All posts by davidw

Klezmer Rebs featured in RNZ National programme 4pm Saturday 6 July

Adventures in Musicland: Ingathering of the Klezmer Exiles

Klezmer music has its roots in the Ashkenazic Jewish communities of Eastern Europe, who brought its lively melodies to the United States where they melded with new influences like jazz and swing. The sound of Klezmer has since migrated around the world, and a tight-knit band of musicians continues to keep the sound alive in New Zealand. Sam Wicks investigates the enduring appeal of the original shtetl (ghetto) music.

Listen to Sam Wicks’ programme on the RNZ National programme Adventures in Musicland: Ingathering of the Klezmer Exiles 4:10 p.m. Saturday, 6 July 2013 and repeated at 8:30pm Friday, 12 July 2013

The programme features interviews with Rebs singer/trumpeteer Dave Moskovitz and mandolin/guitarist David Weinstein, along with Jews Bro Hershel Hersher.

To hear more of the Klezmer Rebs music click here and to order a Rebs CD click here

Gypsy Fever Compilation CD

I’m stoked to have received from Nigel of Monkey Records ( the just pressed copy of Gypsy Fever, a 12 track CD compilation of Gyspy-ish music from (mostly) kiwi bands.

Its great to have the Klezmer Rebs at track 11 with our remixed song Yishama-o-rama by DJ Cut Loose.

We are in the company of bands like the Mamaku Project, Barons of Tang, Niko Ne Zna  the Jews Brothers and Club Manouche to mention a few.  Suffice it to say there are lots of boisterous gypsy rhythms and funky, infectious music.

The track Yishama-o-rama, which appears as a bonus track on our CD Anarchia Total, is a remix by DJ Cut Loose of our recording of Od Yishama/L’khayim Yidelkh from our CD Just add shmaltz.

Cut Loose was given the Rebs’ pre-mastered tracks from the song and has transformed it into something very different.  Yishama-o-rama she calls it. You can listen to it or download it from:

You got that? But wait there’s more! It was also selected for an international on line Jewish zine called Tablet for their Another Time, Another Way (aka Anander Mol Anander Veig) Hanukkah album, with remixed versions of holiday and Jewish classics.

Anyway you can download the Gypsy Fever CD at


The dancing Mayor and Israeli Ambassador

At Hanukah in the Square on 12/12/12 there was 1 minute of Klezmer Rebs political statement; there were 149 minutes of celebration of Hanukah by Jews and non-Jews with food, candle lighting, and dancing. Yes even Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and the Israeli Ambassador were dancing to the Klezmer Rebs!

A statement to the Israeli Ambassador from the Klezmer Rebs

Tonight, on the 5th night of Hanukah, 12/12/12, the Klezmer Rebs played a gig at a community celebration in Wellington’s Civic square. It was attended by the Mayor, a big crowd of Jews and non-Jews, and sponsored/organised by the Israeli Embassy.

In the past few weeks the band members had discussed our feelings about playing for a Jewish Hanukah festival gig sponsored by the Israeli Embassy. We decided yes we wanted to perform and that we also wanted to take the opportunity to express our views to the Israeli Ambassador. We gave a good deal of thought about what we wanted to say.

Just before we sang a medley of Israeli/Hebrew songs about peace, Dave Moskovitz, on behalf of the band, said the following:

“Our next number is a medley of peace songs that will be familiar to many, composed of biblical verses and prayers yearning for, and helping us actualise peace.

“Lo yisa goy el goy kherev, lo yilmdu od milkhama”: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and neither shall they learn war any more;

“V’khitatu kharvotam l’itim, v’khanitotehem l’mazmerot”: They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;

“Hevenu shalom aleikhem”: we brought peace to you; and

“Oseh shalom bimromav”: May the maker of peace in high places bring peace to Israel and all the world”.
“So let’s get up and dance for peace!

“Mr Ambassador, I’m glad you implored people earlier today to pray for peace, but we need more than prayer – we need action. Praying, singing and dancing for peace aren’t enough; bringing about peace, and overcoming decades of counterproductive attitudes and actions is very hard work and requires individual and collective leadership and commitment from everyone including the Israeli government. The time has come to tell your Government to show that leadership, put down your weapons, and seriously negotiate in good faith to bring about peace. Bombing civilians and building settlements on land whose ownership is in question is not good faith. Fulfil the words of Isaiah, and show that Israel is called into righteousness as a light unto the nations. The time is now.”

The Klezmer Rebs


The Klezmer Rebs go to church for lunch – free concert at Old St Paul’s Tuesday 14/8 at 12.15pm

UPDATE – Our outstanding clarinet player Urs Signer will make the trip down from Parihaka to join the Rebs at our free lunchtime concert.

So bring along your bagel and chicken soup lunch to Old St Paul’s church, 34 Mulgrave St, Thorndon, and enjoy a FREE concert by Wellington’s Klezmer Rebs on Tuesday 14th August, from 12.15 to 1pm.

The Rebs will entertain you with a set of our unique klezmer folk, American jazz and swing music.

Enjoy the lively noodlings of clarinet, mandolin, trombone in the intimate setting of Old St Paul’s. See you there!

Thanks to the Friends of Old St Paul’s & the WCC Creative Communities Local Funding Scheme.

Where: Old St Paul’s 34 Mulgrave St, Thorndon 

When:  Tuesday 14 August at 12.15pm

Cost:  Free

Benefit Concert – Clothes for children of Adarsh Saraswati (India) School


Benefit Concert – Clothes for children of Adarsh Saraswati (India) School

Gig features: The Wagtails, The Klezmer Rebs, Merlyn Webster, Bella Cajon

Where: Newtown Community Centre

When: Saturday, June 9th 8pm  Dinner/food from 7pm.

Cost: $10 at the door, Refreshments & Raffle available

The concert is in aid of the Adarsh Saraswati School, Sonipat, Haryana State, India for children from the slums and impoverished rural districts, i.e. the poorest of the poor.

Our previous concert raised money for warm winter clothes for the younger children. This time we are raising money for clothes for the older children.