Klezmer and latkes and Christmas

One of the more joyous street gatherings on Christmas Day happens in front of Saul’s, the Jewish deli on Shattuck Avenue near Vine.

For the last three years, Klezmer musicians have gathered to play outside the deli, their lively, upbeat music serenading the long line of people waiting to go inside the restaurant or those just wanting to hear a tune.

People wait to buy latkes on Christmas Day. Photo: Emanuah Hauser

This year, the annual Christmas Day concert coincided with Hanukkah, and Saul’s owners’, Peter Levitt and Karen Adelman, sold their famous latkes from a food truck for the first time. Inside, dozens of people gathered around large tables to eat communally.

Mike Perlmutter, a biologist, and Emunah Hauser, a food publicist and host at Saul’s, came up with the idea of the Christmas Day music jam while talking outside the restaurant a few years ago, said Hauser. Since then, Perlmutter, who books klezmer and Jewish folk acts at the Subterranean Arthouse on Bancroft Way, has organized the musicians. (He plays the sax and clarinet.)

“Saul’s is slammed on Dec 25 with a captive audience enjoying the ubiquitous day off together, and it is always fun as a musician to give people the unexpected,” said Hauser. “The beauty of street performance is exposing people to an experience they didn’t plan on, who didn’t buy a ticket to the show – who don’t know they are going to get this raucous treat as they walked the desolate streets towards Saul’s, but are grateful and happy it is there. This is especially true of heritage and traditional music, I think – we forget to listen and recollect in our busy modern lives these shared histories.”

Ira Serkes made the video.

Musicians outside Saul's Deli. Photo: Emunah Hauser

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  • Charles_Siegel

    Even more amazing, on December 24, I saw someone in front of Cafe Med on Telegraph playing the accordion and singing Tum Balalaika in Yiddish.

  • the Deer

    Lovely! Klezmorim! It’s nice when Chanukkah and Christmas are at the same time!

  • Mike Perlmutter

    December 25, 2011: 3rd Annual Saul’s Klezmer Christmas Street Party.  Featuring an all-star cast of brass, strings, accordions, and percussion, drawing musicians from such bands as Inspector Gadje, Zoyres Eastern European Wild Ferment, California Klezmer, Radio Istanbul, Emperor Norton’s Jazz Band, Harmonikos, Kugelplex, and more! 

    Accordion – Dmitri Gaskin – Dmitri is part of the Harmonikos young composers collective. harmonikos.comAccordion – Hudi Brenman – Hudi plays clarinet and saxophone in Dixieland bands Emperor Norton’s Jazz Band (emperornortonjazzband.com) and the Fog City Stompers (fogcitystompers.com)Accordion – Ilya Kramer – Ilya plays in the Black HatsClarinet/saxophone – Mike Perlmutter – Mike plays with Zoyres Eastern European Wild Ferment (zoyres.com) and Inspector Gadje Balkan Brass Band (inspectorgadje.com), and a new klezmer brass project with Andrew, Sean, Peter, Aharon and others.Drums – Aharon Wheels Bolsta.  www.rhythmwheels.com/Drums – Yari Mander.  yarimander.comPercussion – Dmitri Budker https://sites.google.com/site/spontaneousemission/Tapan (bass drum) – Sean Tergis – Sean plays with Inspector Gadje, Radio Istanbul, MWE (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/MWE/)Euphonium – Peter Bonos – Peter plays with Inspector Gadje and Fanfare Zambaleta.Helicon – Andrew Cohen – Andrew plays with Inspector Gadje, the Gomoran Social Aid & Pleasure Club (www.myspace.com/thegomorrans), and teaches music privately.Trumpet – Bruce Reingold  – Bruce plays with the Rhythm Method www.therhythmmethod.net/fr_members.cfmMandolin and vocals – Gerry Tenney – Gerry plays with California Klezmer (californiaklezmer.com)Mandolin/fiddle – Dave Rosenfeld – Dave plays with Kugelplex (kugelpex.com) and teaches music privately (davidhrosenfeld.com/)Violin – Emunah Hauser. Catch her busking old time tunes.Xylophone and other percussion - Jonathan Simon – Jonathan is looking for musical collaborators (jonathansimon.com/music)

    Bruce Bierman, Susan Felix, Gilberto and others can be attributed to the dancing.Thanks to all those who came to listen, dance, and nosh.  Thanks to Saul’s Deli for nourishing this community tradition, and thanks to Emunah Hauser and Mike Perlmutter for organizing. Video by Ira Serkes 

  • Bola

    It was wonderful, a surprise, a nice antidote to all the Christmas music & a happy way to feel part of a community. Especially this time of year, when it gets very, very obvious we’re a tiny minority in the larger population.

  • Anonymous

    I uploaded my photos to this link:

    http://www.berkeleyhomes.com/photos/events/2011-12-25-berkeley-ca-north-gourmet-ghetto-2011-klez-california-klezmer-musicians-sauls-deli-1475-shattuck/berkeley-ca-north-gourmet-ghetto-2011-klez-california-klezmer-musicians-sauls-deli-web-page/

    Each of these links from Mike Perlmutter should now work:

    Accordion – Dmitri Gaskin – Dmitri is part of the Harmonikos young composers collective. http://harmonikos.com

    Accordion – Hudi Brenman – Hudi plays clarinet and saxophone in Dixieland bands Emperor Norton’s Jazz Band http://emperornortonsjazzband.com and the Fog City Stompers http://www.fogcitystompers.com

    Accordion – Ilya Kramer – Ilya plays in the Black Hats

    Clarinet/saxophone – Mike Perlmutter – Mike plays with Zoyres Eastern European Wild Ferment (zoyres.com) and Inspector Gadje Balkan Brass Band http://inspectorgadje.com, and a new klezmer brass project with Andrew, Sean, Peter, Aharon and others.

    Drums – Aharon Wheels Bolsta.  http://www.rhythmwheels.com

    Drums – Yari Mander.  http://yarimander.com

    Percussion – Dmitri Budker https://sites.google.com/site/spontaneousemission/

    Tapan (bass drum) – Sean Tergis – Sean plays with Inspector Gadje, Radio Istanbul, MWE  http://freemusicarchive.org/music/MWE

    Euphonium – Peter Bonos – Peter plays with Inspector Gadje and Fanfare Zambaleta.

    Helicon – Andrew Cohen – Andrew plays with Inspector Gadje, the Gomoran Social Aid & Pleasure Club http://www.myspace.com/thegomorrans and teaches music privately.

    Trumpet – Bruce Reingold  – Bruce plays with the Rhythm Method http://www.therhythmmethod.net/fr_members.cfm 

    Mandolin and vocals – Gerry Tenney – Gerry plays with California Klezmer http://californiaklezmer.com

    Mandolin/fiddle – Dave Rosenfeld – Dave plays with Kugelplex http://kugelplex.com and teaches music privately http://davidhrosenfeld.com/

    Violin – Emunah Hauser. Catch her busking old time tunes.

    Xylophone and other percussion – Jonathan Simon – Jonathan is looking for musical collaborators http://jonathansimon.com/music

    Bruce Bierman, Susan Felix, Gilberto and others can be attributed to the dancing.

    Thanks to all those who came to listen, dance, and nosh.  Thanks to Saul’s Deli for nourishing this community tradition, and thanks to Emunah Hauser and Mike Perlmutter for organizing. 

    Ira Serkes

  • http://twitter.com/DavidPylyp David Pylyp

    Really shows the character and VIBE of the neighbourhood!
    Fun Video

    David Pylyp
    Living in Toronto

  • deirdre

    Like the older man in the red down jacket and black beret, dancing around, having a blast.