Deborah Karpel | Songs My Mother Never Taught Me

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World: Yiddish Classical: Vocal Music Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Songs My Mother Never Taught Me

by Deborah Karpel

A selection of Yiddish songs gloriously sung with the radiant sheen of an operatic voice, while maintaining the intimacy of a popular singer.
Genre: World: Yiddish
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Der Dishvasher
5:04 album only
2. Afn Veg Shteyt a Boym
5:32 album only
3. A Briv
5:32 album only
4. Tumba
1:58 album only
5. Margaritkelekh
5:04 album only
6. Abi Gezint
2:31 album only
7. Shteyn, Tayerer Shteyn
3:51 album only
8. Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen
3:10 album only
9. Broyt
4:17 album only
10. Zol Zayn
3:16 album only


Album Notes
Deborah Karpel is a... jazz, old-time country, pop, and Klezmer-singing, classically-trained opera diva who came up through the ranks of comic improvisation and sings in nine languages.

Deborah’s early influences (thank you Columbia House Record Club!) include Benny Goodman, Liltin’ Martha Tilton, Dinah Washington, Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Sandy Denny, Patsy Cline, Dinah Shore, and Debbie Harry. While performing the work of a composer friend, he encouraged her to study classical singing, which led to a whole new world of music and a steady stream of opera performance and recital work.

After a solo recital/performance piece at Dixon Place’s Opera Vindaloo, Deborah was recruited to sing with Metropolitan Klezmer by the group’s leader. She has since enjoyed a robust career in that genre with both Metropolitan and the all-female Isle of Klezbos, which has allowed her to showcase both her comic and dramatic sides.

Deborah’s stage credits include originating and singing the role of Sunny in Jeff Weiss’s long-running, Obie award-winning live serial Hot Keys, and working with Circus Amok, Naked Angels, Shock of the Funny, and several New York opera companies. She is a frequent recitalist at Donnell Library in NYC and recently sang the role of Contessa Almavia in Le Nozze di Figaro at both Weill and Merkin Halls.

Through her work with several Klezmer bands, Deborah became acquainted with Yiddish language and music. She combined this growing interest with her passion for opera to create a concert, entitled Songs My Mother Never Taught Me, for the National Yiddish Center in Amherst, MA. The resultant CD (and forthcoming extended solo show) features lesser-known Yiddish songs culled from her paternal grandfather’s sheet music collection.

Deborah’s solo recordings include Songs My Mother Never Taught Me and the forthcoming “chamber folk” album, La Promessa. She is also a featured vocalist on Metropolitan Klezmer’s recordings, Yiddish For Travelers, Mosaic Persuasion, Surprising Finds, Travelling Show, Isle of Klezbos’s Welcome to the Isle of Klezbos, and Ben Yarmolinsky/Charles Bernstein’s Blindwitness News

What People are saying about Deborah Karpel:

“It is Deborah Karpel’s vocals that really steal the show. She connects all the dots from present to past, and she sings with a flair that captures (mostly in Yiddish) emotions and feelings in the set’s expressive melodies. Karpel has a strong, controlled voice that also exhibits tints of old-fashioned femininity. Their wittiest piece is “Traveling Dreydls,” while a more melancholy and serious side to their music is demonstrated with “Mayn Rue Plats (My Resting Place)” that refers to the search for tranquility and serenity in an otherwise tumultuous world.”

Joe Ross, Ross’s Reviews

“Then there's the sultry style of vocalist Deborah Karpel, a cult figure on New York's downtown theater scene. Who knew Yiddish could be so sexy?”

Kate Waller, The Advocate

"Karpel has an unusually rich voice, low and with an earnestness rarely heard in modern music. With small twists in range and inflection she can add coy humor to the entendre-laden "Lomir Zikh Iberbetn (Let's Make Up)" or lend crushing solidity to the pain in "Unter di Khurves fun Polyn (Under the Ruins of Poland)."

Sarah Meador, Rambles, a Cultural Arts Magazine

“When you hear the songs with vocalist Deborah Karpel, you'll realize how much Jewish music influenced the torch-song tradition and The Great American Songbook.”

Mark Keresman, The NYC Resident

“Deborah Karpel's vocals boast a natural allure so hot it ought to be licensed, taxed and regulated.”

Seth Rogovy, Author - The Essential Klezmer

"The focal point for the group is Vocalist Deborah Karpel, who leads the musical journey with great style. From Yiddish swing favorites like Ot Azoy Neyt a Shnayder and Abi Gezunt to the Balkan-backed Pick A Pocket Or Two to the traditional A Yid, A Kaptsn, the melancholy Mayn Rue Platz, and the distinctive Musikalisher Tango, she gives a nuanced performance that is among the best of today's interpreters of Yiddish song."

Keith Wolzinger, Klezmer Podcast.Com

“Deborah Karpel shows her mettle as an excellent Yiddish singer.”

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What more can you say...
when the professionals already said it all? Ethnic Jewish music does not have the widest appeal, but listening to Ms Karpel could change that. Every word of those reviews is true. I can only add the suggestion to visit her web site for more lovely music.