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Interview: The Klezmer show with Carvin Knowles

Journalist Keren Cook interviews American-born Carvin Knowles on Radio Shalom about the characteristics of ‘Klezmer’ music.

This is the second interview of a two-part series on Radio Shalom on Klezmer – a journey into the history and rather eclectic characteristics of Klezmer.

The term Klezmer comes from a combination of Hebrew words: kli, meaning “tool, or utensil” and zemer, meaning, “to make music”. Early twentieth century recordings and writings often refer to the style as “Yiddish” music, meaning “happy music”.

Knowles was born in California to a mixed ethnic, multicultural family of musicians. He is a composer, producer and recording artist.

Musician Carvin Knowles. Image / Carvin Knowles
Musician Carvin Knowles. Image / Carvin Knowles

His music career includes early establishment in Hollywood producing music in over 25 feature films.

Knowles is currently busy writing music for Sir Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films and DVD releases.

Knowles has been living in New Zealand for the past seven years. The Klezmer show attracts a keen following and a variety of listeners who enjoy the large proportion of music that is played during the show.

Knowles shares new material including contemporary Persian inspired Klezmer compositions, and scores uncharacteristically timed in 7/8 count rhythms. He also offers a good contextual, colourful and insightful overview for each piece.

Listen below to hear the full interview:

Keren Cook
Keren is currently working as a casual presenter at NZME and freelancing as a journalist and Director and voice over-artist. She recently project-managed New Zealand's Jewish Online Museum, and co-hosts a regular show at Planet FM.
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