The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars are entering their 20th year as an active performing ensemble. In these times when folk music has meant rigidly sticking to a cliched format or collecting hackneyed stylistic features, the klezmer all stars have attempted to challenge and stretch boundaries...but without sacrificing the most exciting features of social music; driving rhythms, passion, and clear melodies that are sublime but remain memorable.


Using the inspiration of the city where they began, the band has formed a unique approach to traditional melodies and, even more unusual, a way of writing in the style that leads to a sort of Yiddish Impressionism– keeping audiences dancing but cutting to the depths of their cultural imaginations, even where they didn't realize they had one.


The band is formed of a driving rhythm section that, in the past, has featured notables such as Mean Willie Green of the Neville Brothers and Galactic's rising star, Stanton Moore.  Currently they work with another of the local greats, Kevin O’Day.


Accordionist Glenn Hartman and guitarist Jonathan Freilich have been providing the driving harmonies and write much of the original material while Galactic’s Ben Ellman (sax) and David Rebeck (violin) provide the, driven, ecstatic melodies so essential to the klezmer experience.  These days they are frequently seen with their original, thinking-man's bassist, Arthur Kastler.