Delve into the wonderful world of klezmer with Susi Evans, Szilvia Csaranko, Indra Buraczewska and Johannes Paul Gräßer at the helm to inspire you to explore this celebratory, soulful and melodic music from nineteenth century Jewish Eastern Europe.
Learn some great tunes and gain knowledge of the modes, ornamentation, rhythms and accompaniment that give klezmer its unique flavour. Play in an orchestra led by four of Europe’s top klezmer specialists, join a small ensemble where you can develop your arrangement skills and learn tips and tricks on your instrument to play in a klezmer style. There will also be an informal tutors’ concert and plenty of opportunity for jamming in the bar!
“An inspiring – and fun! – weekend. I was completely new to klezmer, and enjoyed learning with musicians from different backgrounds. Next year can’t come soon enough!” Participant
Who is it for?
This is a course for all* instrumentalists from all musical backgrounds. We welcome people who are new to klezmer, but you will need a good grasp of your instrument in order to participate. The course will be taught by ear as well as using the dots and there will be opportunities to develop both of these skills. We aim to set a pace that is right for everybody, and we will sometimes divide the group by instrument or level of experience.
*For diatonic instruments such as whistles and diatonic accordions, the klezmer modes can present a bit of a challenge. Please contact us if you’re not sure.
Susi, Szilvia, Indra and Johannes are all exceptional musicians who are passionate about the tradition of klezmer music. Susi and Szilvia perform internationally and are in demand as teachers at the major klezmer festivals such as Yiddish Summer Weimar, Klezfest London, Yiddish New York and KlezKanada.
Susi & Szilvia are the authors of the Klezmer Playbook and founders of the KlezmerPlaybook CLUB where they regularly have up to 100 participants attending their online workshops.
Susi Evans (clarinet) graduated as a classical music student from the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2004. She has been playing klezmer and Balkan music since 2001 with her UK-based bands She’Koyokh and the London Klezmer Quartet. She has been described as “one of the best klezmer clarinettists of our day” (Simon Broughton, Songlines Magazine). In 2020 she won second prize in the International Clarinettist Corona Competiton. She also dedicates her time to studying Bulgarian and Serbian clarinet styles and plays the Gaida (Bulgarian bagpipes) and the Frula (Serbian flute).
Szilvia Csaranko (accordion & piano) was born in Hungary to a family of professional classical musicians. She trained in classical piano and graduated from the University of Hildersheim in Cultural Education Studies. She founded the band ‘A Gelyzele Vayn’ in 2004 and plays in numerous projects as an accordionist, pianist and arranger. She is co-founder and Musical Director of the 80-piece Klezmerorchester Erfurt – a project that brings together amateur and professional musicians of all generations and musical backgrounds.
Indra Buraczewska (double bass)
After graduating from the Victorian College of Arts (Australia) as a classical violinist, Indra discovered the wonderful world of the bass. She has played a multitude of genres, from original pop and Balkans to jazz and funk. Touring throughout Europe, Indra has played at the Edinburgh and Galway festivals, and in Australia has appeared at major festivals including Woodford, the Falls Festival, Earthcore and the National Folk Festival. She played bass for the gypsy trio ‘Vardos’ for six years and continues to specialise in world music. Indra first joined the London Klezmer Quartet for their 2012 Australian tour and features on three of their four albums. Now based in Latvia, she has played many a klezmer concert and taught at workshops in the UK and Europe as well as having previously taught at Halsway.
Johannes Paul Gräßer (violin) “ranks among the leading violinists of the klezmer movement” (Yiddish Forward).
He has been intensively involved with Yiddish music and culture as a musician and project manager since 1999.
Johannes is the festival director of the Jewish-Israeli Cultural Days in Turingia, as well as the founder of the Klezmerorchester Erfurt which he has been co-directing with Szilvia Csaranko since 2015. He also teaches klezmer workships all over Germany and Switzerland with his organisation KlezWeCan.
We are grateful to the Jewish Institute of Music for their support of tutor visas for this course.