In August, 1999, as the Minnesota Klezmer Band, we journeyed to the Twelfth International Klezmer Festival in Safed, Israel.  With us, we brought vocalists Bruce Henry, Prudence Johnson, and Donny Maseng. Altogether we performed three times, including twice on Israeli national television.

More than 60 acts performed in the Festival.  Most came from Israel, some came from Europe, but we came the farthest, all the way from Minnesota.

The experience of being in Israel (the first time, for most of us), the opportunity to perform, and the chance to meet so many new people, combined to make it a memorable experience for all of us.

Below are a few photos.  (If your internet connection is fast enough, you can watch this video clip of one of our performances on Israeli television.)  Note: This video requires the Real Player version 5 or later. If this is not installed in your machine, please follow the link and download the free player.freeplayer_g2

donny_bruce.jpg (14193 bytes)Lett to Right): Joe Vass stands by and the cameraman brings the television audience up close and personal while Bruce Henry and Donny Maseng sing "A Mixed Blessing," from Gershwin The Klezmer.  Israel never heard anything like it before.  (Photo by Bruce Berger).
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We help  close the Festival: Saraya Outdoor Stage (Left to Right): keyboardist Joe Vass, bass player Gary Raynor, clarinetist Bruce Thornton, drummer Jay Epstein, and violinist Yuri Merzhevsky.   (Photo by Bruce Berger).
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Live on Israeli National Television from the Saraya Indoor Stage.