Klezmer meets Houdini and Mata Hari at the Ruby Lounge

Klezmerising Houdini

The Rebs will play a concert at the very classy Ruby Lounge, Bond Street Wellington, on 21 November from 4 – 7 pm.

This will be a civilized Sunday afternoon/evening at this lovely and intimate venue. Come along for a drink (or 4), have a nice Ruby Lounge dinner, and hear a full concert’s worth of Klezmer Rebs music.

In a unique Wellington arts event, the Klezmer Rebs will perform an intimate concert at the Ruby Lounge, featuring a special set with Raumati author Lynn Jenner reading poetry accompanied by klezmer music.

After the Klezmer Rebs’ first set (around 5.15) you will experience a special artistic partnership featuring the poetry of Lynn Jenner, from her award-winning book Dear Sweet Harry. Lynn’s poems introduce you to Harry Houdini, the world’s greatest ever escapologist, and Mata Hari, a woman who did not so much dance as slowly and gracefully take off her clothes. The musical accompaniment is pushy, poignant, sweet and sad and hopeful, just like Houdini and Mata Hari, and it travels around the world just as they did.

This is the kind of show the Rebs love to play, as it allows us to stretch out and play our whole range of repertoire, including the soft and sad tunes as well as the tuchass-shaking rebellious ones.  We will play a quadroodle (?) of short Hannukah songs, and play live for the first time two new songs we have been working on – one is a yiddish tango and the other a klezmer country swing song.

We’re thirlled that Urs Signer will be with us on stage with his soaring clarinet solos, and even helicon player Amanda from Gisborne (and her hubby soundman Alexis) will be with us to make the Rebs complete and give us a great bottom end!

Here is how Capital Times (thanks Melody) puts it:  http://www.capitaltimes.co.nz/article/3575/KlezmerisingHoudini.html

L’Chayim: a celebration of Jewish Life in Story and Song

Storyteller Mona Williams and the Klezmer Rebs helped raise over $1200 for Temple Sinai at Sunday’s L’Chayim fundraiser.

Mona told an Issac Bashevis Singer story about a ‘ fools paradise’ and a personal story about the man who created the stained glass windows at the synagogue. The Rebs threw a few of our story-songs into the mix.

Thanks to all who attended for your support.

Klezmer promiscuity

Last nite after a rocking good Rebs set (if I must say so myself), which included Josh (sax), Hayden (clarinet) and Dean (trombone) jamming with us on Od Yishama and Grine Kuzine, Oy Azoy did their own set and Urs stepped up and wailed away with a flurry of note noodles (note kugels?) that had us all amazed.  Great to hear Oy Azoy myspace.com/oyazoy with a new angle on klezmer – kind of a pacific reggae-ska thing with some klezmer overtones – shall we call it Jamaican kugel? Or as Dr McCoy would say to Captain Kirk: “It’s klezmer Jim, but not as we know it.” 

I loved the arrangements of the sax/clarinet/trombone trio.

Yishama-o-rama : DJ Cut Loose remixes the Rebs

Here’s a first for the Klezmer Rebs – young, exciting and just finished the Certificate in DJ and Electronic Music DJ course at Whitireia Polytech, DJ Cut Loose (aka Jen) has remixed Od Yishama, which is part of a medley on the 13th track of the Rebs latest 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 right now!

… or head over to Jen’s Myspace page, download it for a trifle


and you can dance to it anywhere!

Rebs fotos from Greytown Arts Festival

The sun shined for the Rebs at Greytown Arts Festival on Sunday 24 January

Rebs at Greytown

rebs at greytown 3 croppped

Here are a few snaps from our 2 sets.

At the end we enjoyed an old fashioned jam session with the other musos on the bill.

Dompost’s Simon Sweetman reviews Just Add Shmaltz

Simon Sweetman published a short review of  the Klezmer Reb’s CD Just Add Shmaltz in The Dominion Post, Friday 2 October 2009, in the Entertainment section, page B6.  From the review:

If you have enjoyed The Benka Borodovsky Bordello Band or The Jews Brothers, then The Klezmer Rebs will be to your taste…. It’s thigh-slapping music that is likely to be returning to a Botanic Garden concert near you.


Just Add Shmaltz reviewed in The Listener

In the Listener (26 September – 2 October 2009, page 43) Ian Dando gives a great review of  the Reb’s latest CD Just Add Shmaltz:

This Wellington octet can let their hair down and swing Jewish wedding music with energetic solos just where it matters on clarinet, violin and trumpet, with spontaneous lead singing to match.  Clarinet solos are wildly creative in their Russian-flavoured Ochi Chorniye. There are some crackers when they leave traditional klezmer and write their own, especially the opening Kumt Kumt Chaverim, with its catchy refrains gyrating tonally between E minor and B flat major. The Rebs offer genuine in-style klezmer sonority, played with bubbling festivity.