Urban Tunélls: potent and energetic klezmer music - delivered with virtuosity, potency and punch.

What is klezmer?

Klezmer music was an integral part of pre-WW2 Eastern European Jewish culture. The music emerged from Jewish communities in Poland, Lithuania, Russia and the Ukraine. Melodies from the synagogues blended with the secular folk music of these countries. Expressive Jewish music and East European rhythms merged into melodies with ties to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Klezmer is not religious music. It was meant to make people dance, and it was primarily played at weddings and other festive occasions, by self-thought, itinerant musicians of low social status. The music has many similarities to Roma music and other Balkan folk music, but it also has its own unique character, which sets it apart.

In the wake of World War 2, the original form of klezmer was lost as an artistic expression. The genre has later seen a revival, particularly in the USA and in Western Europe.

By nature, klezmer is a simple form of folk music. However, current musicians have brought it into the concert halls, and the music is now living a life of its own, developing in various directions. Many artists are inspired into mixing traditional forms with new impulses. This has resulted in sub-genres like Jewish jazz, klezcore and hip hop klezmer. Bands such as Balkan Beat Box and Gogol Bordello have brough the tradition onto the club scene and to the great rock venues.

Urban Tunélls

Urban Tunélls is one of a very small number of Norwegian klezmer ensembles. Concert and record reviewers mention their virtuosity, creativity, spontaneity, and their consistency as a great live act.

Throughout their career, their focus has been on presenting East-European, Jewish folk music in innovative and untraditional ways. With a profound respect for the traditions of klezmer, they modernizing the genre through improvisation, creative arrangements, impulses from other styles of music, and – not least – through their virtuosity and their,vibrant performances.

The band has toured in America, Russia, Serbia, the Netherlands, Germany and the Scandinavian countries.
They have so far released two records featuring traditional klezmer material, as well as a remix-album where DJ and electronica artist DJ Kohib has been allowed to play with the band's original recordings.

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Foto: Arne Hauge [ 1,2,3,4,5,7,8 ] Cistian Quezad [ 6 ]