What a terrific Summer, filled with music, Yiddishkayt and great friends…
- KlezKamp in Madison! — What a privilege to be part of this inaugural event! Many thanks to Sherry Mayrent, Henry Sopoznik and the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Jewish Studies for making Yiddish music and culture a part of their ongoing curriculum.
- Ot Azoy / Tumbala in London!! — This was my second appearance at the University of London/Jewish Music Institute’s festival of Jewish Language and Song. Collaborating with Shura Lipovsky, Polina Shepherd, Helen Khayele Beer and Sonya Pincusowitz (among many others) was a huge highlight of this wonderful experience. Also, I had the opportunity to see lots of great theatre, including London Road at the National Theatre and Anne Boleyn at Shakespeare’s Globe.
- KlezKanada in the beautiful Laurentian Mountains!!! Besides being able to share this exciting week with my husband, it was great to be surrounded by the music of Theodore Bikel, Tamara Brooks and their groundbreaking project, Serendipity 4.
- Performing with Yiddish Hip-Hop star So-Called aka Josh Dolgin and the Klezmer Conservatory Band in Mexico City!!!! The 90th Anniversary of the Ashkenazi community in Mexico City was a huge success. So many languages in one room… Yiddish, Spanish, Hebrew, Ladino… listening to the audience as they sung along to all of our Yiddish favorites was remarkable…
- And finally, singing at Yiddishfest 2011 at Tompkins Square Park, NYC with Grammy winners Arturo O’Farrill and Frank London!!!!! The Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring continues its commitment to Yiddish culture in this final free concert of the 2011 Season.
Keep an eye out for upcoming Fall events, including Rosh Hashone and Yom Kippur Observances at the new Workmen’s Circle in New York, a Kosher Kabaret in Jericho, NY, and a return engagement at Valley Beth Sholom in Encino, California.
Hope to see you all soon!!
Anthem … then five fabulous miles!
OK, I promise I will not blog every NYRR National Anthem that I’m lucky enough to perform, but today, after singing the Anthem on a spectacular Halloween morning in Central Park … I put on my running shoes and… (drumroll please…)
How ’bout that??!! 5 miles!! It was a blast, and I didn’t stop, or pass out, or even regret getting out there after a three and a half year hiatus. Afterward, a long hot shower … and a teeny little nap … and I’m ready to get up and do it again! Who knew? Now, I’m not going to wax poetic –> way too tired… but I am so pumped! And though I look like a little teapot in this picture, I finished the race in relatively good time… FYI, I’ll be singing – and running again – at the NYRR 5-miler this Friday, November 5th, 8am — so come to the Central Park if you’re around. If I can do this, so can you!!
In Other News: The Witches are Coming!
I am so proud to be part of a wonderful new public radio program that begins recording next week. The Witches of Lublin, a new one-hour drama by Ellen Kushner, Elizabeth Schwartz, and Yale Strom. It stars Tovah Feldshuh (Yentl, Golda’s Balcony) and features Simon Jones (Brideshead Revisited, Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Graveyard Book) and Barbara Rosenblat (Anne Frank Remembered, The Secret Garden) with a supporting cast of New York’s finest audio actors (that includes me!!) and fresh music by leading klezmer musicians. Directed and Produced by Sue Zizza, I am totally psyched to be working with this incredible company on such an innovative project!
Another Sunday ~ Another Anthem!
And what a GORGEOUS day for it!!
Indian Summer in New York is heavenly, which made waking up at 5AM to get to the Staten Island Ferry and the starting line by 8:30am well worth the effort. So many runners crowding onto the Ferry, I thought the commuters would go a little insane… but the image of Lady Liberty and the great NYC skyline floating by is enough to calm even the antsiest of passengers. I never understood the power of our national anthem until I started singing it before crowds of anxious athletes; those words “by the dawn’s early light” as the sun rises over New York Harbor? I get goose bumps just thinking of it!
Shana Tova! Happy New Year!!
September brought many holidays…
For the past decade, I have had the privilege to lead Rosh Hashone and Yom Kippur observances at the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring. As always, the services brought people from many different places together, including my own family who was visiting from Beit Zeit, Israel. Workmen’s Circle President, Robert Kaplan spoke about getting involved in our progressive Jewish community, and Elliot Weinstein, a 16 year old graduate of the WC/AR Midtown Shule shared his unique and insightful perspectives on growing up influenced by an ancient tradition in the 21st Century. About 95 people attended each service, and together we shared the laughter and tears of the past year – and our prayers for a prosperous and peaceful new year.
Oh, what a beautiful morning…!!
I woke up at the crack of dawn today (4am… gevalt!) and scooted myself up to The Bronx to sing the US National Anthem for the NY Road Runners Bronx Half Marathon! Really…! With a 7AM start, I was chirping and warming up the whole trip!
But it was definitely worth losing a lil’ bit of sleep. What a privilege to sing for literally thousands of runners about to embark on their 13 mile journey around the borough of my forbears… my ancestral home, da Bronix! So, pitch pipe in hand, I did my best to inspire. I even met a couple of Bronx City Council Politicos… Apparently, this event is touted as the only NYRR event on the Mainland. Go figure!!
Click here to see a video of my Anthem performance, courtesy of Salmini Films. (1000 thanks, Ambrose!) And if you can’t get enough, here’s a little home video as well… Special thanks to Corey Witmer of NYRR for inviting me to sing, and to Ed Kalegi for recommending me!
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave…
I have arrived!!
I’ve hit the Big Time!!
Yes, after years of obscurity, I’ve finally reached hometown hero status! Idina Menzel, Natalie Portman and… ME!!
Ursula Moore, a journalist from the Syosset Patch discovered me right here on www.JoanneBorts.com!! Who knew? I’m getting farklemt…
Check out this article:
I’m totally tickled!