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Klezmer band Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi to play free concert

Photo of the 2019 SaveAround coupon book.

Temple Adath Yeshurun and the Sam Pomeranz Jewish Community Center are pleased to bring klezmer group Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi to Syracuse on Saturday, Nov. 10 and Sunday, Nov. 11 at Temple Adath Yeshurun.

Saturday there will be a free cabaret-style concert, suitable for all ages, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Temple Adath Yeshurun Ballroom. Preceding the concert at 7:15 p.m. the JCC will be providing delightful desserts for those in attendance. The concert is being underwritten by the Steven Zeitlin Fund which supports musical programs at TAY.

On Sunday Yale Strom will give a free multimedia presentation at 10:30 a.m. in TAY's Muriel & Avron Spector Library. The presentation, entitled A Tree Still Stands: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe Today, is funded by the Abraham and Anita Altman Adult Education Fund.

Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi is a unique klezmer/Roma ensemble featuring Elizabeth Schwartz on vocals, David Licht on percussion, Norbert Stachel on reeds, Peter Stan on accordion, Sprocket on contrabass, and Yale Strom. Strom—a violinist, composer, filmmaker, writer, photographer, ethnographer, and playwrite—is a pioneer among revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Roma communities. While doing research in Eastern Europe, among the Jewish and Roma musicians, Strom collected many of the tunes the ensemble performs. Strom lived with these people, wrote about them, made films about them, and photographed them. All of this comes through Hot Pstromi’s repertoire. The band plays traditional Yiddish/Klezmer tunes along with Roma tunes.

In the book A Wandering Feast: A Journey Through the Jewish Culture of Eastern Europe, written by Strom in collaboration with his wife and fellow band member Elizabeth Schwartz, he writes, “When I hear klezmer, I hear the expression of both the ecstatic joy and profound despair of my people. Klezmer for me is the window into the soul of Yiddish culture, the culture of my lineage.”

Since 1982, Strom has been composing his own New Jewish music, blending klezmer with Khasidic nigunim, Roma, jazz, classical, Balkan, and Sephardic sounds. His compositions range from quartets to symphonies, and he is one of the only top composers of Jewish music to carry on the tradition of writing original songs, with Yiddish lyrics, about humanitarian and social issues. Strom was the first klezmer musician to perform at the United Nations General Assembly.

Initially, Strom’s work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music among the Jewish and Roma communities in Central and Eastern Europe. However, his focus gradually increased to examining all aspects of their culture from post-World War II to the present. With over 30 years and 75 research expeditions under his belt, Strom has become the world’s leading thenographer-artist of klezmer music and history. His research has resulted in photo documentary books, documentary films, and CD recordings. Strom has authored and edited more than 10 books, and has produced more than 15 CDs ranging from traditional klezmer to New Jewish music. His films have been shown at and received awards from various film festivals over the years, including his most recent film American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs, which won the 2017 Audience Choice for Best Film award at the Workers United Film Festival in New York City.

Strom had a solo photo exhibit, Fragments: Jewish Life in Eastern Europe (1981-2007) which opened at the Anne Frank Center in New York City during the fall of 2014, and then traveled to UCLA and San Diego. His photos are part of many collections including Beth Hatefusoth, The Skirball Museum, The Jewish Museum of NYC, The Frankfurt Jewish Museum and The Museum of Photographic Arts.

“We are thrilled that in conjunction with the Sam Pomeranz JCC we are bringing Yale Strom and his ensemble Hot Pstromi to the Syracuse community," stated Barbara S. Simon, executive director of Temple Adath Yeshurun. "The idea for the concert began a couple years ago when Rabbi Drazen, z”l had a bit of a family reunion with Strom at a White House Hanukkah party, to which they’d both been invited. Drazen and Strom are cousins. We are pleased that through this connection we’re able to bring a musician of Strom’s reputation to Central New York," she continued.

The concert on Saturday evening and presentation on Sunday morning will be hosted at Temple Adath Yeshurun, 450 Kimber Road, Syracuse 13224. These programs are open to the community, and while there is no charge to attend, reservations are requested. To register, please visit, call 315.445.0002, or email