• 186 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 1 table, 50 line drawings
  • Price: $27.95
  • EAN: 9781439909041
  • Publication: Jan 2017
  • Price: $64.50
  • EAN: 9781439909034
  • Publication: Jul 2015
  • Price: $27.95
  • EAN: 9781439909058
  • Publication: Jul 2015


Music and Community in Twentieth-Century Jewish Philadelphia

Hankus Netsky


“Klezmer breaks new ground by providing a localized musical portrait of a klezmer community outside the New York area. Netsky makes significant efforts by combining detailed and wide-ranging interviews, personal narrative, and scholarly analysis. His experience with and access to the Philadelphia klezmer scene is unparalleled; his substantial long-term research, including interviews with many klezmorim who have since passed away, is clearly a treasure. Klezmer provides a fascinating, satisfying, and deeply textured picture of a community and its musicians through years of transition.” —Judah M. Cohen, Lou & Sybil Mervis Professor in the Study of Jewish Culture at Indiana University, and author of The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor: Musical Authority, Cultural Investment

“Hankus Netsky masterminded the mainstreaming of klezmer music into late twentieth-century American culture. Now, he trains a historical eye on this much-discussed, little-studied Jewish musical tradition. The result is a landmark examination of how music and dance interact in the context of Jewish communal celebrations from the immigrant era onwards. This rich, multi-generational narrative will enthrall aficionados and scholars alike.”—James Loeffler, Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia and author of The Most Musical Nation: Jews and Culture in the Late Russian Empire

"'Jewish music' is, for many, Irving Berlin or Debbie Friedman, George Gershwin or Leonard Bernstein. Musician, scholar and historian Hankus Netsky broadens this perspective by sharing the rich and fascinating story of a unique genre of Jewish folk music, klezmer, in a particular Jewish community, Philadelphia. He makes the case that this music is more than entertainment or contemporary popular culture; it is the door to understanding a community’s history, ethnic identity and sociology.... But Netsky does so much more: he writes an historical and musical love letter to his family as viewed through the lens of his and their personal stories, overlaid with socioeconomic studies of Jewish culture and musicology. With personal reminiscences, interviews, and just a bit of family gossip, Netsky creates a compelling and fascinating web of 'meises' mixed with scholarship, seen through the colorful recollections and memories of his uncles, their friends and cronies, his bandmates and, ultimately, his musical colleagues and historians.... a fascinating and vibrant welcome into the world of klezmer." --American Jewish History

About the Author(s)

Hankus Netsky is Chair of Contemporary Improvisation and Director of the Jewish music ensemble at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He is also the Founder and Director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble. He has collaborated, performed, and recorded with many well-known artists, including Itzhak Perlman and Theodore Bikel..