The Klezmatics celebrate their 30th anniversary! 30 years of transforming the Yiddish and klezmer world. 30 years of Yiddish music as a voice for social justice, change, the underdogs and oppressed. 30 years of “heretical” behavior, of questioning, of going against accepted beliefs and dissenting from established dogma.
The Klezmatics are world-renowned and Grammy-winning superstars of the klezmer world. They erupted out of New York City’s East Village in 1986 and revitalized klezmer for the new century with music that is steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, while incorporating contemporary themes such as human rights and anti-fundamentalism with eclectic musical influences including Arab, African, Latin and Balkan rhythms, jazz and punk. They have released nine albums of wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective, and ecstatically danceable music, forever redefining and transcending traditional labels.
Their work has extended to numerous theater, film, dance and television projects, including Pulitzer Prize Winning playwright Tony Kushner’s “A Dybbuk” and “It’s An Undoing World.” and Pilobolus Dance Theatre’s “Davenen.”
The Klezmatics have reached millions through performances and features on CBS’s “Late Night with David Letterman,” PBS’ “Great Performances,” BBC’s “Rhythms of the World,” BBC’s “John Peel Show,” various NPR programs (“A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor, “New Sounds Live” and “Soundcheck”), CBS’s “Nightwatch,” FOX’s “After Breakfast,” “MTV News,” and “Sex and the City.” Additionally, their song “NY Psycho Freyelkhs” is a theme song for Air America Radio’s “The Al Franken Show.”
They have performed in over twenty countries at some of the most storied venues and renowned festivals worldwide, including Central Park Summerstage, Carnegie Hall, Pirineos Sur (Spain), Colours of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Pohoda Festival (Slovakia), Jazzsomer Graz (Austria), and the Heimatklänge Festival (Germany).
The Klezmatics have garnered numerous awards and accolades throughout their career, including a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album (for “Wonder Wheel: Lyrics by Woody Guthrie.”), a New York Jewish Music Award (Best Klezmer Band, 2006), a GLAMA (Gay and Lesbian American Music Award) and the German Critics Award (twice), and have topped the Billboard world music charts on numerous occasions.
The Klezmatics new album, Apikorsim/Heretics, on the World Village label, is the sound of the band’s six musicians playing their own brand of klezmer—the 19th-century Eastern European Yiddish party music that has undergone a revival in recent decades, in large part because of the band’s tireless efforts. It’s the true sound of the band that changed the course of Jewish music history, the sound of the only Jewish music group to win a Grammy award, a band that has consistently electrified audiences around the world.
The overriding goal going into the first new release of the Klezmatics’ fourth decade was simple, says co-founder Frank London: “to make a great recording of Yiddish and klezmer music, as only the Klezmatics can.”
The provocative and gleefully line-blurring title track, “Apikorsim (Heretics),” is the album’s centerpiece. “It’s seriously irreverent,” says original group member, Lorin Sklamberg. “It says, if you’re going to do something that some people might find unkosher, enjoy it as much as possible. It’s definitely our kind of song.”
“We called the new album Apikorsim/Heretics for many reasons: political, philosophical and philological,” says London. “Apikorsim—heretics, rebels, questioners—are people who do not conform to established attitudes and challenge orthodox opinions. And the Klezmatics are decidedly unorthodox.” READ MORE HERE…