Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, it’s that of Adrienne Cooper, a singer of and impresario for Yiddish music who died Sunday at 65. Through groups like KlezKamp, which she co-founded, she played an active, even central role in cultivating a Yiddish-language, frequently klezmer-style music scene. And through her own music, she gave listeners a reason to want such a music.
There are some excellent remembrances here, here, and here. “Adrienne taught a generation of young artists to mine Yiddish culture and tradition for our work, to strip away the usual nostalgia so we could see those riches as they were already: new, fresh, radical, loud, political, and dynamic,” writes in Abigail Miller, Tablet Magazine’s assistant art director. “When I use An-Sky’s 1914 ethnographic survey to draw for an hour before work, or when my iPod shuffles between Adrienne’s last album and Yiddish Princess, that’s in large part thanks to Adrienne.”
Here she is singing “The Wandering Muse”