Klezmer Conservatory Band to Play at Williams College

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., Jan. 5, 2001 — The Klezmer Conservatory Band will perform at Williams College on Sunday, January 14, at 2 p.m. in Chapin Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

Founded in 1980 by Hankus Netsky, a leading Jewish composer and scholar, the Klezmer Conservatory Band is one of the most prominent klezmer bands in the United States. Klezmer, a form of traditional Jewish wedding music, originated in medieval Europe, and had become a well-developed music style throughout Eastern European Jewish villages by the 19th century. The music’s popularity diminished over the course of this century, due to the destruction of Eastern European Jewry and immigration, yet has undergone a revival since the 1970’s. Klezmer music in the United States has since become a diverse musical culture, embracing many different ethnic and popular styles, such as jazz and rock.

Blending traditional melodies and contemporary styles, the Klezmer Conservatory Band has played its unique style of dance music to sold out audiences in the U.S. and internationally.

The Washington Post notes of the band: “…the ensemble’s uninhibited verve translates into any language and will no doubt leave anyone inclined to dance along gasping for air.” The Advertiser of Australia, writes: “The music of the Klezmer Conservatory Band mixes up Jewish ragtime, souped-up Mahler symphonies and Dixieland in a dizzying musical cocktail…The band’s music has an infectious dance beat…it is richly expressive music with a special appeal of its own.”

The band’s numerous recordings include: Yiddishe Renaissance, Klez, A Touch of Klez, Oy Chanukah, A Jumpin’ Night in the Garden of Eden, Old World Beat, and their latest album, Dancing in the Aisles.

The performance is sponsored by the Bronfman Advisory Committee at Williams College.


Published January 5, 2001