Beigale Orkestra: Reviving Jewish music

French Klezmer band arrives in Israel

Street band playing Jewish minstrel music from western France lands in Israel; scheduled to play several shows across the country

Beigale Orkestra, a French street orchestra playing klezmer music in the tradition of the early 20th century, arrived in Israel this week. The band is scheduled to play more than half a dozen shows across the country.


The band includes 15 members from western France who play the violin, clarinet, fiddle, tuba, banjo, among other instruments.


The players, who come of various musical genres, have joined forces in the purpose of reviving the Jewish musical variety. The band's performances encourage spectators to dance along on the street while it sings and plays songs and melodies in Hebrew and Yiddish.


The band arrived just after the 22nd Safed Annual Klezmer Festival concluded earlier this month. During the rest of the year the Israeli public has little exposure to Klezmer music with the exclusion of younger bands such as Oy Division.


Ironically, while recent years have seen this Jewish musical genre growing vastly popular in Europe, Israel is virtually a stranger to it.


Klezmer music is rooted in spiritual streams of Judaism, and primarily in the Hassidic movement. Its musical influences derive from its geographical origin of Western Europe and include Slavic, Balkan, Gipsy and Turkish music. Klezmer orchestras, which are associated with a lively and upbeat style are known for accompanying festive gatherings, particularly Jewish weddings.


Upon the massive immigration wave of the Western Europe Jewry to the United States the minstrel bands received a major boost. Klezmer music gained momentum as Jews were offered political freedom and freedom of expression in the new world, in addition to the introduction of instruments such as the xylophone.


Beigale Orkestra will be holding concerts until the end of August in Bat Yam, as part of the International Street Theatre Festival, and also in Tel Aviv and Zippori.




פרסום ראשון: 08.26.09, 09:36
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