Funk a Deli mixes soul and klezmer at Cain Park
Funk a Deli, formerly known as Yiddishe Cup, will mix soul music with klezmer at the 40th annual Workmen’s Circle Concert in the Park on Sunday, June 24, 7 p.m., at Cain Park’s Evans Amphitheater. Admission is free. Tickets are not necessary.
The show will be hosted by Michael Wex, the author of Born to Kvetch and a popular guest on Terry Gross' PBS radio show "Fresh Air."
Guests performers will include klezmer violinist Steven Greenman, Cantor Kathryn Wolfe Sebo, vocalist Shawn Fink, and marimba player Greg Selker, the founder of the Kleveland Klezmorim, which disbanded in 1990. Selker hasn't played publicly this century.
Funk a Deli/Yiddishe Cup is celebrating its 30th anniversry. Four years ago, Yiddishe Cup first collaborated with soul singer Tamar Gray, the vocal music teacher at Fairfax Elementary School. Yiddishe Cup gradually morphed into Funk a Deli. At Cain Park, the band will mash-up “Tradition” from the musical "Fiddler on the Roof" with the Temptations’ “Ball of Confusion.” The band will play soul classics like "Midnight Train to Georgia" as well as Yiddish standards like "Romania, Romania."
Five members of Funk a Deli live in Cleveland Heights: Bert Stratton, clarinet; Ivan George, drums; Alice Stratton, dance leader; Alan Douglass, keyboards; and Tamar Gray, singer. Irwin Weinberger, singer and saxophone, lives in University Heights, and Steve Ostrow, trombonist, is from Berea.
The Workmen’s Circle Klezmer Orchestra, under the direction of Norman Tischler, will play from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Colonnade.
Bert Stratton, of Cleveland Heights, has written op-eds for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.