My band Mappamundi begins recording "Cabaret Warsaw" next week.
It was last summer my friend Beth, chair of the Slavic languages department at Duke University and my singing partner since the 1970s, suggested we make a cd with our world music band Mappamundi of music played in Warsaw cabarets and kleynkunst theaters between the world wars, when many of the composers, lyricists, and performers were Jews, some assimilated and working in Polish language in nightclubs like Qui Pro Quo, others developing a Yiddish-language equivalent in little hole-in-the-wall experimental theaters like Azazel.
It's no easy thing, creating a whole repertoire from scratch. To give it some focus, we decided to have a try-out concert at Beth's house in the fall and that's when my friend Paul Deblinger shot this video. You can see more of the songs at our youtube channel. We also spent hours preparing captions which Beth's husband projected on the wall over our heads so people would get the jokes...
Next weekend we'll go into the Rubber Room and try to record at least the rhythm tracks for the cd we'll be calling "Cabaret Warsaw: Yiddish and Polish hits of the 1930s."