The Klezmer Festival Band play an evening of bewitching, traditional music

The Klezmer Festival Band

Gregory Schechter

First published in Music by

Gregory Schechter, master of the klezmer clarinet, leads the Klezmer Festival Band in an evening of bewitching music at artsdepot this week.

Klezmer is a musical tradition that has its roots in Eastern Europe, where it was played at weddings and other celebrations of the Ashkenazic Jews.

Gregory founded the Klezmer Festival Band in 1991 with the help of the Jewish Music Institute. The virtuoso ensemble he formed went on to sell out its debut concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre.

Less than six months after their very first performance, the band was asked to feature in a BBC documentary on klezmer music. Since then, they have featured on BBC Radio 4’s Kaleidoscope, released five albums and have sold out several more gigs at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Audiences can expect an evening of culturally diverse sample of klezmer music from throughout Europe, with Gregory’s contemporary arrangements of traditional Russian and Eastern European songs.

Eschewing a rigid programme, these klezmorian prefer to be guided by personal contact with each audience they play to as the evening unfolds.

Related links

The Klezmer Festival Band is playing at artsdepot, Nether Street, North Finchley on Thursday, February 23 at 7.30pm. Details: 020 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk

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