November 1, 2011 — Grammy-winning musician Frank London – a trumpeter, bandleader and pillar of the klezmer music community – will begin a weeklong residency at the University of Virginia on Nov. 6 with an appearance at the Virginia Film Festival .
London, a founding member of the Klezmatics, is featured in "On Holy Ground," a documentary film about the group. He'll also participate in a roundtable discussion Monday with faculty from the College and will perform Thursday with the U.Va. Klezmer Ensemble.
Joel Rubin, an assistant professor in the music department and leader of the Klezmer Ensemble, first met London about 30 years ago, and said the Klezmatics were one of the first bands to successfully blend klezmer – a traditional Jewish music – with elements of pop and other genres.
Rubin, who is also the music department's director of music performance, toured with the Klezmatics in Germany in 1989 and has been teaching with London at festivals in North America and Europe since the mid-1980s.
"Frank's a very creative guy," Rubin said. "He's played in so many different styles. He studied African-American music at New England Conservatory, has played straight-ahead jazz, played in funk ensembles, played with independent rock bands and produced recordings. He has 'big ears,' as we'd say in the business."
On Nov. 6, London will participate in a question-and-answer session after a screening of "On Holy Ground," at 4 p.m. at the Regal Theater No. 3 on the Downtown Mall. Rubin will introduce the film.
On Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. in Gibson Hall 211, London will join Rubin, associate music professor Michelle Kisliuk, assistant history professor James Loeffler, and visiting Israeli professor Assaf Shelleg of the Jewish Studies Program for "Frank London's Transnational Sonic Stew: Klezmer as Post-Modern Phenomenon?"
London will also appear with the Klezmer Ensemble on Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. The performance is the latest in a series in which high-profile performers from the klezmer world perform with the ensemble, Rubin said.
"The artist will send a packet of music that we then spend the semester learning, and then they come in and rehearse and perform with us," Rubin said. "For me it's always great, because it forces me to learn other people's repertoire, which keeps me fresh, and I get a chance to play with my friends."
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are free for U.Va. students if reserved in advance. Ticket information is available here or by calling 434-924-3376.