Photo: Eleonore Weill
The Klezmer/Roma (Gypsy) Connection: A Musical Voyage in Romania
In this virtuosic concert and multi-media performance, Jake Shulman-Ment leads the audience on a musical journey through tradition, cultural exchange, and shared memory. Developed over the course of a Fulbright year of ethnographic expeditions in Romania, this program offers a window into a world now mostly empty of the Jews who once called it home. Through music, striking photographs and videos, and historical context, Shulman-Ment reveals the past and present relationships between Jews and Roma (Gypsies) by exploring questions of cultural influence, transmission, and collective memory. Performing both old melodies and new compositions, he reflects on the potential for uncovering and transforming buried pasts, integrating heritage into the artistic process to create vibrant contemporary culture.
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“The performance was spectacular. Jake intersperses music with lecture as well as photographic and videographic imagery of Romanian musicians, villages, towns, synagogues, weddings, and funerals. This worked especially well because it is all first-hand knowledge to Jake; he brings his extensive personal experience from his time in Romania along with his years of meticulous study of the musical form.”
-Jenny Levison, Director of Performing Arts, Manhattan JCC, 2011-2013