You Can\’t Not Dance When The Klezmatics Perform


The Klezmatics Photo by Tom Mohrman

The Klezmatics sing songs of celebration in minor keys. They make people dance. The band is made of expert musicans, and they have been together for 25 years. What you get at one of their shows is a chance to see Klezmer music performed at its highest level. They deserve their Grammys and fame; they play with heart and joy. On December 22 they put on a show full of Hanuka songs, and songs that showcased the skill and range of the performers.

It\’s impressive to watch someone play trumpet and keys at the same time. It\’s also impressive to watch what a drummer can do with only a hi-hat. There\’s enough talent among these people that they\’d get by on hand claps. The all sing backup, but lead vocalist Lorin Sklamberg has a voice that sticks in your head. It\’s best when he\’s belting it out on one of the dance numbers. At points the band played songs with a lot more jazz noodling, which didn\’t do it for me. These were the exceptions though. Mostly it was amazing music that called for dancing. On the fast songs, the melodies from the trumpet, clarinet, and violin are like a flight of birds.

The seating in the Neptune is folding chairs. I\’m not sure what the criteria are for choosing to have a dance floor vs having seats for shows. The Neptune chose to set up chairs for this show, which I think was a tactical error. The Klezmatics are a band that encourages dancing. Eventually people took matters into their own hands.

Seattle has many Klezmer bands. The Klezmatics being the measure of all things Klezmer, many were in attendance at the show. Eventually their enthusiasm got the better of them, and they led a rebellion. During a particularly danceable song, an inside source confirms that members of The Nu Klezmer Army and Titanium Sporkestra danced their way to the front of the room and danced in front of the stage. It was clear that The Klezmatics were appreciative. There was no move to hinder their dancing by security, which was lovely. When the band played another Hanuka song other people joined them to dance the Hora, and the smiles were large on the dancers faces.

It has been a very successful run for STG with the Neptune Theatre\’s metamorphosis into a performance space in 2011. With unique bands like the Klezmatics gracing their stage, it\’s offering a wonderful service to the University District, and a spectacular venue for attendees and performers alike. It\’s a win for everyone.

Check out the Klezmatics on Conan, and see for yourself how fun they are.