Klezmer Rebs

We are the Klezmer Rebs - Wellington New Zealand's Ethnic and European Band

Rebs December gigs – Lower Hutt, Palmy & Whanganui

The ‘new look’ Klezmer Rebs are at it again. Please diary your calendars for:

Thursday 1/12 Dowse Late Lounge, Lower Hutt – FREE! Oy vey!

Saturday 3/12 Palmerston North – Hokowhitu Bowling Club, Albert Street $20 – Bookings through Bent Horseshoe Presents: Tel 06 329 8808 or email steve@benthorseshoe.co.nz

Sunday 4/12 Whanganui Jazz Club, RSA, 170 St Hill Street Tickets  $10 club members and $15 general admission

Note that we also have gigs coming up in late January with the fabulous women of the London Klezmer Quartet in Paekakariki on 27 January, at Wellington’s Meow on 28 January and a special Klezmer workshop on Sunday 28 January (details to be advised).

Klezmer Rebs play Auckland Saturday 27 August!

Shalom Klezmer Rebs fans and supporter

Klezmer Rebs play live in Auckland

For the first time in many years the Klezmer Rebs band will be playing a live concert in Auckland on 27 August.

 As part of the 2016 Limmud NZ conference at the Dionesian School (Clyde Avenue, Epsom, Auckland), there will be a special Saturday night concert Limmud after Dark: A night of Music, Schmooze and Comedy. Starting at 7.45pm it will feature two music sets from the Klezmer Rebs, as well as support acts singer/musician Shannyn Gelbart and comedian Michael Shafar.

Limmud is making available a special Saturday evening only ticket (to the concert) for $25 (such a deal!). You can purchase it from this link:   Klezmer Rebs 27 August Auckland Limmud concert ticket purchase link

We are also offering workshops in Klezmer and Yiddish culture

Session 1:  Saturday 27 August 1.30 – 2.30pm Yiddish Culture in Europe: The Origins and Development of Klezmer Music

This workshop looks at the background of Klezmer: Ashkenazi Jewish history from the Middle Ages to the early 19th century, including the movement of Jews from central Europe. The focus is on the development origins of the Yiddish language, the role of Yiddish in Jewish life in Eastern Europe. We cover shtetl life, including the place of ‘klezmorim’ in the community.


Session 2: Sunday 28 August 4-5pm: Klezmer Music: Origins, Musical forms, Characteristics and Evolution

This workshop, including live demonstration and participation from the group, explores what klezmer music is and where klezmer music comes from. We listen to examples of the origins of klezmer music in liturgical singing. We study and hear examples of key klezmer musical forms such as freilichs, bulgars, waltzes. We touch on time signatures, melodic scales, and ornamentation.

We also examine how klezmer came to America and changed. We touch on Jewish–Yiddish life at the turn of the century, Yiddish theatre and film, and early Klezmer legends in America. We examine what happened when Klezmer encountered jazz. Finally we fast forward to the Klezmer revival, listening to examples from the early revival period of the 1970’s through to Klezmer fusion and Klezmer in New Zealand.

check the Limmud site for registration details.

Rebs in Auckland – Woo Hoo!


Listen before you buy – 2 songs from the new Rebs CD – Moonlight & Josh’s Song

Before you decide to buy (of course you will!) the new Klezmer Rebs CD Always a Pleasure, have a listen to two featured tracks:

Moonlight (Ladino song) is a stunning 7/8 time signature Ladino/English song – Ladino being the Spanish-sounding language of Sephardi Jews who come from the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and Arabic countries.  Reb Rose sings it beautifully and it features an outstanding solo by our activist/anarchist clarinet player Urs Signer.

Also here’s a snippet from the opening track. Josh’s Song for the Rebs is an original written for us by our friend Wellington jazz musician Josh Simon and played with a bit of swing. It forms the first part of a medley, but you’ll have to get the CD to hear it all.

To order and buy Always a Pleasure, or any of our other Klezmer Rebs CDs, go to CD Order

You can also purchase tracks from our Bandcamp site




Rebs working on new CD – finally!

band shot1


Its a long time since the Klezmer Rebs recorded and released our most recent CD Anarchia Total (2010/11). But finally, in September 2015 the Rebs spent  2 days in Matt Hudson’s home studio in Featherston and put down the basic tracks for 10 songs. If they all make it to the final cut, we will have recordings of new originals – Rhubarb (by Heather Elder) and Josh’s Song (by Josh Simon); some new songs in our recent repetoire Ladino Song (Moonlight), La Rose Enfloresce, Di Goldene Pave and Flatbush Waltz, and some old faves/classics: Minor Swing, Der Heyser Bulgar, Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen, Odessa Bulgar.  Still lots more to do but a fun project for the summer!

conferring over rhubarbdavid1

Last Klezmer Rebs gig at Bent Horseshoe

The Klezmer Rebs ethnic music band return for the fourth (and sadly, the last as Bent Horseshoe will be closing soon) time to the wonderful Tokomaru venue the Bent Horseshoe on Saturday 30 May.

Urs Signer our wild Swiss/Kiwi clarinet player will join us when we  play a range of slice-of-life Yiddish klezmer story songs about the ‘old country’. You will also enjoy partisan songs from Italy, Russian folk tunes, French chansons, Latin cowboy love songs, Roma / gypsy jams, and English language jazz and 1940s swing vocal songs. Their own quirky, politically charged multi-lingual originals are some of the most popular crowd tunes.

The Klezmer Rebs have been shaking ‘tuchases’ in Wellington and places north since 2002, recently wowing crowds in Whanganui and Palmerston North’s Culture Festivals.

Tickets are $20 for two sets of music and enjoy the wonderful intimate ambiance of the ‘Shoe café before Steve gets put out to pasture with the local bovines.

book your tickets at 06-329 8808

The Jews Brothers Band rides again with one handed saxophonist Neill Duncan

Jews Brothers Band Live In Concert with the Klezmer Rebs on 7 May at Newtown Community Centre

Jews Brothers promo foto small size

After a 7 year absence from Wellington the fabulous and wacky Jews Brothers Band will be finally performing in Wellington again, with Yiddish cousins the Klezmer Rebs in support.

The Jews Brothers will close their 20th anniversary national tour on Thursday 7 May at Newtown Community and Cultural Centre playing a batch of new songs from their just-recorded CD Up in the Borscht Belt.

The Jews Brothers Band www.jewsbrothers.com

The Jews Brothers Band (JBB) are an all-star band featuring founder and leader, Hershal Hersher on accordion, ace picker Nigel Gavin on mandolin and guitar, Peter Scott on double bass, one-armed saxophonist and percussionist Neill Duncan (ex Six Volts and the Spines) and chanteuse extraordinaire Linn Lorkin on lead vocals and melodica (Linn’s song Family at the Beach was voted Best Kiwi Summer Song in a recent New Zealand Radio Listeners’ Poll).

JBB created a sensation when it first hit the local scene in early 1995.  What was this sound? And what was this ‘klezmer’ they were playing? For Brooklyn raised founder and bandleader Hershal, this music was a return to his roots, to the music brought to New York by the Eastern European Jews.

JBB’s wild, toe-tapping, hand-clapping repertoire soon had audiences circle-dancing or bopping to the grooves of the ‘best swing band in the land’. Expect also gypsy ‘hot-club’, schmaltzy waltzes and daring vocal harmonies on this 20th anniversary tour of a very special band.

For more on Neill’s courageous story of coming back from losing an arm to cancer, see below. Neill is keen to be back on home turf to show his old Wellington mates his chops on his custom made one-handed sax.

Concert details

Who      Jews Brothers Band with Klezmer Rebs

When    7.30pm Thursday 7 May

Where   Newtown Community and Cultural Centre, corner Colombo & Rintoul St. Newtown

Tickets  $30 / $20 unwaged Door sales if seats available.

BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL Just 40 seats left. For bookings email david.weinstein@klezmer.co.nz This concert is sure to sell out in the intimate Newtown Community Centre Theatre so book early to avoid disappointment.

Timing  Doors open 6.45pm to pay for bookings and door sales; 7.30pm Klezmer Rebs; 8.00 pm Jews Brothers Band

River City Press item on Rebs gigs in Whanganui

River City Press 16 October Rebs article

Klezmer Rebs on RNZ Concert Sound Lounge 14 October 7pm

Hi Klezmer Rebs supporters

Catch RNZ’s DJ Ryan who will be playing a couple of tracks from the Rebs’ CD Anarchia Total on Sound Lounge on RNZ Concert Tuesday night 14 October from around 7pm.

If you’re interested, you can listen:

  1. on 92.5 FM (in Wellington) 97.3FM (Gisborne) or 91.6 (New Plymouth), OR check your local frequency for Concert FM
  2. online by going to RNZ’s home page http://www.radionz.co.nz/concert and clicking on the Listen Live link at the top of the screen.
  3. on Freeview Channel 51


Klezmer Rebs coming to Wanganui 17 & 18 October

Rebs at Palmy Urs out front cropped


The Klezmer Rebs ethnic music band are coming to Wanganui to perform at the

  •  Festival of Cultures, Majestic Square on 18 October (12.50 and 2.30pm)



and also at the

  • Savage Club Rooms, 65 Drews Ave on 17 October at 8pm (doors open 7pm, $10)

Come along in the Square on Saturday 18/10 during the Cultures Festival and/or catch a full concert for just $10 at Savage Club Rooms on Friday 17/10. Guaranteed to get your tuchases shaking.

Great Green Paekakariki Gig – Friday 15 August

Come to a fundraiser for the Greens and a hoot of a party featuring Matiu Te Huki, Feva, Klezmer Rebs, Chilli Jam and poet Ali JacsGreens paekakariki gig poster revised