Klez concert

The JCC Klezmer Band played a concert last night at the elderly housing building next to the JCC. Between the band and the Temple Emanuel choir, I’ve done at least four concerts there. It’s a good audience. Last night there were three women sitting near the front who seemed to know all the words to “Abi Gezunt”, a Molly Picon song from probably the ’30s for which I did the Yiddish vocals. I also introduced that song. The title means something like “so long as you’re healthy” (that’s the same gezunt as in “gesundtheit!”) There was a song on the American Roots PBS radio program several weeks ago by a jazz vocalist, probably also from the ’30s or ’40s, about her experiences in the recording industry. Every verse had a refrain something like “bagels, schmagels, abi gezunt!”. So I guess “abi gezunt” was a pretty well known phrase.

The audience was enthusiastic, sang along on “Abi Gezunt”, “Midnight in Moscow”, and “Tumbalalaika”. I was complimented on my Yiddish singing by a woman from Poland who’s a native speaker of Yiddish and was trying to talk to me in Yiddish, which didn’t really work out. I could be a rock star if I wanted my fan base all to be octogenarians.

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