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Chicago YIVO Summer Festival 2023

All events are in person across Chicago area libraries, and most are not accessible remotely.


The New Fidl Kapelye

with Jake Shulman-Ment, Abigale Reisman, and Kurt Bjorling

Friday, June 2nd at 2:00pm

at the Northbrook Public Library 

Violinists Jake Shulman-Ment and Abigale Reisman, and multi-instrumentalist Kurt Bjorling, combine forces to present a virtuosic and energetic journey through raucous dance tunes, meditative listening music, original compositions, and new settings of Yiddish poetry

Details and registration

Angels, Demons, Rabbis & Fools: Tales From Jewish Tradition

with Susan Stone

Thursday, June 15th at 2:00pm 

at the Morton Grove Public Library 

Jewish tales from Midrash, folklore and Hasidic sources performed with grace, Yiddishkeit, and humor

Details and registration — accessible remotely!

Maxwell St. Klezmer Quintet

Thursday, July 6th at 2:00pm

at the Northbrook Public Library 

For 40 years, Maxwell Street Klezmer Band has been spreading its special take on traditional klezmer to the Chicagoland area and the world, with a schmear of Jewish folk music, a dollop of jazz, and bissel brassy Broadway.

Details and registration

The Wheel Keeps Turning! / !דאָס רעדעלע דרײט זיך

with Stewart Figa, accompanied on keyboard by Ilya Levinson

Tuesday, July 11th at 3:00pm 

at the Skokie Public Library

An afternoon of Yiddish song, humor, and lore

Details — no registration required

Ukrainian vs Jewish: Musical Borrowings as Means of Expression

with Cantor Pavel Roytman and Sofi Fraser

Wednesday, July 12th at 2:00pm 

at the Prospect Heights Public Library 

An interactive musical presentation featuring Ukrainian and Jewish songs

Details and registration

The KlezMeydlech: CANCELLED

with Shirlee Todd, Gail Mangurten, and Irina Kaufman

Thursday, July 20th at 2:00pm

at the Morton Grove Public Library 

Klezmer and Yiddish favorites, pieces from Jewish Spain and the Middle East, and music inspired by Jewish American composers

An afternoon of Yiddish Nostalgia

with Bibi Marcell and Gail Mangurten

Thursday, August 3rd at 2:00pm 

at the Northbrook Public Library 

Bibi Marcell and Gail Mangurten will play Yiddish soul music that will warm your hearts and make you want to clap and sing along!

Details and registration

Duo Controverso Klezmer concert

with Kurt Bjorling and Annette Bjorling

Tuesday, August 8th at 2:00pm

at Northtown, Chicago Public Library 

Annette Bjorling (harp) and Kurt Bjorling (clarinet, basset-horn) invite you to a musical journey through different eras and styles of klezmer

Details and registration

Vanishing Worlds: Music of Yiddish Anarchists and Activists

with Steve Gibons

Wednesday, August 9th at 2:00pm

at the Highland Park Public Library

An exploration of music that expressed what Yiddish anarchists were working for, as well as related material. Bring your singing chops, you'll know some of the songs, and you're invited to hum or sing along.

Details — no registration required

The Yiddish Film "American Matchmaker"

Tuesday, August 15 at 2:00pm

at the Skokie Public Library

Leo  Fuchs, the "Yiddish Fred Astaire" stars in this musical comedy as Nat  Silver, a debonair and wealthy Jewish-American businessman whose recent  engagement (his eighth) goes awry. Ulmer's last Yiddish movie was also his most modern, an art deco romantic comedy about male ambivalence and Jewish assimilation. The film is in Yiddish and is restored with English subtitles.

Details — no registration required

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