Dave Tarras: The King of Klezmer
This novel chronicles the life and work of the man who was hailed as "The Benny Goodman of klezmer". Scion of a musical family, Tarras learned his craft from his father and played at weddings for Jews and non-Jews in and around Ternovke, Russia - even playing in the Czarist army - up to World War One. He immigrated to America with his wife and after a brief stint as a furrier, began to make a living with his clarinet. He soon became the most acclaimed klezmer in the United States. From 1925 until his death in 1989, Dave Tarras set the standard for klezmer musicianship and virtuosity. Even the great be-bop artists Charlie Parker and Miles Davis traveled to the Catskills to study his technique. Written with full cooperation from the Tarras family, this book contains newly-discovered biographical material, rare photos, and 28 of Tarras' original klezmer tunes, arranged from his manuscripts for violin and/or Bb clarinet.