Shir Madness is a klezmer band in Newton, Massachusetts. We’ve been playing together for ten years or so, incorporating folk tunes from the European and Mediterranean klezmer traditions, with additions from the Yiddish theater, the jazz age, and the klezmer giants — Dave Tarras, German Goldenshteyn, Naftule Brandwein and lots of other masters. We also play tunes written for us by one of our own members.
We play at weddings, b’nei mitzvot, public libraries, nursing homes (where people will sing along in Yiddish!), block parties, and other community celebrations that need a shot of klezmer energy. And we love to play at dances — above all, this is dance music.
There are eight of us singing and performing on clarinet, flute, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, baritone horn, drums, piano and accordion. In concert the group plays as a full ensemble, but we also play in smaller combos for a more intimate mood. We are: