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.

Just add shmaltz CD now available through Ode Records

The Rebs new CD Just add shmaltz can now be obtained through Ode Records – we are featured on their site here (or you can order it on the cheap direct from us at

So ring up Ode chief honcho Roger Marbeck on 09 630 117 and tell him thanks for supporting NZ music. Oh yes, and order a hundred or so for your music shop!

Rebs shower the crowds with klezmer at Organic River Festival

The Klezmer Rebs played a 75 minute set to the Organic River Festival crowd on Sunday (18 January) amidst the mud, wind, rain, and yes, even sunshine!

Around about the 3rd or 4th Rebs song the heavens opened up and deluged the crowd, driving the listeners for cover and the sound team (who were excellent!)  scurrying to keep us from being electrocuted. 

Thanks for the remaining audience who stuck around to listen to the rest of our set.  The sun came back out, and we finished with Urs’s anthemic Anarchia Total.

Klutz of the day and a big Homer Simpson ‘Doh’ to Reb David who fluffed his cue on Ochi Chornya.

A magic night in the Gardens

It was a triumph for the Rebs last night at the Soundshell in Wellington’s Botanic Gardens on a perfect, warm and still night.  A packed crowd (1500 according to the Festival organiser!) saw the Rebs (with help from Blue Highways bassist Jim Nicolson) play perhaps our best show ever!  The audience seemed to love it and the mosh pit dancers jumped with wild abandon.

Photographer David St George took some nice arty black and white shots of the gig that you can see here. 

And here is a shot, complete with dancing girls, taken by Heather’s beau.

Reb Jonathan ‘launched’ copies of our new CD into the crowd and the Rebs sang and played our hearts out. We made a few mistakes (although few but the band members noticed) but we wouldn’t be the ‘Rebs’ if we weren’t a bit rough around the edges. We really enjoyed getting the new material out there to good response. In addition to the tunes on our new CD Just add shmaltz (available on this website) we played 4 brand new songs: 1) Zvezda a ‘filthy’ Russian cover of a song by the band Leningrad; 2)  Kandilitas, a Ladino song about lighting the candles for Hannukah; 3) Bublichki, sung beautifully by Reb Rose, is an old Barry Sisters song about a seller pleading for customers to buy her bagelach; and 4) Anarchia Total, Reb Urs’s new anarchist anthem.

Thanks Wellington for a great night and thanks to Wellington City Council for the opportunity. We next play in Wellington city on Waitangi day at Waitangi park (about 12.30ish), but Klez-groupies can see us this Sunday the 18th at the Otaki Organic River Festival at 2pm and out at the Festival of the Elements in Porirua (again on Waitangi day) at 3.30pm. Kumt kumt kumt hear the klezmorim play!

Note: There were some concerns about security before the gig. For more on that, check out this on line article.

New Klezmer Rebs CD: Just add shmaltz

Our first full length studio CD, Just add shmaltz, has just been released.

Just add shmaltz (just for you – such a deal!) the cost is $20 per CD (pickup or drop off in the Wellington CBD available by arrangement), or add $4 (in NZ, or $NZ10 overseas) and a barefoot Rabbi will personally deliver it to your mailbox (we haven’t told the Rabbi yet). Rabbinical advice costs extra.

To order, visit our CD order page.

Just add shmaltz is over 2 years in the making (such a difficult birth!). It features nearly 50 minutes of new Klezmer Rebs studio recordings. The 14 songs include several new Rebs originals, something French, something Russian, something Italian, and plenty to scratch the klezmer itch until our next live performance.