What is Klez Chaos? Can I come to a klezmer jam?
We are a self-selecting amorphous group of people who like to play klezmer tunes for fun in our spare time. Some are professional musicians; some play several instruments; some are experienced in a lot of genres; some are new to klezmer music; some go regularly to klezmer camps. Maybe you want to come too? I love it when we have many musical families represented: the winds, strings, brass, rhythm, percussion. We have had clarinet, flute, kaval, recorder, penny whistle, saxophone, trumpet, slide trombone, violin, viola, cello, bass, mandolin, guitar, banjo, accordion, piano, drums, tuba, stand up bass, cymbalom, tambourine, other percussion, and hand percussion. It varies month to month, depending on who comes.
When we play out, whether for a contra dance or at Folklife, a holiday festival, or anything, we go by the name Klez Chaos.
Klez Chaos performed at the Phinney Neighborhood Association's Winter Festival & Crafts Fair and Seattle Center's WinterFest in December 2016.
The Third Wednesday Klezmer Jam
We typically meet at my house (Bernice's) in the Greenwood district the third Wednesday of the month, with potluck fingerfood and beverages. The first part of the evening, roughly 7:30 to about 9:00 pm is the regular music portion with sheet music available in C and Bb for most tunes, then there is some time for noshing, sometimes followed by an ear portion from roughly 9:15 to 10:30 pm. The whole thing is very informal and runs the gamut from people sitting and softly playing along, to bringing a new tune with copies (ideally for Bb and concert), to leading us in a tune, to helping shape our interpretation of it. I have a little teaching portion too, with subjects such as bulgar rhythms and misheberach modes.
During the ear part, if you really need or want your sheet music, that's okay too if you really want it. My personal goal is to know many tunes by heart and to have our group play some tunes by ear. But reading music is okay and I don't want people to feel like second-class citizens. After all, we might need someone to carry the tune in case no one can remember it! We are moving in the direction of more ear playing and I hope, more middle voices and not all of us on melody.
Just let me know you'd like to be added to the mailing list. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. By the same token, if you want me to remove you from the list, just let me know by replying to an email.
December 2016 Gigs
Klez Chaos played both at the Phinney Neighborhood Association's Winter Festival & Crafts Fair and at Seattle Center's Winterfest. Following are recordings from Seattle Center's Armory Stage. Although instruments closer to the recorder are louder (clarinets, drums and tuba), most everyone can be heard. Good job, band!
We played for a contradance in Lake City in this youtube.
At Northwest Folklife 2014, we also played for a contradance set with Sherry Nevins calling.
Northwest Folklife Festival 2013 is streaming our performance. Click here to go to Folklife's page. Listen to our whole set under the Xfinity Mural Amphitheatre Stage heading at 2:45 pm.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like a) to participate with us, or b) to have us come play at your event, dance, farmer's market, nursing home, or simcha.