David Holt’s State of Music

S5 E2 | CLIP

Zoe & Cloyd - "Klezmer Tune"

Host David Holt talks to Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller (Zoe & Cloyd) about Natalya's family background in klezmer music, and they play an original tune.

AIRED: May 08, 2021 | 0:03:49

Your family played klezmer music.

Tell us about that.

- Yeah. I come from a musical family as well.

My mom plays violin

and my dad plays jazz piano

and my grandfather was a professional klezmer musician

who immigrated from Russia.

So, I mean, it makes perfect sense

that I turned into a, you know,

bluegrass fiddle player.

(Cloyd and Zoe laugh)

- Well, tell people what klezmer is.

A lot of folks don't know, I'm sure.

- Yeah. It's, I guess Jewish folk music

that originated in Eastern Europe.

Klezmorim were the musicians that played

for weddings and events.

And it was a very important function

in the community, you know, musicians.

And my grandfather immigrated here in 1923,

he arrived in the United States.

He actually went via Argentina.

And so he picked up some interesting influences

in his music from spending a few years

down in Argentina playing music.

And, you know, it's, the fiddle was

a very important part of klezmer music,

especially in the old country.

And here the clarinet sort of became

more popular in America

as the lead instrument.

But I think because the fiddle and the clarinet

kind of can mimic the sound

of the human voice and crying

and it comes from kind of cantorial singing,

from religious singing

that the main feel from klezmer music

comes from that emotion, I think.

(Zoe and Cloyd play klezmer music)


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