Aufwind is a music group founded in 1984 dedicated to Yiddish songs and klezmer music. The founding members are Claudia Koch, Hardy Reich and Andreas Rohde. After the foundation several programs with Yiddish songs were created. The band was a participant of the GDR open chanson days in the monastery Michaelsstein. After that, Aufwind traveled to places of Eastern Jewish life in Poland, Romania and Hungary. From 1988 and the recording of the clarinetist Jan Hermerschmidt, the band increasingly turned to klezmer music. In 1989, the group met the clarinetist Giora Feidman and was invited in the following year as the first foreign group to the prestigious Klezmer Festival in Safed (Israel), where several joint concerts with Feidman took place.
This is the group that amazed me for its outstanding albums, and the high quality of the arrangement they do. My first Klezmer crush!
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Minnie and Clara were born in the Bronx, New York to Ashkenazi Jewish parents, Herman and Ester, from the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires, respectively. Minnie and Clara also had two younger sisters, Celia and Julia. When Minnie and Clara decided to entertain by singing in Yiddish, as The Bagelman Sisters, their father told them they would need to do it in the manner of the Old World and not with American accents.
The young girls got their first break as singers on WLTH Radio’s “Uncle Norman” show for children and were still then known as The Bagelman Sisters. They made their first recordings with Victor Records in the late 1930s. They made a name for themselves as Yiddish jazz singers. When the Andrews Sisters‘ version of the Yiddish song, “Bei Mir Bistu Shein” (as “Bei Mir Bist Du Schön”), became a hit, musician and composer Sam Medoff, known professionally as Dick Manning, started his “Yiddish Melodies in Swing” radio program on New York’s WHN. Before joining the radio show, the sisters made a change of their stage surname from Bagelman to Barry.
From 1937 until the mid-1950s they performed on the program, where they would sing jazz recordings in Yiddish. Their recordings included popular tunes, such as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head“, translated into Yiddish (“Trop’ns Fin Regen Oif Mein Kop”). They also performed in New York‘s Catskills resort hotels. They eventually toured with Mickey Katz. During the height of their popularity, they made appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, The Jack Paar Program and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. They were one of the few American acts to tour the Soviet Union in 1959. The sisters entertained Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War. The Barry Sisters “didn’t look like the typical Yiddish theater stars or singers of that era”, said Breier. “They looked glamorous. And they spared no expense for their orchestrations—they always had the best orchestrations possible.”
Was born in the city of Belz which was then part of the territory known as Bessarabia which was then a part of Imperial Russia, of Lithuanian Jewish descent, Olshanetsky began studying the violin at the age of 6. Then his family moved to Odessa. While a teenager he became a member of the orchestra at the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater; notably touring with the ensemble throughout Imperial Russia. He then worked as chorus master for a touring operetta troupe in Russia. During World War I, he served as a regimental bandmaster in the Russian Army. With the army band he traveled to Harbin, Manchuria, and to Northeast China. In Harbin he began working as a composer and conductor for a Yiddish theater group.
In 1922 Olshanetsky emigrated to the United States. In 1937, his extended family members finally began to come to United States. He quickly became a major presence in the Yiddish theatre scene, and produced numerous musical works for the Lennox Theater in Harlem and the Liberty Theater in Brooklyn. His works were successful, and revivals of most of his works occurred in major cities throughout the United States. He also served as the Concord Hotel’s first musical director.
A great musician, Olshanetsky drove the music in the Liberty Yiddish Theater in New York during the 20’s. Composer of huge skill, he left a lot of good music. His style sows the transformation that the American music was suffering including African and jazz tones what sent him to the pinnacle of fame at that time.