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Gig #5: The Klezmorchestra

29 March

Another installment in “7 Gigs in 8 Days: A Week in the Life of Being Kid Kazooey”.

I started playing klezmer music with the freaks from The Japonize Elephants around 1996. We called ourselves The Hunted Haunted Bazerghan Klezmoikestra”. We were rowdy, loud, always fast, furiously funky, and purposefully rough around the edges. We played for over a year before the first Jew joined the band (Significant, considering that Klezmer music is music of the Eastern European Jews from the 19th Century).  After The Japonize Elephants left Bloomington to The Bay Area, we kept playing klezmer, but it was a little more mellow. Months would go by without a gig. After while, it would be a little over a year between gigs.

But then we changed our name to just: The Klezmorchestra, and decided not to moan and groan that Dave Gantz, Evan Farrell, Sylvain Carton, and Meegan Weeder weren’t in the band anymore. We started playing weddings and Bar Mitzvahs instead of Second Story and The Upland Brewery. We became… respectable!  NOW, we even have a dance leader we work with to teach Israeli dances and get folks off their duffs to dance the Hora (since most of our audience is 50 years old or older!).

My, the times they are a-changin’! I still love the band. And now that Mrs. Kazooey is the new drummer, I suspect that we might recapture some of that edge we used to have. Don’t get me wrong, even a “respectable” klezmer band is very exciting. The music sees to that!  Well, enough about all of that. Enjoy The Klezmorchestra!

The band will be hosting another “Evening of Jewish Music and Dancing with The Klezmorchestra” on Thursday, May 2, at The Player’s Pub, here in Bloomington, IN, from 7-10pm, for a cover charge of $5.