Michael Winograd Plays Tanz: A Live concert re-creation of the classic 1956 Klezmer Album

4 people perform on different instruments.

On February 16th, supported by the Center for Cultural Vibrancy, an all-star lineup of musicians from the Jewish musical world came together to create magic. Led by clarinetist Michael Winograd, the group performed “Tanz,” a seminal touchstone within the Klezmer canon. This record, released seven decades ago, had never been performed live in its entirety before. Until now. 

In 1955, the now legendary Klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras convened musicians in a Manhattan recording studio and created “Tanz” (Yiddish for dance), a recording now considered a high-water mark in Eastern European Jewish music. The record showcased Tarras’s virtuosity and captured the influences swirling around him in New York at the time—a heady mix of the traditional Eastern European Jewish dance music with swing jazz and big band sound. While the record hardly made a mark at the time of release, it has slowly gained a hardcore following in the years since.

Clarinetist Michael Winograd led the ensemble and took on the task of transcribing the music. Performed in front of a sold-out audience at the Marlene Meyerson JCC on the Upper West Side in New York City, the event was captured on audio for a future record release and documented with a multi-camera shoot that will be released with additional footage, interviews, and history of the original record.