The Java Jews concert is this year's Stone Lectureship in Judaism, which was established in 1983 by friends of Dr. Alex and Martha Stone, longtime residents of Rock Island. The concert is sponsored by The Center for the Study of Judaism and Jewish Culture at Augustana College. Co-sponsor is the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities.
The Java Jews band plays what it refers to as "highly-caffeinated" klezmer music — a mix of Yiddish and Hebrew melodies combined with Dixieland, avant-garde jazz, and a touch of Spike Jones.
Klezmer music is the music of Eastern European Jewish communities during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The music emigrated to this country with the influx of European Jews and began to borrow elements from jazz and pop music. At the same time, pop music was also embracing klezmer.
According to accordionist Abe Goldstien, who organized the band, the only time the band practices is when it performs. “That way the audience never knows what will happen next,” says Goldstien, adding, “Neither do the musicians for that matter.”
Denkmann Memorial Building
3520 7th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201