Sunday concerts to present Yiddish tunes and a sense of history

PORT TOWNSEND — Yiddish songs will be performed in two concerts Sunday in Port Townsend.

Rainshadow Recording Studio and the Cellar Door will present the music of Lebedik!, a new duo project from Yiddish singer Sasha Lurje of Latvia and klezmer violinist Craig Judelman of the U.S.

Lebedik! explores the journey of Yiddish songs from Eastern Europe to America. Based in Berlin, Germany, Lurje and Judelman bring their own special relationships to the songs, with each of them approaching from opposite ends of the journey.

The 2 p.m. performance will be at Rainshadow Recording, Building 315 at Fort Worden, 200 Battery Way. The 7 p.m. show will be at The Cellar Door, 940 Water St., Suite 1, at the back of the building.

Tickets are $15 at, or at Crossroads Music, 2100 Lawrence St., and Quimper Sound Underground, 211 Taylor St.

Jewish immigrants flocked to the new world in the late 19th and early 20th century, bringing their songs and stories with them.

Both the people and the culture shifted in this process, and music from the era offers insights into personal and generational experiences.

The songs tell of the emancipation of women, the growth of the labor movement and the challenges and adventures that accompany increasing social freedoms.

The addition of popular instruments was a significant development for what had been previously a mostly a capella repertoire.

Lurje is one of the leading voices in the contemporary Yiddish scene, and has performed and taught at numerous festivals in Europe and America.

Growing up speaking Slavic and Baltic languages, she brings a unique old world perspective to the repertoire, and is internationally renowned as one of the foremost specialists in Yiddish lyric songs and ballads.

Judelman grew up in Seattle, studying violin and folk music from around the world from a young age.

He currently performs with Litvakus, one of the only klezmer bands devoted to Litvak music, music from the northern European region of Jewish settlement.

For this program Lurje and Judelman will be joined by special guests on guitar and mandolin.

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