Klezmer Fiddler Jake Shulman-Ment Coming Back To The Cedar Cultural Center

Jake Shulman-Ment, one the pre-eminent klezmer fiddle players touring today, hasn’t played with roots musician Laurel Premo often. But it was enough to know that the two of them should go on tour together. 

“We’ve done maybe three concerts together, but this will be the first long tour,” he said. 

The duo plays the penultimate show of their Midwest tour at the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis on Tuesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Shulman-Ment is familiar with the venue, as he was the headliner for the first Klezmer on Ice event at 2023, which was at the Cedar.

Premo, who lives in Traverse City, Mich., and Shulman-Ment first met at the Earthworks Harvest Festival in Lake City, Mich.

“I remember the first time I went to this festival, I was sort of blown away by some of the music there,” Shulman-Ment said. “But Laurel was one of my favorite artists that I met there.”

Despite the differences in their musical stylings, Shulman-Ment has really enjoyed the opportunities he’s had to play with Premo.

“I’ve always sort of felt an artistic kinship with what Laurel is doing with the fiddle and guitar,” he said. “There’s a really interesting, beautiful sort of way that she approaches Americana and Scandinavian-influenced Americana style. She, like me, really grew up playing folk music as a kid. So we have a lot in common in the ways that we were raised with our musics.”

Given the different stylistic backgrounds, Shulman-Ment isn’t totally sure how the collaboration is going to come off on stage; he quipped that he’d be interested in talking to audience members about how they feel about it. But he said it doesn’t need to work a cross-genre collaboration. 

“Especially in the folk world, there’s a lot of attempts to take an artist who comes from this tradition and an artist comes from this tradition, and we’re gonna like, kind of meld it together sort of a few that an idea of world music fusion; that is definitely not what we’re doing.” he said. “There’s sort of the difference between approaching it that way and just approaching it like: We’re two musicians, let’s just make music together [and] … where do things land when we sort of do our thing together.

“Sometimes what I see is much more important than thinking about my [musical] tradition and her [musical] tradition is that there’s a there’s a kindred spirit. It’s the way what we’re trying to say is very similar.”