Klezmer Group

Klezmer Group Class - TBA

Open to any musical instrument and voice, the group is studying traditional Dance music Ashkenazi Jews

Klezmer Group Class - 2014

Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim in ensembles known as kapelye, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. In the United States the genre evolved considerably as Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, who arrived between 1880 and 1924, came into contact with American jazz. During the initial years after the klezmer revival of the 1970s, the American sub-variety was what most people knew as klezmer, although in the 21st century musicians began paying more attention to the "original" pre-jazz traditions as revivalists including Josh Horowitz, Yale Strom and Bob Cohen have spent years doing field research in Eastern/Central Europe. Additionally, later immigrants from the Soviet Union, such as German Goldenshtayn, took their surviving repertoires to the United States and Israel in the 1980s.

Stylistic origins:
Developed in Southeastern Europe, influenced mostly by Romanian music (predominantly from Moldavia, particularly Bessarabia and the Romanian part of Bucovina), Greek, Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian Romani, and Turkish music influences are also present

Cultural origins:
Jewish celebrations, especially weddings, in Eastern Europe

Typical instruments:
Violin, mandolin, cymbalom (hammer dulcimer), clarinet, accordion, trombone, trumpet, piano, double bass, cello, flute

About the Group Class:

Because we play from sheet music out of books or downloaded off the internet, students should be able to sight-read music, and know the basics of music theory including counting various meters, playing chords and harmonizing.  If you would like to learn more about these subjects, register for private lessons.

The class meets TBA The group decides what Klezmer music it wants to learn, votes on the new material, and works on approximately 10-15 new tunes/melodies per semester.  A semester is approximately 3 months. 

Once the group is comfortable with the "new" set, arrangements are made to put on a free concert at any local venue that allows free use.  Venues included are The Holyoke Rehab Center (on Rte 141), The Hobbit House (inside Mill 180 Park in Easthampton), The Loomis Village (South Hadley), The Arbors (Amherst), The Soldier's Home (Holyoke), The South Hadley Library and the Granby Library.  

If you would like to join the Klezmer Group, please contact us.  The cost is $20 per class for current private students in good standing.