View Full Version : KLEZMER TUNES

Nov-03-2004, 9:27pm
A few of the guys at my Synagogue are building a Klezmer band. We have 2 fiddle players, 1 banjo, 2 guitar. 1 piano, 1 bass, me on mandolin, and a clarinet.
One of the fiddle players is the leader of the band, we call "The Moody Jews"
Can anyone list some good Klezmer songs or Jewish songs that work well with mandolin. The ones we have been learning are a bit odd on mandolin and I am not having too much fun on some of the songs. Please list any klezmer songs that go good with mandolin,then I can learn them and give them to the group. Thanks Yonkle (forget the ones on the Grisman CD, we know most of them)

Nov-03-2004, 10:28pm
How 'bout this one? (http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display.php/3749)This just appeared on The Session and it is a great little tune in a Minor ... A Klezmer (sort of) #Reel which works pretty well on a mandolin or mandola too.

Nov-04-2004, 6:32am
Check out the Klezmer tunes in Comando under "practice tunes". There are about ten and they are all pretty good.

Chris in Canada

Gary S
Nov-04-2004, 9:09am
A great source of music to learn is Henry Sapoznick's
" the compleat klezmer" It is a book and corresponding tape of klezmer music including different forms of tunes. The recordings are the old originals.
gut luck...Gary

Tom C
Nov-04-2004, 9:31am
Check out Klemzer Mountain Boys (http://www.klezmermountainboys.com/).
It's kind of a mix of Klezmer and bluegrass. Jew Grass? There are sound clips.

Nov-04-2004, 10:18pm
not really klezmer, but i've played around with v'shamru in a number of different ways. playing along with the tune and picking out a lead, and also slowed down and all tremolo, as well as a reggae version with little chops on the 1 and 3. the mezinka is also fun and i can send you the tab for that .

Nov-05-2004, 3:27pm
Our Temple has a Temple Klezmer Orchestra (TKO) made up of young and old folks alike (and middle aged like me!), #as well as a monthly Shabbat Shirah Friday night service. #

I play mandolin for both and, as well as Sapoznik's book,
really recommend the Kammen #9 series for all the Freilachs and Bulgars. #Especially Freilach #1, and #3. #Both work great for mando. #It's available from Tara Music at jewishmusic.com. #

Also, get a book of tunes by Rebbe Shlomo Carlbach. #They truly make great mando pieces. #

My personal web site (http://jeffnet.org/~slater/scores.htm) has some of the tunes (and TablEdit mando tabs) we play. #Enjoy...

*-- Asha

Nov-05-2004, 11:33pm
Hey folks! Thanks a lot, you have given me a lot of sites and ideas, if you think of anything more feel free to add.
Todah Rabah, Shalom Yonkle (JD)

Ted Eschliman
Nov-06-2004, 6:32am
One of the fiddle players is the leader of the band, we call "The Moody Jews"
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif !!!
<rolling on the floor>

Nov-06-2004, 3:57pm
JD, I need to hear you guys, when and where do ya practice, I'd love to stop by and check it out if it's open to the casual obsever? I love the "klez" music I've heard, with and without mandolin. Makes me want to take up clarinet!

Nov-08-2004, 3:47pm
Manodlooter.........We are in Boise Idaho, if you are close let me know and I can give you details. # JD
(Yes, there are Jews in Idaho and No it's not a small guitar!)

Steve S.
Nov-09-2004, 12:26pm
Not Klezmer, but if you would like to learn some chasidiche
nigunim, check our a book and 3cd set called "Nigunei Chabad" available from store.kehotonline.com listed under cds. I have an earlier edition, but I assume the new one is mostly the same. Yes, Chabadniks play mandolin.

Nov-10-2004, 12:15pm
It's a very thin (and interesting) line between what's Klezmer and what's Hassidic. Also check out "Hassidic Israeli Club Date" available on jewishmusic.com for pretty cheap. Great collection of classic Hassidic stuff most of which is quite beautiful on mando.

By the way I'm in Ashland (Southern Oregon) - not too far from Boise.

Nov-14-2004, 8:31am
Some books that I like a lot:

"Easy Klezmer tunes" by Stacy Phillips(Mel Bay). Nice arrangments for multiple instuments. Don't let the "easy" in the title fool you- they are very well done

"Klezmer Music Fake Book" by Sy Kushner.(Vol 1&2) Great transcriptions from old recordings. Comes with CD of the old recordings for playing along.

Above available from Elderly

Best regards,


Nov-14-2004, 10:12am
Harder to find, but with great transcriptions of 10s-30s 78rpm recordings:
Mart Heijmans, Klezmer, Muziekuitgeverij van Teeseling, Nijmegen, VT357


Nov-27-2004, 4:39pm
A very Klezmer-ish tune and one that is great fun to play is the melody to the old Al Jolson song "Anniversary Song". Django Reinhardt used to play it.


Shana Aisenberg
Dec-05-2004, 5:58pm
"The Moody Jews" http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

I wish I'd thought of that. Oh well, my sometime klezmer band name in NH is Moose'l Tov


Dec-06-2004, 10:33pm
Yes I took credit for the name Moody Jews, then a few days ago I got a e mail that there is a Klezmer band in Geogia called the Moody Jews. Not sure who came up with it first, guess it don't matter if you are not making money with it.
If we have to change the name any suggestions??
Like "The Kosher Dills" or "The Matza Balls" "The Klezmo's" "Ahavath Temple Pilots"??

Dec-06-2004, 11:00pm
BY the way we "The Moody Jews" of Idaho had our first GIG at a Chanukkah Party 2 nights ago. We did OK for our first try, people said the sound was mixed well and we got a lot of compliments. Here are a couple of pic.s they didnt come out too good. I am in the back left side doing mandolin and guitar, martin D15 .I kept a low profile stayed in the back because I was a little nervous. The last number was just me and our fiddle player doing "Shalom Aleichem" on mandolins using both my #2 and #3 mandolins, I am on the left with #3 and Olive is right #2

Dec-06-2004, 11:07pm
Guitar me and Oliver on Fiddle,We also have a piano and another guitar player that were way off to the right, (Cant see them) the Bima area was too full for all of us.
Word spreads fast....We got a request from the Orthodox Shul to play at a Chanukah Party for them, so of course we are....no charge!

Joel Glassman
Dec-15-2004, 2:17pm
Some other names (a bit dated):
Gefilte Joe and the Fish
Guns and Charosis
Boy George and the Kosher Club

Nathan Sanders
Dec-15-2004, 2:22pm
Moody Jews...what a cool name. In case you haven't seen my post in another topic, here is something you may or may not be interested in:

Oy To The World (http://oytotheworld.com/index.html)

Another suggestion for Klezmer...take some good old traditional fiddle tunes and adapt them. Perhaps make minor versions of some well-known tunes.

Dec-15-2004, 3:52pm
A couple guys here in Ashland (Oregon) had a group they called "The Bar Misfits". Oy, By the waym has anyone read about the Jewish songs of Woody Guthrie done by the Klezmatics recently? True story!

*-- Asha

Dec-15-2004, 6:41pm
no, asha- please tell us more. love woody.

yonkle- great pics- i;ll be doing my first shul appearance on 1/28- you moody jews are an inspiration.:blues: (blues dude or lubavitch???)

Dec-15-2004, 9:19pm
Here's the link on klezmershack. (http://www.klezmershack.com/archives/001822.html) Fascinating!

Dec-17-2004, 11:04am
To get a comedy klezmer title, take any rock band/song with blues in the title and replace it with jews. (ie the jews brothers).

The album rhythm and jews by the klezmatics is being another example..... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-21-2004, 10:51am
to hear some really good yiddish (some klezmer) tunes, give a listen to a guy named gerry tenney on www.ezfolk.com
he has some great yiddish tunes, and some great bluegrass stuff, and a lovely folk tune called mandolin tears that is wonderful. just go to the ezfolk site, then look at the audio hosting (banner toward top of screen) click on artists, then go to gerrey tenney.

ps- if you have interest click on my duo (not otherwise specified) once you get to the artists section on ezfolk.

Jan-02-2005, 7:12pm
for a great source of klezmer tunes (and general klezmer stuff), check out...........

groovy klezmer stuff (http://www.manchesterklezmer.org)

Jan-03-2005, 9:31am
THANKS mancmando!
I am always looking for Klezmer stuff for both fiddle and mando--this will take DAYS to check out--WHAT a site!!!!!!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Gary S
Jan-04-2005, 4:51am
Yes thank you. That site is a very good source of Klezmer repetoire. Gary S

Jan-10-2005, 11:10am
Hey all...
Just went to a performance by the Klezmer Mountain Boys last night here in Philly... unfortunately, they were without their mando player, and I think that their sound (especially their bluegrass material) really missed something as a result. Their klez material was great, but somehow playing bluegrass with a clarinet lead, to my ears, came out sounding more like a polka than anything else. It needed more picky plucky sound...mandolin would have helped... or banjo. Just my opinion. Very talented musicians, all. The fusion just didn't quite work for me (though at least it wasn't a cultural train wreck like the jalapeno bagel!)

BTW-- as long as we're tossing around klezmer band names, I have a friend who plays in an all women klez band called Isle of Klezbos. And there once was a band called the Klezbians (and yes, they were, and also quite a good band).