Joel Rubin Ensemble
Announcing the release of the new CD, “Midnight Prayer” by the Joel Rubin Ensemble. Clarinetist Rubin has long been considered to be one of the leading performers of Jewish instrumental klezmer music in the world today, earning accolades from sources as diverse as klezmer giants Dave Tarras and Max Epstein, international clarinet soloist Richard Stoltzman, avant garde composer John Zorn, and Nobel Prize Laureate and poet Roald Hoffmann. The ensemble also features Hungarian cimbalom virtuoso Kálmán Balogh, Italian accordion wizard Claudio Jacomucci and rising klezmer star violinist David Chernyavsky, as well as Ferenc Kovács (trumpet), Csaba Novák (bass), Sándor Budai (second violin) and Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl).
Midnight Prayer brings together two diverse, yet partially overlapping repertoires: the instrumental music of the klezmorim — the professional Jewish instrumentalists who graced every traditional Jewish wedding in Eastern Europe from at least the 16th century onwards — and the mystical nigunim (religious melodies of spiritual elevation) of the hasidic movement. Recorded in four magical days at the Operetta House in Budapest, Hungary, Midnight Prayer creates its own sonic universe, full of depth, virtuosity, playfulness and introspection. The kaleidoscopic soundscape filters the many historical layers of traditional Jewish music through the lenses of the multifarious musical backgrounds of the band’s members, ranging from classical to Gypsy to free jazz to contemporary art music. Here the interaction of a great improvising jazz ensemble melds with the delicacy of a chamber music group and the drive of a hot wedding band at the cusp of klezmer, Roma and other Eastern European traditions.