Midnight Prayer - Joel Rubin Ensemble
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cd cover Joel Rubin Ensemble
Midnight Prayer (Traditional Crossroads)

Rubin is one of the leading performers of instrumental klezmer music and has spent the last 14 years in Germany and Eastern Europe researching and performing the old Russian Jewish klezmer tradition.He is joined on this marvelous recording by a great group of musicians, including Kálmán Balogh, Ferenc Kovács and David Chernyavsky.


1. Khabno
2. Zeydl Rovner
3. Vinnitsa
4. Kiev
5. Brusilov
6. Midnight Prayer
7. Rebbe of Medzhibozh
8. Volynsk
9. Cherniavsky
10. Yosele Tolner
11. Rabinovitsh
12. Nikolaev

Joel Rubin  clarinet
Kálmán Balogh   cimbalom 
Sándor Budai   violin
David Chernyavsky   violin
Claudio Jacomucci   accordion
Ferenc Kovács   trumpet
Csaba Novák   string bass
Pete Rushefsky   tsimbl

Joel Rubin has long been considered by many to be one of the leading performers of Jewish instrumental klezmer music in the world today, earning accolades from sources as diverse as klezmer giants Dave Tarras and Max Epstein, international clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman, avant garde composer John Zorn, and Nobel Prize Laureate and poet Roald Hoffmann. Rubin holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from City University (London) for his pioneering work on improvisation and ornamentation in klezmer clarinet music. Rubin has spent the last 14 years in Germany and Eastern Europe researching and performing the old Russian Jewish klezmer tradition.

From one of the most famous line of Roma, (Gypsy) musical families in Hungary, Kalman Balogh is considered to be the greatest living cimbalom (Eastern European hammered dulcimer) virtuoso. In Midnight Prayer Rubin & Balogh join forces with an all-star ensemble to recreate some of the most fascinating repertoire in the history of Jewish music. In putting together a band with Jewish and Roma (Gypsy) musicians, Rubin’s theory is that the Roma can provide essential insight to klezmer since the two traditions are so interconnected and Gypsies often played with Jews for Jewish events. Midnight Prayer brings together two diverse, yet partially overlapping repertoires: the instrumental music of the klezmorim – the professional Jewish instrumentalists who graced every traditional Jewish wedding in Eastern Europe from at least the 16th century onwards – and the mystical nigunim (religious melodies of spiritual elevation) of the hasidic movement. Midnight Prayer creates its own sonic universe, full of depth, virtuosity, playfulness and introspection, exposing the many historical layers of traditional Jewish music through the lenses of the multifarious musical backgrounds of the band’s members, ranging from classical to Gypsy to free jazz to contemporary art music.

Other recordings you might like:

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Helmut Eisel and Band
Klezmer at the Cotton Club

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Shtreiml and Fencioglu
Fenci's Blues

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