Beyond the Pale
A unique fusion of Klezmer, Balkan, Gypsy and Romanian. www.beyondthepale.net
Best Instrumental Group – Canadian Folk Music Awards, 2005
Critically-acclaimed and award-winning, Toronto’s Beyond the Pale is one of the most exciting ensembles in the Canadian folk, roots, and world music scenes.
Their explosive acoustic sound is inspired by a wide range of cross-cultural influences, from European folk styles (Klezmer, Balkan, Gypsy, Romanian) to contemporary and North American styles (bluegrass, jazz, reggae, funk, and more). They are known for their instrumental virtuosity, infectious energy, and unique repertoire featuring both original compositions and inventive arrangements of traditional material. With spectacularly dynamic and exuberant live performances, Beyond the Pale’s unique genre-defying sound has delighted audiences of all kinds at major music festivals, concert theatres, and clubs across Canada and the US.
Remarkably versatile, the group has undertaken a wide range of interesting projects and collaborations throughout its history. They have made their own music video, have performed as soloists with major symphony orchestras and choral groups, have collaborated with a number of wide-ranging musical ensembles, and have appeared in television productions for ABC, CBC, Bravo, Showcase, OmniTV, VisionTV, and more. Their recordings are heard regularly on folk and world music radio across North America and they have been featured in a number of national live concert broadcasts on CBC Radio.
Beyond the Pale’s most recent CD release “Consensus” is an exciting and wide-ranging live set of all-new material. It has met wide critical acclaim, receiving honours from the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Toronto Independent Music Awards, and Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Songwriting Competition. The group is now at work on two new CDs, one a collection of new original material, and the other a program of reinterpretations of Mozart’s music, originally commissioned by CBC radio.
Beyond the Pale features Eric Stein (mandolin), Bret Higgins (bass), Martin van de Ven (clarinet), Bogdan Djukic (violin/percussion), Milos Popovic (accordion), and Aleksandar Gajic (violin/viola). They are frequently joined by vocalist Josh “SoCalled” Dolgin, clarinetist Alex Kontorovich, and other guest vocalists and musicians.
“An altogether original mix”
Victoria Times-Colonist, BC
Pasadena Weekly, CA
“A delightful musical journey”
San Francisco Jewish News
“A rich musical experience”
Canadian Musician Magazine
“A riot of rhythm, a montage of modes…can they play!”
Folk Trax, Australia
“Beyond the Pale has practically created its own music genre”
Barrie Examiner, ON
“Captivating…the band’s name says it all”
Best World Music Group
Toronto Independent Music Awards, 2005
“First-class klezmer…a delightful musical journey…The best thing about this album – besides the impeccable playing – is that unlike many ‘world music’ collections, no two tracks are alike…’Routes’ is great for just listening, but don’t be surprised if, at some point, you feel the urge to jump up and dance.”
San Francisco Jewish News
“Beyond the Pale play with grace and style. In their hands klezmer is not a dead, ethnomusicological oddity, but a living and evolving music that they perform with sheer gusto and joy.”
Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange (www.acousticmusic.com)
“This is their first recording, but they play with such tightness and verve, you’d swear they’ve been doing this forever…Beyond the Pale prove just how adaptable Jewish folk music can be.”
“Extremely satisfying…a revelation…an album expertly grounded, and very much of our specific time. It is post-modern klezmer, in all the best senses. Not just ‘Routes’, but ‘roots’. (grade A)
Ari Davidow (www.klezmershack.com)
“One foot in klezmer-fusion and the other resting comfortably in more traditional creations…an altogether original mix.”
“A rich musical experience which can touch your soul with its plaintive melodies, while at the same time enticing you to kick off your shoes and dance your burdens away….Born of tradition but living in the here and now, Beyond the Pale gives ‘routes’ music a whole new meaning…extending the traditions of klezmer music in a decidedly contemporary way.”
Canadian Musician Magazine
“Traditional enough to satisfy all but the most fanatic purists and experimental enough to stretch the boundaries of those traditions in some interesting new directions….A significant addition to the Klezmer revival….Highly recommended.”
Penguin Eggs Magazine
“The band’s name pretty much says it all…the recording’s real strength comes from the musicians’ willingness to incorporate unorthodox styles into the fold…the end result is undeniably captivating.”
“A riot of rhythm, a montage of modes, in a dynamic and highly skilled package…An interesting blend of old and new, including some fine original compositions…You don’t need to be a klezmer afficionado to enjoy it – it’s all there in the music.”
Folk Trax (Adelaide, Australia)
“The most exciting klezmer music I’ve heard in quite some time. The mix of all genres never clouds the fact that this is Jewish music.”
Michael Sherman (host of ‘Rejuvenating Heritage Website‘)
“Feel. That’s what to look for in a good Klezmer recording (or any other kind for that matter). the sad songs should be mournful, the humorous songs need to make you smile and, when the dance tunes begin, your feet should start moving by themselves. Toronto Klezmer band, Beyond The Pale, has feel in spades.
Founded in 1998 by Eric Stein (Mandolin, Tsimbl) and featuring Anne Lindsay (Violin), Sasha Luminsky (Accordion), Martin van de Ven (Clarinets), and Bret Higgins (Bass) the group is traditional enough to satisfy all but the most fanatic purists and experimental enough to stretch the boundaries of those traditions in some interesting new directions. All four melody instruments take turns ably leading the ensemble, while Higgins bounces the bottom end along. Guest Dave Wll does a fine job on Yiddish language vocals, and percussionist Rick Lazar adds a driving hypnotic world music edge to some tracks.
The disc is a significant addition to the Klezmer revival. It’s great to see Toronto continuing to produce terrific musicians and adding to the musical canon, with groups like this and The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band. Highly recommended.”
Barry Hammond, Penguin Eggs
“An impressive collection displaying not only the group’s mastery of straight-ahead klezmer but also more eclectic stylings…this Toronto group is truly taking klezmer music ‘beyond the pale’.”
Winnipeg Jewish Post
No shows booked at the moment.