masa (journey) - takes the audience on a journey through very different parts of the klezmer world: from Arabian rhythms, to jazzy sounds, from traditional arrangements to pop melodies, but also from the deep mourning of the Holocaust, to dances of joy.
The term klezmer consists of the ancient biblical Hebrew words kli (tool, instrument) and zemer (melody, song), which literally translates into instrument of singing. Musicians playing this folk music, called klezmorim, are challenged with expressing the whole spectrum of human emotion through their instruments, from deepest sorrow to greatest ecstasy. What we now know as klezmer, has its origins in the eastern European Shtetln. These are provincial towns with a high share of Jewish population, which developed in the late middle ages, when the Ashkenazim fled east from pogroms and displacement from the communities of central Europe. Not only did they bring their possessions, but also their traditions: making music at weddings and festivities, spiritual song in the synagogues and the typical Yiddish language. From 1884 to 1924, many eastern European Jews emigrated to America and especially to New York. In this melting pot, a new klezmer scene emerged, which was initially characterised by personalities such as the clarinettist Naftule Brandwein and the King of Klezmer, Dave Tarras. Through the cultural assimilation of the following generation, klezmer music slowly became somewhat forgotten. In the 50s it gained new traction through the newly arriving eastern European Hasidim. During the mid 80s, Giora Feidmann transformed klezmer into a kind of world music, which gained it renewed European awareness. Klezmer became “in” again.