March 11, 2019
The Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham (known as the Magic City) invited The Magic Shtetl Klezmer Band to take part in their Faculty Recital on Monday, March 11th in their Hess-Abroms Recital Hall.
At the beginning of the performance, Goldspiel explained with humor the origins of the band’s name as well as a bit about Klezmer to the audience of students and parents with the following:
“We are the Magic Shtetl Klezmer Band. I may have to explain a few of those words to you. Klezmer is music of the Yiddish-speaking eastern European Jews and Shtetl means ‘Village’. So Magic Stetl…Magic City…it’s not so clever but you understand. We’re going to play for you some music that has been curated by Dr. Janssen here. Curiously enough they feature him quite heavily. Three of them are bulgars, which are Romanian dances, then a nign, or melodious tune and a Dobranotsh, which means ‘Good night’. Klezmer was functional music, for weddings in particular, which would often last for days. And finally, when it was time for everyone to go, they would play a tune called ‘Good Night’. That’s our second-to-last one but you’ll see why.”
The Klezmer quartet opened the evening’s festivities with a lively five-song set consisting of Der Heyser Bulgar, Stoliner-Karliner Nign, Boogich Bulgar, Dobranotsh, and Besarabisher Bulgar (Watch the performance of this one below).
The Magic Shtetl Klezmer Band’s performance was rewarded with loud applause from the attendees of the recital.
The Magic Shtetl Klezmer Band was formed by Alan Goldspiel in 2010 to celebrate the opening of the art exhibit Darkness Into Light sponsored by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center and has varying members depending on how large or small a band is required. The band has performed throughout central Alabama and is available for events both public and private.