Logo: Susquehanna Folk Music Society
Central Pennsylvania's grass-roots voice for folk music and dance!

In partnership with Penn State Harrisburg
The Susquehanna Folk Arts Center presents
Artist to Artist: A Residency
Exploring Jewish Music Traditions

Sunday, December 6, 2020 Four workshops between 10 am and 4:30 pm
LIVE from the Kulkarni Theatre at Penn State Harrisburg

About This Event:

Susan Leviton
Susan Leviton
Ilene Stahl
Ilene Stahl - photo by D Kaufman
Susan Hoffman Watts
Susan Hoffman Watts
Lauren Brody
Lauren Brody - photo by Saskia Kahn

FOUR FREE WORKSHOPS exploring Klezmer, the mesmerizing musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Five groundbreaking female Klezmer musicians from around the country join in this virtual residency.

“A dance mix so potent, it should carry a warning label.”

This is Klezperanto: a quick listen to some hot Klezmer music

Never heard Klezmer music? Watch the video above from Klezperanto, or listen to this playlist from the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and you'll be hooked.


The Klezmer Awakening

10 am - 10:45 am
with Cookie Segelstein, Ilene Stahl and Amy Skillman
A Conversation with Two Musicians. Join folklorist Amy Skillman for a conversation with violinist Cookie Segelstein and clarinetist Ilene Stahl exploring the revival of Klezmer music in the US, the aesthetics of the tradition, and the relationship of the sound to both secular and spiritual identity.

Sing Out! Bring Your Voices and Instruments

11:15 am - 12:15 pm
with Lauren Brody and Susan Leviton
An opportunity to learn by singing, playing along, or just listening as we explore several songs under the umbrella of Jewish music, both traditional and newly composed. Song lyrics and sheet music are at the bottom of this webpage.

Klezmer Suffrage: An Interview with Women in Jewish Music

1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
with Lauren Brody, Susan Leviton, Cookie Segelstein and Ilene Stahl; moderated by Susan Hoffman Watts
The extraordinary and diverse family histories and personal journeys of five women who have crafted lives in Jewish music.

“Whose Song is This?” The Wonders of Song Migration

3 pm - 4:30 pm
with Lauren Brody, Susan Leviton, Cookie Segelstein and Ilene Stahl
All the musicians contribute to a whirlwind exploration of how the tangled roots of songs lead to the widest variety of musical expression over time, geography, and even political boundaries! This session will culminate in finale performances to cap a great day of musical exploration. Song lyrics and sheet music are at the bottom of this webpage.


Susan Leviton
Susan Leviton

Susan Leviton

Susan Leviton (vocals) Known as a masterful calligrapher, designer, and papercut artist, as well as a singer of Yiddish songs continually breaks new ground with uncovering historic and contemporary Yiddish songs and bringing them into the 21st Century. Singing vocals with the Old World Folk Band since 1985 has revealed countless treasures in Yiddish song and poetry, and has opened opportunities to share the stage with colleagues around the world. Visit Susan’s profile in the SFMS Folk Artists Gallery.

Ilene Stahl
Ilene Stahl

photo by D Kaufman

Ilene Stahl

Ilene Stahl (clarinet) is acclaimed for her passionate performance style and soulful interpretations of traditional Yiddish music. Ilene has also been the clarinetist one of Klezmer's most enduring groups The Klezmer Conservatory Band since 1987. Ilene always wanted to play in a rock and roll band but says "she didn't know she picked the wrong instrument," so she formed her own band, Klezperanto, to expand the possibilities of traditional Yiddish and Mediterranean melodies, rip up Romanian surf tunes, re-imagine Jewish wedding music as vintage TV detective show themes, and revive the golden age of clarinet in the big band dance hall traditions of klezmer and cumbia. Visit Ilene online at klezperanto.com

photo by Lloyd Wolf

Cookie Segelstein

Cookie Segelstein (violin), founder of the trio Veretski Pass, a member of Budowitz and founding member of the Youngers of Zion, has performed with many other high profile Klezmer band including Kapelye, The Klezmatics, and The Klezmer Conservatory Band. She has presented workshops on Klezmer fiddling all over the world and at many Klezmer camps. Visit Cookie online at VeretskiPass.com

Susan Watts
Susan Hoffman Watts

Susan Hoffman Watts

Susan Hoffman Watts represents the youngest generation of an important Klezmer dynasty that reaches back to the Jewish Ukraine of the 19th Century, beginning with her maternal great-grandfather Joseph Hoffman, a musician, composer, poet and cornet player. For many years, Hoffman Watts performed with her mother, the great Klezmer drummer Elaine Hoffman Watts, in their Philadelphia-based group The Fabulous Shpielkehs. (Longtime Susquehanna Folks might remember their appearance in our Concert Series!) Hoffman Watts is the sole living purveyor of the family's electrifying Klezmer-style trumpet sounds. Visit Susan online at susanwattsmusic.com

Lauren Brody
Lauren Brody

photo by Saskia Kahn

Lauren Brody

Lauren Brody (accordion/vocals) is a pioneer of the Klezmer music revival in the United States and a founding member of the groundbreaking band “Kapelye” with whom she toured and recorded and appeared on TV and film. Lauren continues to perform, with a particular accent on composing new music for her own Balkan/Klezmer inspired solo project “Lauren Brody’s Accordion Bytes”, as “Tsoyber” with Susan Leviton, and with the Bulgarian-based accordion trio Brody-Stoikov.


Lauren Brody plays “Ziganoff Medley”

...from Kapelye's album Chicken

Lauren Brody plays “Ziganoff Medley”

Susan Leviton sings “Dos Zangl”

...from her CD Deep Skies

Susan Leviton sings “Dos Zangl”

Cookie Segelstein plays Skotshne #47

...with Josh Horowitz and Luca the dog

Cookie Segelstein and Josh Horowitz play Skotshne #47

Sing Out! Songs and Tunes

Taught in Session 2 of the residency.

BETLER LID (Beggar's Song)

(likely) composed by Abe Ellstein and Itsik Manger
from the film Yidl Mitn Fidl

lyrics in Yiddish and English
Oy, hert zikh ayn, mayne libe mentshn.
Oy, hert zikh ayn atsinder tsu mayn troyerik lidl.
Fun vanen nemt zikh – zog mir – aza groyser veytik
In aza kleynem, kleynem fidl?

Ikh ken aykh zogn, mayne libe mentshn.
Ikh ken aykh zogn – zingen – ale in ayer oyer.
Der fidl veyst di dolye fun dem klezmer…
Zayn vunder, zayn vogl, zayn troyer.

Oh, listen to me, my dear people.
Pay attention to my sad song.
Tell me — how is it that so much sadness
can come from such a tiny fiddle?

I'll tell you the answer.
I'll sing it right into your ear.
The fiddle knows the fate of the klezmer...
his wonder, his wanderings, his sadness.


Lauren Brody and Susan Leviton collaborate on “Haskovo Nign”

Lauren Brody plays and sings a piece she wrote for her husband, with Susan Leviton singing harmony.


Abe Schwartz's Orchestra 1917
This tune (see sheet music) is almost completely in a major key except for the Adonoi Molokh in the "B" section. It has a Rumanian/Russian flavor and a simplicity of melody which lends itself well to embellishment.


Aliza Greenblatt, music by Yisroel Glatshteyn (Klingen Gleker)
lyrics in Yiddish and English
S’iz di zun a goldene shoyn avek
Un gezegent un gekusht zikh mit di berg.
Geyen mir, geyen mir oyf a shpatsir,
Benken mir, benken mir ale fir.

Tsien himlen, tsien himlen vayt un bloy
Geyen mir zikh, geyen mir zikh ot azoy!
Zingen mir, zingen mir ale fir
Geyen mir, geyen mir oyf a shpatsir.

Tantsen vintlekh oyf di gasn frank un fray.
S’vet der tog a likhtiker bald farbay
Benken mir, benken mir ale fir
Geyen mir, geyen mir oyf a shpatsir.

Kumt levone, kumt levone in ir prakht.
Brengt zi mit zikh, brengt zi mit zikh, tsoybernakht
Zingen mir, zingen mir ale fir.
Geyen mir, geyen mir oyf a shpatsir!

The golden sun has gone down
And said goodbye and kissed the hills.
We’re going for a walk
And all four of us are missing each other.

The heavens spread out vast and blue
And we’re going along like this –
And we are singing – all four of us
And we’re going for a walk.

The winds dance in the streets free and open
And the bright day is about to pass
And in longing all four of us
Are going for a walk.

The moon is coming out in all her loveliness
And she brings the magic of the night.
And we’re singing, all four of us,
And we’re going for a walk.

Whose Song is This? Songs and Tunes


“Yasen mesets vech izgryava” is a the march of the Preobrazhenski rebellion. It was first performed at Radio Sofia in 1953 by Sava Popsavov. It is considered the anthem of the Strandja region in Bulgaria.


Boney M. - first verse lyrics
Songwriters: Frank Farian / Fred Jay / George Reyam
Rasputin lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey (3 times)
There lived a certain man in Russia long ago
He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow
Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
But to Moscow chicks he was such a lovely dear
He could preach the Bible like a preacher
Full of ecstasy and fire
But he also was the kind of teacher
Women would desire
Ra ra Rasputin
Lover of the Russian queen
There was a cat that really was gone
Ra ra Rasputin
Russia's greatest love machine
It was a shame how he carried on

KATARINA MOLODITSA – published in 1918 by M. Kipnis

Hebrew, Russian and Yiddish transliterations Ani holakhti beyar ushomati bas kol.
“Katarina, moloditsa poydi syuda”

ES IZ NOKH FARAN AZA BLUM (There is Still Such a Flower)

Full English lyrics
When the golden sun sets,
I steal down to the valley
Where my flower rests.
I see her always, all around.
Last rays fall like sapphires
With pure gold everywhere.
The forest sings for me the Song of Songs
And my flower bows her head to me.

Aha, aha – sings a wind in the valley.
Aha, aha – it sings to me for the last time.
There is still such a flower
Whose beauty no one knows.
I love her always in secret –
She loves me in silence

When the golden sun awakens,
The valley says to me: Run away
To where you once were.
No one has to see you here,
The creek flows to water the forest.
Moist trees crown all around.
The wind sings Song of Songs to me.
My flower bows her head to me.

Tickets are FREE!

Pre-registration is required.


General Ticket info

Donations Welcome!

If you have the means, we would welcome your help to cover production costs for this and other Susquehanna Folk Arts Center programs. Registration includes a donation option. We appreciate your support!

More to come

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