concert review: Shtreiml on tour in Europe
The Canadian group Shtreiml is on tour now in Europe and played a concert in Vienna last week. The band features Jason Rosenblatt on diatonic harmonica (blues-harp), Josh Dolgin (a.k.a. DJ So-called) on accordion and piano, Thierry Arsenault on drums and Ariel Harold on bass. Guest-musician were Rachel Lemisch from Philadelphia on trombone and Hans Breuer, an austrian yiddish singer.
It is hard not to like this music. The harmonica is no traditional instrument in Klezmer, but its sound fits wonderful to the sound of the other instruments. I think that almost every instrument can be used to play klezmer music, if you know what's typical for the style. These guys definetly know the style, they know how to play there instrument and they do it very well.
Their repertoire is good mixture of original compositions, familiar tunes from Beckerman, Mickey Katz and Kostakowsky and also some more rare tunes they learned at KlezKanada. Singer Hans Breuer performed mainly his own yiddish songs and also did a yiddish rap together with Josh Dolgin, who is not only known for his Klezmer-goes-Hip Hop performances (with David Krakauer or Frank London) but who is also a fine accordion and piano player. Rachel Lemisch's trombone fitted perfectly not only when she played accompaniment in the more faster tunes, but also when she played second voice in the slower nigunim. Maybe it would be a good idea if Shtreiml becomes a quintet instead of a quartet.
All the list-members going to KlezKanada should look forward to hear these guys and all the other ones: take the chance if you can hear them when they play a concert near you. There is also a CD (Harmonica Galitzianer), but it seems only to be available if you email them at their website (www.shtreiml.com). The band continues their tour and plays at theCrakow festival today I think and after that they play in Bulgaria. They are back in Canada at the end of July.