During the 1950s, as Yiddish culture was fading from public view, Mickey Katz (1909-1985) gave it a second wind. A clarinetist, bandleader, and comedian, Katz performed his “Yinglish” musical parodies to sold-out crowds across North America and produced blockbuster recordings. The success of his performances demonstrated that despite the rapid dwindling of the Yiddish-speaking population, Yiddish and klezmer were still part of a viable, growing culture. In this lecture, we will listen to Katz’s music, learn about its history, and try to decipher a bit of his humour.
Uri Schreter is an interdisciplinary musicologist, keyboardist, composer, and film-editor. Born in Tel Aviv, he is currently pursuing a PhD at Harvard University, where he is writing his dissertation on postwar Jewish music. Outside of academia, Uri has collaborated with numerous artists in Yiddish music and beyond, including Anthony Russell, Judy Bressler, and Theresa Tova.
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