One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Traditional eastern European Jewish music.
- ‘Used for weddings, parties, dances, just about any celebration, klezmer is Jewish roots music, an essential part of the culture.’
- ‘His music combines songs and tunes from a wide range of musical traditions including folk, blues, reggae, Cajun, and klezmer.’
- ‘A classical clarinet virtuoso with Ashkenazi roots, he didn't actually start playing or listening to klezmer until the late 70's.’
- ‘He has greeted the resurgence of klezmer, Yiddish, and Hassidic music among younger Jews with great enthusiasm and is regarded highly by musicians of all ages.’
- ‘They teach their granddaughter the haunting klezmer melodies of their youth.’
- 1.1count noun A musician who plays klezmer music.
- ‘After graduation from Harvard, where she majored in Russian history and literature, she headed to Seattle, where she tried her hand sitting in with a local klezmer band called the Mazeltones.’
- ‘Klezmer, the traditional tooth and heel-clicking Jewish folk tunes that the travelling klezmorim used to play, has been yanked out of the ghetto and thrown on to the dancefloor.’
- ‘Pianist Kenny Werner, bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Joey Baron,are incredibly gifted jazz improvisers who are no less brilliant as klezmer musicians.’
- ‘My father was a real klezmer, self-taught.’
- ‘The reception kicks off with a klezmer band, and Sophie and Max are hauled up on chairs for the Jewish wedding version of musical chairs.’
1920s: Yiddish, contraction of Hebrew kĕlē zemer ‘musical instruments’.
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