: a bouncy for the little ones and an obstacle course with a slide for those a little older.

It will also be an afternoon filled with games and prizes, with a special Klezmer Crafts room where kids can make their own creative drums, maracas, foam guitars and paper instruments. Members of Temple Shalom’s youth group, SHORTY, will play a starring role making sure the youngest klezmer fans have fun.

The title sponsors of KlezmerFest 2013 are the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and the Sara and Adolph van der Walde Fund.

Admission is chai – $18 – for adults. Children 12 and under are free. Food and drink are available for purchase. For more information join Louisville KlezmerFest on Facebook, go to www.templeshalomky.org or call 458-4739.

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