Klezmer Benefit Concert for Ralph Wilder 3.4.19

Klezmer Benefit Concert for Ralph Wilder Monday, March 4, 2019


Adapting to life paralyzed from the chest down following a freak accident last May, a local musician, educator and conductor will be honored at Klezmer Benefit Concert for Ralph Wilder on March 4, 2019, in Wilmette. All profits will go directly to Wilder to help cover ongoing medical expenses. The concert will feature rousing performances of Yiddish songs and “Klezmer,” the lively Jewish music of Eastern Europe.

In May 2018, Wilder was severely injured when a projector screen fell from the ceiling during a rehearsal at Northeastern Illinois University. Struggling for his life on a ventilator for months, Wilder’s busy professional musical career was cut short by this accident, which left him a paraplegic.

​ Wilder has been a clarinetist in the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band for thirty years, and has also conducted the Junior Klezmer Orchestra and a grassroots klezmer band called “The Wilmetsky Orchestra” for the past decade. Although he can no longer play professionally, Wilder continues to conduct these groups, passing along his wealth of knowledge about the art of klezmer performance. The concert concludes with a showstopping grand finale, with all fifty musicians performing from the stage and their seats, including Ralph Wilder, while the audience dances in the aisles.

His bandmates and students will all donate their performances, as well as Cantor Pavel Roytman of Congregation Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah, who will be a featured singer. Tickets will not be sold in advance. Doors will open at 6:30 PM, and the suggested donation is $10 or more. Donations can also be made at https://www.gofundme.com/helpthewilderfamily

The concert is presented by the Klezmer Music Foundation, the not for profit organization founded by the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band.

Time: 7:00-8:30 PM (Doors open at 6:30 PM)
Location: Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah, 3220 Big Tree Lane, Wilmette, IL
Cost: $10 or more suggested donation at the door

For more information, email ralphbenefit@gmail.com. 

For press release, click here.


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