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March 22, 1985 - Image 104

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-03-22

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Friday, March 22, 1985


di) L .% n




Special to The Jewish News

Larry Bassin and Joe
Greenbaum are part of
the Yiddish revival
movement, performing
before local groups like
the Klezmer musicians
of the past.




heodore Bikel, clad in a blue
bathrobe and seated at his
dressing table backstage at the
Fisher Theatre, listened
quietly as the nervous young
man launched into a plaintive rendi-
tion of an old Yiddish folk song.
"I just want you to tell me what
you think," said Larry Bassin, when
he had finished his brief, impromptu
"concert." "Am I any good?"
Bikel eyed the 19-year-old Wayne
State student who, moments earlier,
had burst into his dressing room un-
announced, carrying a guitar and dec-
laring that he didn't want to bother
Bikel for an autograph — he just
wanted the chance to sing a song for
him. • ,
"Yes, you're good," Bikel said, fi-
nally. "But you need to go around the
country, play at coffeehouses, get ex-
perience. and, first of all," the
entertainer concluded, "get an educa-
tion. Then, you can worry about the
Almost 20 years later, Bassin,
perhaps not quite so bold and audaci-
ous as in those days, is no less deter-
mined to "do something" with the
Klezmer-style music he still loves —
Yiddish folk songs and music written
for Yiddish theater.

0 0

Ben yes-Kaufman

Now living in West Bloomfield
with wife, Ronna, and sons, Jason, 10,
and Benji, 8, Bassin took Bikel's ad-
vice and got the education — a degree
from Wayne State University, in 1969
— and now works for Oakland County
Social Services in Pontiac.
And, although he's never worked
in coffeehouses, he has been perform-
ing professionally for local clubs,
synagogues and convalescent centers
since 1980 — and, last year, formed
"Di Klezmers Tsvai" — The Two Musi-
cians — with violinist-friend Joe
Greenbaum, 36, of Southfield. During
the next few weeks, the duo is
scheduled for performances at Sholem
Aleichem Institute in Southfield, He-
brew Day School of Ann Arbor, Prentis
Manor in Southfield, the Jewish Home
for the Aged in Detroit, and Shaar
Hashomayim synagogue in Windsor.
On March 5, 11 and 21, they'll be ap-
pearing on Channel 18 public access
television (Oak Park/SouthfieldYand,
in the fall, they hope to perform a full-
fledged concert at the Jewish Commu-
nity Center. Someday, in the not-too-
distant future, Greenbaum says —
with only a bit of tongue-in-cheek —
you can look for the two of them on the

Tonight Show.

Continued on Page 44

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