New York-based musical collective Metropolitan Klezmer …Led by drummer-archivist Eve Sicular, the band is known for its smooth balance between classic klezmer sounds and bold new interpretations, for bringing back forgotten Soviet Yiddish theatre hits and experimenting with Latin jazz or reggae fusion.
Gabriela Geselowitz, Jewish Week
Metropolitan Klezmer, one of the finest American klezmer bands, deliver a varied, highly enjoyable set of both traditional klezmer and swinging Jewish jazz, as befits Klezmer’s roots as Jewish diaspora music.
Mike Gerber, Songlines Magazine (UK)
They’re taking klezmer to new places: The eight-person unit, led by drummer Eve Sicular, records and performs traditional klezmer music but also creatively and often exuberantly reinvents the style of Yiddish music
The Bergen Record & NorthJersey.com
Metropolitan Klezmer… reminded the crowd how diverse klezmer music is, and how it keeps evolving. And then they pushed the envelope, not just with blistering dance numbers and plaintive introductory taqsims … but with a slinky cumbia tune, a Yiddish movie theme, a Polish tango reworked by Russians and a ferocious Romanian medley to close the show.
New York Music Daily
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Led by drummer Eve Sicular, of Isle of Klezbos fame, Metropolitan Klezmer takes a scholarly approach to the genre’s history, yet never skimps on the exuberance at its core.
TIME OUT New York
With influences that range from old school Arabic music to Latin jazz to Motown, Metropolitan Klezmer interprets aged Yiddish favorites with a mixture of tradition and irreverence. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of the accordion-rich, Eastern European genre of klezmer. Led by percussionist Eve Sicular, the NYC-based eight-piece produces a sound that is not only exuberantly eclectic but also very danceable. Expect an eccentric cultural lesson from these modern-day purveyors of time-honored traditions.
Jen Bachman, Flavorpill
Excellent klezmer…impeccable yet electrifying arrangements … Delightfully rambunctious… klezmer octet inventively mixes Yiddish media…
Richard Gehr, Village Voice
Genius and is pure bliss to listen to, every style of haunting or boisterous Jewish roots music you could ever want…. one of the foremost groups in the current wave of klezmer revivalists
Lucid Culture (from Eldridge Street ‘Music from Yiddish Celluloid’ review)
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Metropolitan Klezmer performs fresh repertoire and beloved favorites. Check out the irresistible 21st century genre-blenders like the ever-popular klezmer cumbia plus rollicking dance, ethereal trance, and Yiddish swing and tango.
GO Magazine (Very Best of NYC: Music, 2013)
Eclectic and sizzling klezmer …Eight virtuosic musicians bring klezmer back to the Main Space at the Knitting Factory, including new tunes and old favorites…
The (NY) Jewish Week
Fantastic players… excellent vocals… strength and diversity
Scott Atkinson, RootsWorld Bulletin
Bright Sounds, Big City:
Metropolitan Klezmer — whose eight New York musicians have since 1994 been breathing new life into traditional klezmer — brings a special holiday set of old and new songs to the Knitting Factory, with a line-up that includes a hodgepodge of yidishkayt: a song from the 1920s world of the Moscow Yiddish theater and even an Old World tailor’s song set to a swing rhythm.
One of the greatest klezmer bands I’ve ever heard — Metropolitan Klezmer. I had to find a way to include them in this broadcast!
The Hot Club, Australia (www.tripod.com)
Metropolitan Klezmer…embraces the protean, polyglot character of klezmer music…with a playful yet authoritative touch, mixing equal parts authenticity and creativity…Consider Eastern Village Hanuka from the album Mosaic Persuasion. Here the band transforms Hanuka Oh Hanuka – a holiday song so common it could be called the Jewish Jingle Bells – into an Eastern-style, odd-meter dance.
Rob Taube, Our Town (NYC)
Metropolitan Klezmer Mixes it Up:
There is power in diaspora, says Eve Sicular, founding drummer of Metropolitan Klezmer, one of Gotham’s most in-demand klezmer bands. “We believe that the Jewish identity is something that’s always under construction,” Sicular says. That’s why Metropolitan Klezmer… is as eclectic as it can be.
Robert Makin, The [New Jersey] Courier News
Metropolitan Klezmer is one of (I’d argue strongly for ‘THE’, but I’m sure of universal agreement on “one of”) the best klezmer bands in the world today…. anything but stereotypical, and nothing but terrific. …virtuosity aplenty on music drawn from deep Eastern European and Middle Eastern roots, and from the Yiddish theater of the Jewish Diaspora.
Shaun Dale, Cosmik Debris (cosmik.com)
The absolute top in klezmer style. Whoever listens to Metropolitan Klezmer opens the encyclopedia of klezmer…
Feisty NYC-based octet… known for its encyclopedic range of Yiddish sounds.
Eve Sicular’s Metropolitan Klezmer is an outstanding group that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves…
Tad Hendrickson, The Village Voice
It’s a great band!
John Zorn (letter to Metropolitan Klezmer)
Great fun and a mix of deliriously danceable tunes along with some quieter, more haunting material… As befits New York’s best klezmer band, the musicianship is breathtakingly good.
Metropolitan Klezmer… prove themselves the most versatile and arguably most ferociously entertaining klezmer act around.
Lucid Culture, NYC (“Top 50 CDs of 2008″)
I FINALLY saw Metropolitan Klezmer on Christmas Day. Snow, freezing rain, and an exceptionally warm and enriching experience. I’m so happy I went. Eve Sicular (recipient of the 2002 OMA for Outstanding Producer) is a marvel — as is every member of the group.
Ed Mannix, OUTMusic
This group spans a range of ages and genders, and includes a repertoire that squeezes 1,000 years of Jewish history in song — from Asia Minor, the synagogue, Swing Era dance halls and ’30s Jewish film music. When you hear the songs with vocalist Deborah Karpel, you’ll realize how much Jewish music influenced the torch-song tradition and The Great American Songbook. “The orchestra’s bassist, Dave Hofstra, has a veritable who’s who resume: the Waitresses, blues guitarist Bobby Radcliff, Luka Bloom and ‘Downtowners’ John Zorn and Elliot Sharp. Eve Sicular, the oorchestra’s drummer & leader, has played Cajun and zydeco, rhythm and blues and rock. She has also led an all-female klezmer band, The Isle of Klezbos. With the incredible variety of songs and styles, and the infectious joy that infuses their performances, you won’t need to go to Vegas this season for a show.
Mark Keresman, The (NYC) Resident
The Yiddish Are Coming! Metropolitan Klezmer creates inspired, original compositions around a panorama of traditionally eclectic Yiddish repertoire.
Town News, Ridgewood NJ
Metropolitan Klezmer… subtle but ear-catching… reawaken themes that over-exposure by others elsewhere had jaded. Pleasantly inventive
fROOTS (Folk Roots magazine, UK)
A very interesting, unusual and wideranging klezmer band with all sorts of dimensions.
Rob Weisberg, WFMU
The musicians play with effortless precision… One of my favorites
Stefan (‘Gus’) Bauer, Virtual Klezmer (Germany)
exceptionally well-played, nicely arranged representation of the genre… A standout.
Bob Tarte, The Beat
…from dignified, small-ensemble Old World-style horas to jazzy, frenetic, big band-style tunes. The playing as always is top-notch… and Deborah Karpel’s vocals boast a natural alllure so hit it ought to be licensed, taxed and regulated… Lesser-known and overlooked tunes… exuberant spirit and wit.
Seth Rogovoy, Moment Magazine and The Essential Klezmer
An urban, sophisticated sound, with crisp solos and exquisite ensemble playing… the musicality is true, the enthusiasm is unmistakable.
Gigi Yellen-Kohn, Jewish Transcript (Seattle)
Wildly variegated flavors… clever, spritied and smart musicianship… formidable… A band that can handle any tempo and a wide range of moods with equal mastery.
George Robinson, Jewish Week
Jewish ‘soul’ music of Eastern Europe with a New York twist.