A friend had been after me for some time to join him for a klezmer brunch at City Winery, and finally the stars were all lined up today and off I went. City Winery is a restaurant/event space at Varick and Spring Streets in SOHO, Manhattan West Side, just a few blocks from the #1 subway (Houston or Canal – it's intermediate between the stations). They have a variety of entertainments nightclub style, and evidently decided that another way to exploit the space was to have a "klezmer brunch" on Sundays, with a rotating cast of live klezmer ensembles playing that unusual mix of old style Eastern European Jewish music with a tinge of musical theater and jazz.
Yale Strom, a klezmer violinist, presented on this occasion an excellent ensemble with singer, wind player (clarinet, sax, flute), accordian, bass and drums. The place opens and starts serving a limited but more than sufficient brunch menu at 10, and the music starts around 11 and they play for a few hours. People come and go; it's not like a concert, more like a cafe with live entertainment.
I found it an enjoyable experience and hope to go back again. There is a party space as well, and a 50th anniversary party group was there in addition to the regular brunch crowd. There is a nice informality about it, although the pricing of the food on top of the ticket for admission might make it a bit stiff for some folks. But it looks like a good destination place for getting together a group of folks who enjoy klezmer music. Maybe for my landsmanschaft…..