2010Nisht Eyns/Not One 2008Der Meshiekh Vet Ersht Kumen

Yosl (Joe) Kurland took up violin in second grade in the Bronx and for years played only classical music. Later he learned guitar. While in graduate school in Chicago, he began playing for international folk dance and performed with the Balkanske Igre Balkan dance troupe. He was a founder of the Wholesale Klezmer Band in 1982 and composed his first Yiddish song, the title number of the group’s first album, Shmir Me, in 1988. His formal study of Yiddish began only after he turned 40, but he considers Yiddish to be the native language he didn’t learn as a child. Having grown up with traditional cantorial music in the synagogue, he realized that in order to hear it in rural western Massachusetts where he lives, he would have to learn and sing it himself. He serves as Ba’al Tefillah for High Holiday and occasional Shabbos services at two synagogues near his home. His day job involves printing ketubot and other artwork designed by his wife, calligrapher Peggy Davis, as well as his own photographic work. His songs appear on four albums released by the Wholesale Klezmer Band. His Der Meshiekh Vet Ersht Kumen was honored at Shalshelet’s 2008 Festival.   www.ganeydn.com