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Visiting Artists Series hosts klezmer ensemble

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The six musicians of FleytMuzik, led by traditional klezmer flutist Adrianne Greenbaum, will be featured in the next installment of the Roche Visiting Artists Series at Mercyhurst University.

They’ll perform Monday, March 7, at 8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall (located in the Hirt Academic Center). The following afternoon at 2 in Walker Recital Hall they’ll present a masterclass for music students in the D’Angelo Department of Music. Both events are free and open to the public.

The program is titled “Tartan, Baroque and Klezmer: Interwoven Fabrics of Jewish Itinerant Musicians, from Slovakia to Scotland and Beyond.”

The audience will enjoy a curious odyssey through the experience of the Jewish itinerant musician, the klezmer. A "professional” since the 16th century—though possessing great expertise as a true musical gonif (a thief)—the klezmer adopted and stole tunes wherever gypsies and society musicians co-existed.

Unexpected influences and dialogue abound with cross-weavings of cultures from Slovakia, Scotland, the Ottoman Empire, Italy, Germany, Hungary and Eastern Europe. Prior to the existence of the larger klezmer ensemble (or kapelye) that included brass and clarinets, the flute was often part of the smaller klezmer band. As one of the quieter instruments allowed in religious settings, it was an obvious partner with the violin and cimbalom.

In addition to Greenbaum, FleytMuzik includes David Greenberg, octave violin, baroque violin; Jake Shulman-Ment, fiddle; Pete Rushefsky, cimbalom; Bob Eisenstein, gamba; and Branislav Brinatsky, bass.

Now in its 27th season, the Visiting Artists Series was founded by music professor Dr. Albert Glinsky to introduce local audiences to an eclectic array of acclaimed soloists and ensembles. All events are presented to the community at no charge thanks to the generosity of the Terry M. and Margaret Roche Family. The Tuesday masterclass is made possible through a grant from Erie’s Temple Anshe Hesed.

The 2015-16 season will conclude with a performance by violinist Jinjoo Cho with pianist Hyun Soo Kim on April 11-12.

For more information, contact Dr. Glinsky at aglinsky@mercyhurst.edu.