On Religion: A Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer
photo by Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
Andy Statman stood in the narrow basement of an Orthodox synagogue improbably wedged among the boîtes and boutiques of Greenwich Village. He wore a plain blue suit and white shirt, and from his waist hung tzitzit, the fringes meant to remind an observant Jew of the 613 commandments. Twisting together the pieces of his clarinet, he ran through a glissando that seemed to corkscrew through the air.
Four rows of folding chairs were arranged before Mr. Statman, and in them sat about 15 people, several in yarmulkes, one an Australian woman whose music teacher back home had instructed her to find and hear Andy Statman. The basement’s shelves bore Talmudic volumes and Sabbath candlesticks, and the room was so chilly on this November night that nearly all the listeners had kept on their coats. (read more)