On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Smith Opera House again welcomes The New York Klezmer Orchestra for another evening of infectious fun and traditional and contemporary Jewish music. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
An evening with The New York Klezmer Orchestra includes a repertoire of Turkish, Romanian, Polish and other central and eastern European influenced traditional music. In addition to the traditional, this eclectic troupe is one of New York State's foremost creators of contemporary klezmer music. Expect the unexpected, for this klezmer band adds the energies of rock & roll, jazz and swing into their shows.
Founded in 2002, the band's first public performance was in Geneva at the Smith Opera House. When they returned last year, they recorded a portion of their first CD, “NYKO,” live at The Smith. Now available, this year's show also serves as their CD release party.
The unique, beautiful sounds of Klezmer are folk music in the purest sense of the word. The plaintive sounds of the clarinet or violin accompanied by simple percussion, mandolin, accordion, or perhaps a piano, contained a duality of feelings, the sweetness and sorrow of the people in the shtetls in the poor Jewish villages of Eastern Europe. That sound then headed to the United States in the early 20th century as waves of immigrants took these traditional Yiddish melodies with them to a foreign land. Here, an old sound assumed a new form.
Bandleader Maury Rosenberg has performed with world renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, toured extensively with the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, participated in performances with The New England Klezmer Conservatory Band and appeared on the soundtrack of Woody Allen's movie “Deconstructing Harry.” He not only brings this traditional folk music to The Smith stage, but with it the new form. Like most traditional European music, the American influence comes through, melding jazz and blues. Improvisation is not unusual when the band gets cooking, and the outrageously joyous songs will tempt you to dance in the aisles. A NYKO concert is always filled with surprises. In addition to the fine music, the band's incomparable wit and spirit pulls in the audience, creating a truly intimate and rejuvenating experience.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. Call 315-781-LIVE or toll-free 866-355 LIVE for tickets and additional information. Tickets are also available at Area Records and Music in Geneva.
The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters.