Hardly Strictly Klezmer: Kugelplex, Red Hot Chachkas, Charming Hostess
genre-bending Jewish world music
$20.50 advance / $22.50 at door
Purchase tickets online
November 29 8:00 pm
Kugelplex plays klezmer and old world soul music that rocks the shtetl (village) or the concert hall. The band, formed in 2001, features Dan Cantrell on accordion and saw, Jason Ditzian on clarinet, Jewlia Eisenberg on vocals, Michael Pinkham on percussion, David Rosenfeld on mandolin and violin, and Eugene Warren on bass. Kugelplex has performed with Joan Baez, the Oakland Symphony, and Grammy-winning trumpeter Frank London of the Klezmatics, and is currently collaborating with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir on a suite of compositions blending American gospel and Hungarian Roma music.
The Red Hot Chachkas create new American klezmer from Old World roots with their original compositions, audacious arrangements, and ingenious improvisations. Classical violinist Julie Egger leads the group, Barbara Speed plays clarinet, Diana Strong plays accordion, Tony Phillips plays mandolin, Breck Deibel plays bass, and Aharon Wheels Bolsta plays drums. The website All About Jazz has praised the group’s “chameleon-like ability to play styles from early Eastern European string-based klezmer to all-out modern jam band with stops along the way in Turkey, Jamaica, and Appalachia.” The Jewish News Weekly called the band’s third and most recent album Spice It Up! a model for where Klezmer is headed.
Charming Hostess makes music at the intersection of voice, text, and diaspora consciousness, with a focus on the emotional, erotic, and spiritual terrain accessible through the voice. This music lives where diasporas collide, incorporating Judeo-Balkan melody and Pygmy harmony, Yiddish nigunim and doo wop, Torah chanting and work songs. The musical textures derive from voices and wind instruments, hand claps and heartbeats, sex breath and silence. Composer, vocalist, and lay cantor Jewlia Eisenberg founded the group in 1997, with a mission of making lovely noise about complex ideas. Jason Ditzian plays reeds, flutes, and jaw harps, Michael Pinkham plays percussion, and Cynthia Taylor sings and plays violin. The group’s fifth and most recent album is The Bowls Project.
This show is produced in association with the 29th Jewish Music Festival & KlezCalifornia. Ellie Shapiro, director of the festival, will host. Come to the Freight and kick off Chanukah in style with three scintillating ensembles making music full of light and hope.
Listen to a track from Red Hot Chachkas:
Red Hot Chachkas photo by Fletcher Oakes
Charming Hostess photo by Robin Hultgren