It’s no coincidence that The Klezmasters are highly reminiscent of The Klezmatics. The former band, which bills itself as Russia’s only klezmer orchestra, was inspired by the latter. Having been created in 2003 by a group of classical music students who met through Hillel in Moscow, The Klezmasters have been gaining notoriety in recent years both at home and abroad.
In the San Francisco Bay Area this week for their first U.S. tour, members of the group took time out to meet with The Arty Semite at a Russian-owned café in Palo Alto, Calif., and to talk (through an interpreter) about their passion for Yiddish culture and klezmer music.
The band now consists of six members ranging in age from 27 to 65: Lev Sandyuk on piano; Mikhail Blinkov on clarinet; Ilya Shvetz on violin; Alexander Fain on accordion; Vladislav Uralsky on percussion; and Fyodor Kurzanov on guitar and bass. The first four were able to come to the U.S. for the tour.
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