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The Jewish People, scattered across continents for 2000 years, developed as many different musical styles as the lands in which they settled, yet remain united through the texts of the Bible and the yearly festival cycle . Willy takes the listener on a journey through time and space, singing in 9 different languages, playing 24 authentic instruments, and retracing the musical sources of the Jewish Diaspora. From the archaic strains of an Ethiopian fiddle to a merry Irish ditty, from the mystics of Yemen to the shepherd’s pipe of the Asian steppes, from the yearnings of the Jews of the Malabar coast of South India to those of the Hassidim of Eastern Europe; Rarely has one artist painted so deep a portrait with so broad a palette.
In recent years, Klezmer music has experienced a worldwide revival among both Jews and non-Jews, giving listeners a glimpse of the past as well as pathways to the future. Willy Schwarz’s ‘Jewish Music Around the World’ fills out the spectrum of the rainbow, of which Klezmer is but one hue. Over years of ethnomusicological research, he has assembled a stunningly eclectic bouquet of musical flowers, each revealing the historical and sociological roots of the Jewish experience , scattered among many diverse cultures. Yet each of the 14 songs is sung and played with deep feeling as well as Willy’s ingenious command of 24 traditional instruments. There is humor, irony, and wit here as well as pathos, yearning and piety.
Veteran actor/singer Theodore Bikel, himself one of Willy’s heroes , says about Jewish Music Around the World; “I think this is amazing work. There is scholarship, erudition, musical and lyrical dexterity, and such a variety of colors that makes this CD a jewel of a collector’s item for anyone who has any interest in Jewish music-Hell, anyone at all, whether they can tell a Jewish tune from a hillbilly one” Copious album notes are also available in German.