Grammy-Winning Klezmer Superstars
Since their emergence more than 25 years ago, the Klezmatics have raised the bar for Eastern European Jewish music, made aesthetically, politically and musically interesting recordings, inspired future generations, created a large body of work that is enduring, and helped to change the face of contemporary Yiddish culture. Often called a “Jewish roots band,” the Klezmatics have led a popular revival of this ages-old, nearly forgotten art form.
They have performed in more than 20 countries and released 10 albums to date—most recently the two-CD Live at Town Hall, recorded in their home base of New York and released in celebration of the band’s silver anniversary. On their Grammy-winning 2006 album Wonder Wheel, the Klezmatics set a dozen previously unsung Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, widening their stylistic base by largely diverging from klezmer. They have also recently served as the subject of a feature-length documentary film, The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground.
During their quarter-century existence the Klezmatics have collaborated with such brilliant artists as violinist Itzhak Perlman, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner and Israeli vocal icon Chava Alberstein, plus many other prominent artists working within multiple genres.
Today, with three original members—Lorin Sklamberg (lead vocals, accordion, guitar, piano), Frank London (trumpet, keyboards, vocals) and Paul Morrissett (bass, tsimbl, vocals)—still on board, alongside longtime members Matt Darriau (kaval, clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals), the Klezmatics are without a doubt the most successful proponents of klezmer music in the world.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“The Klezmatics aren’t just the best band in the klezmer vanguard; on a good night, they can rank among the greatest bands on the planet.” -Time Out New York
“… the Klezmatics prove themselves to be sensitive interpreters of any artistic language they choose, shapeshifting their sound around vocalist Lorin Sklamberg’s lithe and heartfelt lead.” -Billboard