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.



“Struttin’ with Some Barbecue” by Lil Hardin Armstrong is probably the best song title. It has action, smell and humor. The worst song title is “Rise Up to New Jewish Music.” Some Jewish bands go for that sort of thing. (Anything “New” is old.)

The worst name of a klezmer band is the Klezmer Conservatory Band, They are a good band but a bad name. “Yiddishe Cup,” the name, gets the job done around town, but doesn’t land us any concerts at cool, mohel’s-edge music festivals. “Yiddishe Cup” is bubbe’s procus (stuffed cabbage). Very soggy.

I once changed the band’s name to Funk A Deli but that only confused people. Every Purim, a synagogue scheduler emailed and ask what the band’s name was going to be for that year.

Last month, when I was on vacation in Mexico, I was jamming on the street (which I often do on vacations to meet people), and  I was playing “Misty,” when an American couple asked me if I knew any klezmer. I said, “So happens I do!”  The couple was from Madison, Wisconsin, and had hired Yid Vicious for their wedding. I’ve always liked “Yid Vicious,” the name.

Speaking of which,  I was playing a gig recently at a nursing home, Menorah Park, where the fairly new activities director came up to me and said, “Do you know any Jewish songs?”

I said, “Do you know who you’re talking to!” She didn’t. She explained that the new owners of the nursing home requested all musicians play at least “4 to 6 Jewish songs.” I said, “We can play 999 Jewish tunes if you want.”

Yiddishe Cup’s last CD, Klezmer Guy, 2009, was almost called Jammin’ With Some Salmon. I test-drove that title, and nobody understood it. “Nobody,” meaning my wife, Alice. I didn’t run the title by anybody else. I didn’t want the aggravation of multiple artistic input. I wasn’t running a democracy. I settled on Klezmer Guy and started this blog, Klezmer Guy: Real Music & Real Estate, to promote the album.

–Bert Struttin

P.S. To purchase a Klezmer Guy CD, contact Alan Douglass. He has a few cartons in his basement.

Alan Douglass (above) has cornered the market on “Klezmer Guy” CDs


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1 Brad { 02.07.24 at 10:27 am }

How about an album of Klezmer riffs on Ennio Morricone soundtracks called a Fistful of Freylehks? I’d buy one.

2 Ken Goldberg { 02.07.24 at 11:19 am }

So what kind of music do you play “jammin” in Meh’-hee-ko – “La Cucaracha?”

3 Ari Davidow { 02.07.24 at 11:25 am }

“Klezmer Guy” was a great album. Can’t believe there are any copies still unsold. a shonde!

4 sam { 02.13.24 at 5:43 pm }

As you will observe, this Klezmer thing is getting out of hand:
Klezmer Shabbaton Weekend!!
Strauss/Warschauer Duo – and from Brooklyn?!
It’s Clevzmer, anyway.

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