MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - The Middlesex County Office of Culture and Heritage invites you to enjoy two free music programs during the weekend of May 6 and 7.

The first program, “Folk Music: The American Spirit,” is scheduled to take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at the Lodge at Thompson Park, 1701 Perrineville Rd. in Monroe Township.

This unique workshop, hosted by Matthew Pulomena, uses performance, music history, sing-alongs and discussion to explore the exciting musical tradition of the American folk song.

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Then on Sunday, May 7, join the Hester Street Troupe for, “Klezmer: Traditional Yiddish Folk Music.” This event is scheduled to take place from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 1775 Oak Tree Rd. in Edison.

The Hester Street Troupe is a group of klezmorim who continue to preserve a very special folk music genre rooted in Yiddish musical traditions and cultural ideologies. Klezmer is an oral tradition, transmitted by memory from fathers to sons, with no written scores. 

“I know many people will be interested in these events, especially in how they highlight the roles that music has played in cultural and religious traditions,” said Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios.

“One of the best things about Middlesex County’s Office of Culture and Heritage is the free admission for their amazing selection of cultural programs,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the Business Development and Education Committee.

These programs are free of charge, but registration is required. Please call 732-745-4489 to register or for directions or information. Persons with hearing disabilities may dial 
732-745-3888 (TTY users only) or 711, the New Jersey Relay System. In case of inclement weather, call 732-462-8262.

The Lodge and Jewish Community Center of Middlesex County are both accessible sites.  An Assistive Listening System will be in use during both of these programs.  An American Sign Language Interpreter can be provided with a two-week advance request.

For more information on these and other cultural programs, visit the County website at www.middlesexcountynj.gov or call (732) 745-4489.

Grant funding for “Folk Music: The American Spirit” has been provided by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders through a grant provided by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State.

Funding for “Klezmer: Traditional Yiddish Folk Music” is provided in part by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Folklife Program for New Jersey, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.