About

We are the Vulgar Bulgars, Central Virginia’s hardest working, hardest playing Klezmer group! The Vulgar Bulgars are a quartet of young, energetic musicians who share a passion for performing and a love of soulful Klezmer music. We play traditional and adapted klezmer, yiddish, gypsy and balkan instrumental and vocal tunes.

The four of us were already experienced in a variety of musical styles when we began playing together in August of 2003. Since then, we’ve immersed ourselves in listening to and playing Klezmer music at every opportunity. The Vulgar Bulgars have performed extensively in Virginia and Washington DC, and served up our hot freilachs and sweet horas at weddings, bar mitzvahs,  Jewish day schools, parties, and in cafes, bars, street corners, farmer’s markets, and festival stages as far afield as Massachusetts and Key West.

Our line-up consists of Ben Grondahl on the clarinet, Kassia Arbabi on violin, Ezra Freeman playing bass, Sky Blue on drums and percussion and our newest addition, Nina Lankin on Yiddish vocals.   We play a combination of instrumental tunes, mixing time-honored klezmer classics and recent klezmer-inspired compositions, and give all our tunes a special “Vulgar Bulgar” twist! Our arrangements range from “make the grandparents happy” traditional to “smoky nightclub” funky, and our audiences always have a blast! We can perform either acoustically or amplified, and can tailor our sound and style to match the mood of the event we are playing. We can perform sets as short as half an hour, or play up to two or three hours in an afternoon or evening. We are all capable sight-readers, and if given sheet music, we can take just about any song and “run with it.” When appropriate, we can add additional members and perform sets in a variety of musical styles.  We are willing to work out reasonable rates for our performances and tailor our set to your needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or would like to discuss the details of booking the Vulgar Bulgars.


The Vulgar Bulgars are:
Ben Grondahl: clarinet
Ezra Freeman: upright bass
Kassia Arbabi: violin
Sky Blue: drums
Nina Lankin: vocals

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