Mapping the Klezmore Festival

The Klezmore festival has exclusively featured klezmer and other Jewish music since its inception in 2004.  Its most striking feature is a significant proportion of concerts organized in Catholic churches of Vienna, reflecting the issues related to the concepts of Jewish spaces and virtual Jewishness, respectively elaborated by Diana Pinto and Ruth-Ellen Gruber. Here are a few maps I designed from my research and my fieldwork. You can click on the links to open GoogleMaps. Maps 2 and 4 feature concert recordings from the emap.fr website. Most audio recordings are available on https://emap.fm/klezmore.html

Sans titre.pngThe intersection of the Klezmore festivals’ spatiality and the urban ethos of Vienna, 2014-2018.

1. The dynamic spatiality of Klezmore: 2004-2013 and 2014-2018

This map is composed of several layers showing all the venues of Klezmore performances since its inception. The map is divided into 2 sections first because GoogleMaps has a maximum of 10 layers, but also because there is a decreased number of performances starting in 2014. These maps demonstrate the spatial dynamic of Klezmore. While some festivals program performances in regular venues or sites (Zsiget in Budapest or Rock en Seine in France, Jewish Culture festival in Krakow), other festivals like Jazz’n Klezmer in Paris or Klezmore constantly change their locations from one year to another. This allows Jewish and klezmer music to by fully incorporated in the city’s ethos through performances programmed in different venues and neighborhhoods, as well as in its center and peripheries. In addition, the icons differentiate venues according to their religious-related nature. One can see the significant number of performances that took place in 2 catholic churches, the Kirshe am Gaussplatz and the Kirshe am Tabor, in comparison with performances hosted at the Israeli/Jewish community center of Vienna. The disproportion of Jewish music concerts organized in catholic churches instead of a Jewish community center is further explained in the the third chapter of my dissertation.

2. Recurring performers at the Klezmore festival: click here

The recurrences of specific performers at a festival offer an additional entrypoint into its purpose and identity. In this map I selected 5 klezmer groups that recurrently perform at Klezmore: The Klezmatics (USA), the Ensemble Klesmer Wien (a transnational band composed of musicians from Austria, Poland and Ukraine), Amsterdam Klezmer Band (Netherlands), Nifty’s (Austria), and Klezmer Reloaded, another transnational band. It is first interesting to notice that these bands don’t always perform in the same venue. Au contraire, the range of venues varies considerably and a same band can play at the same festival in a catholic church one year, and in the iconic jazz venue Porgy and Bess the other. However, the festival also has to take logistical and financial issues in considerations. Consequently, it makes more sense to program the Klezmatics at Porgy and Bess. Audio recordings are available by clicking on individual icons.

3. Klezmer and non-klezmer performances at the 2019 Klezmore festival: click here

As its name indicate, the Klezmore festival is about klezmer and more. Considering the vast range of Jewish music, Klezmore undoubtedly profited from the klezmer boom, which started in Europe at the turn of the twentiy-first century, to organized a Jewish music festival that significantly draws on klezmer music. Indeed, as this map indicates, 7 out of the 15 performances can be categorized as « klezmer » music (even though the range of aesthetics necessarily complicate this compartimentalization). Moreover, most of the musicians who did not perform klezmer music have nonetheless gained a reputation in the klezmer and Yiddish music scenes (e.g. Socalled, Daniel Kahn, Bester Quartet, Geoff Berner).

4. Performances at the 2019 Klezmore festival: click here

This map results from an intensive fieldwork I conductive during the 2019 Klezmore festival: 16 performances in the span of 15 days, with several double concerts, and spread in 8 different venues scattered throughout Vienna. Most of the concerts have been recorded by the festivals’ official sound engineer, and audio recordings are available by clicking on individual icons. Below is another map of my tribulations in Vienna during the festival, between concerts and interviews.

Capture d’écran 2020-02-24 à 15.31.42.png2019 Klezmore Festival fieldwork seen through the public transportation system.

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