Amsterdam Klezmer Band: Mokum
Cat. No: AY CD 32
release date: 02nd march 2012

The Amsterdam Klezmer Band will celebrate their 15th anniversary to coincide with the band’s 1000th concert and the new album release “MOKUM”. The anniversary party will take place on January 19th 2012 at Amsterdam’s famous pop temple Paradiso. MOKUM is the Yiddish word for “city” and is slang for “Amsterdam”.
The MOKUM album contains 16 live tracks recently recorded in front of a select audience at Amsterdam’s renowned Studio 150. These recordings retrace the band’s history. Most of these tracks have not been available for years. The time was ripe to play and reshape them again, giving them a new edge – these rejuvenated songs are alive and kicking once again.

The Amsterdam Klezmer Band’s international Mokum tour in 2012 will include concerts at clubs, theaters and at festivals all over Europe – where they will play their greatest live ‘hits’ along with plenty of new repertoire. Their showcase at last October’s Womex reinforced their reputation as the Magnificent Seven of Balkan and Klezmer – everybody was dancing.

“The Magnificent Seven smashing ancient Klezmer into a jumping mix of frenzied Dance Music”. (London’s party legend Chris Tofu)

Since they began in 1996, the Amsterdam Klezmer Band has developed into a renowned live band on the world, Klezmer and Balkan scenes. This septet has built up a loyal following among audiences in The Netherlands, Europe and around the world. Their strength lies in grabbing a wide variety of world, pop and jazz aficionados by the short hairs through their virtuoso live performances. It is no wonder that the press describe them as “Whipping up and moving audiences” and being “both unique and recognizable, profound and varied.” Going to one of their gigs means it’s party time: time to dance, laugh and ‘go crazy’. They are a favorite among their fellow musicians and many of their original songs have been covered and remixed by such renowned producers as their label mate Shantel. In May 2011 their “Katla” album was awarded the German Record Critics’ Prize. The members of that jury, which presents this prize to outstanding music productions, are recognized music experts who are totally independent of the industry.

„The Amsterdam Klezmer Band has found its very own style. But this does not put an end to their curiosity towards new inspiration.“ FAZ

„Out of all the myriad groups taking apart and then rebuilding new repertoire out of Klezmer and Balkan music, there can be no doubt that the Amsterdam Klezmer Band are one of the most accomplished bands around. Famed for their cooking live shows and ultra-tight horn section (...) pairing their dance floor- friendly licks with top DJs and producers, and allowing Yiddish music to really let loose in the global Gypsy dub revolution.” Songlines

“Mix a dose of klezmer with a pinch of ska, add a shot of Balkan and a smidchen of Gypsy, top it all off with a tablespoon of jazz and dollops of punk, then put everything through the blender en voilà, you’ve got the recipe for Amsterdam Klezmer Band. Their fat brand of Klezmer Balkan grabs everyone by the balls. When brass, double bass, accordion and percussion all take each other on with pulsing grooves full of subtle yet raw energy , they really make an audience sweat.“ Beyond


1. Di Naie Chuppe (Job Chajes)
2. Takaj Zhizn (Janfie van Strien/ Alec Kopyt)
3. Fryske Bulgar (Joop van der Linden)
4. Son (Gijs Levelt/ A. Kopyt)
5. Magnificent Seven Medley (Job Chajes, Janfie van Strien & Gijs Levelt)
6. Di Zilberne Chassene (Trad. arr. by AKB)
7. Blue Hora (Janfie van Strien)
8. Marusja (Theo van Tol/ Alec Kopyt)
9. Op een Goppe (Job Chajes)
10. Noushka (Jasper de Beer)
11. Naie Kashe (Job Chajes/ Alec Kopyt)
12. Pluk (Gijs Levelt)
13. Oscar's Cocek (Gijs Levelt)
14. Chassid in Amsterdam (Job Chajes)
15. Limonchiki (Trad. arr. by AKB)
16. Koningsplein (Job Chajes)

All tracks published by Edition Essay except 1, 14 & 16
Jasper de Beer: double bass, guitar banjo, backing vocals
Job Chajes: alto saxophone, vocals & double bass (on track 10)
Alec Kopyt: vocals, percussion
Gijs Levelt: trumpet
Joop van der Linden: trombone, percussion
Janfie van Strien: clarinet, backing vocals
Theo van Tol: accordion


With their talented musicians, the Amsterdam Klezmer Band (AKB) is an energetic and poetic stage act that charms international audiences. Their refreshing approach to Klezmer and Balkan music transcends the traditional aspects of this music and results in a very lively mix of Eastern-European sound. Their strength lies in their ability to appeal to a remarkably broad audience across all age groups; they play clubs or theatres, festivals, parties, weddings or formal functions. AKB can both fire up a crowd and create pure listening pleasure with the vibrancy of their playing. Their instrumental skills are complemented by the vocals of Alec Kopyt from Odessa and Job Chajes (also on saxophone).

Since its foundation in 1996 by saxophone player Job Chajes, the band has evolved rapidly. In no time the band became world-famous in Amsterdam for its many vibrant performances on the streets, in the parks and in the pubs. Soon the rest of The Netherlands followed: the band performed at the Oerol Festival in 1999, 2000 and 2001 to great acclaim and was invited to the Noorderslagfestival in January 2001 (the media describing their performance as 'the great surprise of the festival'), followed by the Lowlands Festival in August 2001. During that period the band toured in Slovenia, Switzerland and Italy and completed three successful tours of Turkey. The third CD of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Limonchiki, was released on the New York label Knitting Factory label and the band had a grand tour of the Dutch club scene in the autumn of 2001, with as its highpoint the presentation of Limonchiki at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. In September 2003 the CD Katakofti was released. It's the result of a collaborative effort of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band and the Galata Gypsy Band from Turkey. The CD was released on Turkish label Kalan Records. In January 2005 SON (Russian for ‘dream') was released, containing a veritable treasure-trove of new Amsterdam Klezmer and Balkan music. The album received an enthusiastic reaction from the (international) press and led to a year of heavy touring and playing gigs in clubs and theatres including world famous Concertgebouw Amsterdam and venues in New York, Moscow, Paris and Hamburg.

Nowadays only part of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band repertory consists of traditionals of Balkan or Klezmer origin. Most of the AKB repertory has been created by the band members themselves, who all without exception contribute musically to an ever-growing melting-pot of infectious Balkan/Gypsy/Klezmer cross-over grooves. In this manner the band endeavours to breathe new life into the Eastern-European Balkan, Klezmer and Gypsy music tradition. Passionate performances, spectacular live shows and a good dose of street credibility form the ingredients of their cocktail: Klez dance!






Disko Partizani

The Edge of Heaven

Bucovina Club Vol.1