KlezmerFest Means Tailgating and Music

KlezmerFest 2011 is just around the corner. This eclectic showcase of Klezmer music at Louisville’s outdoor Iroquois Amphitheater on Sunday, May 15, beginning at 1 p.m., will feature five klezmer bands, including Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, Cincinnati Klezmer Project, Java Jews, Lost Tribe and River City Klezmer Band.


The special warm up act will be “The Biggest Jewish Tailgating Party in Town,” at 11:00 a.m. in the Iroquois Amphitheater parking lot. Everyone is invited to bring their bagels and the rest of their favorite Jewish nosh for a pre-show picnic feast. Be aware, alcohol is not permitted in Louisville’s public parks. During tailgating and the concert there will be plenty to keep the kids busy with “Klezmer Games” and other activities created by Ally Baer and Temple Shalom’s SHORTY (Super Heroes of Religious Temple Youth). Tailgating is free.

Lost Tribe is a Klezmer band carrying a medley of day jobs – orthodontist, orchestra conductor, graphic designer, IT director, physician and hearing aid dispenser. But they share the same sheet of music as M.O.T.’s , that insider acronym of endearment for “Members of the Tribe.” It was at Carol Savkovich’s dining room table that she and fellow musician Aviv Naamani decided the band’s name should have an irreverent ring. So as they say at show time, give it up for Louisville’s own Lost Tribe!

With a captivating selection of its favorite Eastern European folk tunes, Lost Tribe is thrilled to take the stage at KlezmerFest 2011. The band’s first big gig was playing a packed house at Temple Shalom of nearly 500 people during KlezmerFest 2010. Temple Shalom’s Kathy Karr, the Louisville Orchestra’s principal flute and creator of KlezmerFest, knows talent when she hears it.

“The Lost Tribe is a group of absolutely wonderful musicians, and I am thrilled beyond words about their success,” says Kathy Karr.

For lovers of eclectic music, Lost Tribe’s opening medley at KlezmerFest 2011 should hit the spot. It will begin with a Chassidic tune, “Eileh Chamda Libi,” with a sashay into a Klezmer classic, “Nacht en Gan Eden” (A Night in the Garden of Eden), topped off with “Di Golden Pavene” (The Golden Peacock) and a cadence usually heard in a Paris café.

Before there was “Hava Nagila” Klezmer had another signature tune, “Ma Yofus” (How Beautiful). The Lost Tribe will deliver it with a Bluegrass twist, as well as a Moldavian hora.

It was Aviv Naamani, steel and nylon string guitars and the Irish bouzouski, (the hearing aid dispenser), and Carol Savkovich, concertina and recorders, (the graphic designer), who were inspired to go Klezmer after hearing the Java Jews of Des Moines play at Temple Shalom’s annual dinner in 2009.

“At the time we were playing in a British Isles/Americana band,” says Naamani. “Evidently, the Java Jews opened up something in both of us,” he adds. For more on the Java Jews who are also playing KlezmerFest 2011 see the April 18 issue of Community.

It was the Java Jews who inspired Kathy Karr to create KlezmerFest so she knows the feeling.
“We all came away from the Java Jews performance dancing and singing, but that Aviv and Carol were so moved that they formed Lost Tribe warms my heart, ” says Karr.

The first new recruit to Lost Tribe was Dr. Frances Weinstock, vocals, percussion, (physician). Next came Dr. Mark Perlmutter, clarinet, (orthodontist). Soon they picked up their fiddler, Aaron Boaz, (conductor of the JCC Orchestra), who happened to be in the audience of KlezmerFest 2010 and expressed an interest. Still in search of a bass guitar/bass banjo, Aviv Naamani connected with an old high school friend, Kato Wilbur (the IT director).

In addition to the five bands, guest artists Cantor David Lipp of Congregation Adath Jeshurun, Cantor Sharon Hordes of Congregation Keneseth Israel and Rabbi Gaylia Rooks of The Temple will perform.

Tickets to the concert in the Iroquois Amphitheater are $15 in advance and $18 at the door. Children 12 and under are free. Students are $10. Go to www.klezmerfest.org or visit Louisville Klezmerfest on Facebook and @klezmerfest on Twitter.

Underwriters of KlezmerFest 2011 include: The Adolf & Sara van der Walde and Israel Rosenbloum Charitable Fund and Jewish Hospital HealthCare Services. Gold corporate sponsors are Jewish Community of Louisville (JCL), Gould’s Discount Medical and Hank Davis Jewelers. Benefactors include Republic Bank, Alan Hyman Enterprises, Women of Temple Shalom, Temple Shalom Men’s Club and the Temple Shalom Endowment Fund.
KlezmerFest is excited to welcome new sponsors. Contact Bruce Holzman, KlezmerFest Chair, bruceholzman@yahoo.com.

[by Helene Kramer]

Leave a Reply