Drums

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Simon Roth

Simon Roth

Pictures show klezmer bands from the 1890s-1930s in Eastern Europe with a poyk un tastsn (bass drum of varying size with a cymbal attached), or a hand-held frame drum (with or without jingles). It seems that the role of drummer was often given to a young member of the band as part of their training. 


In the USA, drum kits became part of the standard line-up as the slower dances and music for listening fell out of favour.


Good klezmer drummers 'play the melody', even as they provide rhythmic accompaniment. 


Simon Roth's short introduction packs in a lot of information. Take a look!



Klezmer drummers in the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries included:


  • Eastern Europe / USA  Jake Silber

  • USA Irving Gratz, Jacob Hoffman (also xylophone), Julie Epstein


Klezmer drummers in the later 20th century and today include:


  • Canada Lorie Wolf

  • Germany Hampus Melin, Thilo Jörgl

  • Japan Miwazow Kogure

  • Russia Evgeny Lizin (also tsimbl)

  • UK Guy Schalom, Simon Roth

  • USA Aaron Alexander, David Licht, Elaine Hoffman-Watts, Eve Sicular, Richie Barshay

Susan Hoffman Watts (trumpet) and Elaine Watts (drums) play 3 family klezmer tunes

Susan Hoffman Watts (trumpet) and Elaine Watts (drums) play 3 family klezmer tunes

Three original compositions by Elaine's grandfather Jacob Hoffman (xylophone)

Odesa played by Sam Liberman and his klezmer orchestra

Odesa played by Sam Liberman and his klezmer orchestra

The drumming comes through nicely in this recording from Buenos Aires in the 1940s/50s