Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pepi Litman Pandemic Project

When the pandemic hit, we all found new tools, new games, new ways to work & play. I found the Yiddish Klal Keyboard and started typing up the entry on Broderzingers in the Leksikon fun Yidishn Teater. In the lower right, it says this volume was published in Nyu-York. That’s where I first saw it, […]

Pepi Litman Part 2

You can now hear some of Pepi Litman’s recordings on the Internet Archive! There’s also a Wikipedia article about her. And I hear that my Yiddisher teater comrade  Miryem-Khaye Segel is writing a scholarly article about the Broderzinger movement that inspired Pepi Litman, & many others, to crisscross Eastern Europe in the nineteenth century, trying […]

Pepi Littman, Pepi Litman (Part 1)

I fell in love with Pepi Littman’s voice in the 1990s,

This Is A Test

I’d like to enable folks to comment on this site & I am trying to figure out how to do that. Please write a comment if you can.

All About the gonifs CD: S’iz shoyn farfalen

This is another song I learned from Meyshke Alpert. It’s about going away to jail…a favorite theme for the gonifs. When the band formed back in the 1990’s, as the house band for pirate radio station Radio Libre, we regularly pulled capers that could have put us all away for quite a while. But we […]

I’m back!

Back from the Bronx, here in Oakland, going into the recording studio Tuesday. So many inspiring people in NY! After 12-hour days with Ruth Rubin’s field recordings, I got to hang out with Sarah & her kids, Beyle & her poems,  Rachelle & her new sweetheart, who kindly sent along this photo of me singing […]

We Interrupt This Blog…

We interrupt this blog for a special announcement brought to you from the Bronx: Yep, I’m here at the end of the 4 subway line (“Ladies and gentlemen, the next and last stop is Woodlawn Cemetery”). I’m staying in a cabin in the backyard of the 91-year-old Yiddish singer-songwriter Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, whose windows look out […]

All about the gonifs CD: In droysn iz finster

This song comes from a Ruth Rubin recording, which I first heard at the Jewish Community Library. The old Jewish Community Library of San Francisco was near Golden Gate Park in a big Victorian house (not big enough for all the books & records that filled it from attic to cellar). It was a […]

All about the gonifs CD: Tants a freylekhs

Peter Jaques learned this tune by ear from a recording of Shloimke Beckerman, who either composed it,  or learned it & then made it his own by embroidering it with his unique tone, timing & ornamentation.  The guy had a sound like no other: Shloimke Beckerman Kolomeyke Beckerman was one of the great klezmer clarinetists

All about the gonifs CD: Di Moyd fun Gas

the gonifs: Di moyd fun gas This is a song from Arkady Gendler, a Bessarabian Yiddish singer born in 1921 in what is now Ukraine.  In 1999,  I was lucky enough to accompany Arkady on the accordion when he sang

All about the gonifs CD: Fishelekh in vaser

I learned this song from Michael (Meyshke) Alpert, who learned it from Isaac (Tsunye) Rymer. Michael Alpert knows that the best way to learn Yiddish songs & dances is

All about the gonifs CD: Nokh a glezl

This is one of the first klezmer tunes the gonifs ever played; that means some of us have played it together for fifteen years now. I guess we got kind of

All about the gonifs CD: Rabeynu Tam

This song came from the collection compiled by Khane & Yosl Mlotek, Mir Trogn a Gezang. This is the first Yiddish songbook I ever saw.  It’s part of a three-book set based on

All About the gonifs CD: Teahouse Sher

The Teahouse Sher comes from an old songbook at the Jewish Community Library, maybe the first oral collection of Yiddish folksongs ever published. It’s a hundred years old this year. Yiddish Folksongs, with their original airs, collected by J. L. Cahan: International Library Publishing Co., NY, 1912 Judah Leyb Cahan, who edited & published the […]

The gonifs CD is here!

12 March 2012 The gonifs CD is done! I just rode my bike to Porto Franco Records on Valencia St. & got a boxful. The band will donate