World Fiddle Day 2019: Spotlight on Klezmer

World Fiddle Day Toronto 2015

SUNDAY, May 19, from 9:30am – 6:30pm
Canadian Language Museum (CLM) Glendon Campus (Lawrence and Bayview)

REGISTRATION for the Day and CONCERT tickets:  HERE

Participants (players) for the full day: 9:30am – 6:30pm
ADULTS: $50         YOUTH (under 25): $30

Concert: Deborah Strauss/Jeff Warschauer/World Fiddle Day Klezmer Orchestra:$15                                                                 4:30 to 6:30, doors open at 4.

Why CLM? First, it’s a beautiful spot with ample facilities, easy public transit access and parking. But more importantly, CLM is hosting a sound installation and visual exhibit about Yiddish language and culture this spring, and the focus of this year’s World Fiddle Day will be Yiddish and Klezmer music. Our guests, leading us in a day-long Klezmer Orchestra, are renowned duo Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer, who will be coming from Pennsylvania to join us. For more info on Jeff and Deborah, go HERE

We will spend the day in workshops with Deborah and Jeff, learning rhythms, melodies, chord parts and more, by ear (with sheet music available) as part of a wonderful Yiddish String Orchestra. Towards the end of the day, we will move into concert mode, listening to Deborah and Jeff and then getting up to play what we’ve learned for family, friends and the general public. It’s a wonderful chance for a brief immersion into a wild and wonderful tradition. Violin and other bowed strings are central to the tradition, but we welcome other string instruments (especially guitars and mandolins), and other instruments by consultation: email

What is Klezmer? You’ve probably heard it, perhaps without realizing. Simply put, it is the secular, instrumental folk music of Eastern European Jewry. Developed over many centuries and across national borders spanning from the Baltic to the Black Sea, it thrived in eastern Europe and later in North America, as waves of Jewish immigrants from Poland, Russia, Romania, Ukraine and other nations brought their musical traditions to the goldene medine (golden land). Though thought of by many as simply Jewish wedding music, Klezmer comprises a vast spectrum of repertoire, from dance music to free rhapsodies and virtuosic showpieces. As a “fusion” music, it shares much in common with the neighbouring non-Jewish folk styles of Eastern Europe, particularly Roma music. With its intrinsic connection to eastern-European Jewish life, the music waned in popularity following the destruction of that world in the Holocaust, and the advance of assimilationism among first- and second-generation North American Jews.  But a vibrant klezmer revival began to emerge in the 1970s and 80s and carries on to this day. Klezmer is now more popular than ever before, performed and enjoyed by diverse audiences of all backgrounds worldwide.

CHECK OUT our WORKSHOP page for upcoming Sunday sessions at Long&McQuade’s,  March 31, April 14, April 28 and May 12, 1:30 – 4pm, 935 Bloor St. West upstairs.

World Fiddle Day Toronto 2019 takes place at the Canadian Language Museum in conjunction with their Yiddish language exhibit. Both the exhibit and our Spotlight on Klezmer event are co-presented by the Ashkenaz Foundation, producers of the biennial Ashkenaz Festival, North America’s largest celebration of Yiddish and global Jewish music and culture. We are further supported by Polyphonic Ground, a collective of ten GTA-based presenters of culturally diverse music, in which World Fiddle Day and Ashkenaz Foundation are charter members. The support of Polyphonic Ground is made possible through Canada Council for the Arts, Department of Canadian Heritage, Ontario Media Development Corporation and Toronto Arts Council. 

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6 comments on “World Fiddle Day 2019: Spotlight on Klezmer

  1. Pingback: See post below | World Fiddle Day Toronto

  2. Hi, I’ve been on your list the past few years and have purchased your tune book and CD to have sent to me in the US. Is that still possible and how do I go about it? Thanks!


    • Sure.. I am going to figure out cost later today or tomorrow, andyou can send us an e-mail transfer. But, you probably have almost all the tunes and/or may just want to print them yourself from the Dropbox.. I can add you if you want.


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