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New Klezmer Rebs CD Release

MEDIA RELEASE


New Klezmer Rebs CD Release

Now here’s something different – Klezmer music from New Zealand!

Wellington’s own Jewish / eastern european / ethnic / folk band the Klezmer Rebs are launching our first full length CD at 8.30pm on Sunday 23 April at Bar Bodega.

OK, so most of the songs are 100 or more years old. Some are from scratchy turn-of-the century recordings (Ot azoy), some are more familiar folk standards (Tum Balalaika, Ochi Chornye), there’s a socialist anthem (Ale Brider), a 40’s Andrew Sisters hit (Bay Mir Bistu Shein) and even a Jews Brothers band cover (She’s My Girl).

The CD captures the infectiously upbeat Klezmer Rebs in full flight, and features amazing solos by our wunderkind Swiss clarinet player Urs Signer.

This is the Rebs’ first full length CD, following a 2002 5-track release. The Klezmer Rebs are now recording another studio CD, including several originals. Klezmer Rebs Live @ the Wellington Folk Festival is only available (for $20) through the website www.klezmer.co.nz or directly from David Weinstein, info@klezmer.co.nz tel 04 233 0003 or 021 077 6069.

Below is further information about the band, about upcoming gigs, and about what Klezmer music is all about. So enjoy it already!

web site link www.klezmer.co.nz

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Klezmer Rebs - Band information

The Klezmer Rebs are an 8 piece Wellington band that plays klezmer music, an engaging style of world/folk music born out of the Yiddish/Jewish culture of eastern Europe in the 1800s and 1900s. Klezmer then went to America and in the early 1900s began to fuse with jazz and swing. There has been a worldwide revival of klezmer music since the 1980s.

The Klezmer Rebs were partly inspired by Hershel and the Jews Brothers about 5 years ago – the Jew Brothers played and Reb David and Reb Rose’s wedding. The founding Rebs formed as a breakaway from another group (hence the ‘Rebs’) and have been playing together since 2002.

Instrumentation includes guitar and mandolin, violin, accordion, keyboards, trumpet, trombone, recorder, bass and vocals. About half of the group members are Jewish, 3 are ex-Yanks, one Brit, and we have a wild young clarinet player from Switzerland whose playing captures the true klezmer spirit.

The Rebs have played weddings, community festivals, and bars/clubs in Wellington and Auckland. Highlights include Bar Bodega, the first ever NZ Klezmer Festival Wellington’s Blue Note with Dunedin klezmer band Chutzpah!, and as a headline band at the 2005 Wellington Folk Festival. Other recent gigs include sharing the bill at Rakino’s in Auckland with the Jews Brothers band, Wellington’s Chow Cabaret, Access Radio’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, and a Fringe Festival of the Arts gig supporting Australian Cantor Alex Stein.

Coming up on our calendar are gigs at:

Bar Bodega, Wellington (23 April)
Live with Jim Mora, Radio New Zealand 1 – 2pm (5 May)
Acoustic Routes, Wellington (28 May)
World Music Festival at Te Papa (21 May, 1-2pm)
The Bunker, Devonport, Auckland (21 July)
Auckland Jewish Festival, with the Jews Brothers, Mount
Albert War
Memorial Hall, St
Luke (22 July)
Rakinos, with the Jews Brothers, High Street, Auckland (23
July, 3 – 5pm)

So come see us already!
Check out the Klezmer Rebs website www.klezmer.co.nz

- - -

Who you calling a Klezmer?!

Klezmer (composed of the Hebrew words kley and zemer meaning ‘vessels of song’ or more freely translated ‘musical instrument’) is an engaging style of world/folk music born out of the Yiddish/Jewish culture of eastern Europe in the 1800s and 1900s. Klezmer musicians were the itinerant fringe dwellers in the Jewish shtetl or ghettos (made famous by the musical ‘Fiddler on the Roof’) in the Pale of Settlement (from Germany, Poland Hungary, Romania eastward through Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia) who provided music, a centrepiece in every Jewish wedding and other celebrations. The musicians (klezmorim - as they were called) were not highly regarded in the shtetl as they were often irreligious and secular, couldn’t read or write music, and hung out with, drank and played with Gypsies. They often sang for their supper (and schnapps!) and were frequently paid by the song.

Klezmer music strives to evoke the sound (and joys and sorrows!) of the human voice, and its melodies and stylings originated in Jewish liturgical music. There are a number of musical forms of Klezmer, ranging from free-flowing improvisational Doinas, to syncopated-beat Bulgars, and joyous celebratory Freylachs for dancing. Most klezmer songs are in the Yiddish language, and tell poignant and humorous slice-of-life stories of life in the ‘old country’ as well as the travails of adapting to life in America (as in Die Griene kuzine or the ‘Green Cousin’).

The Jews who emigrated to America in the 1880’s to early 1900s brought klezmer music with them. In the New World, klezmer was heavily influenced by early jazz and then swing, and continues to evolve. There has been a worldwide revival of klezmer music since the 1980s. Nowadays klezmer enjoys tremendous popularity with many festivals each year in the US, Canada, Europe, and now New Zealand.

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Klezmer Rebs band member profile

Rebs band members play for the love and joy of it. We are smart enough to know music is not about making money, and don’t intend on giving up our day jobs as teachers, computer experts, librarians, music teachers, public servants, and finance experts.

Reb Dave Moskovitz vocals, trumpet, recorder As a baby, Dave was sung to sleep listening to Rozhinkes mit Mandlen, and was rocking in no time. After a misspent youth playing cornet and french horn, Dave has seen the light and has opted for the purity of voice and recorder.

As the band's Yiddishist and honorary Yekke, Dave provides many challenges where the unpronounceable meets the unsingable. In real life Dave is a Company Director and Professional Geek.

Reb David Weinstein plays guitar, mandolin, percussion and some vocals. Reb David has played rock, pop and country rock guitar since his teens. From 1990 - 1994 he played in the band the Crucial Three in Melbourne with two other transplanted Wellington landsmen, where he got his first experience in studio recording.

David was inspired to play klezmer music when the Jews Brothers played at his and Rose's wedding in November 2000. Joining 'Sam's Orchestra' he soon defected to help form the rebel Klezmer Rebs in 2002. David loves klezmer for the spirit and passion of the music, and to keep alive the music of his Askenazi heritage. His goal as a Klezmer Reb is to play at a Jewish wedding and at Womad.

Reb Rose (Reizel) O’Hara is the keyboard player, singer, occasional soloist, frequent percussionist and financial manager of the band. Apart from music, she is a potter of some renown, teaches music and pottery, and does relieving teaching at primary level. She is also married to David Weinstein, so there's no escape from the Rebs for Rose!


Reb Jonathan Dunn is the trombone player, plays a mean recorder and has a shot at vocals from time to time. Jonathan is an economist, fluent in Russian, expat American and proud father of two. He travels the world for his work, collecting music and hats en route, visiting synagogues wherever he goes, and always finding the local musicians to jam with. From Tajikistan to Nigeria, nowhere is too "way out" for him to work and play.

Reb Urs Signer is our amazing new clarinet player extraordinaire. From Switzerland, young (22) Urs somehow has inherited the soul of a klezmer. Hear him wail!

Reb Sue Esterman plays accordion and does backing vocals. She loves klezmer music and is keen to play more of the styles - there are lots to choose from, and she has the klezmer library and music collection to prove it. She would also like to sing more with the band (hint, guys!).

Sue’s day job is amanuensis to 350 teenage boys (aka information centre manager at a boys' school)- and loves it. Sue lives with her doting husband, evil cat and docile and aromatic dog.

Reb Nikki Bristol, violin, is the newest Reb. She played for ‘Sam’s Orchestra’ and we are pleased to have this young British ex-pat talent in the band.

Rob Edgecomb is our exceptional bassman. He plays promiscuously around town with a range of young jazz muzos and has been known to improvise live music to rugby games and play theme songs to TV and movies in weird ways.

ENDS

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