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30 November 2012

Klezmer Podcast 96- Hankus Netsky

Hankus Netsky

Klezmer Podcast 96- Hankus Netsky. On this episode, I visit with Hankus Netsky of the New England Conservatory. We talk about his latest project, Eternal Echoes: Songs And Dances For The Soul, a collaboration with Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot. Netsky was Co-Producer and Musical Director for the album, and we hear what it was like to work with these two renowned artists. Run time: 26:32

08 November 2012

Klezmer Podcast 95- Shpilkes

Klezmer Podcast 95- Shpilkes. On my recent visit to Paris, France, I met up with Eleonore Biezunski of the band Shpilkes. Eleonore is a wonderful Violinist and Vocalist, who has performed with several groups around Paris and has participated in several Klezmer and Yiddish workshops. We also hear the track Hoffman Mazel Tov from their self-titled album. Run time: 19:24.

18 October 2012

Brian Bender on tour in Europe w/Little Shop of Horas

Brian Bender will be on tour in Europe (Russia, Germany, Austria) from October 24th-Nov. 12th with his band Little Shop of Horas and also as a special guest with the Russian Klezmer band Dobranoch

----- TOUR DATES ----


October 27
Brian Bender (USA) with the Klezmer band Dobranotch (RU)
Jao Da Club
Pestelia 7
St. Petersburg, Russia

October 28
Brian Bender (USA) with the Klezmer band Dobranotch (RU)
Synagoge St.Petersburg
Lermontovsky 2
St. Petersburg, Russia



BRIAN BENDER & LITTLE SHOP OF HORAS – 2012 Germany & Austria Tour

Little Shop of Horas performs original and traditional Jewish melodies blended with Latin, Caribbean, African and Middle Eastern rhythms.


The group is an international band made up of musicians from three countries:

Brian Bender (USA) - trombone, melodica, piano, vocals, composer
Charles Rappaport (France) - fiddle, vocals
Alexander Maier (Germany) - clarinet, saxophone
Bartek Stanczyk (Germany) - accordion, melodica, vocals
Markus Milian Mueller (Germany) - double bass, electric bass, vocals
Thilo Joergl (Germany - Mesinke) - percussion, guitar
Don Cerebro (Germany - Global Shtetl Band) - drums

October 31
Absberger Werkstätten
91720 Absberg
Time: 20.00
Phone: 0049 9175909-1100

November 2
KulturKreisKneipe Hauptstraße 46b
85778 Haimhausen (near Munich)
Time: 20.00
Phone: 00498133-1063

November 3
Festival der 1000 Töne
86150 Augsburg Synagoge
Halderstraße 6
Time: 20.00
Phone: 0049 821 37170

November 4
Klezmernacht: Mesinke + Little Shop of Horas
89335 Ichenhausen
Vordere Ostergasse 22
Time: 19.00
Phone: 0049 160 96666931

November 5
Cafe Brazil
89155 Erbach (b. Ulm)
Ehingerstr. 59
Time: 20.00
Phone: 0049730522727


November 10
Klezmer Workshop with Alexander Maier (clarinet), Brian Bender (piano, trombone), Charles Rappoport (violin)
Zentrum im Werd
1020 Vienna (A)
Im Werd 6
Time: 11.00 - 15.00
Phone: 0043/0/699 127 08 645

November 10
1140 Vienna (A)
Hadikgasse 62
Time: 20.00
Phone: 0043 189 40094

To read Brian's blog "A Klezmer Odyssey" about his previous tours in Europe: www.klezmerodyssey.blogspot.com

17 October 2012

Klezmic Zircus- Band News From Belgium

Hello Keith;

Here are a few information about our Klezmer Marathon!

Oct 17th :  Centre Culturel d'Art de Huy - featuring DAVID KRAKAUER
Oct 18th :  Maison de la culture d'Arlon - featuring DAVID KRAKAUER
Oct 19th:   L'Eden  - featuring DAVID KRAKAUER - Charleroi
Oct 20th :  Le Recyclart - featuring DAVID KRAKAUER - Bruxelles

Some more about Klezmic:

Klezmic Zirkus was formed in 2006 during the ‘Nuits Nomades’. At the very beginning of this music group from Liege (Belgium): the clarinettist Aurélie Charneux. It was her musical sensitivity for Klezmer music that has brought together the members of the group. The band quickly attracted notice thanks to its re-appropriation of the Klezmer genre. A condensation of virtuosity and madness, a festive energy without any concession…

Ever since, Klezmic Zirkus has performed more than 350 concerts on a row (Esperanzah, Dranouter, La Semo, Un soir autour du Monde, …) and produced two albums (Vitamine K, 2007 and 13 chemin des Mandarines, 2010) at Homerecords.be.
Klezmic Zirkus henceforth evolves in the big family of Klezmer at the international level: the group has toured in Europe and Moscow, and collaborates regularly with the Canadian singer and songwriter Geoff Berner, who appreciates particularly the impetuosity of the group. And for October of 2012, a musical project of large proportions: a series of concerts with the amazing New Yorker clarinettist David Krakauer (The Klezmatics, Klezmer Madness, Abraham inc, …), standard bearer of the Klezmer movement, always at the top of modernity of this music style in which he excels.

Klezming Pool
A third album has been be released on September 26nd 2012!
Dive and apnoea in the huge depth of Klezmer! Some traditional pieces klezmified without moderation, and a couple of compositions of Aurélie Charneux, which decorticate the rhythm, the modes and atmospheres of Klezmer. An energy henceforth more rock, a sound more electronic but which keeps on being very organic and compact at the same time. And a piece live recorded during the ecstasy of the ‘Fête en Pierreuse’ (Liège - Belgium)!

12 October 2012

Boom Pam - Pop Oud (Forthcoming Delights 45)

Here is something new from Israeli band Boom Pam:


Audio Montage Entertainment
Boom Pam

10 October 2012

New From Kabbalah- Devil... on the road

Kabbalah "Devil... on the road" - Nouveau CLIP

Kabbalah en tournée été 2012 !
Album "Boxes, Bagels & Elephants" 
Vidéo by Fred Falques

08 October 2012

Klezmer Podcast 94- Gefilte Swing

Gefilte Swing- Laurent, Muriel, Alexandre, Sylvain, Yann

Yidl Mitn Swing Cover

Yidl Mitn Swing CD Label

Klezmer Podcast 94- Gefilte Swing. While visiting Paris, I was able to catch a performance by Gefilte Swing, a band that specializes in Swing-Era Yiddish song. They have great energy, and have a real love for this music. We hear the track Besarabye from the album Yidl Mitn Swing. And check out the retro 78- record style label on the CD! Run time: 17:56.  

05 October 2012

Klezmer Podcast 93- Roberto Rodriguez and Orquesta Sarabia

Klezmer Podcast 93- Roberto Rodriguez and Orquesta Sarabia. One of the things I like most about Roberto Rodriguez is that I never know what he will do next. It is always a surprise and a delight to discover his music, in whatever form it takes. And Orquesta Sarabia is no exception. An exotic blend of Jewish, Latin, and Arabic rhythms and melodies blend perfectly to take us far away and at the same time make us feel right at home. Roberto performed at Skirball Center in Los Angeles on 9 August, 2012. His passion for this music is undeniable. Run time: 19:15.

29 September 2012

Klezmer Podcast 92- Alon Nechushtan

Klezmer Podcast 92- Alon Nechushtan. This episode of the podcast features Jazz with a Jewish twist from Alon Nechushtan and his group Talat. The band is based in New York, and blends contemporary jazz with Jewish melodies. We hear the track Romanseiro (River of Tears) from the album The Growl. Run time: 16:32.

08 September 2012

Klezmer Podcast 91- Balkan Beat Box

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Klezmer Podcast 91- Balkan Beat Box. My interview guest on this episode is Tamir Muscat of Balkan Beat Box. The band was in Los Angeles recently, on tour for their new album Give. We hear the track No Man's Land. Run time: 15:30

Klezmer Podcast 90- Kabbalah

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Klezmer Podcast 90- Kabbalah. There has been an increase in the number of bands coming out of France, and Kabbalah, from Marseilles, is the latest to break out and visit North America. Their style is Yiddish DaDa, and has a vibe that you cannot resist. We hear the track Elephant Mentsch from the album Boxes, Bagels & Elephants. Run time: 27:17.

Video: Jenni Alpert - Who We Are (Official Music Video)

Video: Used To Be- Yael Meyer

Klezmer podcast Monthly Spotify Playlist September 2012

Track List:
Bridegroom Special- Various Artists
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen- The Swing Kittens
Yankele- Jewdyssee
Original Nign- Anakronic Electro Orkestra, feat. Mangu and Socalled
La Hora- Roberto Rodriguez
Freylekhs Tumbao- David Buchbinder
Ver Vet Blaybn- Yiddish Princess
Hava Nageela- Remastered 1989- Harry Belafonte
Der Gasn Nign- David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness
Who We Are- Jenni Alpert

29 May 2012

Klezmer Podcast 89- Golden State Klezmers

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Klezmer Podcast 89-Golden State Klezmers

Klezmer Podcast 89- Golden State Klezmers. My guests on this episode are Zinovy Goro, Richard Bernard, and Vic Koler of Golden State Klezmers. Zinovy Goro came to America from Ukraine, where he was not allowed to play Jewish music. His story is fascinating, and he has put together a great band. We hear GSK live, performing 7:40. After that, we hear a new track, Meshuge, from David Kleinman's Yiddish Dub Project, from France. Run time: 21:26.

New Video from Ramzailech at Krakow

Ramzailech -Shtetl- Live at Juwenalia Festival, Krakow. May 18th 2012. Video taken by Aleksandra (Ola) Rataj. Sound and video Edits by Ramzailech

17 May 2012

Klezmer Podcast 88- Mostly Kosher

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Klezmer Podcast 88- Mostly Kosher

Klezmer podcast 88- Mostly Kosher. The interview guest on this episode is Leeav Sofer, leader of the band Mostly Kosher, based in Long Beach, CA. He is very enthusiastic, and put out a lot of great energy in his show. We also hear the band in live performance. Run time: 23:10.

08 May 2012

22 April 2012

Kabbalah (France) will tour the USA from May 31 to June 17, 2012

Here is the latest news from Kabbalah about their U.S.A. tour:

Kabbalah is a musical melting pot: 21st century yiddish songwriting collides with rock, pop, hip hop and oriental music.

Their new album "Boxes, Bagels & Elephants" is a perfect reflection of that mixture: 5 musicians, 15 instruments, 3 languages creating an amazingly fresh sound with a yiddish flavour that seems to be more alive than ever.

Like Maryam Chemirani and her deep voice, numerous musicians took part in the adventure: Saleha Moudjari (voice), Malik Ziad (gumbri) & Hassan Boukerrou (berber chant and percussion), a string quartet from the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, and a dynamite brass section.

The record was produced by Ulrich "Yul" Edorh at Studio Da Town in Marseille. The collision between Kabbalah's musical "balagan" ("mess" in Hebrew) and Yul's radically urban culture gave birth to this somewhat dadaist "Boxes, Bagels & Elephants". It is truly an album of an incredible richness, full of irony, derision and happiness - sometimes with a darker side to it.

After 5 years on the road and 300 shows in France and abroad, Kabbalah's live performances are driven by the musician's virtuosity and complicity and a constant joyful interaction.

Impetuous, vivid, varying from nostalgic to high-spirited moods, Kabbalah is having a ball on stage and it shows...a pure moment of musical delight! 

Current Tour Dates:

05/31/2012 The Shrine World Music Venue
2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd New York, NY 10030

06/03/2012 Summer Arts & Music Festival
Benbow Lake State Recreation Area in Garberville - Redway, CA 95560

06/05/2012 The Mint
6010 W Pico Blvd - Los Angeles, CA 90035

06/08/2012 Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center
1317 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA 94702

06/09/2012 Higher Vision Festival - Dhyana Center
186 No. Main Street, 2nd floor, Sebastopol, CA 95472

06/10/2012 Moe's Alley - Santa Cruz

06/13/2012 XPO 929 - NYC (option)

06/14/2012 The Drom
85 Avenue A between 5th and 6th St. in the East Village section of Downtown Manhattan
New York, NY 10009

06/16/2012 The Mehanata Bulgarian Bar
113 Ludlow St New York City, New York 10002

06/17/2012 The City Winery Klezmer Brunch
155 Varick Street New York, New York 10013

Klezmer Podcast Monthly Spotify Playlist- April 2012

Klezmer Podcast Spotify Playlist- April 2012:

Listen to the full playlist here. Featuring:
The Klezmatics
Metropolitan Klezmer
8th Day
Golden State Klezmers
Klezmer Conservatory Band
Balkan Beat Box
Yale Strom, Elizabeth Schwartz

Review- The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground (DVD Video)

It is a rare thing to get an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at a popular band of any genre, let alone a World Music one. But The Klezmatics is certainly one worthy of the celebration and scrutiny that comes with documentary filmmaking. Erik Greenberg Anjou takes us on a journey of intimacy and insight as he looks at life both on the road and at home in The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground.

The film opens with the band on tour in Michigan, throwing us right into what a musician’s life on tour looks like. This is not the rock-star life of private jets and hotel suites. Yet the dedicated professionalism and enthusiasm the band shows could hardly be matched by the household names we know from the rock/pop music scene. These folks are the rock stars of this genre.

There is a learning process with Yiddish-based Klezmer music. It’s not just a matter of sitting down and writing songs. There is a vast existing repertoire that must be mastered  before anything else can happen. An early scene shows Lorin at the YIVO Institute For Jewish Research, looking through the sound archives and playing old Yiddish 78 records. Then we see him, along with Lisa, practicing with his Yiddish teachers at the Workmen’s Circle Library. 

We see Frank riding a bike through Manhattan, Trumpet case slung over his shoulder. He has a pragmatic view of the work a musician does: “Well, you have to work. That’s a given. So you might as well enjoy what you do.” So true. If you you don’t enjoy it, why bother?

Matt and Paul did not grow up Jewish, but found their own path to Klezmer and are able to bring much to it. Paul says they take the sounds of Klezmer music and add things to it from their own personal experiences. This makes it a living tradition.

The film features a segment with Joshua Nelson, probably the most unique performer in the genre. Known as the Prince of Kosher Gospel Music, Nelson grew up in an Orthodox Ethiopian synagogue, where the music is syncopated in a way very similar to American Gospel. Nelson had previously collaborated with The Klezmatics on the Brother Moses Smote The Water album, and we get to see him perform Ki Loy Nue and Elijah Rock

The film focuses on the Woody Guthrie project, Wonder Wheel, showing the creative process the band used to create the album. We hear from Nora Guthrie about her collaboration with the band to set music to her father’s lyrics. Lisa talks about finishing a song that has incomplete lyrics. Frank talks about the band’s group decision making, describing it as a band without a leader, an anarchist collective. The album gets nominated for a GRAMMY® award, and we follow the band to Los Angeles as they perform at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Wonder Wheel wins in the World Music category, and we see a marketing strategy session at the office of the band’s label, JMG. We see JMG President David McLees talk about the importance of the win and the positive effect he hopes it will have on album sales.  Unfortunately, JMG later went out of business, and the band members talk about the impact this had on them. 

We see The Klezmatics on tour in Poland, bringing back the music that had originated in that country. They visit with school children in Klodzko, visit the White Stork Synagogue, and perform in Wroclaw. We see Janusz Makuch, director of Yiddish Culture Festival Krakow talk about the importance of The Klezmatics to the music scene there. “You could say oh, everyone can do it, yeah? So show me the other band like Klezmatics.He goes on to say “They are one of the most authentic bands. They don’t imitate anything.” We also hear from Christoph Borkowsky- President, Piranha Records, who was instrumental (no pun intended) in producing The Klezmatics’ early recordings. His enthusiasm is still unwavering after all these years.

There are scenes of life at home, with family and kids. We learn about the struggle to balance home life with the life of touring with the band. There is also some honest talk about the struggle to earn a decent living as a musician. Some have second jobs. Frank is seen in a number of musical settings, keeping busy as a musician, composer, and arranger. As well known as The Klezmatics are, income from the band alone is not sufficient to support the families. Quite a contrast to the public perception of the earning potential of touring bands.

This struggle to keep the money coming in boils over when Frank is taken to task for wanting to perform less with the band as he searches for a teaching job. There is some conflict and a level of dysfunction among the group, but Paul says “You know what? I would call us incredibly dysfunctional, except for one thing. We still have a band. How do you argue with that?”

We see the creative process at work again as the band meets for a workshop for a new album in Lorin’s apartment. Frank starts with a very basic outline of a song and the band builds an arrangement around the theme together. This shows their collaborative style at work. It is an amazing thing to witness. Frank says “The fire to make good new music never leaves.” And certainly, the fire for us as an audience to hear good music never leaves, either.

The Klezmatics remain at the top of the Jewish music scene, keeping up their world touring schedule as they always have. The drive to keep bringing this music to the public is a testament to the spirit and dedication the band has to each other, the music profession, and their worldwide audience. Every place The Klezmatics walk is definitely Holy Ground.

Keith Wolzinger
©2012 Klezmer Podcast

Note: Hear David McLees on Klezmer Podcast 7

14 April 2012

03 March 2012

Prophets, Kings & Klezmer- Vereski Pass

This just in from Vereski Pass:

Prophets, Kings & Klezmer

Have you ever heard internationally-acclaimed Klezmer Band Vereski Pass?  
Here's your chance to hear internationally-acclaimed Klezmer Band Vereski Pass 
in concert with San Francisco Choral Artists.  
Together we present an innovative program of Jewish music
from the last 2000 years: psalms, folksongs, dances and lullabies
expressed through the fusion of chamber choir and Klezmer band.
You'll hear improvisation, three world premieres, settings of
traditional Jewish texts, lively dance music and plangent a cappella

Palo Alto: Sun, Mar 11, 4 PM
Congregation Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma St.
Click here to buy online at brownpapertickets.com

San Francisco: Sat, Mar 17, 8 PM 
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell St.
Click here to buy online at brownpapertickets.com

Oakland: Sun, Mar 18, 4 PM
Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit St.
Click here to buy online at brownpapertickets.com

The concerts showcase a variety of new and standard Klezmer music,
and a wealth of choral music by Jewish composers, including richly
scored six-part Shir Hama’alot by 17th century Italian composer
Salamone Rossi, beloved works by Darius Milhaud and Felix
Mendelssohn, a lush piece by 19th century composer David Nowakowsky called
Hashkivenu #2, Sylke Zimpel’s arrangement of the familiar
folk tune Tumbalalaika, and compelling psalm settings by contemporary
composers George Rochberg, Malcolm Singer, and Karen Tarlow.

For this program local composer Tina Harrington and
Composer-Not-in-Residence Matt Van Brink each created new works that
feature the two ensembles. Using energetic rhythms, Harrington's Vest
Oysforn draws on the tradition of Eastern European folk music. The
unique characters of two Romanian dances, the Doina and the Hora, are
featured Matt Van Brink's work They Disappear.

Tickets are on sale now!  
Advanced Purchase: $12 Student/$22 Senior/$25 General
At the Door: $15 Student/$28 Senior/$30 General

About Veretski Pass          

Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes
crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting
combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited
concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country Music with
origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the
East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Romanian
and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and
Bessarabia; Jewish melodies from Poland and Romania; Hutzul wedding
music from Carpathian-Ruthenia; and haunting Rebetic aires from
Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions. Veretski
Pass recently performed at the Concertgebouw concert hall in
Amsterdam, and their CDs have repeatedly been on the 10- best
recording lists of journalists. For biographies of individual members
of Veretski Pass, please visit: www.veretskipass.com

About the Choral Artists          

Nationally-recognized San Francisco Choral Artists has achieved
renown through innovative programs and stunning performances
presenting new works and masterworks of the last 600 years.
Specializing in the music of living composers, SFCA has premiered
over 175 works and collaborated with The Alexander String Quartet,
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Composers Inc, The Whole Noyse, and
others. Magen Solomon, Artistic Director since since 1995, avidly
cultivates engagements with living composers to bridge the gulf
between audience, composer, and performer. Active as a guest
conductor, adjudicator and clinician, she has worked with many noted

What People are Saying                    

"...awash in gorgeous harmonies... exquisite, rich, and sensuous,
...beautiful phrasing, and a perfect blend ...deeply beautiful and
Jonathan Russell, San Francisco Classical Voice; Professor, San
Francisco Conservatory of Music           

"...imaginatively-chosen, challenging, and very beautifully sung..."
Lisa Hirsch, San Francisco Classical Voice           

"A Bay Area treasure"
Kirke Mechem, Composer

Contact Us                        

22 February 2012

Klezmer Podcast 86- Benjy Fox-Rosen

Klezmer Podcast 86- Benjy Fox-Rosen. One of my favorite Klezmer friends is Bassist/Vocalist Benjy Fox-Rosen. He is in great demand on the Klezmer scene, and recently launched his first album as a Klezmer bandleader, Tick Tock. It is a great album, and features many top performers in the genre. We hear his track Hudl Mitn Strudl. Run time: 16:27
Benjy's website
Buy Tick Tock

Klezmer Podcast 86- Benjy Fox-Rosen

13 January 2012

Alon Nechushtan - "Reincarnation of a Niggun" for Big band

This just in from Alon Nechushtan:
Alon Nechushtan - "Reincarnation of a Niggun" for Big band
Live from the six street synagogue in downtown New York December 24th 2011.
performed by the Ayn Sof Orchestra.