Review: Klezmerish at the Stephen Joseph Theatre

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As evidenced by a show of hands after the concert, less than half the audience knew anything about Klezmer before the evening’s performance.

Whatever their knowledge, or lack of it, no one could have failed to be impressed by a musical entertainment that gave us the traditional music of Ashkenazi Jews, Scottish and Irish jigs and reels and the steamy tango music of Astor Piazzolla.

Each member of Klezmerish plays in a section of the Liverpool Philharmonic, so there is no doubt about the musical pedigree.

Formed deliberately to allow greater freedon in artistic expression than is available from orchestral playing alone, each member of the group relishes the opportunity to foregraound their particular skills.

Marcel Becker anchors the ensemble from the double bass. His playing is creative, frequently leaving others to pick up the bass line.

Connie Del Vecchio adds an atmospheric accordion to the mix and provides a splash of colour in the tango sections when the men all dress in black.

Rob Shepley provides guitar, violin and vocals, singing two of his own songs towards the end of the evening.

The fourth member is Tom Verity playing a variety of clarinets, including the bass clarient which he had to balalnce on his toes, owing to a miscalculation on the height of the stool.

In the question and answer session afterwards, one enthusiastic audience member grabbed the last question opportunity with, “When are you coming back?” We can only hope the answer is soon.

The next music event at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough is the Eduardo Niebla Experience on Friday June 8 at 7.30pm.

Niebla is a formidable flamenco jazz guitar virtuoso and master of today’s generation.

He has traversed the worlds of jazz, classical, world and pop music, collaborating with such diverse partners as George Michael, Craig David and Lol Coxhill.

Tickets: 01723 370541.