“While the band have done a sterling job promoting interest in Klezmer and Yiddish music, you can’t overlook what they’re adored for — catchy, pulse-quickening party tunes and heart-warming melodies — just try to watch them and not a) weep or b) stop yourself dancing.” - The Jewish Chronicle
Grammy Award-winning Jewish roots band The Klezmatics embarks on a US tour with concerts in New York, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and California this December 2023. With their unique blend of klezmer music mixed with shtetl melodies, raucous Latin stomps, wild jazz riffs, and provocative Arabic, African, American, and Balkan rhythms, the NYC-based band brings their acclaimed program Happy Joyous Hanukkah - which sets lyrics by the late Woody Guthrie to their delightful original compositions - to audiences across the US this holiday season.
Since their emergence almost 40 years ago, The Klezmatics have performed in more than 20 countries and released 13 albums, including Woody Guthrie’s Happy Joyous Hanukkah (Klezmatics Disc), cementing their reputation as one of the most successful proponents of klezmer music in the world and have inspired a revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.
Happy Joyous Hanukkah features Klezmatics members Lorin Sklamberg (lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano), Frank London (trumpet, keyboards, vocals) and Paul Morrissett (bass, tsimbl, vocals) Matt Darriau (kaval, clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals) and Richie Barshay (drums, vocals).
Since their emergence more than 30 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.
They have performed in more than 20 countries and released 11 albums to date—most recently the album Apikorsim (Heretics), produced by Danny Blume (who helped the band win a Grammy in 2006) and the first of the band’s albums to feature only the 6 members. On their Grammy-winning 2006 album Wonder Wheel, the Klezmatics set a dozen previously unsung Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, widening their stylistic base by largely diverging from klezmer. They have also recently served as the subject of a feature-length documentary film, The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground.
During their third-of-a-century existence the Klezmatics have collaborated with such brilliant artists as violinist Itzhak Perlman, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Israeli vocal icon Chava Alberstein, plus many other prominent artists working within multiple genres.
The Klezmatics’ music is rooted in but is not a strictly traditional variety of the klezmer genre. Rather it is a comfortable hybrid that appeals equally to those with no previous exposure to the music and those already familiar with it.