The Jewish Music Series launches its fourth season with singer, accordionist and Yiddish culture historian Jeanette Lewicki, joined by her band, the gonifs.
We carry the songs, the songs carry us: The gonifs take on the Ruth Rubin files
In 1948, a working mom named Ruth Rubin was studying folklore at night school in New York City while Jewish war refugees from Europe poured into the country. She started to lug a reel-to-reel tape machine around to libraries, senior centers, summer camps & living rooms to record more than 1500 tracks: Yiddish songs, stories, jokes, children's rhymes, street vendor calls, gangster ditties, spiritual melodies, & instrumental tunes, all presented by native speakers, often recalling material that originated before they were born.
In 2018, YIVO NY posted the entire Ruth Rubin archive online. Jeanette Lewicki, accordionist & singer for the gonifs klezmer band, helped to transfer this treasure trove to digital form & knows it as well as almost anybody alive. She & the gonifs (Sheldon Brown, clarinet; Richard Saunders, bass) will present some of their favorite material: Yiddish folk music dating back centuries, transformed by a 21st-century lens.