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Join us June 3rd for KlezMAINEia - the JCA's first ever Klezmer Festival!

Come take part in this welcoming and intergenerational festival, with participants of all different skills, histories, and relationships to Klezmer music, as we gather to dance, sing, play, eat, learn, celebrate Shabbat, and build community!

Center Day Camp, 74 Hackett Rd, Windham ME
Saturday, June 3 | 10 AM – 9 PM 

Join us for a full day of workshops, dance, music, and Klezmer mayhem, led by the boisterous and elegiac klezmer band Mamaliga! We are pleased to offer a variety of workshops in Klezmer music and Klezmer dance, led by Mamaliga, Lillie Pearlman, Barbara Merson, and members of Boston-based Levyosn, as well as local favorites Sruli and Lisa, and the Casco Bay Tummlers. We are also thrilled to offer Yiddish singing workshops led by Jeyn Levison & Josh Waletzky, Lisa Mayer, and Lysander Jaffe & Kaia Berman Peters

The festival will take place at the JCA's Center Day Camp in Windham Maine on the picturesque shores of Sebago Lake. Bring your instrument if you wish to take part in the music workshops. All ages, instrument types, and abilities are welcome! And if you don’t play an instrument, bring your voice and your dancing shoes! We have a full day of dance and singing workshops to offer you. Sruli and Lisa will treat us to a kid's klezmer concert in the afternoon, and there will be Center Day Camp counselors on hand to lead special afternoon activities just for kids. After a delicious buffet dinner catered by NURA Portland, the festival will culminate in a joyful and celebratory concert, headlined by Mamaliga.

We can provide transportation from Portland to the camp and back on the day of the festival. Contact us at igilg@mainejewish.org if you need a ride.


Funded in part by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.

KlezMAINEia Vector for Tshirt 3


  • $60.00 - Full-Day Adult Pass 
  • $30.00 - Full-Day Youth Pass (16 and under)
  • $50.00 - Workshop-Only Adult Pass
  • $25.00 - Workshop-only Youth Pass (16 and under)
  • $20.00 - Concert Ticket only, Adult
  • $10.00 - Concert Ticket only, Youth (16 and under)
  • $150.00 - Family Pass (2 adults + 1 or more children)


Full-day and Workshop-only passes include a pizza lunch (GF and vegan lunch options available). Buffet Dinner is available for an additional $10 and can be ordered here! 

Klezmaineia Social Announcements - Mamaliga
Klezmaineia Social Announcements - Sruli and Lisa
Klezmaineia Social Announcements - CBTummlers
Klezmaineia Social Announcements - Barbara Merson
Klezmaineia Social Announcements - Levyosn
Klezmaineia Social Announcements - Jeyn and Josh


KlezMAINEia Schedule w sponsors

Workshop Descriptions

Morning Sessions


New to Klezmer | 10:00 - 10:50 AM
(All levels/all instruments) 

Join this introductory level class to learn the foundations of klezmer! In this class we will study a tune from the classic klezmer repertoire and learn basic accompaniment and klezmer phrasing. This class will be geared towards folks new to klezmer music. We will be learning primarily by ear, but sheet music will also be provided. All instruments welcome! Led by Rebecca Mac of Mamaliga. 

Klezmer Groove & Accompaniment | 11:00 - 11:50 AM
(All levels/all instruments) 

Make them Tanz! In this class we will hone in on groove and accompaniment ideas - to be played on all instruments! We will review the basic dance types, learn trombone lines, and explore rhythmic variations. In this class we will take a simple klezmer tune and learn how to enhance it through creative and groovy accompaniment. Open to all levels and instruments. Led by Mamaliga.  

Yiddish Dancing  | 10:00 - 10:50 AM
(All levels welcome. Live music provided by Mamaliga band members) 

Do you love the hora but want more-a?  Come connect with one another and learn the basics of Yiddish dance with Lillie Pearlman!  We will warm up our bodies, introduce the hora and zhok dances, and add some fun styling that you can pull out at the next Yiddish dance party you go to.  We will get to dance to music of Mamaliga. Please wear or bring comfortable shoes! Led by Lillie Pearlman. Music by Mattias Kaufmann, Rachel Leader, & Raffi Boden of Mamaliga.

Klezmer Dance Roots Workshop – Part 1. Roumania, Roumania | 11:00 - 11:50 AM
(All levels welcome. Live music provided by the Casco Bay Tummlers

A well-known Yiddish song describes Roumania as a land that is “sweet and lovely.” Nostalgia — sure. But the influence of the music and dance of Roumania remains part of the Klezmer tradition to this day. The Casco Bay Tummlers and dance instructor Barbara Merson invite you to explore these connections by learning some traditional Romanian dances, which may seem very familiar, and learning how they relate to Klezmer dances These dances are easy and fun for all ages. Note: Participants are welcome to come to Klezmer Roots Part 1, 2 or both — the material is different in each session. 

Yiddish Singing Society (2-hour workshop) | 10:00 - 11:50 AM
(All levels welcome

Come learn, sing, and discuss traditional and contemporary Yiddish songs — on topics that range from picking pears to Jewish blacksmiths to Vladimir Putin. Discussion of the texts will both shed light on the world in which the songs were written and also help us make sense of the world we are living in now. Yiddish knowledge welcome, but not required. Musical training welcome, but not required (all music learned by ear). The only rule is — everybody sings! You might think you can't carry a tune, but it's the tune that carries you. Led by Jeyn Levison and Josh Waletzky. 

Afternoon Sessions 


Klezmer Melody: Licks & Tricks | 3:00 - 3:50 PM
(Intermediate and above level/ all instruments)  

Learn to make klezmer… sound like klezmer! This klezmer class will dive into more intermediate/advanced klezmer techniques including klezmer modes, phrasing, ornamentation & cadences. Together we will study a classic klezmer tune and explore melodic variations, fills, and accompaniment ideas. This class will be geared towards intermediate and above instrumentalists. We will be learning primarily by ear, but sheet music will also be provided. All instruments welcome! Led by Rachel Leader and Rebecca Mac of Mamaliga.  

Klezmer for Wind Instruments | 2:00 - 2:50 PM
(Intermediate and above level/ all wind instruments

Learn specific klezmer techniques for woodwinds - the note-bending, and ornamentation that  make klezmer and Eastern European music so distinctive.  We’ll be explaining and demonstrating techniques, showing methods to practice them in order to make them a natural part of your technique - and applying them to a tune.   We’ll be working by ear and with sheet music.  This workshop is geared towards flutes and single reeds, but double reeds are welcome to join! Led by Carl Dimow and Steve Gruverman of the Casco Bay Tummlers

Doina for Musicians | 1:00 - 1:50 PM
(Intermediate and above level/ all instruments) 

The “doina” is a free-rhythm, richly ornamented, improvised, prayerful piece with an expressive and lyrical character. It is often used to introduce a klezmer set and plays an important role in the Yiddish wedding. This workshop (for intermediate and advanced instrumentalists) will introduce you to the amazing world of the klezmer doina and will teach you how to construct a doina of your own in 4 easy steps. Led by Rabbi Sruli Dresdner of Sruli and Lisa. 

Harmonization Workshop | 2:00 - 2:50 PM
(Intermediate and above level/ all instruments)  

Ever wanted to experiment with the world of harmonic possibilities in klezmer accompaniment? This is the class for you! We’ll be exploring chords, voicings, and different ways to harmonize klezmer melodies within a klezmer style… and inevitably battling about taste. We’ll also cover klezmer melodic modes and typical chords that fit best with each mode. This class will be geared towards accompaniment players, on any instrument, with basic knowledge of major/minor chords and theory. Led by Mattias Kaufmann and Raffi Boden of Mamaliga. 

Accompanying Vocalists in the Yiddish Song Tradition | 3:00 - 3:50 PM
(Intermediate and above level/ all instruments)  

In this music workshop, we will explore the rich world of accompanying Yiddish song. Using well-known Yiddish songs as examples, we'll explore techniques of varying texture, register, and rhythm, adding harmony lines, fills, and instrumental breaks, and using the song lyrics themselves to inform our playing. Intended for intermediate/advanced instrumentalists; vocalists are also welcome! Led by Lysander Jaffe and Kaia Berman Peters of Levyosn. 

Klezmer Dance Roots Workshop – Part 2: The Travelers | 1:00 - 1:50 PM
(All levels welcome. Live music provided by the Casco Bay Tummlers

Traveling musicians were an important part of life in Eastern Europe, and their playing was a highlight of major celebrations. The Klezmorim was one group of traveling musicians; another such group was the Roma. While each group had their own traditions, there was quite a bit of crossover in tunes and dances. The Casco Bay Tummlers and dance instructor Barbara Merson invite you to explore these connections by learning some Roma dances, which may seem very familiar. These dances are easy and fun for all ages. Note: Participants are welcome to come to Klezmer Roots Part 1, 2 or both — the material is different in each session. 

From Zing to Sing: How to Translate Yiddish Songs into SINGABLE English Translations | 1:00 - 1:50 PM
(All levels welcome

It's not just the language, it's the feeling, the authentic essence, the voice. When you capture that-- the song is transformed and given new life-- and a wider audience! Bring a song to translate, or try one of ours! Led by Lisa Mayer of Sruli and Lisa. Lisa is a Yiddish Singer and Klezmer Violinist, who has performed at Jewish Music Folk Festivals from Cracow, Poland to Poland, Maine. She is a Clio-winning writer, has been published in The Forward, and her podcast, "PooPooPoo with the Maine Rebbetzin," is heard in 20 countries. 

Singing Havdalah | 2:00 - 2:50 PM
(All levels welcome

This workshop will explore several traditional havdalah songs in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino, with instrumental accompaniment and satisfying vocal harmonies. This workshop will be focused on singing, but instrumentalists are also welcome. We will sing the songs we cover at a musical havdalah gathering later in the evening, and welcome all workshop participants to join us. Led by Lysander Jaffe & Kaia Berman Peters of Levyosn. 

Oy Vey Klezmer! Family Concert with Sruli and Lisa | 3:00 - 3:50 PM
(Musical Performance) 

A Klezmer Concert just for kids! This show is a joyous freylikh frenzy, and promises musical fun for all ages. Rabbi Sruli and Lisa play clarinet, violin, accordion, flutes, and drum, some at the same time!  Their mix of virtuosic Jewish music, Jewish song and Jewish Humor will have everyone from Babies to Bubbies clapping, singing, laughing, and dancing in the aisles! 

They have been called "Superb Musicians!" by the Los Angeles Times, featured on PBS-TV and National Public Radio, and have headlined at music festivals and synagogues around the world, from Jerusalem to Jacksonville. Performance by Sruli and Lisa. 

Structured Jams | 4:00 - 5:00 PM
(All levels/all instruments) 

Let’s jam! Bring a tune from the classic repertoire or from your previous workshops and we’ll jam together in a supportive and inclusive environment. We can also teach a tune slowly by ear, with sheet music provided. Open to all! Led by Mamaliga and CBT members.