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Under the Hood: Using Jewish Archival Materials to Create New Music and Arrangements, presented by Cookie Segelstein with live examples by Veretski Pass

To register for this free in-person program, click here. The Library is located at 1835 Ellis Street in San Francisco, with free garage parking at 1227 Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy

In this presentation Cookie Segelstein will explore ways that traditional musicians balance old-school research and learning with digital resources. How does Veretski Pass use Jewish archival collection materials to compose and arrange new music? This presentation shows their creative process, from gathering materials, to the treatment of the smallest melodic fragments, to using whole melodies. Segelstein will show elements, including music sources, tempo and key treatments, and melodic and rhythmic variations, with live examples played by the members of Veretski Pass.

Veretski Pass is a trio of Jewish music veterans who have been at the forefront of the klezmer revival for more than 25 years. Their output spans the ultra-traditional to the avant-garde. Taking their name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian, and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania; Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions.

Cookie Segelstein (violin) received her master’s degree in viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. Until moving to California in 2010, she was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in the New Haven Symphony. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass and a member of Budowitz. She has taught klezmer fiddling all over the world, including Living Traditions’ KlezKamp, Yiddish Summer Weimar, and Yale University, and has been featured on many recordings.

Joshua Horowitz (accordion, cimbalom and piano) received his master’s degree in composition from the Graz, Austria Academy of Music, where he taught music theory from 1989 to 1998. He is the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz, a founding member of Veretski Pass, and has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, Theodore Bikel, and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and taught with the late Stan Getz at Stanford University. He is the recipient of more than forty awards, including the Prize of Honor for his orchestral composition Tenebrae, presented by the Austrian government.

Stuart Brotman (bass, basy [cello], tilinca, and baraban) has been recording, touring, and teaching New Jewish Music with Brave Old World since 1989 and with Veretski Pass since 2002. He has toured and recorded with Canned Heat, Kaleidoscope, Geoff and Maria Muldaur, and with Ry Cooder at Carnegie Hall. He produced The Klezmorim’s Grammy-nominated album, Metropolis, and performed with Itzhak Perlman in the PBS Great Performances film and CD, Itzhak Perlman, in the Fiddler’s House.

Co-presented by the Jewish Folk Chorus of San Francisco and KlezCalifornia.


Thursday, May 16, 2024


Pacific Time
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

More Info

Register Here




Jewish Community Library
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115