About the Band
The Old World Folk Band was founded in 1982 and devotes its energies to preserving the sounds and spirit of klezmer music, Yiddish theater songs and the indigenous folk music of Eastern Europe.
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Photo © Blair Seitz All Rights Reserved
Based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the Old World Folk Band performs extensively in the mid-Atlantic region, from upstate New York to Virginia. They have appeared at The Philadelphia Folk Festival (PA), the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival (NY), Longwood Gardens (PA), Baltimore Artscape (MD), the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (PA), the Smithsonian Institution (D.C.), and at numerous universities and public events.
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The Old World Folk Band made its national television debut in 1994, with a one-hour documentary entitled Our Lives Are In Our Songs. The production, which includes a live concert, interviews and footage from the Yiddish film archives, has aired on all Pennsylvania PBS stations and has been distributed nationally.
In 1995, the Old World Folk Band acquired the talents of clarinetist Anatoly Krashunsky and vocalist Dina Krashunsky, two musicians who emigrated to Pennsylvania from Odessa, Ukraine. Through performance, recording and transcription of traditional arrangements, the Old World Folk Band seeks to capture the Kranshunskiy's familial / regional Klezmer and Russian repertoire and make this music available to a wider audience.
In the fall of 2000 the Old World Folk Band was awarded inclusion in Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour's roster. This highly competitive program promotes Pennsylvania artists through making grant monies available to qualifying presenting organizations throughout Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey and the Virgin Islands.
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The Old World Folk Band has produced four audio recordings: Old World Folk Band Live, Dancing in the Aisles, Hot Tracks, and Crossing New Borders. The first two are out of print; the second two may be purchased through the band and through other outlets.
More about our recordings... »
The band is currently working on a new CD, supported by funds from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (administered by the Institute for Cultural Partnerships and Jump Street). The CD will feature Klezmer, Russian and Gypsy music collected and arranged by band member Anatoly Krashunsky.
With its poignant melodies, joyous dance tunes and soulful chants, the Old World Folk Band promises to move you from the soles of your feet to the depths of your heart. Prepare for a trip into musical roots...and clear the dance floor!
The Old World Folk Band is...
- Gary Grobman ...flute, piccolo
- Jess Dalton Hayden ...clarinet
- Henry Koretzky ...guitar, mandolin
- Dale Laninga ...trombone
- Susan Leviton ...vocals
- Frederick Richmond ...trumpet
- Karen Richmond ...bass
- Ella Popeliansky...piano,vocals
What is Klezmer?
Klezmer is the musical voice of Eastern European jewry. Its poignant melodies, joyous dance tunes, and soulful chants capture the essence of life in the Jewish community. Klezmer celebrates births, weddings, funerals, and all the joys and hardships in between.
The Old World Folk Band's repertoire takes you from Russia and Europe to North America, from traditional to present-day songs, from theater to folksong. In their hands, this music really does cross new borders.