klezmer reloaded
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klezmer reloaded

Vienna, Vienna, Austria | INDIE

Vienna, Vienna, Austria | INDIE
Band World Classical


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"Klezmer reloaded by Shevchenko & Golebiowski"

A new bunch of worldwide Klezmer albums starting with the duo Shevchenko & Golebiowski and their debut album klezmer reloaded. Both musicians, originally from Poland and Russia, now live in Vienna. The idea of performing together as Klezmer reloaded came to their minds not more than one year ago. In this short time they were very successful in Austria with their powerful performances. The album contains twelve tunes, mostly traditionals, but also a Mahler composition and a tango by Petersburski. They perform on clarinet and accordion and are absolutely masters on their instruments. The opening track Nicht ganz shtiler bulgar shows their enthusiastic way of playing. They approach this known traditional in a fresh way and the music sparkles out of the speakers. In Walzer nr.7 they play with more passion. Nice how they mix the low tones of the accordion with the vivid melody of the clarinet, a powerful composition. Beautiful is Scherele rhapsodie with a fantastic sad clarinet sound. (…)
A great debut album made by two talented musicians.
- folkworld (DE

"Art of Klezmer"

In their adoptive home Vienna, Maciej Golebiowski and Alexander Shevchenko presented their "Art of Klezmer" in a relaxed, joyful and light-footed manner, on the highest musical level. In one minute one still laughs about a humorous announcement, while in the next being caught my another heartwarming melody embracing the listener with tight chord progressions Klezmer Reloaded creates from a mere passion for improvising. In doing so the two gifted instrumentalists interweave folks music from their original home and the many aspects of jazz music ... - Falter (AT)

"klezmer reloaded: two musicians from Poland and Russia living and working in music capital Vienna"

The music is influenced by shtetl atmosphere, melancholy and the joy of living and has shaped the Eastern European souls of Shevchenko and Golebiowski: Motives of klezmer are mixed with aspects of classical music, tango, jazz as well as funk and hip-hop. - Die Presse (AT)

"Traditional Jewish Sounds with a lot of Swing"

Performing last Friday Maciej Golebiowski did not allow for any doubt to arise that he can cover a whole bandwidth of emotions, from melancholiac sobs all the way over to joyful crows of delight. Often he even managed to show this within a single piece. Also Alexander Shevchenko presented himself similarly versed and virtuoso. The Ukrainian understood well to include influences of both, French chansons as well as Argentine tango into his accordion play. And as if that weren't enough, the music of Klezmer Reloaded further allowed to discover aspects of oriental sounds and jazz of most diverse character. It became all the more interesting and exciting when the duo embarked on one of their numerous improvisations. The two performers harmonised so brilliantly that one could have the impression of more than just two instruments playing at the same time. Also, from a rhythmical perspective the two presented themselves as a perfectly matched and synchronised unit. In most of their pieces there was indeed a lot of swing to be found. - Ostfriesische Nachrichten (D)

"Klezmer Evening with Duo klezmer reloaded at Musikalsicher Sommer Ostfriesland"

The two outstanding musicians revealed the entire brilliance of klezmer music: Jewish festive music, polish vocal performances, clarinet tunes just like women's laughter, fastest scale runs and the passion for dissonance. Wild and joyful polka's alternated with Mazel Funkytov or the Scherele Rhapsodie with a mystical touch. - Emder Zeitung (D)

"Nifty´s make Naftularasa"

Their debut album “Takeshi Express” (2007) received rave reviews from listeners and critics alike; their concerts unleash storms of enthusiasm amongst audience members. Nifty’s - that’s Fabian Pollack and Michael Bruckner on the guitars, Thomas Berghammer on the trumpet, Dominik Grünbühel on bass and Mathias Koch on the drums. The band’s name refers to the Klezmer legend, Naftule “Nifty” Brandwein (1889 – 1963), who made Klezmer famous in the USA. What’s more, even their album title “Naftularasa” relates to this very distinguished gentleman. So, nowadays one makes Naftularasa. Very well, that must mean anything goes. But to label Nifty’s music as Klezmer or New Klezmer would reduce it to a far too narrow notion. In reality, these five men do credit to the meaning of the word “nifty”: elegant, ingenious and not lastly sophisticated.

An aspect of the band’s ingenuity is their unpredictability. You won’t find yourself asking what the next number will be like, but more the next bar! In all seriousness, which is required in order to master this musical challenge so brilliantly, a good portion of humour is the logical consequence of this quirky approach that is expressed in the music as well as in the titles of the tracks – such as “Bratratte” or “Octopussycat”. The listener definitely is going to get somewhat teased.
Warning, Nifty’s like to do some sidestepping! - concerto

"Nifty´s klezmer goulash"

“If klezmer were a goulash soup, the Nifty’s would be its onions. A band who with much fun in playing, electric guitars and a meaty dose of brass instruments play many things not too dissimilar to a musical cooking pot. Reggae, ska and above all punk go waltzing and take an up-tempo from the klezmer. The music ranges from the speed of a dub-tempo walk and the Unza-mile of an express train and in parts has the charm of a drunk person taking a stroll. What’s captivating here is not the precision of the performance but the fact that a band is skilfully moving between the manifold poles of musical history and skilfully altering their style.” - Tritonus

"Nifty´s Takeshi Express"

“These instrumental bastards romp like pups through the ether before remembering their roots and crawling home into their Jewish basket. Now and then we hear brutish lover’s greetings a la John Zorn, and in general the whole album expresses much of the openness and enjoyment in experimenting characteristic of the New York music scene. – One example of this is the “Sirba from Gutenbrunn”, in which the aforementioned cosmopolitan tones whirl around a safely solid native bass line. A by no means inconsiderable contribution to the energy of this album was made by the two guitarists, Fabian Pollak und Michael Bruckner, and their excellent playing.” - oneworldmusic

"What is so nifty about NIFTY´S"

Nifty’s equanimously leave behind the run-of-the-mill, somtimes dubious approaches to Jewish tradition and arrive where the American New Klezmer Scene has already been for long, not without stamping their own signature onto this music, as proven by their world-wide appreciation by colleagues like, e.g., Frank London. Thus, Nifty’s take a bow before Klezmer tradition with a likewise serious and playful, ironic and clever amalgamate of underground rock, jazz, funk, ska, reggae and east European-oriental melisma. Electro Klezmer which, following a never-ending chain of surprises, now explodes in optimistic east Slavic ska, now implodes in archaic soul music, but always indulges its passion for free improvisation.
Nifty’s simply are „nifty“. There's no cultural mission behind it, no currying favour with alien culture, but an implicit immediacy allowing Klezmer to thrive further as a vivid and internationally relevant genre.
- concerto


... one of Nifty’s most important sources of inspiration is klezmer music.
Klezmer – what new things can be said here?
Well, first off: why does something “new” always have to be said or played? Good music made by good musicians – this is enough, time and again, and has an audience – as well it should.
Secondly, klezmer music’s constituent parts have been so loosely arranged during its history that one can definitely always pull them apart again. Rhythm, melody, chords, or simply the style, the attitude of the klezmer. There are so many elements – each one yielding so many different possibilities. ...And Nifty’s does something like this – the group takes klezmer music apart and then reassembles it – but with its own manual or, one could say, without any manual. The chord sounds seem to have become mixed up. The beat measure of the 2/4 or ¾ beat is out of control. The sobbing, cheering melodies are shortened, reduced, practically boiled down or even skeletonized. Sometimes I have the feeling that the musical pieces are leaking, silting up, perishing, .... but then it still always goes on again – like life itself...

Nifty means artful, skilled, but also elegant. No one plays clarinet in the Nifty’s ensemble – but they honour the great klezmer player with artfulness, skill and elegance.
- Austrian broadcasting Ö1, Albert Hosp

"Takeshi Express"

The Austrian group Nifty's focuses on a mixture of klezmer and eastern-European folk music. The band exists out of two guitarists, a trumpet player, bassist and percussionist. Not the usual line up for a klezmer band, a bit fewer trumpets one might think. Nifty's shows on this Takeshi express that a band only needs one good trumpet player to create a real nice brass effect. This Nifty's is not just a standard Balkan influenced band, they are much more than that. I hear great progressive-rock influences in one of my favourite tunes Kelomatics, a nice jazz touch in Sirba to floreshty. But mostly this is great klezmer like music played with passion and in a fresh new way. Although the guitars and trumpet are on the main ground, they wouldn’t be sounding this good without the strong fundament created by the bass and well done percussion. Listen to Unza waltz in which they bring together all the things I mentioned above, good straight, but effective, percussion, nice rocky guitar intermezzo and a good Klezmer like melody on the trumpet. Interesting cd, this Takeshi express has much more to offer than the standard klezmer or brass orientated bands. - folkworld

"Nifty´s debut album"

“If all the Balkan hype has been getting on your nerves lately, this record can help. Klezmer is primarily an east European music tradition but one which has its very own idioms. Named after legendary “King of Jewish Music” Naftule Brandwein - who emigrated to New York from Przemyslany and who, thanks to his virtuoso shellac recordings, played a leading role in keeping klezmer alive after the disappearance of the eastern Jewish Schtetl - Nifty’s five gentlemen really party it up on their debut album, whilst simultaneously showing perfect mastery of the typical, lyrical melancholy which also draws on the human voice. A highly accomplished handling of tradition is also instantly noticeable from these musicians, who are also known from completely different contexts (thus the guitarists Fabian Pollack and Michael Bruckner play in the rather full-on improv-ensemble brpobr): this is by no means a fresh plundering of folklore, but rather an in-depth examination of and love for this music. Correspondingly, Nitfy’s are not dogmatic and have developed an own aesthetic, in classic band formation with trumpet. So: insert CD, laugh, cry, and take off!” - skug


“Fabian Pollack cites one source for the name of his current musical passion: the Galician clarinettist Naftule Brandwein, nicknamed Nifty, who made klezmer famous in the USA in the 1920s and who otherwise made a reputation for himself as an underground figure and ladies’ man. Remaining unmentioned is the term ‘nifty’, which expresses a lot about this both young and impressive band and which, roughly translated, means ‘elegant’, ‘pretty’ and/or ‘virtuosic’. And one is indeed captivated by the elegance but also the enormous joviality of this virtual Jewish music drawing on traditions: one would maybe have expected this from seasoned old hands, but not from this youthful combo, in which Pollack’s old brpobr colleague Michael Bruckner also plays and which has only one old hand, the spirited and equally versatile Thomas Berhammer, in its lineup. Now and then the Nifty’s mix the klezmer with a few Balkan sounds; at one point (“fun tashlach”) even a pure reggae rhythm makes an appearance. Right from the beginning the Takeshi Express lays down quite a fast-paced tempo, except in one song only – in my personal favourite, the second of the four parts to ”Nifty’s Texas massacre”. And in the closing “wie bist du gewesen vor prohibition (“What were you like before prohibition”), the entire spectrum of this emotionally warm klezmer band and their successful debut shines out – a debut which actually belonged on Tzadik. Wholeheartedly recommended!” - Freistil


klezmer reloaded (2009)
label: extraplatte – www.extraplatte.at
Tschiribim - Klezmer für Kinder (2010) (CD for young audience +5)
label: Jumbo Neue Medien - www.jumbo-medien.de
mahler reloaded (2011)
label: extraplatte – www.extraplatte.at



Although klezmer reloaded first came into existence only in 2008, the virtuoso duo has already met with the enthusiastic approval of the Austrian public and press, with performances at several famous Austrian/ Viennese places such as MUSIKVEREIN or jazz club PORGY & BESS, but to name a few... First international appearances happened at renowned festival such as FESTIVAL SINGERA WARSZAWA (festival of jewish culture Warszaw) and KLEZMERFESTIVAL FÜRTH (Germany)

Maciej Golebiowski and Alexander Shevchenko came to Vienna in the late 1990ies.
Both brought distinguished classical education from Poland and Russia with them - not only as musicians, but also as composers and conductors. In Vienna, a city with strong connection to music from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, they were confronted by diverse, and for them new, musical worlds and their paths crossed many times through various performances.

They played together in Leon Pollak’s ‘Ensemble Klesmer Wien’, where they perform traditional Jewish music. They had a lot of fun making music together and quickly found common ground – in huge enthusiasm and endless inspiration. It was musical understanding at first sight. So they decided to bring this enthusiasm onto the stage, reinventing klezmer music.

They play what crystallised out of their sessions together: Klezmer hasn’t disappeared, but instead the musicians have developed their own language to express it. These two open-minded musicians make use of their broad musical background and create their own art of klezmer in every concert. They base their musical expression on improvisation and the connection of elements of Ukrainian folk music with jazz, classic, funky and oriental sounds right up to contemporary music.

Golebiowski’s clarinet becomes lost in furious improvisations and from time to time he ends up in singing a Polish Tango.
Shevchenko’s accordion answers with densely woven solos that never really want to end.

The result: a program full of stylistic surprises and yet an example of chamber music that really works, as can be heard on the debut-CD, simply named "klezmer reloaded".

Since 2010 the duo also brings joy of klezmer music to young audiences (together with Marko Simsa, best known moderator of children´s concerts in German speaking countries) and performed many of these concerts wholeout Austria and Germany.
In 2011 the duo arranged music of Gustav Mahler - first live concert of this program was given in Musikverein Vienna - probably one of the world´s most famous concert houses.

booking-contact: www.triart.at ; Anne Hofstadler, mail: hofstadler@triart.at; fon: +43/699/12333803

Concerts hitherto: Klezmore Festival Wien, Akkordionfestival Wien, glatt & verkehrt Krems, Musikverein Wien, Porgy & Bess Wien, Internat. Klezmerfestival Fürth (D), Festival of Jewish Culture Warszawa (PL), Musiksommer Ostfriesland (D), Filharmonia Czestochowa (PL), Bajan-Festival Nishnij Nowgorod (RUS), Jewish-Film Festival Zagreb