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Flying Bulgars 20th Anniversary concert, Toronto, Canada, Feb 9, 2008

band in concertThe Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band
20th Anniversary Concert
at the Al Green Theatre (in the Miles Nadal JCC) 750 Spadina Ave

Saturday, February 9th, 8pm & Sunday, February 10th, 7:30pm
Tickets: $24 in advance, $30 at the door
Tickets available at Miles Nadal JCC reception, and by phone 416-924-6211 x 0

Twenty Years ago today (well almost), a band of young, raggedy-ass musicians took to the stage at
Toronto’s Clinton Tavern to perform at promoter Serge Sloimovits’ regular Sunday jazz gig. They were
there to play a style of music that had not been heard on a Toronto stage in years, even decades: klezmer,
the traditional music of Yiddish-speaking, Eastern European Jews, that had fallen out of favour and was on
its way to extinction. Sparked both by an early Klezmer Conservatory Band recording and an invitation to
perform at a friend’s wedding, the first Bulgars learned the music on the former to play at the latter, with no
intention of taking it past that first, functional gig. But the response of the wedding guests was so
overwhelming that they decided to learn some more music and take it into the clubs. The excitement
sparked at that first sold-out Sunday gig at Clinton’s surprised both the band and the audience, and the
room overflowed with a joyous feeling of discovery.

And so began the two-decade saga of music-making, touring, recording, study, and the round-and-round
dance between tradition and innovation. Along the way the Flying Bulgars released 5 recordings, garnered
3 JUNO nominations, released 2 music videos, toured extensively in Canada, the U.S. and Europe and
were instrumental in sparking the Canadian branch of the international Klezmer revival. They also have
earned a place in the top ranks of Klezmer bands internationally, recognized for their contributions to the
development of New Jewish Music. And one thing is definitely true about this ensemble: they have never
rested on their laurels, never been content to stick with the “formula” that brought them their initial success.
The Bulgar sound has changed over the years, but the common denominator has been to create music
that reflects the group’s experience as urban Canadian musicians at the turn of the 21st century (and

Now, facing the reality of turning 20, growing up and leaving home, the Bulgars have chosen to celebrate
by striking out in a completely new direction: creating a set of music (and a new CD) full of original songs
with English lyrics. Composed by vocalist Dave Wall and trumpeter David Buchbinder, the new songs
question the ruthless realpolitik that has become the norm in the Jewish world, in the Diaspora and Israel
alike. Full of darkness and hope, the tunes mix poetry, anger and longing in a heady mix of Klezmerinspired
melodies with a fully-orchestrated alt-pop sound.

Join the Flying Bulgars and some very special guests from their storied history for a riotous, two-night
celebration, as they celebrate two decades of great music and launch into their third. The Bulgars are:
David Buchbinder (trumpet/composer) Dave Wall (vocals/composer) Peter Lutek (clarinets) Tania Gill
(piano) Victor Bateman (bass) Max Senitt (drums).

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