Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jewish Traces in Unexpected Places: Subways Are For Klezmer


This week an unexpected one-man klezmer concert took place in the Times Square subway station in New York. 

OK, so Manhattan isn't an unexpected place to hear Jewish music. But in the subway???

There's a lot that's unknown about this episode, but we'll tell you what is self-evident from the video below. An unidentified man dressed in black tie and tails plays eight popular Jewish songs on a New York subway platform, the first three on a saxophone and the next five on a clarinet.

The songs are Hava Nagila, Yismechu Hashamayim, Jerusalem of Gold, Eleh Chamda Libi, Bashanah Haba'ah, Mayim Mayim, Let My People Go, and Eliyahu Hanavi.

This is so typical New York. The musician plays while running around a litter can in the center of the platform while the trains come and go. Most people ignore him, walking by without stopping. Occasionally, someone drops a coin or bill into his collection box while others drop garbage into the litter can.

We're lucky that at least one observer (TubeDude78, who posted it on YouTube) had a camera or phone and captured this five minute gem.

After two minutes he takes one minute off to change instruments and adjust his clarinet before continuing with the next five songs, so don't be put off by the silence between the 2 minute and 3 minute marks.

Enjoy!

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)


(A tip of the kippah to Phoebe Weisbrot for bringing this video to our attention.)

4 comments:

  1. This was absolutely great!!! It's a keeper.

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  2. When I lived in Boston we also had subway musicians, and I always put a dollar into their collection. I felt that the dollar was well earned, as the music really gave me a lift while I waited for a train. These players often are music students, always nicely dressed, they have to receive approval before they authorized to play.

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  3. How wonderful he is. I only regret the people did not applaud or start dancing!!

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