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Saturday, 29 September 2007
A Great Counter tenor : IAN HOWELL - please visit

Posted by iras-israel at 11:32 AM EDT
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Ultimate Art Links List

Posted by iras-israel at 8:30 AM EDT
Saturday, 23 September 2006
Saddleworth & District Whit Friday Brass Band Contests - 2006 - 2007
Often described as 'the greatest free show on Earth', the Saddleworth & District Whit Friday Brass Band Contests take place every year on the afternoon and evening of Whit Friday - 1st June in 2007.

From the earliest recorded contest in 1884, the event has grown in popularity. Last year well over a hundred brass bands participated in some twenty different contests at venues scattered around the moorland villages and towns on the western edge of the Pennines.
All of the contests are open-air, many in delightful surroundings. The area has a very strong tradition of brass band music. In the weeks before Whit Friday, the sounds of rehearsals echo across the hillsides from the various band rooms and village halls. There are thriving bands in some of the tiniest villages. And the best bands are world class.

This year's prize fund is £28,700.

The contests are open to all-comers. So the local youth bands get to match their skills against the top bands of the country. For bandsmen, the dash from contest to contest makes for an exhilarating (though exhausting) evening. See the comments in the guest book. This is a major event in the brass band calendar and bands travel the length of the country to participate,some even turning up from overseas.

Contests typically start at about 4.30pm. Bands play two pieces (marches), one on the march and then their well-rehearsed show-piece on whatever passes for a rostrum. Each performance is scored 'blind' by an adjudicator, hidden in some adjacent darkened room or caravan. Each contest offers prizes for the best band, best youth band, best soloists etc. At one of the busier venues, you could expect to hear over 50 bands, before the winners are announced shortly after close (10pm or 11pm, though the most popular contests can go on well into the early hours).

It is possible to look in at several contests during the evening. But with over 100 bus-loads of bandsmen about, with many of the roads closed to traffic and the inevitable parking problems, it pays not to be over-ambitious. (See roadworks information)

Each contest is organised by local volunteers. All the running costs and prize money are raised by local donations and through fund-raising events. Most provide refreshments. Helpers are always needed on the night. If you can spare a couple of hours at any of the contests, please email.

Each contest sets its own rules. Bands are required to play a published March, an unmarked copy of which should be handed to the Contest Steward on arrival at the signing-on point. Normally, no more than 25 players may play the contest piece, plus the conductor.

On the morning of Whit Friday, the traditional Whit Walks take place. Dobcross contest have introduced a Henry Livings memorial prize, open to bands who have played on any of the morning's walks. A very enjoyable event which always takes place in Saddleworth on the day following the band contests is the Beer Walk organised by the local Round Table.

Posted by iras-israel at 9:11 AM EDT
Sunday, 17 September 2006
Two new exhibits open on Sept. 16 at the Montclair Art Museum
Topic: Exhibitions
Two new exhibits open on Sept. 16 at the Montclair Art Museum


Two new exhibitions will open on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Montclair Art Museum — “Philippe Halsman: Portraits of American Artists” in the Robert H. Lehman Court Gallery, and “Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America” on view throughout the museum galleries. Both exhibitions are on view through Jan. 14, 2007.

They’re not the biggest nor the most elaborate — but they’re two of the most interesting and dynamic that MAM has ever staged.

One of the leading portrait photographers of the 20th century, Philippe Halsman was best known for his provocative, penetrating portraits of celebrities, politicians, and intellectuals which graced the pages of such major magazines as Life, Look, Esquire and the Saturday Evening Post, from the 1940s through the 1970s.

His portraits of leading American artists and cultural figures such as Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe will be featured in this exhibition. Leading musical figures such as Marian Anderson and Louis Armstrong, the pioneering dance figure Martha Graham, and photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Weegee, and Margaret Bourke-White are also in the exhibition.

Also on view will be a self-portrait of Halsman and a family portrait which includes his daughter, Irene Halsman, an artist in her own right, who resides in Montclair, and is co-executor of the Halsman estate from which most of the photographs in the show are derived.

Commenting on his own work, Halsman observed, “This fascination with the human race has never left me. Every face I see seems to hide and sometimes, fleetingly, to reveal the mystery of another human being. Capturing this revelation became the goal and passion of my life.”

Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was born in Riga, Latvia. He studied engineering in Dresden before moving to Paris, where he set up his photographic studio in 1932. Halsman’s bold, spontaneous style won him many admirers. His portraits of actors and authors appeared on book jackets and in magazines; he also worked with fashion. By 1936, Halsman was known as one of the best portrait photographers in France.

Halsman’s career came to a dramatic halt in the summer of 1940, when Hitler’s troops invaded Paris. Finally, through the intervention of Albert Einstein (who had met Halsman’s sister in the 1920s), Halsman obtained permis-sion to enter the United States in 1940, and he arrived in New York in November, with little more than his camera and a few prints.

Halsman’s big break came when he met Connie Ford, a striking young model who agreed to pose in exchange for prints for her portfolio. When publicists at Elizabeth Arden saw Halsman’s photograph of Ford against an American flag, they used the image to launch a national campaign for “Victory Red” lipstick. A year later, in the fall of 1942, Life magazine asked Halsman to shoot a story on new hat design. To Halsman’s delight, his portrait of the model smiling through a feathery brim landed on the cover. One hundred covers (more than any other photogra-pher) followed before the magazine ceased weekly publication in 1972.

Over the course of his career, Halsman enjoyed comparing his work to that of a good psychologist who regards his subjects with special insight. In fact, Halsman strove to reveal the essence of his sitters. As he explained, “It can’t be done by pushing the person into position or arranging his head at a certain angle. It must be accomplished by provoking the victim, amusing him with jokes, lulling him into silence, or asking impertinent questions which his best friend would be afraid to voice.”

Like many who escaped Hitler’s Europe, Philippe Halsman rarely discussed the past. He rightly insisted that his most important work took place in America, and in many ways his adopted country became his subject. One typical review noted his patriotic flair, praising Halsman’s “unsanctimonious and immensely intense portrayal of American bounce.” From a historian’s perspective, it seems clear that Halsman invented a glowing image of the nation as he saw it, using light, persuasion, nerve, psychology, and experience. This place and these faces are his legacy. “Phil-lippe Halsman: Portraits of American Artists” is curated by Gail Stravitsky.

Also opening on Sept. 16 is “Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Made in America”

“Jaune Quick-to-See Smith uses humor and satire to examine myths, stereotypes, and the paradox of American Indian life in contrast to the consumerism of American society. Her work is philosophically centered by her political activism and strong American Indian spirituality. The exhibition includes 34 pieces of her work over the last decade in drawing, printmaking, painting and mixed media installation.

Born in 1940 on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, to Flathead Salish, French-Cree, and Shoshone parents, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith became an artist while in her 30s and was earning a living as a painter before she com-pleted her master of fine arts degree at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

By the mid-1970s, she had founded artists groups, curated exhibitions, and organized grassroots protests to ex-press concern for the land and its Native people. She has developed a distinctive modernist style over the past 35 years, in a variety of techniques. Quick-to-See Smith has received international acclaim through more than 75 solo exhibitions and numerous international shows.

Smith’s politically loaded subject matter ranges from cowboys and Indians to McDonald’s and consumerism, res-ervation life, and war. According to Quick-to-See Smith, “Everything in America is for sale, including land, water and elections.” That’s why she includes money signs in her paintings as did Andy Warhol, but she adds other iconic forms such as ancient petroglyphs in her work to reflect both Western and Native cultures.

Twig Johnson, curator of Native American Art, has coordinated the MAM presentation of the show. Johnson is also inserting selected works by Smith in some of the Museum’s Permanent Collection Galleries which will provide visitors with opportunities to consider contemporary Native American creativity, with early Native American easel painting of the 1930s, and 18th- and 19th-century American portraits, and Native American art and ethnographic objects.

Johnson proudly talks about Smith’s work. “We are thrilled to be hosting such an important exhibition,” she said. “Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s work reflects MAM’s mission … her work always stimulates, teaches and inspires.”

Posted by iras-israel at 8:55 AM EDT
Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker"
Local children Invited to audition for 'Nutcracker'

Local children are invited to audition for Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" performance. Children age 8 to young teens can audition for roles of party guests, mice, angels, little snowflakes, butterflies, little pages and junior corps de ballet in Russian, Arabian, French, Chinese and Spanish divertissements.

Children can preregister online at Master classes will be held immediately after the audition for those who are cast in the Nutcracker.

Russian soloist Roman Arkhypov will conduct the audition.

It will be held Oct. 28, with registration from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and auditions to follow at the Robin Dawn Academy of Performing Arts, 4417 S.E. 16th Place, Cape Coral.

Children should bring tights, leotards, ballet slippers and pointe shoes if on pointe.

Moscow Ballet's "Great Russian Nutcracker" will be held at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 26-27. Tickets can be purchased by calling 239-481-4849 or online at

The Moscow Ballet will perform the "Great Russian Nutcracker" in 80 cities during its 14th annual holiday tour of the United States.

Call the Robin Dawn Academy for more information at 239-549-0827.


Posted by iras-israel at 3:14 AM EDT
Thursday, 10 August 2006
The Bolshoi -- back in London!
Bolshoi ballet dancer Dmitri Gudanov (C) dances in the dress rehearsal of 'Swan Lake' at the Royal Opera House in London on August 3, 2006. The ballet runs until August 16. REUTERS/Stephen Hird (BRITAIN)

Posted by iras-israel at 11:36 PM EDT
Monday, 3 July 2006
KLINGON KLEZ (klezmer from the future)
(Jewish Performances] have a klingon summer

KLINGON KLEZ (klezmer from the future) is doing its musical thing at the
following locations in the philly region this summer. and yes, the KLINGON
KLEZ new cd BLUE SUEDE JEWS is available.
follow the car in front of you: it's probably going to one of these gigs!

Thursday - 7/6: At Abington Art Center 515 Meetinghouse Rd, Jenkintown PA,
7:00 PM, for more info go to website or call 215-887-4882- free! (tasteful
donation is gratefully received)

Thursday - 7/13: Mt Laurel Library, Mt. Laurel, NJ, 7:00 PM, for more info
call 856-234-7319- free!

Thursday - 8/3: Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, 100 Northwestern Ave, 6:30
PM, for more info call 215-247-5777 free!

Sunday - 8/6: Long Island Foundation, 120 Long Beach Blvd, Loveladies, NJ,
for info call 609-494-1241

you were wondering?
KLINGON KLEZ : good old-fashioned, heartwarming, rompin?, stompin?,
fun-for-the-whole-family klezmer/funk fusion from other planets, played by
genuine aliens masquerading as virtuoso musicians!
will rock your situation!
will make you happy!

KLINGON KLEZ live video!
you can go to the pennpat website:
or go straight to:

Posted by iras-israel at 9:14 AM EDT
Saturday, 1 July 2006
Blue Fringe, Heedoosh, and Remedy (from Israel)
[Jewish Performances] Blue Fringe, Heedoosh, and Remedy (from Israel)




$10 AT
$12 at door

Posted by iras-israel at 8:40 AM EDT
Monday, 19 June 2006
BRASS BANDS - That special spirit
LAST December, the veteran Mexican-American rock band Los Lobos dusted off its 1992 album "Kiko" and performed it live, start to finish, at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. For most of the night it was a standard rock setup, but when it came time for the album closer, a woozy Mexican folk swoon called "Rio de Tenampa," Los Lobos brought out Los Cenzontles, a Northern California banda troupe. While Mexican bandas (brass bands) can have as many as 20 members, Los Cenzontles didn't need much more than a tuba, a trumpet, a thudding bass drum and a pair of clarinets to turn the club into a raucous cantina.

Skip to next paragraph
Audio: "Caravan" by Fanfare Ciocarlia | "Meboli" by Balkan Beat Box featuring Vlada Tomova | "Out of What?" by Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars | "Te Doy las Gracias" by Banda el Recodo | "Voz" by Boban Markovic Orkestar feat. Marko Markovic
Readers’ Opinions
Forum: Popular Music

Alan Roche
Frank London whose Klezmer Brass All-Stars are rooted in klezmer and Balkan brass.
Brass band music can have this effect. The stammering pepper-spray of horns, the crisp snaps of snare rolls: it's precise and excessive at once, a joyous emotional tornado awash in spit, sweat and celebration. No wonder it's one of the world's most-spoken musical languages — from Serbian villages to Manhattan's bustling "gypsy punk scene" to this year's Grammy Awards, where Kanye West reinvented "Gold Digger" by having a marching band play, running through the aisles. Awareness of international brass styles has blossomed in recent years in the United States, thanks in large part to an increase in domestic album distribution deals and more frequent international concert tours.

"You would think that a brass band, which has no strings at all, would be limited in its sound," said Tamir Muskat, the Israeli-born co-founder of Balkan Beat Box, a new-school crew in New York known for wild live shows that mix Balkan horn blasts with electronic beats. "But it's unbelievable what people manage to do with it. There is a whole world of brass out there."

Listen to enough brass band music — whether a slice of Mexican banda or the Romanian group Fanfare Ciocarlia pulling the trigger on a dizzying blast of high-velocity trumpets — and you start to hear the history of the world handed back to you in a horn section. Suddenly, Serbia and Romania could be the alternative birthplace of Brazilian frevo; brass flurries from Gypsy bands in Macedonia and Bulgaria could be lost cousins of the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band from India, the Gangbe Brass Band from Benin or any New Orleans jazz troupe.

The connections are more than theoretical. In the 1860's, thousands of former Gypsy slaves fled Romania for the American South, landing in mostly black neighborhoods. The brass music they brought with them, like that of all Balkan countries, can be traced to the Turks, the original band geeks. Last year's "Blowers From the Balkans" compilation (Topic), which unearthed a trove of early 20th-century Balkan brass recordings, spelled it out loud and clear: it was the Ottoman Empire's janissary bands that turned brass into the lingua franca of Serbia, Macedonia, Romania and Bulgaria.

"The Ottoman empire used brass bands to impress the enemy, walking and playing in front of the first line of soldiers," explained Oprica Ivancea, the lead clarinetist for Fanfare Ciocarlia, a 12-piece band of Romany Gypsies who work out of the remote mountain town of Zece Prajini (population 400) in eastern Romania. "But in the early 19th century, brass got popular in Germany and Austria and because Romanians always want to be like the Germans we began to adapt to their sound as well."

Long before Kelly Clarkson and Jay-Z (and for that matter, long before rock 'n' roll), European military and church bands were the world's top global musical exports. Locals throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas were trained in the ways of the marching band as part of colonialism. As empires dissolved, official bands soon became voluntary village bands, and by the turn of the 20th century most of the world shared an ingrained knowledge of all things brass.

"All brass bands have a link somewhere," Mr. Muskat said. "Ninety percent of all brass bands are based on the same elements. It's all rhythm and horns."

Mr. Muskat's Balkan Beat Box partner Ori Kaplan grew up in Jaffa, Israel, where he watched Egyptian orchestras on television and learned to play Eastern European klezmer clarinet from a Bulgarian trained by Gypsy brass musicians. When Mr. Kaplan moved to New York 15 years ago, though, he wanted nothing of his klezmer past, choosing instead to play in industrial punk bands. That all changed when he heard a CD from Macedonia's top brass band, Kocani Orkestar, and learned about the Gypsy-Turkish fusions of the Bulgarian horn stalwart Yuri Yunakov, another New York City transplant). "I started to listen to Balkan music constantly," Mr. Kaplan said, "I became a brass band freak."

Posted by iras-israel at 5:12 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006 5:14 PM EDT
Beautiful Instrumentals
Topic: ART USA
BeautifulInstrumentals] Songs About Dad

Hi there,

With Father's Day approaching in America, I was wondering how many
songs about Father (Dad) you could name? They don't all have to be
easy listening or beautiful music related.

Mom's are duly noted with many songs about Mother, how about Dad?

The group is sailing along beautifully. Messages with good content,
nice flow of activity, new members all the time, the long-standing
original members still with is and lots of rich material.

It's all good!

Carry on,

Jim Masters
Beautiful Instrumentals

Posted by iras-israel at 7:54 AM EDT

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