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Rock the Shtetl and Friends Come to Limmud Winnipeg 2017

by Rhonda Prepes

Ex- Winnipegger Allan Rosenbluth and his band join Shayla Fink and Kinzey Posen in Rock the Shtetl and Friends Concert on Saturday, March 4th at 8 p.m. at the Asper Jewish Community Campus.

Rosenbluth says, “At Limmud, we look forward to playing Klezmer music that is true to its roots, with the classic tunes that rocked the shtetls of the old country and then America in the 1920’s and 30’s, and then again after the revival in the 1980’s. Its music that is still shockingly fresh; it's got a great beat and it’s a ton of fun.   Dick Clarke would give it a nine as you sure can dance to it! (Anyone remember American Bandstand?)”

“I have never played with Shayla and Kinzey and I am humbled to play with them at Limmud. Their band Finjan is an iconic Klezmer band - they led the Klezmer revival in Canada in the 1980s’.  I have followed their career and finally saw them play at the Ashkenaz Festival in 2014. I can't tell you how excited I am to be coming back to Winnipeg to play with this awesome band.”  

“My interest in Klezmer music stems from my interest in Poland. My parents were survivors and Klezmer music helped me connect with the culture they came from and their/my Polish roots.” 


“I traveled to Poland with Winnipeg friends two years ago. No one from my family had returned to Poland since the war. We visited my parents' shtetls, the concentration camps and the endless sites of murder, and attended the Krakow Jewish Music Festival.  Together with 10,000 Jews from around the world we heard amazing Klezmer, Israeli and Sephardic music. Surprisingly and interestingly there is a strong contemporary Jewish music scene in Poland perpetuated by Jewish music festivals.” 


Rosenbluth is proud of his Winnipeg “north end” roots. He went to Jefferson Junior High, Garden City Collegiate, played lots of baseball, ate countless burgers at Junior's, and hung out at Kelekis.  He eventually attended medical school in Winnipeg before going to Toronto for specialty training. 

“It was in Toronto that I married my now keyboard player Ellen. About 15 years ago she gave me a unique Chanukah present - a saxophone.  As my old Winnipeg friends and family will remember, my only connection to music as a kid was listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin et al,” Rosenbluth explains. My love of music grew from that gift.


His wife, Ellen Rosenbluth is a Torontonian and a longstanding piano player who has always been interested in the intersection of music and Jewish expression. Ellen is excited to be making her Winnipeg debut. Allan hasn't been back to Winnipeg in the month of March in decades so he is looking forward to some real winter weather! 

Rosenbluth will also be part of a Nigunim Workshop with instrumental accompaniment at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 5, 2017. Nigunim are wordless melodies that are an important part of our spiritual and musical tradition. Whether in shul, at the Shabbos table or in the shower, nigunim have the power to touch and raise the human spirit. This workshop will focus on enabling participants to experience the joy of singing these powerful melodies together. It is meant to be a fun and engaging workshop for people with any level of musicality.  




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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.