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Shirim Klezmer Orchestra in Klezmer Nutcracker

Shirim Klezmer

Nov. 16. 2007 :: No. 107

Who: Department of Music at Cal State Fullerton
Bravo Bands! series
What: Shirim Klezmer Orchestra in
Klezmer Nutcracker
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
Where: Meng Concert Hall, California State University, Fullerton
800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton

Klezmer Nutcracker  arr. Michael McLaughlin and David Harris
In addition they also will perform:
Ukransky Tanz
from Naftule Brandwein

Serba Romaniaska
from Naftule Brandwein

from Dave Tarras

The Jewish Soldier
from Naftule Brandwein

from Moshe Beregovsky

Grandma and Grandpa’s Dance
from Harry Kandel

Glenn Dickson

Hanukah freylakhs

Grandma’s Dreydl
Mickey Katz

Search for the Golden Dreydl
Michael McLaughlin

Yontov/ M’otzur
from Naftule Brandwein


Shirim celebrates Hanukah with music from the traditional Eastern European celebration of the holiday, and with music that could only have arisen in the 20th-century melting pot of America, where Hanukah is part of a national multiethnic “holiday season” that encompasses Quanza, Christmas, Hanukah, Solstice and, at times, even Ramadan.

In Klezmer Nutcracker— a klezmerized version of Tchaikovsky’s perennial holiday classic — Shirim recasts the Nutcracker as a Hanukah classic with images of a dancing Potato Latkes Queen and marching Macabees. It emphasizes the Eastern European elements of the score with witty intelligence and playful irreverence, while combining the zany wit of Spike Jones with the class and craft of Duke Ellington.

For more than 20 years Shirim has been delighting audiences with its humor, virtuosity and undeniable soul, from ecstatic traditional Jewish dances, to the poignant wail of the Romanian laments to their unique klezmer-styled versions of pieces, such as Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance,” Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” and Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”

The band has collaborated with children’s author/artist Maurice Sendak to create the Parent’s Choice Award-winning “Pincus & the Pig,” a Jewish/klezmer adaptation of “Peter and the Wolf” that can be heard annually during the December holidays on their Gracie Award-winning public radio special “The Golden Dreydl: a Klezmer Nutcracker.”

Shirim is featured on the soundtrack of Woody Allen’s “Deconstructing Harry” and has released seven recordings on the Tzadik, Rykodisc and Newport Classic labels. The band has performed with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, the Niagara Symphony and has played in Europe and across North America.

“Shirim’s delightful interpretation … a brilliant combination … klezmer and Tchaikovsky” – National Public Radio (Performance Today)

“Totally compelling … Shirim’s genre-crossing conception is a delight and joy”– Billboard Magazine (Critics Choice)

The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra includes: Glenn Dickson (clarinet), Daniel Blacksberg (trombone), Michael McLaughlin (piano and accordion), Brandon Seabrook (banjo), James Gray (tuba) and Eric Rosenthal (drums).

Admission: Advance sales are $30 ($25 with advance Titan discount).
At the door, all tickets are $30.
Box Office:

Tickets available at the Performing Arts Center box office at 657-278-3371. Box office hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Mondays-Fridays and one hour prior to performance. Tickets also available online at:

Websites: http://www.
Media Contact: Elizabeth Champion, College of the Arts, at 657-278-2434

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