Bands and Performing Groups: Klezmer, Jewish, and Related or Derivative musics

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Klezmer Bands, "O"

Octopus Musicus is an avant garde young german quartet, based in Hechingen, Baden-Wuertemberg, Germany, that impresses with a hot tempered synthesis of KLEZMER, TANGO, LATIN & JAZZ ! Contact: Reuteweg 33, 72417 Jungingen, Germany. Tel: 0049-0170-3820193. Web: (Andreas Dehner)

Hip young London klezmer band Oi-Va-Voi represent truly radical Jewish culture, filtering the sounds of the old world into the consciousness of the new with acoustic beats and attitude. Recently acclaimed performances include New York's Knitting Factory, International Jewish Music Festivals in London and Antwerp, Glastonbury Festival and the Worldbeat Weekender. Oi-Va-Voi's collaborative project with Morrocan band, MoMo, culminated with a tour of North Africa in 2001. The band's first album, Laughter Through Tears, was released in 2003. Web_page: (Nick Mander)

Olam (formerly known as Macedonian Mazl-Tov) is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. About 30 minutes of the Macedonian Mazeltov show at the Ashkenaz '97 festival is available in RealAudio 3.0 format. An album was released in 1998, "Foreign Dreams".

The Old World Folk Band is a klezmer band from Harrisburg, PA, which has performed since 1982. In addition to klezmer the OWFB plays Russian music and a smattering of Yiddish theater songs as well. Instrumentation consists of two female vocalists, clarinet/sax, clarinet, fiddle, flute, trumpet, trombone, piano, guitar, bass. OWFB has two CDs available, Crossing New Borders (1998) and Hot Tracks, as well as a live performance video/documentary, "Our Lives Are in Our Songs." Musical Director is Frederick K. Richmond and Business Manager is Dale Laninga. Web: (Dale Laninga)

Jack Falk writes: I'm a Yiddish singer and klezmer musician in Portland, Oregon. My former group, OOMPH Intercontinental Klezmer, performed a mix of klezmer and jazz. Our album, "Between Two Worlds," is available on the Global Village Music label. The band is now defunct, however.

A duo consisting of Mariejan van Oort (voice) and Jacques Verheijen (piano, tsimbl, accordeon, guitar), based in Amersfoort, Holland - Yiddish songs, in concert and on CD. So far, two releases, "Brikele" (1997) and "Benkshaft" (also among the KlezmerShack "Top10 for 2000" list) (2000). - Website:

The Orange County Klezmers was founded 1998 by Barry Friedland. We are a traditional Klezmer ensemble comprised of clarinet, violin, accordion and drums. In addition to Klezmer music, we also play Hassidic and Jewish music. We have performed at weddings, parties, special events, fairs and many of the temples in the Southern California area and are available for your next special event. For more information, visit us at (Barry Friedland)

David Orlowsky's Klezmorim is based in Tuebingen, Germany. David Orlowsky, the clarinetplayer of the band, founded the group when he was 16. After Giora Feidman invited Orlowsky to join him on stage to play some tunes with him, the South Germand Television (SWR) wanted to do a special about him, so he needed a band!" Contact: c/o Florian Dohrmann, Bei der Fruchtschranne 2, 72070 Tuebingen, Germany. Web: (Florian Dohrmann)

The Ortner-Roberts Duo, Pittsburgh, PA, present a unique fusion of traditional klezmer with the music of the creoles of the new world. Intensity, virtuosity and an instinctive sense of style characterize the artistic dialogue between the German clarinetist Susanne Ortner-Roberts and the American pianist Tom Roberts. They have developed a program that features an innovative fusion of the lively, traditional instrumental music of the Eastern European Jews and the acrobatic Harlem Stride Piano of the Early Jazz Era as well as the haunting early calypso of Lionel Belasco. The Duo Ortner/ Roberts has performed throughout the Eastern United States as well as Germany. Susanne Ortner-Roberts is widely acclaimed in Germany, Israel, and Switzerland both as a soloist and as a member of the German Klezmer Quartett "Sing Your Soul". She also offers Klezmer Workshops in Germany and in the United States. Besides her artistry in klezmer, Susanne performs Jazz and classical music both as a soloist and as a member of several ensembles. Tom Roberts is one of the leading exponents of early jazz piano in the world today. He has performed on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor. He has arranged music and performed in the series numerous times. Tom was the featured pianist at the 2001 International Stride Piano Summit in Zurich, Switzerland. Tom has recorded over 30 compact discs and has performed throughout the United States and Europe including: England, France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Switzerland. Tel. 412-321-5324. The duo released A trip to America in 2008. Web: (Susanne and Tom Roberts)

Ot Azoj Klezmerband was founded in 1994 in Amsterdam and has since performed with their own original interpretation of Klezmer Music. Their music proves that the band not only makes the people dance, but that they know how to move their audience with melancholy sounds. Bandmembers: Tjalling Smittenberg - Klarinet; Karin Kranenborg - Saxophone; Joris van Beek - Violin; Nicolaas Duin - Accordeon; Rene Gosse - Tapan/Darabuka; Adrine Pool - Tuba (Bass). Booking adress: Tjalling Smittenberg , Oude Rekemerstraat 43 4105 AJ Culemborg +31 (0) 64154 6799. Tel: +31 (0) 64154 6799. Web: (Rene Gosse)

The Ottawa Klezmer Band celebrated our 25th anniversary performance at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa)(May, 2008) with a rousing performance of Klezmer; Yiddish Theatre and Arts songs, Hebrew songs and medleys and swing. We perform regularly at national festivals, private functions, and at our own concerts. We have a steady following of fans, and new audiences. We do a lot of interfaith community outreach with our music, bringing together diverse audiences. (Photos: see (Floralove Katz)

Oy Division present the Renaissance of the Shtetel with good old-fashioned Eastern European Jewish music that will make your grandma dance. The Oy Division hysteria started in Tel-Aviv when some of Israel's top talents united to satisfy their lust for Eastern European Jewish tunes. Their shows consist of spontaneous dancing in the audience and enthusiastic cries of joy or OY !! The band members are all top musicians. Eyal Talmudi (clarinet and vocals) - reed player for the Balkan Beat Box. Noam Inbar (vocals, accordion and drum) - The leader of the acclaimed punk-folk band Ha'biluyim. Avichai Tuchman (double bass) of My Second Surprise. Gershon Leizersohn (violin and vocals) is a prominent musician in the religious music circles. Assaf Talmudi (accordion) is one of Israel's busiest record producers. Oy Division don't aspire to create modern Klezmer nor do they try to make it contemporary, they recreate and bring back to life the nearly extinct pre-world war II Jewish music the way it was originally performed. Oy Division play a mix of instrumentals, Wedding dancing music, folk songs and pathetic theatrical pieces all with the zeal and exuberance of punks! The authenticity of the music was obtained by careful listening to Klezmer recordings from the early 20th century. The band explain their attraction to the genre as a form of relating to their roots as well as a protest against modern Israeli culture. The Band played in festivals around the world including: Paris Quartiers d'Eté and Jazz & Klezemer festival, Ottawa Folk Festival, Ashkenaz and Kleazkanda festivals in Canada, Sziget Music Festival in Budapest, Krakow Jewish Festival In Poland, Bangkok Folk Festival and more. Web: (Jonny)

The acoustic-based Oy Klezmer! pursues a traditional, authentic approach in performing the Klezmer and Yiddish music of Eastern Europe. Their repertoire, alternately soulful and exhilarating, includes a rare Klezmer wedding collection from Moldova/Bessarabia. Oy Klezmer! also features a variety of music from Israel, from Klezmer bands in America during the early 1900s, and even a touch of Swing! Dr. Laurence Sherr leads off on clarinet, with Chip Epsten on violin, Susan Clearman on accordion, and L.A. Tuten on tuba. Other talented musicians often join the quartet to form a high-energy Klezmer dance band with drums, saxophone, and trumpet. The band also enjoys frequent collaborations with international dancer/dance-leaders. Oy Klezmer! is based in the Atlanta, Georgia area and issues the following warning: "Audiences of Oy Klezmer! may experience dancing in the aisles. Do not be alarmed, this is perfectly normal." Web: (Susan Clearman)

The trio of Oy Tate! specializes in Israeli music, klezmer, and Jewish folk music from around the world. We are in the Overland Park KS/ Kansas City MO area and would love to play your special simcha, festival, or program. Tel: 913.620.6869. (Kay Martin)

Oy Vey, Grassina, Italy, mixes klezmer, Yiddish, and tango. The choice of this fusion symbolizes the synthesis of a lengthy journey, a journey made by my grandparents while escaping persecution, pogrom and misery. The many legs of this musical excursion closely follow their itineraries—their departures from Romania, Poland, Russia, and Crimea—a stop in Turkey, where my maternal grandmother stayed for a brief period of time—and, finally, their arrival in Buenos Aires, where they met, joined backgrounds and created new lives. Web: (Gabriela Soltz)

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