Weddings, Concerts, Parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs since 1986
Meet the Band!
On clarinet, guitar, mandolin and vocals: Jim Armenti Jim is known throughout New England as an instrumentalist, songwriter and teacher. In addition to performing with Klezamir, Jim is one of the Lonesome Brothers, an exciting alt-country collaboration with bassist and songwriter Ray Mason. In 1996 the Lonesome Brothers completed a CD of traditional Yiddish songs with Canadian singer Wolf Krakowski. On "Transmigrations" Jim plays electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, bazouki and tenor sax. In 2007 he released a CD "The Great Pumpkin Roll" of original songs about libraries to support the Westhampton Library project.
On flute, piano, accordion and back-up vocals: Amy Rose Amy founded Klezamir in 1986 after a summer of playing klez with Klezmer V'Od in Colorado because she discovered there was no turning back - klez was the hottest thing she'd ever heard and it was love at first boom-chick! With ancestors from Russia and Poland, among them a concert pianist and Yiddish theater director, Amy found an instant heartfelt connection with klezmer music. Amy is the band's manager and it is her friendly voice you will hear when you call to inquire about booking the band. She divides her time between performing, managing the band and teaching piano and flute. Since graduating from the University of Michigan, Amy has also recorded "The Rosewood Duo", an album of flute and guitar duets; and "Silver Mountains" a solo piano album of originals and compositions by Claude Debussy.
On acoustic and electric bass: Joe Blumenthal Bassist Joe Blumenthal has been with Klezamir from the beginning. Specializing in dance music of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, he also plays with two Balkan dance bands: Orkestar Banitsa and Marakkef Express, and Arabic music ensemble Zay-Tune in addition to occasional swing and contra dance and mandolin orchestra gigs. Joe is the founder of Northampton's ukulele club, AEIOUkes, and has also taught beginner ukulele and dumbek classes. He formerly owned Downtown Sounds musical instrument store in Northampton. Joe also occasionally plays the nose flute, a whistle-like novelty instrument.
On drums and percussion: Keith Levreault Keith received a BA in Music from Westfield State College in 1987 but has been playing professionally for almost 20 years. He studied privately with Alan keith Dawson, and toured and recorded in the U.S and Europe with many artists, including Freedy Johnston, Kevin Salem, Blood Oranges and Michael Gregory. In addition to Klezamir, Keith plays with Love Bomb, a wedding band, and gigs and records with many other area bands.
On trombone, vocals, melodica, and DJ: Brian Bender Brian has performed for many years with various Klezmer, Jazz, Contradance, Irish, Reggae, Dixieland, Funk, Afrobeat, African, Brazilian, and Blues bands. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Presidential Inauguration of Bill Clinton, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and throughout the United States and Europe. Brian owns and operates Face The Music Recording Studio in Shutesbury, MA. He is an instrumental music instructor at two elementary schools and he teaches Klezmer workshops. He also teaches private piano, trumpet, trombone, and jazz improvisation lessons. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory. He has also been a professional DJ since 2005.