Seth Rogovoy is the author of The Essential Klezmer: A Music Lover’s Guide to Jewish Roots and Soul Music (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2000), the all-time bestselling guide to the vibrant genre of contemporary music with roots in Old World Yiddish wedding music.
Seth is widely recognized as a leading authority on klezmer and Jewish music and has lectured and taught classes and workshops about the music, its history, social context, and the culture surrounding it, across the U.S. and in England at colleges, cultural centers, conferences, museums, bookstores, synagogues, JCCs, and book groups.
Seth is a cofounder and the artistic director of the annual YIDSTOCK: The Festival of New Yiddish Music, at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
Seth continues to write about klezmer and new Jewish music for a variety of publications, including Forward and Pakn Treger (the magazine of the Yiddish Book Center), and is available to speak to groups about klezmer, new Jewish music, the secret Jewish history of rock ‘n’ roll, surprising affinities between unlikely pop culture figures and Jewish themes, and the Jewish roots of Bob Dylan’s music.
Seth’s most popular presentation is his one-man multimedia program, The Essential Klezmer, which takes audiences on a journey through the evolution of klezmer from Old World shtetls to New World nightclubs and concert stages, tracing the development of the music along the way.
Seth is currently working on a new project, Rockin’ the Shtetl, that explores the affinities between 19th-century Eastern European Yiddish songwriters musicians and 20th-century American folk-rock poets and protest singers. This is simultaneously being created as a multimedia program with live music, and as a written narrative.