Frankel, Joseph (Lt) (1885-1953)

Joseph Frankel was born in Kiev, Russia (now Ukraine). Kiev conservatory trained bandmaster and a band leader in the Tzarist army, he toured the US in 1904 leading the 14th Regiment Military Band. In the early 1910s he led theatre orchestras in New York. When WW1 started Joseph Frankel was touring South America with a Russian Symphony orchestra. He took US citizenship and became a band leader in the US army.

After the war he recorded traditional tunes as well as his own contemporary compositions including ’Yiddishe Blues’.

"Yiddishe Blues" is a 1918 experiment by Joseph Frankel. The piece blends ragtime sensibility in instrumentation and syncopation, a klezmer melodic line with "Mi Shebeyrekh" cantorial mode. By insisting on including the rank "Lt.", Frankel was already signaling to American-ness for the Jewish nation. Suitably, Frankel was a band officer in both the Russian and American armies, a fact that reveals the futility of trying to anchor any specific Jewish national identity in the XXth century. Even as Frankel was evolving a hyphenated Jewish-American musical identity, other bandleaders were still "national" to reference the European side, as in Abe Schwartz’s "National Hora". Updating Frankel’s work of hybridization has become basic to recent klezmer bands.

Yiddishe blues
Yiddelach shimmy tantz

Listen to

In case the music player doesn't open, you must allow the opening of pop-ups for the website iemj.org in your browser settings.

  • Yiddishe blues

  • Yiddelach shimmy tantz

Lire tout

You may also like

Kol Nidre - New Visions

LATEST RELEASE OF THE EIJM. This CD presents 10 new musical visions Kol Nidre prayer, performed by 20 musicians (singers, pianist, harpist, (…)

Gala concert of the European Institute for Jewish Music – 4th edition

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 11th 2018, 5h30pm, Salle Cortot - Paris, the EIJM invites you to its Great Gala Concert. PURCHASE TICKETS NOW on the EIJM’s online (…)

The Hourglass, a musical journey through the Jewish soul

Concert organised by the EIJM and 3rd quarter of Paris’ Townhall, as part of the Festival of Jewish Cultures, on June 21st 2018, 6 PM, with (…)

Twenty nigunim for clarinet and piano by Claudine Movsessian and Martine Vialatte

The EIJM is proud to announce the release of a musical score, Twenty Nigunim for clarinet and piano, by Claudine Movsessian et Martine (…)

Release of a new musical score by Fernand Halphen at the EIJM Editions

The EIJM is pleased to announce the release of an original musical score by the composer Fernand Halphen, the Romance in E major for cello and (…)