Tribal Dancing

Hal Aqua likes to call the music he plays with his party band, the Lost Tribe, "nouveau klezmer." That's because, like classic klezmer itself, it's already a mash-up of cultural influences -- but then takes things a step further, fusing klezmer with the more contemporary grooves of rock, reggae, salsa, funk and blues. "I think of it as an attitude," Aqua explains. "When I first heard the Klezmatics years ago, they blew my mind; they opened up my path back to Jewish music. It's really just an approach to joyous celebration music."

In honor of the release of their new CD, Lost and Found, Aqua and the Tribe invited the Boulder Klezmer Consort and singer-songwriter Rabbi Joe Black to perform with them at the Mercury Cafe tonight. It's really just an opportune coincidence that the show happens to fall on the fourth night of Hanukkah, but it adds to what Aqua calls the "ecumenical holiday-ness" of it all. "Even though it’s not really a Hanukkah event, it’s something for Jews -- and hopefully people who are not Jews -- to do on Christmas Eve," he says. "We'd like to get people up and dancing."

That sounds like a plan: The music starts at 8 p.m. at the Merc, 2199 California Street. Admission is $15 cash at the door; go to or call 303-294-9258 for details.
Sat., Dec. 24, 8 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd