Breaking Down Babel

Breaking Down Babel: The Internationale of the Protest Song in the 20th Century and its Jewish Roots
A Concert/Lecture/Sing-Along by Psoy Korolenko
Wednesday, October 24th,2018
Top of the Hop, Hopkins Center
4:30PM – 6:00PM
Free and Open to the Public!

Freedom songs of the 1960's, often authored by left wing songwriters of Jewish background and partly influenced by  Yiddish workmen song, united protesters and served as a cultural mediator between the East and West during the Cold War. A song, in different forms, could serve to protest either communism or capitalism, and many songs became iconic cross-cultural hits, with different connotations and context in different countries. Psoy Korolenko, a multilingual Russian Jewish singer-songwriter/translator and scholar, will present a polyglot program featuring hits from Europe, South America, the US, the Soviet Union, and transnational Yiddish songs, including his own and Daniel Kahn's new works, which are rooted in the same tradition. A performer and scholar of Russian and Jewish music, he will offer a multimedia presentation of how we continue to make and change meaning with freedom songs.

About Psoy Korolenko:

Pavel Lion, a.k.a. Psoy Korolenko (US-Russia), is a singer/songwriter, translator, scholar and journalist. He has been referred to as a ''wandering scholar'' and an ''avant-bard''. His voice-and-piano folk cabaret is a unique fusion of styles and genres. Psoy writes and sings in English, Russian, Yiddish, French, Portuguese, while cleverly fusing traditions of Soviet and Western song, Klezmer, Chanson, and Tropicalia. Performing on stage since the early 2000s, he has since published three books and about 20 CD's, solo or in collaboration with active Jewish musicians (Dobranotch, Daniel Kahn, Igor Krutogolov, Oy Division, Michael Alpert, Bob Cohen, Jake Shulman-Ment, Polina Shepherd). He is a member of international Yiddish super-projects such as "Yiddish Glory'' (with Anna Shternshis, University of Toronto), and ''The Brothers Nazaroff''. He is also one of the organizers of the Russian American music festival JetLAG, a guest of many klezmer music festivals, and a past artist in residence at the Trinity College (Hartford), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), and Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA). He has been featured in films about Jewish Klezmer music (''Soul Exodus'' and "The Wandering Muse''). An author of insightful and sophisticated Russian sung poetry, he is also known for his  explorative vision of translation, “tradaptations” and ''spell-art'' (his own term for experimenting with foreign-ness and multilingualism)

Sponsored by the Jewish Studies Program and the Russian Department