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Artists Series to present Yid Vicious

RELEASED: Feb. 23, 2010

Yid Vicious
Yid Vicious

EAU CLAIRE — The Madison-based band Yid Vicious will headline an evening of klezmer — Yiddish folk music for dancing and celebrating — Tuesday, March 9, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Artists Series concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

Leading into the evening will be a free pre-event celebration from 6 to 7 p.m. in The Cabin of Davies Center, with music by the local klezmer group Klezmazel. Refreshments will be available for purchase at both shows.

Since its formation in 1995, Yid Vicious has been entertaining and agitating folks throughout the Midwest with klezmer music that runs the gamut from the raucous to the delicate. The group has received three Madison Area Music Awards — for Best World Music Artist (2004 and 2005) and Best World Music Album (2006).

Although its repertoire is drawn mainly from traditional secular Yiddish music, Yid Vicious infuses the music with its collective aesthetic and experience. Rather than replicate a particular time and place, the band celebrates the long-standing tradition of klezmorim — incorporating new musical ideas into an organic and ever-evolving art form. Between its seven members, the band's musical influences include Celtic, classical, country, country-rock, Dixieland, jazz, Latin jazz, hillbilly, dancehall, avant-garde, swing, rock, church rock, brain rock, reggae and ska. Their musical arsenal consists of clarinets, saxophones, fiddle, horn, vocals, guitar, accordion, tuba, drums and sometimes theremin.

Yid Vicious members are Greg Smith (clarinets), Daithi Wolfe (fiddle), Geoff Brady (percussion), Kia Karlen (horn) Melissa Reiser (saxophones), Matt Appleby (guitars, bass) and Dave Spies (tuba).

"Few bands, regardless of genre, make music as celebratory as Yid Vicious," wrote The Shepherd Express in its review of the band's fourth CD, "Dollars to Doinas" (2008). "Yid Vicious flavors Eastern European and Russian Jewish musical traditions with contemporary spices and serves it to the masses."

In 2009 Yid Vicious became the first Wisconsin performing arts ensemble to receive a USArtists International grant to perform at Argentina's KlezFiesta, an international klezmer festival spanning three cities and including bands from ten countries. In 2006 Yid Vicious toured Chiba Prefecture, Japan, as part of the Wisconsin-Chiba Sister State Goodwill Delegation.

Tickets are $17 for the public, $15 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, or $7 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Tickets for students are half-price, $3.50, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student-ticket price.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard, Visa or Discover when ordering by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin. The series also is funded in part by Visit Eau Claire ... The Unexpected Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio, WHYS Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road in Eau Claire is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

Funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office of the University Centers.

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JS/DW

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