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

  • March 2014

    State: VT
    Activity: Concert/Dance, March 2014
    Previous  activities include concerts, weddings, bar and bas mitzves
    Contact: Kate Judd <>

  • November 2013

    Workshop (How to Dance at a Jewish Wedding) and Concert, Nov. 2013

  • November 2013

    Taught Jewish choral music to chorus, Nov. 2013
    Taught klezmer style to school band, Nov. 2013
    Workshop on Yiddish songs by Holocaust poets, Spring 2013

    Joe Kurland's visit to my 9th Grade English class was a very special experience for the students. We read the novella "Night" by Elie Weisel previous to his visit; the poetry and music that Joe brought to share with the students was particularly appropriate during our unit on Holocaust literature. As an expert in Jewish History and the Yiddish language, Joe provided the students with an in-depth and personal look into the lives of the people we study. I cannot overstate the importance and effectiveness of humanizing these characters and voices from the past during our unit on the Holocaust. The music that Joe sang and discussed was a perfect vessel for the kids to glimpse a genuinely human side of this tragic period in history. I intend to invite Joe back in future years. Here are the rave reviews from my students regarding your visit.
    Christian Austin
    1) It was very informative, it would have been a little better if we had more time to look at each poem individually.
    2) I thought it was really interesting to find out what the songs meant in English and what they meant to the people that sang them during the Holocaust.
    3) Yesterday’s class was really interesting. I learned a lot about the Holocaust that I never knew.
    4) Yesterday’s class was quite interesting, I found the music we went over both powerful, emotional and to be a writing that paints a picture in my head. I liked learning that the songs gave them hope.
    5) I thought it was very interesting. I really liked the children’s song that we’d heard in Schindler’s List.
    6) I thought it was very interesting learning, in more detail, about how people kept their spirits up during the Holocaust.
    7) It was interesting to find out that people still sang songs about happiness when it seemed like there was no hope.
    8) I really liked listening to Joe singing and speaking in Yiddish. I enjoyed when he translated them for us to understand.
    9) I thought that it was very interesting. I wish we could have gone over more songs and heard the author’s back stories.
    10) I liked hearing the singing in a different language. The speaker was so knowledgeable.
    11) I thought it was nice to relate the songs to parts of history we’ve learned about in class. The history behind the songs we talked about was interesting.
    12) I thought the class gave me a unique look into the Jewish culture and experience during the Holocaust.
    13) I thought it was very cool to hear Joe sing in Yiddish and how he knew so much about Jewish history.
    14) I enjoyed the class. I thought it was very interesting, I learned a lot.


  • 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: