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About the music...

KLEZMER  music is the traditional instrumental dance music of the Eastern-European Jews. Its roots lie in the liturgical music of the Jewish synagogue, with which it shares common modes (scales) and ornamentation. Historical records referring to Klezmer bands have been found dating to back the1500's, but no one knows exactly what the music sounded like back then. As Jewish populations traveled from Israel and the Middle East to settle in Eastern and Central Europe, their music blended with the music of Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary and Greece. Jewish musicians learned the favorite traditional dances from these countries and the locals also learned jewish dance tunes and melodies. Some common klezmer dance tunes are: freylekhes, bulgar, khosidl, honga, sirba and the Yiddishe hora.

MIDDLE-EASTERN  music has close ties with Jewish music: both utilize scales from the maqam system, and of course, there are many Jewish communities throughout the Middle-East. One of The Rebbe's Orkestra's favorite tunes is a lively Iraqi-Jewish piece in 6/8 time.

ISRAELI  folk songs and classic folk dance tunes are staples in the Rebbe's Orkestra repertoire. Request one for your next simcha!

YIDDISH SONGS;  folk songs, and songs from the Yiddish theatre are some of the band's favorites. Sometimes they're jazzed up a la The Barry Sisters, The Andrew Sisters, and Peggy Lee's English versions. Yiddish translations and pronounciation courtesy of Beth's Yiddishe Momma. FYI (in case you didn't know) - Yiddish is a Jewish language spoken by the "Ashkenazi" Jewish populations of Eastern Europe. It is sort of a combination of German and Hebrew, with a few Russian and Polish words thrown in, sometimes referred to as the "mama-loshn" (the mother-tongue). It is a beautiful, rich and expressive language, which has been used in a variety of Jewish literature and it is enjoying a revival along with Klezmer music and dance.

SEPHARDIC  also known as Judeo-Spanish traditional music, comes from the Jewish people of the Iberian peninsula. The people from this area speak a language known as "Ladino" or Judeo-Spanish-- a mixture of Spanish, Hebrew and Turkish. The music is heavily influenced by the scales and rhythmic modes of the Middle East. The repertoire is very beautiful -- primarily vocals with instrumental accompaniments and improvisations.

NEW MEXICAN  traditional folk dance tunes are very popular at our local weddings: "La Marcha de Los Novios", "Varsuvian", "Valse de Escoba" (the Broom dance) -- and of course-- polkas, rancheros and waltzes. We play several.

MEDITERRANEAN  folk music, especially Greek and Turkish folk tunes are popular with the band.

BALKAN  folk music from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia also has close ties with Klezmer music in the scales and ornamentation used.

ROM (GYPSY)  musicians often played (and still play) Jewish music with - or without - other Jewish musicians. Much of the styling and ornamentation of east European Jewish music is similar to the Rom music of that region. The Rebbe's Orkestra also plays a handful of Rom tunes and songs.

JEWISH JAZZ   - Remember Benny Goodman, The Andrew Sisters, and The Bagelman sisters? -- That kind of music.

TABLE MUSIC   - In Easten European communities, this sort of piece - or combination of pieces would be played as a special request or in dedication to an importent family member attending a wedding. Usually, this person would already be seated at the table during the reception and the band would come over to him/her and play at the table.

The Rebbe's Orkestra Repertoire:  

Klezmer, Yiddish songs, wedding music, and Eastern European (*indicates with vocals):
Ahavo Rabo and Rushishe Sher
*Ale Brider - freylekhs
Alexandrovsky - Russian waltz
*Asher boro - Hassidic wedding benedictions
*Asher Noson Lonu Toras Emes - freylekhs/Liturgical
der Badchens freylekh
Baym Rebin's Sude - Khosidl
Behusher Khosid - Honga
*Bei mir bist du Shayn
*Chossen Kalle Mazeltov - Siman tov umazel tov -
  Hava Nagila - Yesilim - Joyous wedding dance medley
Dance from Maramanos - Honga
Dobryden - Bessarabian Chusidl - Rumanian Sirba Suite
*Drey Zikh Dreydele
Fisselekh, fisselekh - honga
Freylikh fun der Khuppe
Freyt Aykh Yiddelekh - freylekh
der Gasn Nign - Yiddish hora
Gersh Yankl's Tango
der Glater Bulgar
*die Greene Kuzine and My Little Cousin
Grishicher Tanz - Terkishe
Gypsy Bulgar
Hora - Sucheava - Russian shers Medley
*Ivdu et Hashem B'simcha - Hassidic suite
Kallarash - hora
Kandel's hora
Karapyet - Russian folk dance
Khosid Wedding dance - honga
Khsidishe nigunim (Boyberiker Kapelye)- khosidl
Kolomeike
Kolyn - freylekh
*Korobushka - Russian folkdance
Liebes Tanz
Lebedikh un Freylekh - freylekh
*Ma Yofus (Yoshke, Yoshke)
Mazel Tov - table music
*Medley: Mi Khamokha, Ki Khem Khayenu, Ach el Elohim
Odessa Bulgar
Ot Azoy - khosidl
*Oy Meyn Kepele - shiffers tanz
Oy Tate - khosidl
*Papirossen
Polka Koketka
Reb Schwatrz' Nigun - honga
*de Rebbe Elimelekh
de Rebbe is gegangen - khosidl
de Rebbe's Waltz
dem Rebben's Nign - freylekh
a Redl
Rikud - freylekh/Bulgar
Roumanian Hora and Bulgar
*Rozhinkes mit Mandlen
*Rumanye, Rumanye
Rumanian Hora and Sirba
Rushishe Sher medley
Sadeger Khosid - freylekh
*die Sapozhkelekh - hora
Satmer Purim Nigun "Bulgar a la Naftule"
*Sha, Shtil
*Sholem zol zayn - Shiffers tanz
*Shnirele Perele - Shiffers tanz
Simkhas Toyre - Khosidl or Shiffers tanz
Terkishe medley: Old, Terk in Amerika and Araber tanz
Terkishe yale-ve-yove tanz
*Tum Balalaika
Ukranian Freylekh
*Undzer Nigndl
Varshaver Freylekhs
a Vollich
Vu Bist du Geveyzen fur Prohibishe - frelekh/Bulgar
*Yossel, Yossel - Joseph, Joseph
a Yuhr est noch Mein Chasene - freylekh

Israeli and Liturgical:
*David Melekh Yisrael
Debka Kafrit
*Dodi Li
*Erev Ba
*Erev Shel Shoshanim
*Eretz Zavat Chalav
*Hana ava Babanot
*Hava Nagila
*Hinei Ma Tov
*Liturgical Medley: Hevenu Shalom Alechem, Ose Shalom & Lo Yisa Goy
*Ma Navu
*Mayim
*Tzadik Katamar
*Tsena
*Yesh Lanu Taish
*Zemeratik

Sephardic, Middle-Eastern, Greek & Other:
*Abenamar
*Adio Kerida
*Avre tu Puerta Cerrada
*Los Bilbilikos
*Cuando el Rey Nimrod
*Cuando Moshe
*Un Dia yo Bezi
*Hamisha Asar
*Ija Mia
*A Kasar el Rey
*Maoz Tzur (13th century Venetian)
*Morikos
*Ocho Kandelikas
*Los Sietes ijos di Hana
*La Zagala (New Mexico and Sephardic)
La Marcha de los Novios (New Mexico)
Valse de escoba (New Mexico)
*Panayota Penemeni (Greek)
*Evreopoula (Greek)
*Garcona (Greek)
Misirloo (Greek)
Syrtos Mytelini-Geragotiko (Greek)
Tunisian Instrumental
*Rax Kurd (Classical Arabic)
Kurdili Hicaz Kar (Iraqi Jewish)
Sunrise Sunset (Fiddler on the Roof)
*Gelyum Daye (Macedonian Rom)
*Istanbul & Hinei Ma Tov (Sephardic)
*Osman Aga (Turkish)

AND MORE!! Our current repertoire varies and it is constantly growing/changing. If you have favorites -- or something that is not on our list -- request them well in advance of your event.