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The fire was already moving fast. “I could feel them (flames) on top of me; I could feel them falling on my head,” he said. He doesn’t know if the girl he ran into ever made it out. In cross-examination by Harris’ attorney Curtis Briggs, Avalos testified that Harris was not “second in command,” as some have described him. Avalos said if residents wanted to host an event or wanted something, they would ask Almena. The preliminary hearing is expected to last five days and is the first time an Alameda County Superior Court judge hears the prosecution’s evidence against Almena and Harris.

Judge Jeffrey Horner will determine if there’s enough evidence for the men to move forward with a trial, which even their defense attorneys have said will likely happen, “Their actions were so different from the way an red shoes ballet ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that their actions amounted to a disregard for human life,” prosecutor James wrote in a court filing Monday, “Their reckless actions were the proximate cause of the death of the 36 individuals trapped inside the warehouse when the fire started.”..

When we think of songwriter Woody Guthrie, rousing tunes about social justice or the Dust Bowl probably spring to mind. How about Hanukkah ditties? Well, when The Klezmatics bring their “Happy, Joyous Hanukkah” concert to Stanford on Thursday, Dec. 14, Guthrie’s songs honoring the Jewish holiday will be in the forefront. Guthrie’s daughter Nora uncovered long-lost lyrics her father had written and never put to use. She asked if The Klezmatics might be interested in turning some of them into complete songs. They jumped at the chance and the first batch resulted in the Grammy-winning album “Wonder Wheel.”.

Then came The Klezmatics’ “Woody Guthrie’s Happy, Joyous Hanukkah” album, Two of the songs had basic tunes — “Hanukkah Dance” and “The Many and the Few.” For the rest, the music had to be invented from scratch, In some cases, the lyrics were finished, in others, they hadn’t gone through any editing, “It was inspirational,” said Klezmatics founding member Lorin Sklamberg, vocalist and accordionist, when reached by phone at his New York residence, “because most of the lyrics that we were working with hadn’t been heard before, hadn’t made any sort of public appearance before, So it red shoes ballet was a wonderful opportunity for us.”..

Approaching the task, Sklamberg felt no trepidation. “We just had a lot of fun with it. I think Woody would have enjoyed a lot of what we did with his lyrics,” said Sklamberg, whose mom played him Guthrie’s children’s songs when he was a tot. Sklamberg went on to sing Guthrie’s classics in high school. Sklamberg said these Hanukkah songs reflect where Guthrie was, physically and emotionally, at that point in his life, in the 1940s. He was living with his family in a Jewish enclave near Coney Island.

“He was certainly influenced by his mother-in-law, who was Aliza Greenblatt, this Yiddish poet and activist,” Sklamberg said, “These songs are very sweet and his own take on the whole Hanukkah story and customs and rituals.“, As with most of The Klezmatics’ music, the sound blends Eastern European energy with other world music influences, “Given the members of the band, each has a pretty large palette from which to work,” Sklamberg said, “We have all these different musical languages we speak, And Woody himself didn’t live in a vacuum, He not only heard American red shoes ballet folk songs, but also a lot of world music through his involvement in the New York City folk scene, And so I think it’s something that he would definitely have identified with, the different musical influences that we drew on, I think he would have enjoyed that.”..

Sklamberg pointed out that there isn’t a wealth of traditional Hanukkah songs, compared to other Jewish holidays and festivals. “One of the reasons Hanukkah has become more important in the United States is simply its proximity to Christmas. In the Jewish world, Passover has a lot more of a musical history. Anything we can do to contribute to the canon of Hanukkah songs, we’re happy to do.”. At Stanford, The Klezmatics will also perform a couple of numbers from “Wonder Wheel,” as well as songs from the band’s latest album, “Apikorsim/Heretics.”.

For more than 30 years with The Klezmatics, Sklamberg has made the vibrant klezmer genre relevant to modern audiences, “It sounds like home to red shoes ballet me, It sounds like where I’m from, It has a certain familiarity and comfort for me that I haven’t found anyplace else.”, Even listeners who don’t have a similar background find that the music reaches them on an emotional level, “If the music is good and you’re playing it with your heart, people understand it, whether or not they technically comprehend the actual words you’re singing,” Sklamberg said..

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