Music Beyond Borders: Revisit the World with The Klez Dispensers


Although the coronavirus likely prevents us from presenting Music Beyond Borders this summer, we thought you might enjoy revisiting some of the wonderful moments from past performances.

For  10 years, Music Beyond Borders, a collaboration between Morris Arts and Mayo Performing Arts Center has offered this summer series of free outdoor programs of world music and dance….bringing a taste of cultures from six continents to summer lunchtimes on the Morristown Green.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane and sample some of the past delights of Music Beyond Borders – with The Klez Dispensers who performed July 22, 2014

A sampling of The Klez Dispensers ‘ wonderful rendition of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” featuring vocalist Susan Watts, with Amy Zakar (violin), Alex Kontorovitch (clairnet), Ben Holmes (trumpet), Audrey Betsy Welber (saxophone), Adrian Banner (electric  piano), Heather Chriscaden Versace (bass), and David Licht (drums).

July 22, 2014: The Klez Dispensers
Described as “juicy, fresh and daring,” the Klez Dispensers have been dishing up their signature state-of-the-art, swinging American-style klezmer since their college days. Audiences can’t get enough of their impeccable arrangements, inspiring improvisations and engaging repertoire from the early years of klezmer, as well as exciting original compositions. Each Dispenser is an accomplished musician contributing skill, personality and artistry to the group. The blend is tremendous! This eight piece ensemble, comprising clarinet, trumpet, saxophone, violin, piano, bass, drums and vocals, was formed in 1998 and performs widely throughout the year including at venues such as Grounds for Sculpture, Satalla, Makor and CBGBs in NY and London. In 2000, the ensemble recorded its first CD, Indispensable, followed by New Jersey Freylekhs in 2004. Its latest album, Say You’ll Understand, featuring Susan Watts on vocals, was released in 2008.

Over 500 people were on the Green on July 22nd, tapping their feet to the jazzy, irresistible rhythms of The Klez Dispensers whose combination of traditional, contemporary, jazz influenced and fusion klezmer kept everyone entranced and wanting more! The Dispensers included Alex Kontorovich, clarinet; Ben Holmes, trumpet; Audrey Betsy Welber, saxophone; Amy Zakar, violin; Susan Watts, vocals; Adrian Banner, piano; Heather Chriscaden Versace, bass; and David Licht, drums.

Here are some additional VIDEOS

Vocalist Susan Watts was ‘cooking’ with her performance of Oy Mama. You can hear her opening (with Amy Zakar on violin)  HERE, and once she got swinging,  HERE and HERE (Ella Fitzgerald singing in Yiddish?)

The Klez Dispensers demonstrated their tight ensemble work HERE and nice work by trumpeter Ben Holmes HERE.

Oh How We Danced On the Night We Were Wed, that famous waltz…was admirably performed HERE and vocalist Susan Watts shows her jazz chops with the Dispensers on two clips from her performance of Bei Mir Bist Du Schön HERE and above.

And enjoy the coverage provided in HERE.

Here are some PHOTOS  from  their performance: