(AMHERST, Mass.) – The world-renowned Klezmatics will headline the fifth annual Yidstock: The Festival of New Yiddish Music, at the Yiddish Book Center July 14-17, 2016. The lineup for the four-day festival also includes the original klezmer revival outfit Klezmer Conservatory Band, led by Hankus Netsky and featuring guest vocalists Eleanor Reissa and Lorin Sklamberg and founding trumpeter Frank London; Sklamberg & the Shepherds, with Lorin Sklamberg, singer/pianist/composer Polina Shepherd and master clarinetist Merlin Shepherd; Paul Shapiro’s Ribs and Brisket Revue, whose distinctive sound mixes klezmer with early jazz and R&B; and featured performances by Eleanor Reissa, Merlin Shepherd and Frank London.
Once again, Steve Weintraub, the world’s greatest Yiddish dance instructor, will be on hand throughout the festival leading workshops and fostering dancing at the concerts. Also on hand will be accordionist Lauren Brody, an instrumental figure in the original klezmer revival, performing with ensembles and accompanying dance workshops.
The festival kicks off on Thursday, July 14, with an evening concert by the Klezmer Conservatory Band. The Klezmatics, the only klezmer group ever to win a Grammy Award, will perform a special concert celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary on Saturday, July 16, at 8 p.m.
In addition to the seven concerts, Yidstock will include a full schedule of talks, panel discussions, and song, dance, choral, and instrumental workshops, including a number led by musicians in residence for the festival.
The fifth annual edition of Yidstock brings back many of the audience favorite acts presented in the first five years, plus new performers.
The festival also continues its commitment to reaching out and featuring talent from abroad (Merlin Shepherd from UK; Polina Shepherd from Tatarstan).
This festival continues its commitment to encouraging cross-fertilization among the performers. Almost every single concert during the festival will include guest artists who are featured elsewhere during the festival.
The festival also continues its commitment to presenting unprecedented, original, innovative combinations of performers, this year featuring a Merlin Shepherd-Frank London Ensemble unique to Yidstock.
And as always, the festival will conclude on Sunday night with a concert featuring a unique, unprecedented combination of festival artists performing together on stage as the Yidstock AllStars.
Yidstock tickets will go on sale in early 2016. For ticket sales and a complete schedule, check the Yiddish Book Center’s website at Yiddish Book Center then.