Definition of klezmer in English:


Pronunciation /ˈklezmər/ /ˈklɛzmər/


also klezmer music
  • 1Traditional eastern European Jewish music.

    • ‘Used for weddings, parties, dances, just about any celebration, klezmer is Jewish roots music, an essential part of the culture.’
    • ‘A classical clarinet virtuoso with Ashkenazi roots, he didn't actually start playing or listening to klezmer until the late 70's.’
    • ‘His music combines songs and tunes from a wide range of musical traditions including folk, blues, reggae, Cajun, and klezmer.’
    • ‘He has greeted the resurgence of klezmer, Yiddish, and Hassidic music among younger Jews with great enthusiasm and is regarded highly by musicians of all ages.’
    • ‘They teach their granddaughter the haunting klezmer melodies of their youth.’
    1. 1.1A musician who plays traditional eastern European Jewish music.
      • ‘Klezmer, the traditional tooth and heel-clicking Jewish folk tunes that the travelling klezmorim used to play, has been yanked out of the ghetto and thrown on to the dancefloor.’
      • ‘After graduation from Harvard, where she majored in Russian history and literature, she headed to Seattle, where she tried her hand sitting in with a local klezmer band called the Mazeltones.’
      • ‘The reception kicks off with a klezmer band, and Sophie and Max are hauled up on chairs for the Jewish wedding version of musical chairs.’
      • ‘Pianist Kenny Werner, bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Joey Baron,are incredibly gifted jazz improvisers who are no less brilliant as klezmer musicians.’
      • ‘My father was a real klezmer, self-taught.’


1920s Yiddish, contraction of Hebrew kĕlē zemer ‘musical instruments’.



/ˈklezmər/ /ˈklɛzmər/