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Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)
Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)

 

Klezmer, Baroque, and Tartan:

A Jewish Musical Odyssey in Giffnock

Giffnock
19 September 2014
SCoJeC's "Jewish Musical Odyssey" in Giffnock

For the seventh and last concert of SCoJeC's week-long Klezmer, Baroque, and Tartan tour of Scotland, Giffnock Synagogue pulled out all the stops, and around 100 people crowded into the main hall to hear the Adrianne Greenbaum quartet.

SCoJeC's "Jewish Musical Odyssey" in Giffnock

The audience threw themselves into the Dance of the Staff of Life, a very timely dance about the burden of leadership and whether to keep or hand over power, and joined in the lively Patsch Tanz. Rabbi Rubin was one of the first men up to dance when Adrianne asked for volunteers for the Old People's Dance! Band member Michael Alpert sang several Yiddish songs with violin and flute backing, and Adrianne spoke about the collaboration between Isaac Nathan and Lord Byron on his book of Hebrew Melodies, as well as singing early versions of Maoz Tzur and Hatikvah.

SCoJeC's "Jewish Musical Odyssey" in Giffnock

Over tea Adrianne explained that she had selected music that Scottish Jews would have listened to over the last 300 years, and performed it for the first time with Michael Adler at an event in New York to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the development of the first Jewish tartans. She then decided that the music should be performed in Scotland, and contacted SCoJeC to ask us to help her put on the tour. Two of the original quartet were unable to join the tour, but she was fortunately able to secure the services of two Glasgow-based musicians – virtuoso viola player Lev Atlas, who is well known in the Jewish Community, and keyboard player and university music scholar David McGuinness.

This was a hugely successful conclusion to a hugely successful tour. The quartet visited seven venues across the country in as many days, entertaining several hundred people, both Jewish and non-Jewish friends, and generated huge amounts of good will wherever they went. One participant told us she loved the diversity of the music: "It was so uplifting", and another had already taken the band's contact details for a forthcoming wedding!

Click here to watch a short video of the quartet.

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