Taverner David Deckelbaum dies, 71

Deckelbaum, a dentist by profession, played banjo and specialized in singing risque sea shanties during the band’s 22-year history.

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April 7, 2010 05:40
1 minute read.
David Deckelbaum (center) with bandmates.

david deckelbaum 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

David Deckelbaum, a founding member of the Jerusalem Taverners, Israel’s first American folk and country band, died last week in Canada at the age of 71 due to complications from a stroke he suffered a few months ago.

Deckelbaum, a dentist by profession, played banjo and specialized in singing risque sea shanties during the band’s 22-year history.

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The band, formed in 1976, was named after where pub its members met and started playing together in a jam session every Thursday night, in downtown Jerusalem. Their first official show took place after UN personnel visited the pub and invited the musicians to perform at UN headquarters in Armon Hanatziv.


The Taverners performed at the annual Jacob’s Ladder Folk Festival over 20 times and released four albums over the years. The band broke up after Deckelbaum moved back to his native Canada in 2002, but they reunited for one more show at the festival in 2007.

One of Deckelbaum’s five children, Yael, has forged her own successful music career as a solo folk artist and as one third of the vocal group Habanot Nechama. While growing up, she would often perform with her father and his band.

Deckelbaum was laid to rest last Friday at Moshav Haniel.


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