Panama Pacific Drag," cimbalom solo by Joseph Moskowitz, recorded February 4, 1916 .This week, enjoy a raggy, multi-themed instrumental piece, hammered on the cimbalom, by restaurateur Joseph Moskowitz. Born 1879 he was a Romanian-born Jewish cymbalum player, son of a folk klezmer cimbalist. He eventually settled in the United States.When Moskowitz appeared at a cafe in New York City in 1908, the New York Times reported that, "posters in Yiddish, Italian, Hungarian, and Roumanian (sic) announce his presence throughout the length of East Houston Street." That appearance was to be the start of five years of musically touring the United States. He then opened a restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side. In 1943 he moved to Washington, DC, where he played regularly at Michel's French Restaurant near Dupont Circle.He died in Washington, D.C. in 1954.
The cimbalom is a concert hammered dulcimer: a type of chordophone composed of a large, trapezoidal box with metal strings stretched across its top. It is a musical instrument popularized in Hungary and commonly found throughout the group of East European nations and cultures which composed Austria-Hungary (1867–1918), namely contemporary Greece, Belarus, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia