Klezmer lovers are in for a treat when the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band performs this Sunday afternoon, April 25 at 2 p.m. at the Shirley and Lewis White Theatre at the Jewish Community Campus in Overland Park.
Klezmer music is native to Eastern European Jewish communities and was played at weddings and other joyous occasions. It had almost died out but has been revived by musicians such as the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band and has gained in popularity over the past few decades. The word "klezmer" is Yiddish and is a combination of two words meaning musical instruments.
The band was formed in 1983 and was named for Maxwell Street in Chicago, formerly a Jewish neighborhood not unlike the Lower East Side in New York. Instruments featured include clarinet, saxophone, violin, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and percussion and two vocalists. "With its big band instrumentation, Maxwell Street moves easily among various styles: Russian and gypsy music, folk songs, theater songs and Yiddish pop songs from the 1920's-50's. Their performance creates a multi-dimensional picture of the lost Jewish culture of Eastern Europe, spiced with vignettes of America seen through immigrant eyes," according to the band's website.
Zestful, joyful, soulful and passionate are inadequate to describe klezmer music. Come! Enjoy!
The concert is a benefit for Hadassah and tickets are $25 per person. Call the box office at 913-327-8054 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. for tickets.