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Amsterdam Klezmer Band: “Op een Goppe” and “A Chassid in Amsterdam”

The two clips here — Op een Gopp above and A Chassid in Amsterdam below — are from the same concert. The show was part of this year’s Sziget Festival which is held annually on the island of Óbudai-sziget in Budapest, Hungary. I usually don’t do that, but the performance is so good and the electricity level so high that it was an easy choice. Here is a definition of klezmer:

Klezmer (Yiddish כליזמר or קלעזמער, pl כליזמר,כליזמרים, from Hebrew כלי זמר — instruments of music) is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. Continue Reading…

This site offers a more extensive explanation.

The Amersterdam Klezmer Band seems to add elements of hip-hop to klezmer. That sounds odd. But the last half of A Chassid in Amsterdam shows that it makes sense. On a side note, the singer makes me think of Rocky Balboa’s brother-in-law Paulie.

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Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.