One of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life was to perform during my Berkeley graduate school days (1982) in a Jewish folk ensemble called Yasmine with my brother Todd. Shira Kammen and Devorah Shaw accompanied us. Shira went on to great fame and acclaim as a member of Ensemble PAN (Project Ars Nova), an early music ensemble.
We played Jewish music festivals, Old Age homes, Jewish community centers, you name it. I’ve always loved music, but performing was an exciting, challenging and deeply rewarding experience. Ever since, I’ve never been able to find musical partners who share my musical interests and orientation and so I’ve never performed since.
Barcelona Haggadah detail
Passover is the holiday of liberation
We decided to record our music. Todd knew a Berkeley geneticist-folk dance afficianado (only in Berkeley!) who recorded music in his spare time. We got into a studio (his living room!) and made a tape. We called our recording Jewish Songs of Celebration and Struggle (this is the link to hear the recordings). It probably sold about 500 copies, which wasn’t bad at all. I quite liked the recording though I did make one vocal mistake that I can hear to this day!
Imagine my shocked surpirse AND deep satisfaction, when I found the liner notes for our recording on the web at the Freedman Catalogue of Jewish Music (University of Pennsylvania).
If any readers out there are interested in purchasing the tape I still have copies (sealed & unopened). Please send me an e mail and I’ll tell you how to reach me.