A hot new sound coming out of clubs and bars is the music your Jewish grandmother used to listen to. But Bubby might not think “Havah Nagila” with a heavy metal beat is too kosher. Klezmer is having a kind of second renaissance, with young rock, jazz and classical musicians stretching its limits. The traditional Klezmer sound was born in Jewish shtetls of 19th century Central and Eastern Europe. It was mainly played at weddings: a band of wandering musicians known as Klezmorim adapted folk and dance tunes for clarinet, violin, accordion, and mandolin. After its early heyday in the Tin Pan era of the 1920s, Klezmer began to fade as its Old World dynasties died out and Yiddish culture in America waned….
But by the 1970s groups like the Klezmatics, the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, and the Chutzpah Orchestra began reviving their Jewish musical roots, with a spirit of innovation more than nostalgia. The new sound of Klezmer is this hour on the Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Klezperanto: Ilene Stahl (leader, clarinetist), Evan Harlan (accordion, piano, music director), Mark Hamilton (trombone), Brandon Seabrook (banjo, mandolin, guitar), Mike Bullock (bass) and Grant Smith (drums, percussion)