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This week’s episode features Cookie Segelstein and Joshua Horowitz, founding members of Veretski Pass. Founded in 2002 by Segelstein, the band takes its name from the mountain pass in the Carpathians through which the emigrating Jews settled in Transcarpathia, first reaching the town of Mukachevo, or Munkacs. Much of the music for this program comes from this region.
100% OF ALL DONATIONS OR PURCHASES GO DIRECTLY TO THE ARTISTS.
(Together, Little Village Foundation & Arhoolie Foundation will match the first $500 donated)
Cookie Segelstein and Joshua Horowitz are founding members of Veretski Pass. Founded in 2002 by Cookie Segelstein, the band takes its name from the mountain pass in the Carpathians through which the emigrating Jews settled in Transcarpathia, first reaching the town of Mukachevo, or Munkacs. It was also the inital point of entry of the Magyar tribes into Europe in 896 A.D. led by Prince Árpád. Cookie’s father was born in Nizhniye Veretski at the base of this pass, her mother in Munkacs, and much of the music for this program comes from this region.
With traditional instruments of this area, violin and bayan (button accordion), this veteran duo plays a mix of Jewish instrumental music of pre-WWII Eastern Europe, or klezmer music, along with traditional melodies from Ukraine, Carpathian-Ruthenia, Bessarabia and Rumania. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia, Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania, Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia, and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated into original compositions. Much of this rare music has been gleaned from field recordings gathered by the musicians in numerous trips throughout Europe, as well as from family members.
Cookie Segelstein, violin and viola, received her Masters degree in viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. Until moving to California in 2010, she was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony, as well as on the music faculty at Southern Connecticut State University. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass a member of Budowitz ,The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik, has performed with Kapelye, The Klezmatics, Frank London, Klezmer Fats and Swing with Pete Sokolow and the late Howie Leess, Margot Leverett and the Klezmer Mountain Boys and The Klezmer Conservatory Band. Cookie has presented lecture demonstrations and workshops on klezmer fiddling all over the world, including at Yale University, University of Wisconsin in Madison, Marshall University in Huntington, West VA, University of Virginia in Charlottesville, University of Oregon in Eugene, Pacific University and SUNY-Cortland and at Klezmerwochen in Weimar Germany. She is a regular staff member at Living Traditions’ KlezKamp , KlezKanada, KlezCalifornia, Klezmer Festival Fürth, Klezfest London, and has been a performing artist at Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Wash. She is also the publisher of “The Music of…” series of klezmer transcriptions. She is on the boards of both the North California Viola Society, and the American String Teacher Association, Bay Area chapter. Cookie lives in Berkeley, California with her husband Josh Horowitz, a dog and her occasionally visiting adult children.
Joshua Horowitz, chromatic button accordion, cimbalom and piano, received his Masters degree in Composition and Music Theory from the Academy of Music in Graz, Austria, where he taught music theory and served as Research Fellow and Director of the Klezmer Music Research Project for eight years. He is the founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz, a founding member of Veretski Pass and has performed and recorded with Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Theodore Bikel, Ben Goldberg, Rubin and Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov. His music was recently featured in the British film, “Some of my best friends are… Jewish / Muslim”, awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Award and is also featured in the new film by Jes Benstock, “The Holocaust Tourist”. Joshua taught Advanced Jazz Theory at Stanford University with the late saxophonist Stan Getz and is a regular teacher at KlezKamp, Klezkanada, KlezCalifornia and the Klezmer Festival Fürth. His musicological work is featured in four books, including The Sephardic Songbook with Aron Saltiel and The Ultimate Klezmer, and he has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach. Josh lives in Berkeley, California.
ABOUT WORKING FROM HOME
Just about everyone has been affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. In the music world, no one knows when the box office will open again, and even as many of us return to work in the coming weeks and months, working musicians will continue to be cut off from the clubs, dancehalls, theaters, and festivals that sustain them. And the rest of us will be cut off, too, from something we need now more than ever. So we’re bringing the gigs to the artists, and the artists to you — straight from their living room to yours.
“Working from Home,” a co-production of the Arhoolie Foundation and Little Village Foundation, will feature intimate mini house concerts recorded live by traditional musicians around the country trying to make it through this current public health crisis doing what they do best. For every installment, we will provide links where you can give tips directly to the performers, and we will match the first $500 raised for each.