Jewish songs and dances from across the world

PETRŽALKA’s Klub Za Zrkadlom has developed a nice tradition of presenting, apart from time-tested musicians, interesting genres outside the current mainstream, like jazz, blues, folklore (including traditional Gypsy music), fusion, world and ethno music. As part of this nonconformist attitude, the club hosted Timna Brauer from Vienna together with her keyboardist husband Elias Meiri and Courtney Jones on percussion, performing in Bratislava for the first time in three years. The second part of the evening featured Slovakia’s famous Pressburger Klezmer Band who, in addition to performing, taught traditional Jewish dances to willing members of the audiencLe.

Timna Brauer in concertTimna Brauer in concert (Source: Ján Šuba)

PETRŽALKA’s Klub Za Zrkadlom has developed a nice tradition of presenting, apart from time-tested musicians, interesting genres outside the current mainstream, like jazz, blues, folklore (including traditional Gypsy music), fusion, world and ethno music. As part of this nonconformist attitude, the club hosted Timna Brauer from Vienna together with her keyboardist husband Elias Meiri and Courtney Jones on percussion, performing in Bratislava for the first time in three years. The second part of the evening featured Slovakia’s famous Pressburger Klezmer Band who, in addition to performing, taught traditional Jewish dances to willing members of the audiencLe.

Timna Brauer, with her Austrian and Jewish ancestry, performed traditional Jewish songs and melodies from throughout much of the world, starting with Yemen (where her mother is from) through central Europe (Yiddish songs) as well as from Romania and Spain (Sephardic traditions), easily moving across all moods, styles and genres. Some tunes were more traditional and others were quite jazzy and had a strong European influence. But they all had one thing in common – the quality of absorbing the audience, interpreting strong emotions, and presenting the phenomenal musical skills of the group. Their performance was a delight for all senses – not just for the ears, but also for the eyes with their contrasting styles of clothing. And for those who wanted to get a taste of Israel as well, the Chez David restaurant was offering delicacies of the Jewish cuisine before the concert.

The traditional Jewish music of central Europe, klezmer, is better known to Slovak ears and its most famous representatives – in fact the only ones in this country – in the Pressburger Klezmer Band managed to capture the attention and feelings of the audience – a most difficult challenge after Timna and her accompanists. Since klezmer music has different instrumentation, this larger band offered a counterpoint of a good stage show to follow the intimate setting of the first part of the evening and that was topped off by the demonstration of traditional dances led by Linda Luptáková.

Klub Za Zrkadlom has become the teaching home for folklore dances as part of the Tanečný dom (House of Dance) project and this evening fitted well into that project, too. In addition to Petržalka‘s cultural offices, the Austrian and Israeli embassies co-organised this tremendous evening of traditional Jewish music that, one hopes, might be repeated – much sooner than in three years.

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