The Grammy-Winning Klezmatics to Perform at the Clark April 12

For Immediate Release

March 17, 2008

The Klezmatics, superstars of the klezmer world, will bring their world-renowned sound to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Saturday, April 12, at 8 pm. Tickets to see this Grammy-winning group perform “Wonder Wheel: The Jewish Songs of Woody Guthrie” are $24 ($20 for members) and available online at www.clarkart.edu, at the museum shop during business hours, or by calling the box office at 413-458-0524.

In Wonder Wheel, the Klezmatics vibrantly bring Woody Guthrie’s lyrics to life, filling them with Eastern European, klezmer, Latin, Celtic, Afro-Caribbean, and folk flavors. It’s a lively musical dialogue about social justice, peace, and the spiritual power of music to unite, bind to a cause, and transcend any borders, musical or otherwise. Wonder Wheel is an intense combination of the familiar and the exotic, with Coney Island–wrought lyrics adding a less-known urban dimension to a man seen as the avatar of Dust Bowl ballads. Working with Nora Guthrie, the Klezmatics have set music to over two dozen of Guthrie’s lyrics; not strictly klezmer music, but whatever music fit. The 2006 Grammy-winning album Wonder Wheel provides the inspiration for this concert.

The Klezmatics erupted out of New York City’s East Village in 1986 with music that is steeped in Eastern European Jewish tradition and spirituality, while incorporating contemporary issues with eclectic musical influences including Arab, African, Latin, and Balkan rhythms, jazz, and punk. In the course of over twenty years they have released nine albums of wild, spiritual, provocative, reflective, and ecstatically danceable music, forever redefining and transcending traditional labels.

The Klezmatics have collaborated with numerous musical luminaries including folk hero Arlo Guthrie, classical legend Itzhak Perlman, Israeli pop icons Chava Albertstein and Ehud Banay, beat poet Allen Ginsberg, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, the Ben Folds Five, and Kosher Gospel singer Joshua Nelson. Their work has extended to numerous theater, film, dance and television projects, including Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner’s A Dybbuk and It’s An Undoing World, and Pilobolus Dance Theatre’s Davenen. The group has reached millions through performances and features on the The Late Show with David Letterman, PBS’s Great Performances, BBC’s Rhythms of the World, A Prairie Home Companion, MTV News, and Sex and the City.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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