Klezwoods provides progressive, discerning clients a modern klezmer and global musical experience that will knock your guests' socks off.*
(*We'd be Boston's Best Wedding Band for Horas—if the category existed. However, you probably don't care about categories or want generic Klezmer—or you wouldn't be here.)
As seen at:
Love is Love!
"The hora that Klezwoods played at our son's bar mitzvah was amazing. I don't know if a lot of people think to have a klezmer band at a bar mitzvah, but we definitely recommend them!"
Toli & Diana Shabashov (Newton, MA)
"Klezwoods - The best spontaneous band!"
Hector M. (Newton, MA)
"Klezwoods were very professional at the event, and through all coordination before the event. They knew [our] client was sensitive to volume, so they made sure to constantly check in and keep the client happy."
Steven S. (Event Organizer, Chestnut Hill, MA)
"Thank you for the incredible performance! The music was amazing and engaging. The band was professional, entertaining, and delightful for all ages. They were a dream to work with. We would recommend again to anyone."
Jennifer S. (Bar mitzvah client, Brookline, MA)
"Thank you Brian! You guys were fabulous, would definitely recommend Klezwoods to anyone!"
Noah Merlin (a Groom-to-Be in Newton, MA)
"I was delighted with the music. It added so much joy to our [Simchat] celebration. It was a first for me doing a parking lot service with barely any light and coordinating with musicians. Yet, it was all remarkably comfortable and relaxed. It was very easy to communicate throughout the event which made things flow easily. I so appreciated all the music and the improvisation that kept things spontaneous. "
Rabba Kaya Stern-Kaufman
Samples of our Global, Klezmer-Adjacent Dance Music:
Samples of our Traditional Klezmer Music:
Thank you a million times for an incredible performance on our big day and your gift; you really brought everyone on the dance floor and made it epic in every way (the hora is as terrifying as I thought but you only live once!) I will keep listening to Klezwoods and recommend you to friends!
Allie P. and Sarah P
Work With Us:
Why Work With Klezwoods?
Klezwoods is great for events where you may want a blend of traditional klezmer sound, as well as contemporary new music inspired by Jewish, Eastern European and Arabic traditions. The members of Klezwoods are all professional musicians and composers, and the ensemble has put out multiple recordings that mix the traditional with the new. From balkan beats and jewish reggae to an Anatolian giraffe inspired by a trip to Egypt, there's nothing quite like Klezwoods! Additionally, for your big day, we can double as your ceremony musicians. See details on this page.
Who We Work With
We serve discerning clients who want:
- Dance-driven klezmer music that can keep guests on their feet all night long—especially guests who may not be familiar with klezmer
- Global music and "klezmer-adjacent" genres that blend in the balkan brass sound, middle-eastern music, reggae, rock and more!
- Professional musicians who have served 100s of weddings
- An easy booking and planning process from the first phone call until the end of your wedding ("We felt held through the entire process!"—Jacob Weinreb and Julia Stoller)
The Klezwoods Story & Sound
Klezwoods is a Boston and New England-based party band that performs music of the Jewish, Eastern European and Arabic traditions with a modern edge. The group has appeared at the Kennedy Center, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and at Fenway Park. The group's sound is an amalgam of strings, horns and percussion that melds the spirit of these styles with modern grooves, improvisation and melodies. In the spirit of America's melting pot, these voices are brought together to make a new sound that is truly their own, while still embracing the cultures from which the music is stemmed. It's a great choice for your Jewish, Eastern European, Turkish, Greek, or Balkan-themed event. We are based in Boston, but can travel anywhere in greater New England, the Tri-State Area, and beyond.
Klezwoods has performed 100s of parties, Jewish and non-Jewish weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, and festivals over the last ten years and our members have over 100 years of combined experience performing klezmer music. The group also performs and writes original music, and features a professor of music from Tufts, a Jewish cantor, members of Itzhak Perlman's klezmer ensemble, and founding members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band that helped revitalize Klezmer in the New England area.
Klezwoods - In Concert
In addition to routine private performances at weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and corporate events, the group's notable public shows include The Kennedy Center in D.C., The Sixth Annual Helsinki Klezmer Festival in Finland, The Boston Jewish Music Festival and the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. In the Winter of 2014 they put on the premiere of the "30th Meridian Belly Dance Ballet" in Boston, playing down their most recent album from top to bottom, having a fully choreographed 6-piece belly dance troupe act out the story.
"One of the best albums of 2012" --NY Music Daily
Klezmer Music for Weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Birthdays, Parties and More
Klezwoods is available all over New England and beyond in multiple formats ranging from a duo up to our full current complement of 9 players. We can mix/match instruments to your liking, or recommend a formation based on your entertainment goals and budget. Our core instrumentation includes: violin, clarinet, accordion, trumpet, tuba, guitar, bass, drums, and percussion. We're available for:
- Weddings (Jewish and Non-Jewish)
- Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs
- Synagogue/Temple Performances
- Corporate Events
- Museum Concerts
- Birthday Parties
- Concerts and Festivals
- Online private listening parties and events
- Tish, Bedekken, and Kabbalat Panim music - to set the stage for the big day!
- Ceremony music - we have ~9 different formation/options ranging from soloists to quartets. We typically use all Klezwoods members for this, some of whom can perform on additional instruments we don't always use in the band (piano, vibraphone, classical guitar, etc). Ask about our special Sephardic Trio (oud/guitar, violin, and percussion)
- Cocktail Hour
- Dinner Background music
- Reception Music (live band) - our core offering ranging from trios to our full 9-pc complement (typical size is 5-7 Klezwoods members).
- Reception Music (DJ/Playlists) - want to spin your own Spotifiy playlist later in the evening? Bring your phone or tablet and plug right into our PA system. We can even provide a unique DJ + Live Horns offering if you want us to play today's hits or contemporary music backed up with a live brass section!
Temple/Synagogue Concerts & Shabbat Services
- Service Music - ask about our special Sephardic Trio for your Shabbat service. Individual musicians can also be hired for accompaniment or special one-off services (see "Core Members" below for instrumentation options).
- Temple/Synagogue Concerts - Klezwoods has performed many concerts in temples and synagogues. These can be part educational, part entertainment, and part artistic and include lecture or historical context behind the repertoire we play. Klezwoods also believes in the "living traditional" of Klezmer music, and so we feature a lot of original, Klezmer/Jewish-inspired music from around the globe in our concertizing.
- Traditional Klezmer
- Ladino / Sephardic
- Jewish liturgical music (for ceremony)
- Original music inspired by these traditions written by the performers. Listen on Spotify
Core Members of Klezwoods
- Joe Kessler (violin, vocals, founder)
- Sam Dechenne (accordion, founder)
- Tev Stevig (guitar)
- Michael McLaughlin (accordion)
- Greg Loughman (bass)
- Grant Smith (drums)
- Brian O'Neill (percussion, drums)
- Becky Wexler (clarinet and vocals )
- Jim Gray (tuba)
Klewoods Covid-19 Policies and Promise
All of our primary members are fully vaccinated for Covid as of mid-2021. On request, proof of vaccination can be provided for our core members.
Typical Locations Served
Primarily Serving Boston, New England, and the Tri-State Area. The group will occasionally travel beyond this region; contact Brian for details. Places we have performed include:
- Boston / Cambridge / Somerville
- Newton, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, Brookline
- New England region including:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- Tri-State Area including:
- New York
- New Jersey
- Philadelphia and Pennsylvania
"Klezwoods is an "exuberantly eclectic, swinging and successful klezmer-inspired band."
Owen McNally, the Hartford Courant
"Something deeply encoded in my musical DNA resonated. Strongly. You'll want to jump on the table and dance."
Bernie Whitmore, Vitality Magazine
Request a Quote or Contact Us
My name is Brian O'Neill, and I'm the percussionist and occasional drummer in Klezwoods. I also help book our private events, festivals, and concerts. You can contact me via live chat, phone, email or schedule a call online.
Get a fast reply: If you choose to chat or email us, we can get back to you faster if you include a summary of your event including date, time/duration, location, any particulars about the music you are looking for.
Pricing for Weddings, Mitzvahs, Parties and Private Events: Our weddings typically range from $5—20k, with the higher end usually being for full service weddings featuring our entire ensemble, covering ceremony, dinner, cocktail hour, and reception—and/or events requiring significant travel outside the Greater Boston Area. Other events such as concerts, parties, and mitzvahs typically range from $3–10k in the Boston area. We do offer discounts for religious organizations; just ask. After our initial phone call, I can provide you with a proposal including 2-3 options for working with us, so you can choose the one that works best.
You are unique, and your event is unique. If you are hiring music for your event, it is probably a special day for you. As such, we recommend you book a brief "fit" call with us so we can ask some questions about your unique event, and how we might help make it special. If you prefer email/chat, that's ok too.
Contact Options: You can try the Live Chat, call me at 1.617.905.9660 or: