Oi Va Voi all over again

The funky British neo-klezmers are back with a new record in tow.

Straight out of London, the band that crossed multiple genres has done it again with a self-titled second album released this year. Arriving four years after their first album, Laughter Through Tears, jazz, hip-hop, rock-n-roll, drum-n-bass and klezmer all cozy up together to create the welcoming sound for which Oi Va Voi has become known. Formed in the late 1990s, Oi Va Voi combined brass and string instruments to create a uniquely modern sound fused with traditional Jewish klezmer music. The band's second album was recorded both in Israel and in London. The single "Black Sheep" was the first to be laid down here and features a riveting Arab string piece performed by the Nazareth Orchestra. It is not just guest performers that are new for this album. Following her meteoric solo rise, KT Tunstall, the vocalist prominently featured on the first album, has been replaced with Alice McLaughlin. Also, founding member and violinist Sophie Solomon left to pursue her own solo career as well and is replaced by virtuoso Anna Phoebe. The turnover doesn't stop there, with producer Mike Spencer having since joined forces with the band as well. Known for his work producing top-ten hits for Jamiroquai and Kylie Minogue, it was Spencer's experience recording traditional music in Sudan and Cambodia that really secured the match between him and Oi Va Voi. It is not just the recorded music (which garnered significant airtime on Israeli radio following the debut album's release) but the live show that makes this band so popular - with high-energy on-stage productions and an audience-permeating presence. It is this live show that the band is bringing to Israel twice this coming week with the help of Israeli group Oy Division. Oi Va Voi's first show is set for Tuesday night, as part of the Jerusalem Jazz Festival, at 10:30 at the Tower of David Museum ((02) 626-5333), with tickets priced at NIS 90-110. The second show is scheduled for the following evening at 9:30, at Tel Aviv's Goldstar Zappa Club ((03) 649-9550), with tickets priced at NIS 149-169.