Yale Strom and Hot P’Stromi

Yale Strom: Violin

Genre: Acoustic, World

Sound description: Near Eastern and East European music, influenced by regional classical and folk traditions.

RIYL: The Klezmer Conservatory Band, the Ventura Klezmer Band, John Zorn

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Influences: The Klezmer Conservatory Band, Odessa Klezmer Band, David Krakauer, Frank London, Andy Statman


Yale Strom is a klezmer music revivalist who has conducted extensive research in Jewish and Romanian communities in Europe and the Balkans, attempting to recover music lost by generations of war. He calls his band Hot P’Stromi.

In the two decades since his initial ethnographic trip, Strom has become one of the world’s leading ethnographer artists of klezmer. He’s also a composer, violinist, photographer, author, and filmmaker.

Since 1981, Strom has been composing his own new Jewish music, which combines klezmer with Hasidic nigunim, Rom, jazz, classical, Balkan, and Sephardic motifs.

Strom’s ethnographic film Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years (1996) is about a man who returns after 50 years to his hometown of Vinogradov, in the Carpathian Mountains, bringing with him a Torah from the U.S. for his boyhood synagogue, which has not had one for years. The New York Times described the film as “bittersweet and poignant.”

In addition, Strom is the author of nine books, including A Wandering Feast: A Journey through the Jewish Culture of Eastern Europe (2004). He is the director of five award-winning documentaries, and was the first documentary filmmaker to be given his own run at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Walter Reade Theater for his film The Last Klezmer: Leopold Kozlowski, His Life and Music (1994).

Strom's klezmer field research helped form the base for the repertoire of his other San Diego klezmer band, Klazzj.

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