A Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden
by Michal Goldman
A Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden was the first film to document the klezmer revival, tracing the efforts of two founding groups, Kapelye and Boston’s Klezmer Conservatory Band, to recover the lost history of klezmer music. For nearly a millennium, this vigorous and soulful music was part of the celebration of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. In the early decades of this century, the music took root in America.
Klezmer musicians learned hundreds of tunes by ear and their ears were open to Gypsy, Ukrainian and Greek melodies of the old world, as well as to the new sounds of American jazz. Music born in Eastern Europe lived on in the imaginations of composers for New York’s Yiddish theater, men whose tunes entered the mainstream through such unlikely adapters as the Andrew Sisters.
Eventually Klezmer went underground as its audience assimilated into mainstream American culture. Lively, clever, and often humorous, this film contains rare footage of klezmer’s elder statesmen and their dynamic encounters with the contemporary generation of musicians who are now bringing klezmer to life.
“The discovery of Klezmer music is comparable to the uncovering of the tomb of Tutankhamen.”
–New York Post
“They got rhythm, they got music, they got Klezmer, who could ask for anything more?”
Screenings and awards include: The Dallas International Film Festival, the Chicago Jewish Film Festival, The Moscow International Film Festival, the Film Forum (New York), the Cooldige Theater (Boston), and the Roxie (San Francisco). A Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden was also nationally broadcast on PBS.
Major Funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Arts/Folk Arts, the American Film Institute in association with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy, the New England Film/Video Fellowship of the Boston Film/Video Foundation, and the Boston Arts Lottery Council.
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