The Last Klezmer: The Life and Music of Leopold Kozlowski


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  • Speaker: Yale Strom, Filmmaker
  • Host Department: Judaic Studies, Frankel Center for
  • Date: 10/29/2014
  • Time: 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM

  • Location: UMMA Stern Auditorium, 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor

  • Description:

    Leopold Kozlowski "Kleinman" comes from a famous family of klezmer musicians the noted Brandwein klezmers of Premyshany, who were known throughout Galicia. Leopold's uncle was none other than the celebrated klezmer clarinetist Naftuli Brandwein who came to America in 1914. This film is about how klezmer music shaped,saved and influenced Leopold's life before during and after the Holocaust. Leopold was and still is the last living klezmer musician in Poland today to have "grown up" in the tradition. The film was made in 1994 and helped make Leopold an internationally known klezmer to those caught up in the revival of klezmer. Before the film he was only known outside of Poland by a few klezmer musicians in America.

    Yale Strom is one of the world's leading ethnographer-artists of klezmer & Rom music and history. His klezmer research was instrumental in forming the repertoire of his klezmer band, Hot Pstromi, based in New York and San Diego. Since his first trip to the Eastern Bloc in 1981, Strom has conducted over 75 such ethnographic research treks. He has personally contributed to the revival of Jewish culture in countries like Poland, and has inspired a generation of fellow artist-researchers.  Strom's prodigious body of work includes 13 books, his new release being "Shpil: The Art of Playing Klezmer" (Scarecrow) Press), 14 recordings (new Cd of Yiddish songs by Shmuel Polonski), 8 documentary films, many photo exhibitions and 4 dramas. His latest play is a drama called "Chagall" about the life of this world renown artist which will premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse in Dec. 2015. In addition to his art, Strom is artist-in-residence in the Jewish Studies Program at San Diego State University.

    Sponsored by: Judaic Studies, Copernicus Program in Polish Studies

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