The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Yosl Kurland: Music and Social Justice

A Jewish Perspective on Social Justice: Songs in Yiddish, Hebrew and English
WHEN: Wednesday, March 27, 7 PM
WHERE: Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton, MA

Yosl Kurland was inspired by Pete Seeger as a teenager back in the 1960s to dream of singing for peace and justice. In 1991, Pete invited him and the Wholesale Klezmer Band to do just that, in Yiddish, at the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall, and at subsequent concerts in our own region. Yosl, a founding member of the Wholesale Klezmer Band since 1982 sings and writes songs in Yiddish, English and Hebrew.

Many Yiddish poets wrote songs calling for social Justice, based on biblical commandments to care for the poor and the stranger because we ourselves were strangers in the land of Egypt, and the Yiddish song repertoire includes much in that vein. In tonight's program, Yosl will perform songs by these "sweatshop" poets as well as his own compositions that reflect the Jewish experience in calling for justice for both workers and refugees. Yiddish songs will have translations projected for the audience.

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