Clarinetist, jazz musician, and klezmer virtuoso Don Byron. He's an unlikely candidate to play klezmer, a product of Eastern European Yiddish culture: Byron is African American and dreadlocked. Byron has become best known for klezmer, but musically he's all over the map: He plays jazz with his Don Byron Quintet, modern classical music with the Semaphore quintet, and he toured Europe last fall with Music for Six Musicians, an Afro-Cuban ensemble. He's also currently writing a classical piece for the avant-garde Kronos Quartet.
The Klezmer revival is mostly led by third-generation American Jews. Clarinetist Don Byron is a notbale exception -- he's an African American musician who pays tribute to the compositions of Mickey Katz. Byron is an alumnus of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and he performs on the anthology album "Live At The Knitting Factory, Volume 3."
Clarinetist Don Byron. Byron's black, but he plays klezmer, the music created from the mixture of American jazz and European jewish culture. Byron's an alumnus of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and he performs on a new anthology album called "Live At The Knitting Factory." It's on A&M records.
Actor Joel Grey talks about the legacy of his father, comedic actor and clarinetist Mickey Katz. Grey's Jewish heritage helped him add complexity to his performance in the Broadway and film versions of Cabaret, in which he played the Master of Ceremonies.
Hankus Netsky is the founder and leader of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Klezmer mixes traditional Yiddish and Israeli music with American influences. Netsky joins the show to discuss the history of the genre and to share 78-records of klezmer music from the 1920s.