Klezmer is a style of Jewish music that originated in Eastern Europe. The musical influences came from the synagogue, from European folk and even from Gypsy music. Klezmer crossed over to America in the great nineteenth-century migrations. The violin as lead Klezmer instrument in Europe changed to the clarinet in America. So, too, have the instruments and repertoire changed until this very day.
Cantor Henry Shapiro has adapted lead Klezmer playing to the acoustic plectrum guitar—one of the first to do so. His first Klezmer album is about to be launched. It will include traditional tunes and his own transcriptions of old recordings, and also a number of originals he has composed on guitar. You will hear the debut—the world premiere, if you will—of some of this music at this Monroeville Public Library concert.