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© Adrian Buckmaster

The Klezmatics

USA

Klezmer, Yiddish, World, Rock, Jazz

The most famous and smartest klezmer group in the universe

The Klezmatics are globally-renowned world music superstars - and the only klezmer band to win a Grammy award. The Klezmatics emerged out of the vibrant cultural scene of New York City’s East Village in 1986. The band, conducted by trumpet player Frank London and singer-accordionist Lorin Sklamberg, became worldwide renown by blending klezmer, steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, with contemporary themes such as human rights and anti-fundamentalism and eclectic musical influences, including Arab, African, Latin and Balkan rhythms, jazz and punk.

In the course of over three decades and eleven albums, they have stubbornly continued making music that is wild, mystical, provocative, reflective and ecstatically danceable. Even on their latest album, Apikorsim, the Klezmatics redefine the Yiddish music. Apikorsim (heretics) are people who challenge orthodox views. The Klezmatics are undoubtedly unorthodox. Their songs proclaim the rights of refugees and workers, sing for a better world and mourn for those who lose their lives. They alternate between praising God and doubting the nature of his existence.

Richie Barshay - percussion
Matt Darriau - kaval, clarinet, saxophone
Lisa Gutkin - violin, vocals
Frank London - trumpet, keyboards
Paul Morrissett - bass, tsimbl
Lorin Sklamberg - lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano