Music: Backstage at the Border presents What The Chelm!

What the Chelm! performs Aug. 8 at Christ Episopal Church in Blaine.
What the Chelm! performs Aug. 8 at Christ Episopal Church in Blaine. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham klezmer band What the Chelm! plays at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, for the Backstage @ the Border series at Christ Episcopal Church, 382 Boblett St., Blaine.

The band has performed since 1993, performing music of Israel; favorites of the Yiddish theater and general Yiddish repertoire; Ladino (Spanish-Hebrew) songs from present and past Sephardic Jewish communities of the Iberian Peninsula; music of the Balkans and the Mediterranean; swing tunes; and an occasional show tune bearing a tinge of the Jewish music idiom.

The band has recorded three CDs: “What the Chelm!,” “Oy, They’re Back!” and “Til Chelm Freezes Over!”

Klezmer music has its roots in Eastern Europe. Klezmer bands played and sang at celebrations, drawing on traditional tunes as well as the compelling dance rhythms, gypsy and other, of the countries where they lived. The result is world music that is kinetic, high-energy, infectious, and eminently danceable.

Suggested donation is $7 at the door, but no one is turned away for lack of money. Proceeds benefit Blaine-Birch Bay residents with assistance for food, utilities, lodging, gas, and other needs through the Community Assistance Program and other programs. Details: backstageattheborder.com, whatthechelm.com, 360-927-9085.