Students in field

Hot Pstromi presenting at heritage center on October 16

October 4, 2017

Yale Strom brings his group Hot Pstromi, a quartet this time, back to the Calumet Theatre on Monday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. Along with Strom on violin, Elizabeth Schwartz, vocals, and Peter Stan, accordian, Amos Hoffman joins on guitar and oud. In addition, to the performance, Strom will present on links between Finnish Folk music and Klezmer music.at the Finnish American Heritage Center at 3 p.m. on the 16th. No admission fee and refreshments will be served at the presentation, which is titled “Jewish Culture in Finland Before World War II.”

Strom is pre-eminent among klezmer musicians around the world. He is the author of The Absolutely Complete Klezmer Songbook, as well as a number of albums and documentary films and he has performed around the country and the world. He is accompanied by his wife Elizabeth Schwartz whose beautiful voice has an amazing range, by Peter Stan who plays a virtuoso accordion and for this tour by Amos Hoffman on guitar and oud (grandmother of the guitar)

Klezmer music, for those not familiar with it, is folk music of the Jews of Eastern Europe. (think “Fiddler on the Roof”) Itinerant Klezmer groups provided music at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and still do. It is centuries old and draws on the music of Russia, Poland, Roma (Gypsy) and others where Jews lived.  When Jews immigrated to America, massively from 1880 to 1924, Klezmer was influenced by jazz and vice versa. A Klezmer revival which began in the ‘70s has made the energetic music more popular around the world.

Composers, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Gustav Mahler, Dmitri Shostakovich, and George Gershwin were influenced by Klezmer. Some say the opening of “Rhapsody in Blue” acknowledged the Klezmer clarinet.The swing jazz of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw may have derived from klezmer. Jazz and klezmer have been  blended by jazz musicians John Zorn and Don Byron and recently found their way into Ska.

In the past 25 years, there have been local performances of Klezmer music. The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band performed at the Calumet Theatre as part of the 75th Anniversary celebration of Temple Jacob. Several years ago, the Calumet Theatre booked the Yiddishe Cup Klezmer Band from Cleveland and the Klezmer Conservatory from Boston led by Klezmer aficionado Hankus Netsky filled the Rozsa Center not too long ago. This is the third time Hot Pstromi has come to Calumet.

Tickets for the performance at the Calumet Theatre are $15 and can be purchased at the Calumet Theatre Box Office – 340 Sixth Street, Calumet, phone (906) 337-2610 or calumettheatre.com.


This concert is sponsored by Temple Jacob and supported by a grant from the Ravitz Foundation Michigan Small Jewish Communities’ Initiative of the Michigan Jewish Conference, a program of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

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