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Jumpin' Night in the Garden of Eden

Film by Michal Goldman
Produced by Michal Goldman
Cinematographer: Boyd Estus; additional cinematography by Dyanna Taylor
Sound: Colin Macnab; additional sound recording by John Dildine
Editing: Michal Goldman
Copyright: 1987, Michal Goldman
01 hours, 15 minutes, Color
Original format: Film: 16mm, 1987
Distributor: coops(at)filmmakerscollab.org
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Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Michal Goldman or to the distributor.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


A Jumpin' Night in the Garden of Eden was the first film to document the klezmer revival, tracing the efforts of two founding groups, Kapelye and Boston's Klezmer Conservatory Band, to recover the lost history of klezmer music. For nearly a millennium, this vigorous and soulful music was part of the celebration of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. In the early decades of this century, the music took root in America. Klezmer musicians learned hundreds of tunes by ear and their ears were open to Gypsy, Ukrainian and Greek melodies of the old world, as well as to the new sounds of American jazz. Music born in Eastern Europe lived on in the imaginations of composers for New York's Yiddish theater, men whose tunes entered the mainstream through such unlikely adapters as the Andrew Sisters. Eventually Klezmer went underground as its audience assimilated into mainstream American culture.

A Jumpin' Night in the Garden of Eden is about musical process, taking klezmer tunes through transcription and rehearsal into performance. Lively, clever, and often humorous, this film contains rare footage of klezmer's immigrant elder statesmen, now no longer alive - including Dave Tarras, Leon Schwartz, and Ben Gailing. - and their dynamic encounters with the younger musicians who have become Klezmer's leading luminaries - Henry Sapoznik, Hankus Netsky, Michael Alpert, Judy Bressler, and the jazz musician Don Byron are all here in their early days.

Streamed in part only -- the first 26 minutes of this 1 hour 15 minute film.

"Music of joy and wit in this fine, exuberant and somehow very touching movie."
--- --St. Louis Dispatch

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