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University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

The JCC is on a Klezmer Chai

Dave Tarras in the 1930s

The father of traditional Jewish Klezmer music, Dave Tarras is regarded as the single most important figure in the history of the music, known for his long career and skilled clarinet playing.

Born Dovid Tarraschuk in 1897 in a Russian village to a family of Hasidic Klezmorim, who mostly played at Jewish weddings, he grew up playing a variety of instruments and surrounded by the music. He was conscripted into the tsar’s army in 1915, but his talents as a musician kept him out of the trenches. In 1921 he immigrated to New York City, where his unique skills, talent and capabilities as a musician earned him acclaim as the most famous 20th century klezmer musician.

Dave Tarras died in 1989 but his heritage is alive and kicking, in part because of the younger generation of musicians he mentored.

Yale Strom

Yale Strom is at the top of the klezmer game today, and he comes to the Boulder JCC Saturday night to pay tribute to Tarras. The author of “Dave Tarras – King of Klezmer,” Strom is a violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, playwright, author – and the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history.

The Boulder Klezmer Consort, featuring Sheldon Sands and soloist Faye Nepon, will perform before and after Strom’s talk. The evening, “Crazy for Klezmer,” also includes an “old world” buffet and libations.

A word about the libations: We will serve egg creams, New York style. We will also serve potato vodka. It’s probably a good idea to decide which way you want to go, since we don’t recommend mixing the two. But whichever way you decide to go, get ready to get crazy for klezmer.

So put on your dancing shoes and come hear the infectious music of the Jewish people. Your soul will thank you.

Tickets are $36 at the door. Reservations are appreciated but not required. Kathryn@boulderjcc.org.

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prep

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Director of Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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