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Mix a dose of klezmer with a pinch of jazz, add a shot of Balkan and a smidgen of Gypsy, et voilà, you’ve got the recipe for Amsterdam Klezmer Band. Brass, double bass, accordion and percussion all bolster each other with pulsing grooves full of subtle yet raw energy. They really like to make an audience sweat, but they can make you dream away on a soulful lament as well.
The Amsterdam Klezmer Band started out on the streets in 1996 as a Group of buskers playing traditional Yiddish Music. 25 Years have gone by in no time! The band has evolved into an internationally celebrated band with a rock solid live reputation. During all this time the band managed to stay on the radar non-stop, touring all over the world. Their impressive tour list containing far over a 1500 shows by now. They built an audience of connaisseurs that have been loving them for many years, and there’s always a young crowd merging. Their music is inspiring fellow musicians from latin America to Russia resulting in colourful AKB-song covers you will find on Youtube.
19 albums were released and the band did successful projects with e.g. Söndörgő, Amsterdams Andalusisch orkest, Galata Gypsy band and Lilian Vieira.
AKB re-energises the sound of klezmer by throwing contemporary styles and techniques in the mix. Balkan and oriental Music are gratefully used as key influences. The band manages to keep their music fresh, urgent and often highly danceable wherever they take the stage.
On their most recent AKB album Fortuna, released in 2020, just after the first covid lockdown, producer Stefan Schmid opened up the seasoned Amsterdam Klezmer Band. Schmid: “In fact it’s all about Brotherhood. A good deal of Gotspe combined with typical Amsterdam boldness, that’s Amsterdam Klezmer Band. Fortuna is a unique album with subtle added disorderly elements.’’ So is it still Klezmer we’re dealing with? Damn right it is… ! The sound of Klezmer Music has developed and changed throughout time and we see no reason to put this fact on hold.
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– In 2021 the Amsterdam Klezmer Band is already on the road for an impressive 25 years. The band played in over 30 countries in a wide variety of festivals and venues and have made a total of 19 albums.
– The Amsterdam Klezmer Band will celebrate their 25th aniversary touring the coming year to perfom at festivals, in theaters and clubs with intimate and bold shows full of new music and guest muscians.
– The AKB has a special show coming up in Carré 24-09-2021 with special guests Amsterdams Andalusisch orkest , Ellen ten Damme and Meral Polat.
– On April 7, 2020 The Amsterdam Klezmer Band played live on the Dutch National TV Show Café Lazarus at NPO 2.
– The AKB is active in the Theatres. They created “Benja”2015 and “Septacost” 2017. In 2022 they will release of a new theatre concert in collaboration with director Dick Hauser.
– They provided the score for the movie “le Chat du Rabbin”, written and drawn by the famous french author Joan Sfar.
– The Amsterdam Klezmer Band (or as we call them AKB) puts on their own club nights “Club Amsterdam Klezmer” at the Mezrab in Amsterdam, from September to March. They’ve been organizing these special evenings since 2016, every last Thursday of the month, where they invite interesting (foreign) bands and young talents.
– Amsterdam Klezmer Band played on well known festivals like Sziget (HU), Lowlands (NL), Into The Great Wide Open (NL), Zwarte Cross (NL), Fusion Festival (DE) and Eurosonic/Noorderslag. But also world music and jazz festivals like Hong Kong JazzFestival (CN), Suds à Arles (FR), Dranouter (BE), Horizonte (DE), Moscow Usadba Jazz (RU), North Sea Jazz (NL), Stereoleto (RU) and Babel Med (F).
– The AKB & Amsterdams Andalusian Orchestra theater tour took place in autumn of 2019 in among others; De Nieuwe Regentes, The Hague, Bimhuis, Amsterdam and Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht. – “Septacost”, their theater show was premiered at Oerol festival in 2017, then followed by a theater tour in 2018 and a reprise in 2019. throughout the Netherlands.
– Their album “Szikra” released in 2018 in collaboration with Söndörgő came in at number 27th one of the “trans global world musicchart”.
– Amsterdam Klezmer Band played several times together with Söndörgő, they also toured together in May 2018 and played at various festivals throughout Europe in the summer to promote their album Szikra. Among which we can find Hungary and a sold out Paradiso show in Amsterdam, NL.
– Amsterdam Klezmer Band released their album “Blitzmash” in 2014. On this album you can find their single “Op je hoede” featuring Dutch, Brazilian singer Lilian Vieira.
– Amsterdam Klezmer Band celebrated their 15th anniversary in 2012 with a show at Paradiso, Amsterdam. For this occasion they released their live album “Mokum”. The show in Paradiso was the start of a huge national and international tour.
PRESS INFO – AMSTERDAM KLEZMER BAND 25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
“There are few certainties in the arts, but when the Amsterdam Klezmer Bandplays, it is guaranteed to be a party.”
– Het Parool –
‘‘Fortuna has become a unique AKB album with its subtle and messy elements exploring new horizons of klezmer and Balkan music while keeping the spirit of celebration.’’
– Unidivers.fr –
“Amsterdam Klezmer band is known for their smashing live performances, in which gibberish and emotion alternate.”
– Volkskrant –
‘‘For the album “Fortuna”, the septet also adopted elements of ska, jazz, hip-hop and dance. With this, the Amsterdammers now even convince those listeners who previously had no desire for Klezmer and Balkan dance music.‘‘
– Audio.de –
“Still one of the most sparkling partybands of the Netherlands. Most impressive: the tight ensemble-playing by these excellent musicians”.
– Mixedworldmusic.com –