Profile Type: Artist
Wholesale Klezmer Band

You don't need to be Jewish to enjoy and learn about Yiddish music and culture with the Wholesale Klezmer Band. Concerts, school presentations and residencies, workshops, weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs: through instrumental music, participatory dance and Yiddish songs translated with storytelling and subtitles, this six-member band introduces audiences to traditional Eastern European Jewish culture, history, and humor. Repertoire includes old and original joyous wedding dances, liturgical music, children's songs, theater songs, labor songs and music of the Holocaust.

Educational programs and workshops for elementary through adult include
Introduction to Eastern European Jewish Culture through Music
Yiddish Songs for Community Singing (Kindergarten and up)
How to Dance at a Jewish Wedding
Instrumental and vocal workshops in Klezmer Music
What Yiddish Songs, Poetry and Language Tell about Jewish Life
Songs by Holocaust Poets (especially for high school literature and history classes)
The Art of Hebrew Lettering

Fees for performances and educational programs vary with the number of performers/educators and the length of the residency.

Additional Links: 
Listen to three tracks from Wholesale Klezmer Band's fourth album at this link. In this release, the Wholesale Klezmer Band celebrates Yiddish culture and history through both songs of peace and joyous instrumental music.
Listen to three tracks from Wholesale Klezmer Band's third album at this link. This album showcases the [Wholesale Klezmer] Band as it performs live, and for weddings and simkhas.
Listen to three tracks from Wholesale Klezmer Band's second album at this link. This CD represents a Jewish response to news of genocide in the post-Holocaust world.
This debut album by the Wholesale Klezmer Band is a perfect introduction to their work - not only to their sound and style, but also to the group's view of the relevance of traditional Yiddish culture and values to contemporary life.

I Have Worked With

  • November 2014

    3 day residency at Tamworth Elementary / Middle school teaching about Jewish/Yiddish music, dance, history, literature to every grade from kindergarten through 8th grade plus middle school band and chorus. Adult workshop on Yiddish song, adult instrumental workshop, provided music together with workshop participants and dance leading for community dance, and a concert for community that included performances by middle school band and song workshop participants. Music teacher writes: Personally speaking, it was a wonderful, heart-warming, inclusive, humorous and fun experience that gave the students more insight into Jewish history, in general, and Yiddish culture, in particular. The chicken song, the czar's potato story, the circle dancing, the wedding dance were all key features which brought the message to life. Obviously you have an enormous amount of material that had to be severely winnowed for each class' very short time with you. That's always the trick of residencies - because it changes with each residency. Some schools would have far more time or background knowledge, some less. Also, the choruses and bands might be  more capable of playing by ear. Or not - it's not a skill that's focused on in early instrumental. Speaking of, it was terrific having Christina in the band room! What a musician! She had some nice moments with the younger kids, too, as she shared her instrument with them. I do have some other thoughts about the material presented with the band (as well as the concert which was THE BEST!)  and I'm running out of time...

  • October 2014

    Provided music for bas mitzvah celebration and led Yiddish language and song workshop.

  • August 2014

    Concert and Dance. This is what the event sponsor wrote: It was my very great pleasure! In addition to the women who have physical or emotional difficulties which have prevented them from attending other events in the CH this summer who made every effort to attend your concert, many people made sure to tell me -"Wonderful!" "we have to have them back again!" This is what one of the attendees wrote: I want to thank you once again for the wonderful concert of Klezmer music. It was a delightful evening and I wanted it to go on forever.... For me, the best part was seeing my friend L___ smile and dance and, at least for a short while, forget that she has Parkinson's. Isn't it amazing what music can do?


  • Artist

Contact Information

First Name: 
Yosl (Joe)
Job Title/Position: 
Vocalist/educator/dance leader/composer
Mailing Address: 
389 Adamsville Road
Colrain, MA 01340-9739
Physical Address: 
389 Adamsville Road
Colrain, MA 01340-9739
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Primary Discipline: 
Music - Ethnic / World
Additional Disciplines: 
Dance - Ethnic
Humanities - Cultural Heritage
Music - Ethnic / World
Theater - Storytelling
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Performing Groups
Activities and Services: 
Performance / Concert / Reading
Residency - Community
Residency - In School
Wedding / Parties / Private Gatherings
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 

Affiliations and Accomplishments

We were invited to perform at President Clinton's first inauguration and at the 100th anniversary of Carnegie Hall - celebration of folk music.
Works by vocalist/composer Yosl Kurland were twice selected by the Shalshelet Festival of New Jewish Liturgical Music.

I am a Touring Artist

I am NEST eligible
Technical Requirements: 
Please contact us for sound system requirements which depend on the number and variety of musicians performing at a particular event.
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: 
State of Residence: 
Minimum Number of Performers: 
Maximum Number of Performers: 

I am a Teaching Artist

Subject Areas: 
Arts Integration - Foreign Languages
Arts Integration - History and Social Science
Ages Served: 
Elementary School-age
Middle School-age
High School-age
Certifications / Training: 
Massachusetts Secondary Social Studies
Fee Range Minimum: 
Fee Range Maximum: