VERETSKI PASS: MUSIC FROM THE CARPATHIAN BOW
Veretski Pass features Cookie Segelstein - Violin; Joshua Horowitz – Chromatic Button Accordion; and Stuart Brotman - Cello
In Eastern Europe, the roots of World Music go back centuries. Jews and Moslems, Magyars, Rumanians, Ukrainians and Roma played music together in an atmosphere of sharing, in a multicultural area where professional musicians had to know as many musical styles as the diverse languages of the people with whom they lived and worked. Across the Veretski Pass, the mountain pass in the Carpathians through which Magyar tribes into crossed into the Carpathian basin in 895 AD, and through which the emigrating Jews first settled in Transcarpathia, the musical traditions were as varied as the people who lived there.
Taking its name from this cultural hotbed, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. With colorful instrumentation, unique arrangements and compositions, Veretski Pass plays "Old Country" music: music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia, Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania, Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia, and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Much of this rare music has been gleaned from field recordings gathered by the musicians in numerous trips throughout Europe, as well as from family members.
Often touring in Europe, they have twice been chosen as ambassadors representing traditional Jewish Instrumental Music of Eastern Europe for the German World Exhibition of Klezmer History (Klezmerwelten) and have headlined the Jewish Music Festival of the University of London. They recently performed at the prestigious Concertgebouw Concert Hall in Amsterdam to a sold out audience with a standing ovation, and their CDs have repeatedly been on the 10-best recordings lists of journalists. Cookie’s unique violin style was featured for a Jewish wedding scene on HBO’s “Sex and the City” and Josh and Stu’s compositions provided the music for Jes Benstock's award-winning film “The Holocaust Tourist."
Cookie Segelstein, violin, received her Masters degree in Viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. Until moving to California in 2010, she was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony, as well as on the music faculty at Southern Connecticut State University. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass, a member of Budowitz, The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik, has performed with Kapelye, The Klezmatics, Frank London, Klezmer Fats and Swing with Pete Sokolow and the late Howie Leess, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys, and The Klezmer Conservatory Band.
Cookie has presented lecture demonstrations and workshops on klezmer fiddling all over the world, including at Yale University, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marshall University in Huntington, West VA, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, University of Oregon in Eugene, Pacific University, SUNY-Cortland, and at Klezmerwochen in Weimar, Germany.
She is a regular staff member at Living Traditions' Klez Kamp, Klezmerquerque,Klez Kanada, Klez California, Klezmer Festival Fürth, Klezfest London, and has been a performing artist at Centrum's Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Wash.
She was featured on the ABC documentary, “A Sacred Noise”, heard on HBO’s “Sex and the City”, appears in the Miramax film, “Everybody’s Fine” starring Robert De Niro, and heard on several recordings including the Veretski Pass self titled release, Trafik, and The Klezmer Shul, Budowitz Live, the Koch International label with Orchestra New England in The Orchestral Music of Charles Ives, Hazònes with Frank London, A Living Tradition with the late Moldovan clarinetist, German Goldenshteyn, Fleytmuzik with Adrianne Greenbaum, and Budowitz Live.
She is also the publisher of "the Music of..." series of klezmer transcriptions. Active as a Holocaust educator and curriculum advisor, she has been a frequent lecturer at the Women’s Correctional Facility in Niantic, CT. She is on the boards of both the North California Viola Society, and the American String Teacher Association, Bay Area chapter. Cookie is also an Apple Certified Support Professional, and owns and operates The Macmama. Cookie lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, Josh Horowitz, two cats, a dog and her occasionally visiting adult children.
Joshua Horowitz, chromatic button accordion, received his Masters degree in Composition and Music Theory from the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, where he taught Music Theory and served as Research Fellow and Director of the Yiddish Music Research Project for eight years.
He is the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz, a founding member of Veretski Pass and has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Theodore Bikel, Ben Goldberg, Rubin and Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov. His music was recently featured in the British film, “Some of my best friends are... Jewish / Muslim”, awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Award and is also featured in the new film by Jes Benstock, "The Holocaust Tourist".
His recordings with Veretski Pass, Budowitz, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rubin & Horowitz and Alicia Svigals, have achieved international recognition and he is the recipient of more than 40 awards for his work as both composer and performer.
He was one of the co-founders of the Austrian experimental composer collective, “Die Andere Saite” and received the Prize of Honor by the Austrian government for his orchestral composition, “Tenebrae.” Following his children’s Opera, “Der Wilde Man”, Joshua received The “Award for Outstanding Talent in Composition” by the City of Graz and was twice finalist in the National American ASCAP competition. While teaching at the Graz Academy of Music he was awarded both The David Herzog and Fritz Spielman Awards, and received ongoing support from Louise M. Davies for his dedication to music creativity and education.
In 2001, Joshua’s group, Budowitz was chosen by the Austrian government to represent the country in the International Celebration of World Culture’s held at the “House of the Cultures of The World” in Berlin.
Joshua taught Advanced Jazz Theory at Stanford University with the late saxophonist Stan Getz and is a regular teacher at Klez Kamp, Klezmerquerque, Klez Kanada, Klez California and the Klezmer Festival Fürth. His musicological work is featured in four books, including The Sephardic Songbook with Aron Saltiel and The Ultimate Klezmer, and he has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach.
Stuart Brotman, basy (cello), has been an accomplished performer, arranger and recording artist in the ethnic music field for over 50 years. A founding member of Los Angeles' Ellis Island Band, he has been a moving force in the klezmer revival since its beginning, and has defined klezmer bass (“It’s a large instrument that plays really low and has an accent.”)
He holds a B.A. in music with a concentration in Ethnomusicology from the University of California at Los Angeles, and has taught at Klez Kamp, Buffalo on the Roof, the Balkan Music and Dance Workshops, Klezmerquerque, Klez Kanada, Klez California, and numerous European festivals and institutes, including Oxford University, Klezfest London, Yiddish Summer Weimar, Klezmer Festival Fürth, and the Krakow Jewish Festival.
Stu has been recording, touring, and teaching New Jewish Music with world class ensemble, Brave Old World since 1989, and is featured in the PBS Great Performances film and CD, “Itzhak Perlman, in the Fiddler’s House,” and in the 2010 documentary, “Song of the Lodz Ghetto, with the music of Brave Old World.”
Long admired as a versatile soloist and sensitive accompanist in traditional and pop music circles, he has toured and recorded with Canned Heat, Kaleidoscope, and Geoff and Maria Muldaur, and played cimbalom on Ry Cooder’s celebrated recording, “Jazz,” which premiered at Carnegie Hall.
Stu appeared in the Los Angeles production of Joshua Sobol’s “Ghetto,” the San Francisco production of “Shlemiel the First,” by Isaac Bashevis Singer, played cimbalom in “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” and contrabass balalaika in “Love Affair.”
He produced The Klezmorim's Grammy nominated album, "Metropolis," has recorded with The Klezmorim, Kapelye, Andy Statman, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Davka, The San Francisco Klezmer Experience, and Khevrisa. Stuart lives in Berkeley, California.
For Booking Information: Please contact Cookie Segelstein, 510-705-1497, firstname.lastname@example.org www.veretskipass.com
PLUS-ABQ's own klezmer & Judaic ensemble:
THE REBBE'S ORKESTRA
Incorporating the sounds and rhythms of Jewish music from many parts of the world, The Rebbe's Orkestra brings a unique style to Klezmer–the Jewish instrumental dance music of Eastern Europe. The band's repertoire also includes instrumental pieces from the Middle-East, folk songs in Yiddish, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), Hebrew, Arabic and Romanes (the language of the Roma/ Gypsies), Israeli folk dance tunes, traditional fiddle tunes and songs from New Mexico, as well as traditional music from the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Recording and performing throughout the southwest since 1996, The Rebbe's Orkestra has been exploring the ways in which Jewish people have interacted with surrounding musical traditions over the centuries to produce music which is uplifting and uniquely Jewish. From Spain to Iraq, Poland to the Mediterranean: The Rebbe's Orkestra plays tunes and songs as widely divergent as the geography and yet with surprisingly similar themes that would make any Rebbe kvell and dance with joy.
Band members of The Rebbe's Orkestra are:
Randy Edmunds-guitar/tambura/vocals; and
Mary Masuk-percussion (doumbek, tapan, riqq, daide, snare drum, cymbal, Turkish wooden spoons, & tar drum).
Often appearing with the ensemble is guest clarinetist Clara Byom, dance leader Jamie Cohen-Edmunds &/or dance leaders from Nahalat Shalom's 'Rikud' Yiddish dance troupe.
Find The Rebbe's Orkestra on:
Listen to the band now!
THE REBBE'S ORKESTRA celebrated the release of its first CD at KlezmerQuerque 2010: "Klezmer y Mas"!!
Available at KlezmerQuerque.