Can Blue Men Play the Whites? Can German non-Jews play Klezmer?

Okay, here’s the scoop. German Jews didn’t care much for klezmer before the Holocaust. Survivors and recent emigrants (yup, there are hordes of recent emigrants from former Eastern Bloc countries) also don’t have much interest. But for a variety of reasons the music has become a hit with non-Jewish musicians, some of whom are producing amazing klezmer. Recently, a non-Jewish klezmer fan, who has a history of accusing her opponents (those who don’t adore the work and place in history of her talented, and rare-among-Jews klezmer-philic spouse) of antisemitism, wrote an angry screed about how the various factions of non-Jewish klezmer musicians accuse their enemies of antisemitism. Transference, indeed! So, I’ve written a short piece on the subject on the KlezmerShack, Non-Jews, Klezmer, and Anti-Semitism in Germany.

While you’re there, check out recent reviews of Jewish music all across the spectrum, from an avant garde tribue to Israeli pop composer Sasha Argov, to klezmer, indeed.

One thought on “Can Blue Men Play the Whites? Can German non-Jews play Klezmer?

  1. Apparently (if the lack of comments is any indication) Klezmer is not too popular with modern American Jews either….
    I like it but only in small doses.

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