Albuquerque's annual Klezmer music and dance festival celebrates its 9th year from February 18-20, 2011 (Friday evening through Sunday evening over Presidents Day weekend). Nahalat Shalom, its 25-piece intergenerational Community Klezmer Band and Rikud Yiddish dance troupe present ‘KlezmerQuerque' a 3 day festival of concerts, workshops and dance parties featuring ‘Klezmer' the exciting traditional dance & instrumental music of the Eastern European Jewish people.
KlezmerQuerque 2011 welcomes three renowned klezmer artists & scholars who hail from New York City and New England:
Joe "Yosl" Kurland (Yiddish language, song, dance & fidl) is a walking treasure of Yiddishekeit. He enjoys writing his own songs, stories and badkhones in Yiddish, and he sings for High Holiday and Shabbos services in the style of the Eastern European ba'aley-tefile. Yosl prints ketubot (artistic marriage contracts), has taught Yiddish language at the National Yiddish Book Center and at various national conferences, and he has taught the children's program at the annual "Klez Kamp" Yiddish folk arts program in New York. One of his songs was selected in the 2008 competition for New Jewish Liturgical Music held by the Shalshelet Foundation.
Christina Crowder (accordion and Fulbright scholar), Christina was trained as a classical pianist, but caught the folk music bug in college and switched to accordion. She later studied Scandinavian and Bulgarian accordion in Seattle and performed with the popular acoustic folk-rock band Bad Karma Banjo. Christina moved to Hungary in 1993, where she studied Hungarian folk dance and became a founding member of the world-renowned Budapest-based Yiddish music ensemble Di Naye Kapelye and recorded on their first 3 albums. Di Naye Kapelye focused on both researching and re-creating the sound of the musicians that served rural and urban Jewish communities in the early 20th century. Christina and her husband John DeMetrick continued this research with Fulbright grants to Romania in 1999-2001. Their work encompassed field-work with musicians, archival research and collecting commercial recordings related to Jewish music in Romania. Both Yosl and Christina are members of ‘The Wholesale Klezmer Band' which is based in New England.
Margot Leverett (virtuoso clarinetist, protégé of famed-klezmer clarinetist Sid Beckerman) is one of the foremost clarinetists of the klezmer revival. Classically trained at Indiana University School of Music, Leverett was a founding member of the Klezmatics in 1985 before moving on to establish a solo career. Her first CD, "The Art of Klezmer Clarinet," a tribute to classic klezmer of the 20's and 30's, was released in 2001 on Traditional Crossroads to glowing reviews. Her current project, "Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys" is an all-star band combining the best of bluegrass and klezmer. Their self-titled CD, released to rave reviews in 2002, was choreographed by the Paul Taylor Dance Company in a new work entitled "Klezmerbluegrass". Their latest release "Second Avenue Square Dance" features guest artists Jorma Kaukonen and Hazel Dickens and is available on Traditional Crossroads label. Margot was a staff instructor at KlezKamp for over 10 years and has also taught at KlezKanada, Klezkamp West, KlezCalifornia, KlezmerQuerque 2004-06, and at colleges, music festivals, and Jewish organizations across the country, in Europe and Japan.