Klezmer, Gypsy : a common musical story

A radio broadcast of the European Institute of Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI – TUESDAY MAY 7, 2013, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05. Radio program in French

In Eastern Europe, Jewish and Gypsy musicians often shared a same fate (same inferior status and same travelling way of living) and also a predilection for Oriental music. One often saw Jews and Gypsies play in a same orchestra, to perform doinas or dancing music, especially at weddings.

The meeting of klezmer music and Gypsy jazz is more recent. Gypsy jazz was born in France in the 1930’s. Its initiators are Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. In its original form, Gypsy jazz is characterized by an absence of percussions, brass or wind instruments, a rhythmic section built by two guitars and a double bass, and a violin. According to Wikipedia : « Gypsy jazz testifies of the stylistic contributions of Gypsy and East European (klezmer) music, as well as musette and French songs in jazz, which arrives from USA to Europe in 1932. »

The release of the CD Klezmanouche – performed by Astrid Ruff (vocals), Yves Weyh (accordion), Engé Helmstetter (guitar), Tchatcho Helmstetter (violin), Vincent Posty (double bass) – will be the occasion to talk about this common musical story.
A thrilling program discussed with Astrid Ruff and illustrated with many sound samples of Gypsy, klezmer … and Alsacian music !

herve_photo_retouche_fond_uni_bleu_500px.jpgOfficer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute of Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

Documents joints


You may also like


In this article, we present the main songs and prayers of the Passover Seder evening, in the Moroccan rite


In 2010, Maurice El Médioni donated several audio documents, concert videos, programmes, press articles and other archives retracing his career…

El Médioni, Maurice (1928-2024)

Pianist, composer, arranger and performer Maurice El Médioni, born in 1928 in Oran (Algeria), was one of the leading figures…