Cookie Segelstein, violin & viola; Joshua Horowitz, cimbalom, chromatic button accordion & piano; Stuart Brotman, bass, basy, bass 'cello, tilinca, baraban
In Eastern Europe, the roots of World Music go back centuries. Jews and Moslems, Magyars, Rumanians, Ukrainians and Roma played music together in an atmosphere of sharing, in a multicultural area where professional musicians had to know as many musical styles as the diverse languages of the people with whom they lived and worked. Across the Veretski Pass, the mountain pass in the Carpathians through which Magyar tribes into crossed into the Carpathian basin in 895 AD, and through which the emigrating Jews first settled in Transcarpathia, the musical traditions were as varied as the people who lived there. Taking its name from this cultural hotbed, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. With colorful instrumentation, unique arrangements and compositions, Veretski Pass plays "Old Country" music; music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Rumania, Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian- Ruthenia, and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Much of this rare music has been gleaned from field recordings gathered by the musicians in numerous trips throughout Europe, as well as from family members.