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My goal and main idea with Freudenthal Yiddish Big Band is to explore and renew Jewish music. Having for a number of years played in various klezmer and Yiddish bands I reached a point where I found the musical language stimulating but the setting stifling.

I decided to found the big band with the explicit intention of writing new Jewish music that would show definite connections to earlier folk music but still sound brand new. Working with a modified big band I can have both the hot sound of a klezmer orchestra and the cool swing of jazz as well as classical influences.

My compositions enable me to deal with ideas and concepts of my Jewish and musical heritage and comment on them in my own musical way. Jewish
music is, as I perceive it, a music of opposites; high and low, beautiful and ugly, comforting and unsettling. Perhaps this is common to all minority music, the feeling of belonging and alienation and it is precisely that which I find so interesting and challenging.

Alexander Freudenthal

Photo: Magnus Bergström

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