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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 19, 2009

Java Jews, Richard Gloss are in the same boat for Manning's March 5 tuba recital

John Manning, who teaches tuba at the University of Iowa, will be joined by pianist Richard Gloss and the Java Jews -- a group that plays "highly-caffeinated klezmer music" -- for an unusual University of Iowa faculty recital at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 5, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol on the UI Pentacrest.

Their performance will be free and open to the public.

Manning and Gloss will open the program with standard recital fare of works for tuba and piano: the Sonata by Thomas Benjamin, "Marine Suite" by Jean-Michel Defaye and the Sonatina by Frank Ferriano. After intermission, they will play an arrangement of Max Bruch's "Kol Niedre," which was originally composed for cello and orchestra, and then the Java Jews will join with Manning for a set of "Horas and Khusedls" to be announced from the stage.

"Richard Gloss and I have performed together before, and this year we share a special kinship: the flood," Manning said. "Richard is the Hancher Box Office manager, and if you'll pardon the pun, we were both in the same boat, and used our love of music to transcend the challenges created by the flood.

"This program is a product of the two of us sitting down and just enjoying playing together. We read through numerous works and finally arrived on what we think is a diverse and interesting program.

"We were looking for works on the first half that were written specifically for tuba and piano. For the second half, I got the idea to invite some klezmer musicians to play with me. It's something I've always wanted to do. I had been a member of one of the leading klezmer Bands in New England, Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, and I had so much fun performing and recording with that group.

"When I moved to Iowa, I ran across the Java Jews, based in Des Moines. I contacted Abe, the leader, and offered my services as a sub. I played a wedding with them a few years back, and Abe recently called me to ask me to go to Louisville with the band on March 7. That was when I saw the opportunity to finally perform some klezmer on my recital."

A form of folk music, klezmer originated in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. It is particularly associated with festive occasions, including weddings and other social events, as well as major services in the synagogue. Its characteristic sound derives from the unique instrumental combination, which typically includes clarinet, and the distinctive rhythms and melodies of Eastern European folk music.

Members of Java Jews performing with Manning will be Abe Goldstien, accordian and leader; Bob Marion, mandolin; Daniel Menzel, clarinet; Kurt Bowermaster, drums; and Mark Finkelstein, trumpet and co-leader. In addition to popular klezmer tunes, the group performs klezmer covers of Miles Davis tunes, standards and Israeli pop. The group plays at coffee houses, synagogues and churches, bar mitzvahs, parties and civic events. They were the first klezmer band to perform at the Iowa State Fair.

Manning is a founding member of the award-winning Yamaha performing ensemble, the Atlantic Brass Quintet, with whom he has toured across the United States and around the world, including performances at the White House, Tanglewood, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and June in Buffalo. An active freelance musician, he has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Empire Brass and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He joined the UI faculty in 2004. For more information visit

Gloss is a native of Chicago. He holds a master's degree in piano performance from the UI, where he studied with Kenneth Amada. He has accompanied many local artists, including Agrell and Manning, flutists Betty Bang Mather and Claudia Anderson and tenor Scott McCoy.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Visit the UI School of Music Web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846 (cell),