Nu Haven Kapelye gains 501(c)3 status
Multigenerational klezmer ensemble, now in its 20th year, evolves from grassroots group to nonprofit organization
NEW HAVEN, CT | The Nu Haven Kapelye, a multigenerational community klezmer ensemble, is proud to announce that it is now a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. The change will allow the musical organization to accept donations and apply for state and federal grants. The ensemble is led by bassist and arranger David Chevan, who has been appointed to serve as Artistic Director.
The Kapelye (Yiddish for band) began in the late 1990s as an ad hoc ensemble that performed an annual concert on December 25 at Congregation Mishkan Israel in Hamden. Now the group, whose members range in age from 10 to 80+, performs regularly in venues from bars to senior living centers to festivals. Performances can feature anywhere between six and thirty musicians. Members rehearse on a semi-regular schedule, and Chevan has begun teaching classes for beginning players 13 and under. The annual December 25 concert has continued to grow and draw loyal audiences.
“For the past 20 years, the Nu Haven Kapelye has been a grassroots ensemble,” said Chevan. “I certainly couldn’t have imagined this when we started. But even grassroots organizations have a way of slowly evolving. We’ve gone beyond being a group, and are now officially an organization.”
Musically, the band’s new status changes nothing: the Kapelye will continue to play a mix of Yiddish music, klezmer, and (occasionally) other Jewish pieces.
“What will change will be our ability to get funding to support educational initiatives and specific artistic works,” said Chevan. “We can be an institution that keeps klezmer and other Jewish music traditions alive in our area.” Chevan hopes to embark on another recording project in the future, as a follow-up to the album What’s Nu?, released in 2016.
The Board of Directors of the Nu Haven Kapelye is led by Anna Reisman and Michael Ross, co-presidents; Dalton King, treasurer; and Cary Jacobs, secretary. Additional board members are Dana Astmann, David Chevan, Isaiah Cooper, Steve Jacobs, Hedda Rubenstein, and Jim Serling.
Upcoming performances include an appearance at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas main stage on the New Haven Green on Friday, June 21 at 2:30 PM, and a klezmer Shabbat service at Congregation Mishkan Israel on Friday evening, June 28.
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