February 6, 2023

Chester Synagogue Invites Neighbors to Free Klezmer Band Concert June 25

A Klez Act will perform on Monday, June 25 at 6:30 pm on the CBSRZ synagogue’s lawn

If it’s June, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is cleaning off its grill and tidying the grounds for the annual picnic and Klezmer music concert featuring CBSRZ’s “house band,” A Klez Act. Its loyal fans will gather on Monday, June 25  at 6:30 p.m. on the synagogue’s lawn (weather permitting) with their folding chairs and blankets. The event is free and open to the public. Guests may bring their own picnic fare or purchase food and drinks. Fresh grilled kosher hot dogs and home-made foods, along with drinks, will be for sale with the proceeds going to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen.

Klezmer music began as a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. It was created as dance music to celebrate weddings and other joyous occasions. Klezmer came to the U.S in the late 1800s with the arrival of these Jewish immigrants. Today, the music may also have bits of gypsy, Eastern European folk or French café music or American jazz. CBSRZ’s A Klez Act was founded in 1993 and plays on festive Jewish holidays and other special occasions. Band leader Norman Hanenbaum said, “We look forward to getting together on the lawn and playing Klezmer music. It’s the traditional music of the Jewish people–we want to keep it alive. We’re happy to play for the public.” He said the band will be playing songs that are typically Jewish, Yiddish or Israeli.  The music will be upbeat, the kind that makes audiences feel happy, tap their feet and want to dance. Dancing is encouraged.

Making their debut with A Klez Act at this year’s concert will be two talented young singers, Nicole Jubelirer, a UConn student, and Collin Schuster, a senior at Old Saybrook High School. A Klez Act’s regulars are Hanenbaum on sax, Harvey Redak on trumpet, Neil Gottfried on clarinet, Lori Jubelirer on bass, Bill Bertelli on drums, Steve Jacobs on violin, Lary Bloom on keyboard and Belinda Brennan doing vocals.

There is no charge for the concert, the last of the CBSRZ’s Music & More 2011-12 series. Guests should bring lawn chairs or blankets. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved inside to the synagogue’s community room. Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester. For further information, call 860-526-8920.