From Shtetl to Swing

From Shtetl to Swing is a musical trip through an extraordinary assemblage of archival footage revealing Yiddish life in the early 20th century, with the unmistakable Harvey Fierstein as the rousing narrator for the journey. The pogroms of the late 19th century brought a tide of talent to the shores of America--men and women who were not content to replicate the old ways and old songs but were jazzed by the sights and sounds of America, who digested it all and created new musical forms that rewrote popular culture. Black music and rhythms stirred and mixed by klezmorim produced new versions of ragtime, stride, jazz and swing. Tin Pan Alley led to Broadway and then spread to Hollywood. This is a feast of rare footage featuring Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, George Gershwin and Al Jolson among others, and the Lower East Side as it was back in the day.
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