Klezmer (klez'mer) Jewish folk music that contains elements of Gypsy, Central European, Turkish, Greek and other folk musics. Stereotyped "bar mitzvah music", it fell out of fashion from the 1940's until the 1970's when a revival of Yiddish music featured recreations of the music heard on scratchy 78's. The style soon expanded to include fusions with other styles — different rock and jazz sounds, bluegrass, even surf music and avant interpretations.
New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars
The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars (NOKAS) have carried on with their own interpretation of the klezmer tradition since 1991. New Orleans, where arcane cultural borrowing is normal, seems to be a natural home for a music that has always blended diverse styles. Yet, "when we first started playing this music, people had no idea what it was (many still don't)," explains Arthur Kastler, the band's original bass player, "They would stand there with their jaws open.... But right away, they danced."