Get Your Meshugge on at the KlezMore Festival

Two weeks of Yiddish celebration from around the world show the versatility of a classic folk tradition

Expressive melodies that draw from Yiddish and eastern European music characterize klezmer, an Ashkenazi music style that is seeing a steady revival in both its traditional form and fused with jazz and other influences. Now in its 14th iteration, the KlezMore festival celebrates versatility steeped in Jewish tradition, with an abundance of international and regional musicians performing at 12 locations around the city.

A double concert will kick off the festivities at Porgy and Bess, featuring Troi, an Austrian supertrio comprised of Tino Klissenbauer, Franziska Hatz and Vladimir Blum, who will put the words of Yiddish writer Rajzel Żychlińsky to song. They will be followed by the Argentinian duo Lerner and Moguilevsky, who work from a solid klezmer foundation to create an eclectic mix of Latin folk, jazz, tango and free improvisation.

Other acts announced are the renowned Vienna Klezmer Orchestra; Israel’s Gulaza quartet, who will play some rare Yemeni women’s songs with cello, acoustic guitar and Saharan strings; Nirit Sommerfeld featuring the Trio Shlomo Geistreich, who intertwine their klezmer roots with pop and hip-hop or the idiosyncratic Shmaltz, who will be closing the festival.

Besides concerts, various lectures, films and workshops round out the program, including a screening of Melissa Hacker’s touching My Knees were Jumping, which remembers the children who escaped the Holocaust with the “Kindertransport,” a British charity that rescued thousands from central Europe; two workshops on klezmer culture held in cooperation with the Austrian Folk Music Association and an afternoon of Yiddish drinking songs with Benjy Fox-Rosen.

Nov 4-19, various locations. klezmore-vienna.at

Anja Stevic
Is a Croatian born writing for Metropole. After moving around, she decided to make Vienna her hometown, where she is currently pursuing her MSc in Communications. In her free time, she is attending exhibitions, photographing or analyzing data.

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