The Bagels & Fraylox Klezmer Band is a favorite of klezmer fans throughout southeastern Virginia and of countless music lovers who never heard (or heard of) klezmer before encountering this “band with the strange name.” Two simple ingredients make Bagels & Fraylox irresistible: A repertoire of exciting party music from a Jewish tradition that has wide influences and universal appeal, and an infectious performance style full of energy and zest.
Klezmer is a lively mixture of wedding and party music of 19th century Eastern Europe with strains of Yiddish theater and American dance band music of the early 1900s. But it borrows freely from gypsy tunes, Middle Eastern music and other sources as diverse as American folk music and rock ‘n roll. All of those influences come out in Bagels & Fraylox concerts. A traditional wedding march from one hundred years ago in Russia or a schmaltzy tune from Yiddish theater – even Broadway’s “Fiddler on the Roof” – may lead into a rock-flavored Middle Eastern rave-up that has audience members dancing in the aisles.
The Williamsburg-based band performs often at community cultural events and coffeehouses as well as weddings, bar mitzvahs and other parties. The ensemble features two clarinets, tenor saxophone, accordion, bass, drums and other percussion.
The name “Bagels & Fraylox” is a play on bagels and lox, the bread-and-smoked-salmon delicacy that has a place of honor in Jewish cuisine. The name also plays with the Yiddish word “frailach,” which is a merry tune for a happy time, or the happy time itself.
Presented by Tidewater Friends of Acoustic Music