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Welcome to Living Traditions at the Jalopy Theatre.

The Jalopy Theatre is a 10-year old traditional and roots music venue and music school based in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Our little theatre works very hard at putting out the very best and most diverse programing for our community.

The Jalopy Theatre is a 10-year old traditional and roots music venue and music school based in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Our theatre may be small, but we strive to showcase the best and most diverse programming for the growing community. 

The Jalopy Theatre features live music six nights a week and our music school offers classes and workshops for both children and adults in stringed instruments and voice. We have a record label, Jalopy Records which has so far produced 5 LP vinyl records, several CDs, mix tapes and a subscription series of 7” records. We are also a vintage instrument sales and repair shop, a coffee shop with tea and espresso, and we serve draught beer, bottled beer, wine, soda and popcorn.

In December of 2017 Living Traditions began operating certain programs formerly operated by Jalopy. Living Traditions, founded in 1994, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of traditional folk arts. For 30 years, Living Traditions ran Klez Camp, a week-long camp celebrating Yiddish culture and music. Living Traditions was also instrumental in promoting and preserving music and recordings from the Yiddish tradition.  

Together, we can expand on the work presented at the Jalopy Theatre, offering a richer calendar of music, supportings artists and expanding understanding of the role traditional music plays in our culture.

Living Traditions seeks to: 

  • Preserve and perpetuate traditional folk art forms in the fields of music, dance, craft, language and visual arts.
  • Promote the popularization of such traditional folk art forms through concerts, workshops, camp programs, publications, lectures, recordings and radio programming, internet, film and TV.
  • Act as a coordinating body to foster cultural and educational programs by different organizations.
  • Act as an information and referral resource. 

Living Traditions runs the Brooklyn Folk Festival, an annual 3-day festival, presenting the best in American and international folk music. Located in the heart of Brooklyn, NY, our festival is a celebration of down home music, cultural diversity and memory. Each year, we draw talent from New York’s own thriving folk music scene as well as from the national and international world of folk, traditional and vernacular music.

Living Traditions hosts the International Music Festival at the Jalopy Theatre, a 2-day celebration, featuring performances and workshops by working artists who reside within the five boroughs.  New York City contains a diverse wellspring of talent, and we aim to celebrate the complexity of this social fabric by showcasing these traditions on two stages. 

With the support of the Uncle Shlomo Brooklyn Kids Fund for Music, we have been working in two Red Hook schools, offering weekly traditional music education for children. The Making Music program brings musicians into the schools to share folk, blues, country music with first and second grade students. This support comes from the family of Shlomo Pestcoe. Shlomo was a part of the Jalopy family, and a gifted musician and marvelous teacher.

The New York Klezmer Series (NYKS), now hosted by the Jalopy Theatre, has been presenting Klezmer Music and Yiddish Dance in New York City since 2010.  We present music concerts, workshops, dance parties and  klezmer jam sessions in an intimate setting.  Run by Artistic Director, Aaron Alexander, and partly inspired by the week-long Yiddish Culture events, Klez Kamp, and Klez Kanada, the NYKS aspires to present the music in a respectful setting and allow the artists freedom to present their vision.  

We can’t do all of this alone. We need your help. Please consider making a donation or becoming a member of Living Traditions at the Jalopy Theatre. You will get a variety of benefits and discounts for your support. However, the real benefit is supporting the continued study and enjoyment of the grass roots traditions and cultures of our world.