From Rumania we play a few tunes, but mostly music that originates from Rumania and the Balkan-countries we play in the Klezmer style.

Klezmer music originally comes from all eastern European countries, Russia, Poland, The Balkans, Greece, etc. When these people emigrated to the United States of America, they took this music with them. When it arrived in America a mixture of Jewish music and American light music started to develop.

From 1881 until 1924 many people emigrated to America. For many Jewish families America was a safer country to live in than the old world. The European klezmer orchestra looks like a Rumanian folk orchestra with a leading role for the violinist.
In America this role was given to the clarinettist and string instruments almost disappeared from the klezmer orchestra. Brass instruments took the central place in klezmer orchestras thereafter.

In Europe, Jewish musicians did not always have permission to play at non-Jewish occasions. In America, in order to earn a living, they had to play at all occasions, and this is one of the reasons why Klezmer music contains so much American light music.


Joseph Cherniavsky’s Yiddish-American Jazz Band Naftule Brandwein seated, third from right, ca 1924 Source: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras were famous clarinet players. Their compositions often carry names referring to Europe.

Around 1935, klezmer music reached the peak of its popularity. After 1935 klezmer music seamed to disappear, but in 1960 musicians “The Klezmorim” rediscovered this music. From America this music returned to Europe.