The Orcas Island Grange will host the music of Lebedik Yankee, a new project from one of the world’s foremost Yiddish singers, Sasha Lurje, from Latvia, and violinist Craig Judelman, from the United States, exploring the journey of Yiddish songs from Eastern Europe to America at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23. 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.
Jewish immigrants flocked to the new world in the late 19th century, bringing their songs and stories with them. The songs born from this new Yiddish American culture tell of the emancipation of women, the growth of the labor movement, the dangers of war, and of course, love. This performance continues where the old recordings left off, creating music that is deeply traditional, yet new and accessible to all.
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 at a young age. He currently performs with Litvakus, one of the only klezmer bands devoted to Litvak music, which is from the northern European region of Jewish settlement.
For this program, Lurje and Judelman will be joined by Mark Rubin on bass and Matt Sircely on guitar and mandolin (Sircely has familial ties to the island). Tickets are $15 and any unsold tickets will be available at the door. Discounts for students and low-income audiences are available upon request.