Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz, too.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



Klezmer clarinetist Giora Feidman plays well and is a master of special effects. However, “L’Academie Klezmér” shuns him. Feidman’s nickname is Mr. Chalk-Chalk. (In Yiddish that’s Tshok-Tshok.) This onomatopoetic expression refers to Feidman’s guttural-sounding notes. feidmanMembers of L’Academie (like some teachers at KlezKanada and the late KlezKamp) decry Feidman’s frequent clarinet hiccupping, yelping, slurping and grepsing.

Feidman helped start the klezmer revival. He played Carnegie Hall in 1981. I interviewed Feidman in the early 1990s for the Cleveland Jewish News and asked him to take potshots at other klezmer musicians, some of whom were bad-rapping him. Feidman declined. Feidman said klezmer music is “not a particular kind of music. It is a language of the inner soul — a truly universal means of communication.” I tried to get him beyond that feel-good stuff, to trash-talk, but no dice.

Feidman often plays with a string-bass player and an acoustic guitarist. He plays West Side Story tunes, American swing, Meron nigunim and klezmer. Not many clarinets are that versatile. He does 90-minute shows, playing lead the whole time.

Feidman turns 80 on Saturday. He will get into L’Academie Klezmér posthumously.

Giora Feidman, circa 2015. (Photo by Felix Broede)

Giora Feidman, circa 2015. (Photo by Felix Broede)

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1 Gerald Ross { 03.23.16 at 9:07 am }

Tell me what musical genre is not filled with people with “strong opinions” on how the music should be played? Welcome to the arts world where many people are competing for extremely limited resources.

2 Bill Jones { 03.23.16 at 9:29 am }

Bert, you really have a way with onomatopoeia. Thanks for noting Giora Feldman’s seminal role in the klezmer “revival”.

3 Ken Goldberg { 03.23.16 at 9:33 am }

Yes, badmouthing is definitely the way to go. Just look at how much more fascinating and enlightening it has made the Presidential campaign this year!

4 Dave Rowe { 03.24.16 at 6:57 pm }

Sounds like the guy is a Klesmer Eric Clapton.

5 Dave Rowe { 03.24.16 at 7:52 pm }

Whoops – make that a KleZmer Eric Clapton; don’t know of anybody devoting a lifetime to enriching kleS stuff.

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