marimba with images of klezmer musicians superimposedMusic professor Nicholas Papador will discuss and demonstrate klezmer in a free public presentation May 28.

Klezmer music subject of discussion and performance

Klezmer music is not just a genre, says professor Nicholas Papador, it’s a living history that continues to evolve and inspire.

In a free public presentation Tuesday, May 28, he will discuss its history and offer a sampling of the melodies he published in his recent book, Vessels of Song: A Collection of Klezmer Suites for Mallet Ensemble.

The term klezmer is Yiddish, derived from the Hebrew words klei, meaning vessel or instrument, and zemer, meaning song, together signifying “vessel of song” or “musical instrument.”

The traditional folk music of the Ashkenazi Jewish people of the shtetls of Central and Eastern Europe, it began in the Middle Ages as a form of dance music at weddings. After evolving, absorbing elements of other musical traditions, and being widely and popularly performed throughout the continent in subsequent centuries, it declined by the mid-20th century after the devastation of Jewish communities in the Holocaust. Since the 1970s, klezmer has experienced a revival.

Dr. Papador’s presentation, entitled “Vessels of Song: Origins, Decline, and Renaissance of Klezmer Music,” is presented by the Windsor University Retirees’ Association at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday both online and in person in the Performance Hall, SoCA Armouries.

Find more detail and a link to the Zoom stream on the association’s web site.