Is 20 years old!!!

And to celebrate this, they’re soon going on a Europe-wide tour from Bielefeld through Marseille through Novosibirsk to Zaandam, from May 19th to December 17th.

Far from being mainstream classical music or anything inertly happy, klezmer is still a popular genre throughout the Old Continent, and rightly so. Although I have never heard anyone even refer to them here in the Netherlands, the sheer number of concerts organized within the Netherlands for this tour is testimony to their importance here as well as across Europe. As to me, I’ve known them for over a decade, since I heard one of their CDs after my first Sziget Fesztivál in Budapest, where I was thrown off my feet by the best ever, most cathartic concert in my life by Kroke, probably the best klezmer band around. Of course I also wanted to hear all the other best in the genre, the Budapest Klezmer Band, The Klezmatics, The Cracow Klezmer Band, and of course, De Amsterdam Klezmer Band. Although the others can only approach the wonder of that Kroke concert and the repeatedly wonderful experience of all their CDs, and the Amsterdamers do not really devote themselves to the same traditional klezmer style as most of the others, their dedication, brilliance and captivating enthusiasm places them at a special place for all music lovers who also like klezmer.

Unfortunately for me, their Budapest concert comes a bit too soon for me, but I hope to be able to make it to one of their concerts in the Netherlands. They perform in Amsterdam three times, after all, not to mention the other venues. Hope my readers can also get to hear them live, whether in Barcelona, Ghent, Hannover or Brugge – in this last case, you have to hurry to grab a ticket as it’s the second stage of the tour on May 20th. Then you can compare them to the Polish or Russian bands and decide which style you prefer. In any case, klezmer is a wonderful kind of music.

by P.S.