L'ChaimI have a Klezmer Band in the San Francisco Bay area named L'Chaim. We front a trombone, violin, and clarinet/sax frontline with a rhythm section of accordion, banjo, and tuba. Our vocalist also ads to the rhythm with her Yemenite Belli Dancing. (Very conservative with a great deal of hand held percussion). I have used drums for larger events.
We do a mixture of Klezmer, 30's Swing, Israeli and Russian Folk. We play a great many Jewish Community events and celebrations (Bar Mitzvah. Bat Mitzvah, etc.) We also get political gigs, were we are not expected to be so "in your face".
We are moving in several directions at once, but at least we are moving. Adding new Klezmer songs requires someone learning foreign lyrics (Yiddish, Russian, German) We are fortunate in having a native Israeli vocalist. Audiences are interested, but not familiar with many songs. Also memories of Russian people has different songs. Would be interested in discussing what others have learned before me.
Contact: Alex Newman