Living Traditions - Community Based Traditional Folk Culture Living Traditions - Community Based Traditional Folk Culture Living Traditions - Community Based Traditional Folk Culture
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Living Traditions, founded in 1994, is dedicated to the celebration and continuity of community-based traditional Yiddish culture. Living Traditions brings the lush bounty of Yiddish culture to new generations in ways both inspiring and relevant to contemporary Jewish life. Not as a symbol of a lost world, or as a “duty” to perpetuate but as a meaningful part of one’s active personal identity in a multi-cultural world. Living Traditions places a high value on cultural literacy by presenting Yiddish music, dance, history, folklore, crafts and visual arts through its classes, publications, recordings and documentaries as well as through “KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program,” now in its 30th year. Living Traditions thus encourages the development of a worldwide Jewish community knowledgably steeped in its language, culture and traditions, too often forgotten in modern Jewish life.


Henry "Hank" Sapoznik (Executive Director) is an award winning author, radio and record producer and performer of traditional Yiddish and American music.

He co-produced the 10 part series the "Yiddish Radio Project" for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" in the spring of 2002 which won the prestigious Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism  the same year he was nominated for an Emmy for his music score to the biographical film The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.

A pioneering scholar and performer of klezmer music, he founded "KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program" in 1985, and is the Executive Director of "Living Traditions" the folk arts organization which runs it. His book, Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World won the 2000 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Scholarship and has just released in a new paperback edition.

He is a five-time Grammy nominee, including his 2005 production of "You Ain't Talkin' To Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of American Country Music" for Sony Columbia/Legacy and again in 2008 for his co-production of the 3 CD anthology "People Take Warning! Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs 1913-1938" and 2009's "Ernest V. Stoneman: The Unsung Father of Country Music 1925-1934."

In addition to his work with Yiddish culture, he is Vice President of Piedmont Folk Legacies the organization which runs the annual Charlie Poole Music Festival and the forthcoming National Banjo Museum and Center in Eden, North Carolina.

Sherry Mayrent (Associate Director, KlezKamp) came to her first KlezKamp in 1987, an accomplished clarinetist in styles other than klezmer. Within a few years, she transitioned from student to apprentice to Staff in 1995 and in 2001, as the Associate Director of Living Traditions and KlezKamp. Mayrent’s KlezKamp experience led to her becoming the clarinetist and musical director of the Wholesale Klezmer band, the Western Massachusetts ensemble she joined in 1990. In addition, she is also a record producer and a prolific composer of traditional klezmer tunes. Her passion for traditional Yiddish culture is equaled only by her passion for traditional Hawaiian culture.

Film composer, flutist and keyboardist Sarah Plant (Associate Director, Living Traditions) scores features, documentaries and multi-media museum installations. She worked on Ang Lee's Oscar-nominated feature Eat Drink Man Woman and has composed for PBS, ITVS, Bravo, Canal+ (France), CBC (Canada), Hallmark, the Center for Asian American Media, and for Spanish, Swiss and other European TV. Sarah composed a commission for Bill T. Jones Dance Company and has scored American Museum of Natural History biodiversity films. She has received awards/grants from ASCAP, the NEA and the American Music Center. She is former Music Editor of Sing Out! magazine, and specializes in music from around the world. www.sarahplantmusic.com

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