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Minneapolis folklorist Maury Bernstein dies at age 74

  • Blog Post by: Jon Bream
  • November 11, 2013 - 1:37 PM

Longtime West Bank music fixture Maury Bernstein -- an accordionist, folklorist, ethnomusicologist, teacher and radio broadcaster – died Sunday. He was 74. He had suffered from Parkinson’s disease for many years.

Born Maurice Bernstein, he may be best remembered for championing the Scandinavian music history of Minnesota and organizing the Snoose Boulevard Festival in the mid-1970s, bringing Swedish songbird Anne-Charlotte Harvey to the Twin Cities. He produced three albums from those festivals.

He taught ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota and hosted a show, “Folk Music and Bernstein,” on National Public Radio in the 1960s and ‘70s. As a singer and accordionist, he performed a wide range of styles, including French, Russian, British, Australian, Italian and Yiddish.

Bernstein, who moved from New York to Minneapolis as an infant, is survived by his sister, Melody “Merriam” Bernstein and his longtime friend Jean Berglund.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at United Hebrew Brotherhood Cemetery in Richfield. Shiva will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Sholom Home West, 3620 Phillips Pkwy, St. Louis Park.

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