In the wake of that great cultural void otherwise known as the '80s (sorry, Vh1), traditional and ethnic folk music have enjoyed a welcome resurgence—especially klezmer. For all of you meshugah goyim out there, "klezmer" refers to secular Jewish music, usually dance tunes for weddings and other celebrations. Marrying Arabic, African, and Balkan rhythms with traditional American and klezmer tunes, The Klezmatics present a sound that ranges from the infectiously enthusiastic to the poignant and introspective. After their debut in 1986, it didn't take the group long to be noticed by mainstream America: They have been featured on Late Night with David Letterman, A Prairie Home Companion, and The Al Franken Show. Recent CD releases include Wonder Wheel and Woody Guthrie's Happy Joyous Hanukkah; both albums feature the lyrics of Woody Guthrie, which the band has klezmer-ized to perfection. With Lorin Sklamberg and Lisa Gutkin's vocals backed by kaval, saxophone, clarinet, violin, bass, accordion, trumpet, and keyboard, it's a delightful blend, certain to please anyone from your shiksa girlfriend to your own dear bubbe.
Sun., Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., 2007