Klezmer Conservatory Band Brings Yiddish Music to WFU

Performing both traditional and contemporary Yiddish music, the Klezmer Conservatory Band will open the 1996-97 Secrest Artists Series at Wake Forest University Saturday, Oct. 5.

The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Wait Chapel.

Now in its 15th season, the 11-member band takes its name from the type of music it plays. “Klezmer” is a 500-year-old tradition of secular Jewish music, beginning with itinerant bands of Jewish musicians going from town to town in medieval Europe.

Playing a prominent role in the revival of klezmer music, the Klezmer Conservatory Band has performed across the country and has made seven recordings including “Yiddishe Renaissance,” “Klez,” and “A Touch of Klez.”

Featuring a vocalist, drums, bass, piano, trombone, trumpet, clarinet, violin and the occasional accordion, almost everything the band plays has a foot-tapping dance beat. A Washington Post review noted “the ensemble’s uninhibited verve translates into any language and will no doubt leave anyone inclined to dance along gasping for air.”

The Klezmer Conservatory Band performed with virtuoso violinist Itzhak Perlman in the PBS production of “In the Fiddler’s House” and has been welcomed numerous times to Minnesota Public Radio’s “A Prairie Home Companion.”

Hankus Netsky, founder and director of the band, is also the chairman of the jazz studies department at the New England Conservatory.

Following the concert, the band will lead a question-and-answer session for interested audience members.

Tickets are $15; $10 for seniors and students. They are available at the Wake Forest University Theater Box Office in the Scales Fine Arts Center between noon and 5:30 p.m. For information, or to purchase tickets by credit card, call 759-5295. Group rates are available. Call 759-5757 for details. Tickets also can be purchased at the door.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Events