Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 7:30PM at Emelin Theatre
Since their emergence more than 30 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music Their aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings has inspired future generations and helped 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.
“Klezmer,” says London, “is the unique sound of East European Jewishness. It has the power to evoke a feeling of other-worldliness, of being there and then, of nostalgia for a time and place that we never knew.” 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. Although tradition is at the core of what they do, since the beginning the Klezmatics have adapted to the artistic sensibilities of a contemporary world. “Klezmer has everything you want, ethnically, and yet it’s so intertwined with American culture,” says Morrissett. “We want to make sure that we are part of a living tradition, and living traditions change; they don’t stay in a pickled form.”
The Klezmatics have performed in more than 20 countries and released 11 albums to date—including their Grammy-winning 2006 album Wonder Wheel. 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.