In the Jewish ghettos of Poland and Lithuania during World War II, a world of dislocation, terror and death, cabaret music thrived. Jewish audiences gathered in makeshift clubs and theaters to hear newly-created Yiddish songs, rooted in Jewish folk and liturgical music as well as European operetta, American ragtime and Argentine tango. Jewish performers tuned these cosmopolitan songs in a local key satirical and elegiac, political and personal, angry and heartsick. Together they created something rare, scarcely conceivable art at the edge of the abyss.
Adrienne Cooper, one of the world’s most acclaimed singers of Yiddish vocal music, and Zalmen Mlotek, a leading figure in Yiddish musical theater, here present ghetto songs collected during and after the war.