Klezwoods provides progressive young couples 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!)
As seen at:
Our goal: to be the #1 klezmer wedding band in the USA for young professionals seeking an unforgettable and welcoming evening of dancing for their Jewish and non-Jewish guests.
Love is Love!
"We didn't realise until just after the wedding was over that Klezwoods was exactly the band we needed. Many of the guests had never heard a live klezmer band before [...] and we received so much praise for the band. When you choose Klezwoods [...] you enter a different set of traditions and encourage a different style of dancing. One Turkish guest fell in love with the band and went on to lead much of the dancing [, which ] reminded him of his childhood weddings. We got the best of both worlds by adding DJ Sam and Live Horns at the end. [...] Klezwoods was highly professional, managing both the boring bureaucratic elements of the wedding and as musicians. If they ask you if you want musicians walking around with instruments, you do!"
Edward Moon-Little & Eliana Ritts (Philadelphia, PA)
"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 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)
"While looking into klezmer for our wedding, my mom had told me to be wary of 'squeaky violin music.' In the end, after we hired Klezwoods, our hora was the one part of the night everyone talked about afterwards, and many of our guests who had never seen one before told us how cool it was. Klezwoods created a great environment, and we can surely recommend them. Our guests loved the music!"
TG and LHT
Married Oct 2023
Boston, MA @ Fairmont Copley Plaza
"Initially, we were a little worried whether all of our guests would dance a lot since not everyone knows klezmer. Getting as many of our guests dancing was our top priority, and on the day of the wedding, people basically danced the entire time! You had a reputation for being very dance-oriented, and that is exactly what we got. On top of it, we felt ‘held’ throughout the entire planning process. Our guests were raving about the music and kept asking us, 'who are those musicians!’ We would definitely recommend Klezwoods, especially if you love to dance!"
Julia Stoller and Caleb Weinreb (Somerville, MA)
"We have a musical family who also knows klezmer and includes Israeli musicians, and so we wanted music at our wedding that would be both culturally significant and unique, but also that would encourage dancing quickly amongst all of our guests who don’t know klezmer. In the end, it was just wall to wall, great, including the communication before the wedding which was very easy throughout. There was so much energy, we had no concerns, and by the second song, there was already a great crowd that included our discerning musician relatives! If you’re looking for a unique klezmer band for your wedding, I don’t know where you would get that than Klezwoods."
Kaitlin Bohon (Cape Cod, MA)
"At first we were concerned that Klezwoods music might be too specific or not have wide enough appeal, but in the end, so many guests said this was one of their favorite weddings! Some who joined in the dancing and chair lifting felt exhilarated whether they “knew what to do” or not. Joe and Brian were extremely reassuring and clear, and we loved how the band handled everything without us (at our request!), which was a big relief day-of. We’d definitely recommend Klezwoods; they made it easy for us and the music was done perfectly."
Daria Solomon and Kyle Winston
(Married in 2023 • Cambridge, 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
Locations We Serve
Our goal is to be the #1 klezmer wedding band in the United States for discerning clients who want an unforgettable dance party infused with global sounds. Typically we serve Boston, New England, and the Tri-State Area, but the group can travel as well. Places we have performed include:
- Boston / Cambridge / Somerville
- Newton, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, Brookline
- New England region including:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Jersey
- Philadelphia and Pennsylvania
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)
"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 below.Pricing for Weddings, Mitzvahs, Parties and Private Events: Note: these are estimates only. Final pricing can only be provided after we speak via phone/Zoom. We'll typically provide you with a few different options for working with us via a written proposal. Our Boston-area weddings typically range from $5 to 15k+, with the higher end usually being for full service weddings featuring our entire ensemble, covering ceremony, dinner, cocktail hour, and reception. Other events in the Boston area such as concerts, parties, and mitzvahs typically range from ~$3 to 12k. Discounts are available for temple and synagogue clients (for service music only). We are available to price out travel for events outside Massachusetts, however additional fees apply.
Next Step/Get A Quote: Because your event is likely a special event, and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime occurence, we require all clients—especially wedding clients—to book a brief 30-min. Discovery Call with us so we can be sure there is a good mutual fit. Book your call below:
Emailing me? Here's how to 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.