Author Archive

Peter Rushefsky

Peter Rushefsky is the Executive Director of CTMD.

Andy Statman – Innovation Across Musical Worlds

November 22, 2012
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CTMD Executive Director Pete Rushefsky writes in Voices, the Magazine of the New York State Folklore Society about klezmer clarinetist/bluegrass mandolinist Andy Statman, one of the most versatile musicians to ever come out of New York’s music scenes. CTMD began working with Statman and his colleague Zev Feldman in the mid-1970s on a pioneering project […]

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Yuri Yunakov: Master of Bulgarian Wedding Music

May 1, 2009
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CTMD is pleased to honor Bulgarian Roma saxophonist Yuri Yunakov at our June 4, 2009 Benefit Event entitled “A Night in Istanbul.” Yuri is a long-time friend of CTMD and featured performer of our Touring Artists program, as well as a major innovator whose music is rooted in the traditions of the cosmopolitan Thracian hinterlands […]

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Sue Yeon Park: Dancing with the Shaman

November 1, 2008
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Over our forty year history, CTMD has had the good fortune to work closely with a number of National Heritage Fellowship Award winners. Each year, the National Endowment for the Arts selects ten to thirteen individuals (occasionally ensembles) to receive Fellowships—our national government’s highest recognition for excellence in folk and traditional arts. This year, we […]

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Remembering Rudy Tepel and Marty Levitt: Interview with Professor Joel Rubin, University of Virginia

March 12, 2008
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Over the past three months, the New York klezmer scene lost two leading old-time clarinetists/band leaders. Marty Levitt and Rudy Tepel were both active during a period when klezmer music declined in popularity amongst the mainstream American Jewish community, though demand grew within Hasidic circles. I interviewed Professor Joel Rubin of the University of Virginia, an ethnomusicologist and leading klezmer clarinetist […]

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Brian Cherwick: Dulcimer on the Prairie

October 4, 2007
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As a fellow dulcimer player, I’ve been aware of Brian Cherwick for many years. He’s a multi-instrumentalist and one of the leading researchers and practitioners of the tsymbaly (hammered dulcimer) tradition of the Canadian-Ukrainian immigrants who settled the prairies of Western Canada. Holding a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology/folklore studies, Brian is used to playing the role of the ethnographer, so […]

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Xiao Xiannian: New Sounds for Chinese Strings

May 11, 2007
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It was a beautiful spring day in Chinatown when I stopped by the Mencius Society to talk with Xiao Xiannian, a virtuoso of the Chinese hammered dulcimer known as yangqin. Housed in a building on Grand St. near its intersection with Delancey, the Mencius Society (also known as the AiCenter, and formerly the Wossing Center) provides […]

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Kobzar of the East Village: Julian Kytasty

January 11, 2007
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Julian Kytasty is perhaps North America’s leading exponent of the Ukrainian bandura. The bandura is a harp-like lute, and for hundreds of years bards known as “kobzars” (another name for bandura is “kobza”) traveled the towns and villages of central and eastern Ukraine earning a living playing the instrument while singing dumy (epic songs), religious […]

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Michael Alpert and Zev Feldman: Saving Yiddish Dance

January 1, 2007
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Back in 1978 when Zev Feldman helped the Center for Traditional Music and Dance (then known as the Balkan Arts Center) present octogenarian clarinetist Dave Tarras for a landmark series of concerts and a studio recording, he needed to find a way to describe Tarras’s music for a grant application.  This was the first project […]

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