Crossing The Border with Michael Alpert and Gica Loening
Time & Location
About the Event
Michael Alpert is a pioneering figure in the renaissance of East European Jewish music and Yiddish culture since the 1970s, and a National Heritage Fellow of the United States – the USA's highest honour for traditional and heritage artists. He is internationally known for award-winning performances and recordings with Brave Old World, Itzhak Perlman, Andy Statman and many others. A native Yiddish speaker and bridge to pre-WWI East European Jewish musicians, Alpert is a leading traditional Yiddish singer and composer of new Yiddish songs, and his ethnographic fieldwork collection resides at the US Library of Congress. Hailing from California and New England, he lives in a village on the east coast of Scotland.
Gica Loening, born and raised in Edinburgh, is a Scots and klezmer fiddler and cultural arts professional based across the Firth of Forth from Michael. Director of Edinburgh’s Fun Fiddle project and seasoned fiddle teacher and player, Gica founded Edinburgh’s Belle Star Band, Celter Schmelter, and The Ladies Guerilla String Quartet. She is a prominent community music practitioner, specialising in early-years projects, and runs East Lothian’s Youth Music Initiative.
As two Jewish musicians in a changing Scotland, Gica and Michael explore the meeting points of traditional and contemporary Scottish and Yiddish music and highlight the unique place of Yiddish music in Caledonia today.