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 Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post.



Yiddishe Cup played on the Rio Grande for 2,500 cheering Mexican-Americans at the Chamizal National Monument, El Paso, Texas.

And yo– minus the band — played south of the border for 30 stone-faced Mexican ranchers. I heard a banda group in El Fuerte, Sinaloa, northern Mexico, They were on a side street. I heard a lot of horns, including a tuba. The Mexican musicians were playing for a horse auction. One of the musicians lent me his clarinet. I have seen better clarinets and reeds. I played horribly because of that reed. My son the drummer and I played a Meron-style nign. The Mexicans clapped. My family was on a hiking trip in northern Mexico in 2008; that’s how this banda thing happened.

I would like to play more Latin gigs. Kapelye, the klezmer band, once did a wedding in Mexico City. And Golem has played in Mexico a few times. To Yiddishe Cup’s crédito, we have played not once, but twice, on the Rio Grande in El Paso.


Aside: in Cleveland I knew a dancer, Susana Weingarten de Evert, who grew up in Mexico City. Do all Jews in Mexico City have names like that?

I hope so.

Yo recuerdo when a Cleveland mom arranged a Jewish wedding for her daughter in El Salvador. I told the mom to fly down Yiddishe Cup. I said, “I’m sure the Jewish groom’s family can afford it, or they wouldn’t still be there.” She agreed to the “they could afford it,” but not the Yiddishe Cup part.

Yiddishe Cup has cornered the Latin-American Jewish doctor market in Cleveland — a market that fits into the backseat of a Toyota Camry. We did a gig for a Mexican Jewish doctor who headed the Cleveland Clinic evil eye center (Cole Eye Institute). Latin Jews party second only to Russian Jews.

Yiddishe Cup’s Latin repertoire goes from “Oye Como Va” to “El Rey.” We played an Ecuadorian Jewish wedding in Cleveland where I explained the chair-lifting to the groom’s gentile parents. I said in Spanish: “You will see people seated in chairs in the wind.”

Yiddishe Cup’s maximum hip-spanic gig was when we played “La Bamba” for an encore at our second outdoor concert in El Paso.

I miss those Latin gigs. We haven’t done any lately. For the record, I hope to sing “Bésame Mucho” tomorrow night at Yiddishe Cup’s gig in University Heights, Ohio. There is a clamor (somewhere) for the Yiddishe Cup/Latin thing.

Yidd Cup plays 7 pm tomorrow (Thurs., Aug. 17) at Walter Stinson Park, 2301 Fenwick Rd., University Heights, Ohio. Free. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.


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1 comment

1 Mark Schilling { 08.16.23 at 9:26 am }

I can sing the hell out of Besame Mucho, but only the Dean Martin version. His Spanish wasn’t the greatest.

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