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Weddings, B’nai Mitzvahs, & everything in between

Were ready to be a mchaiya* for you!

Want quiet ceremony music or mood-setting instrumental cocktail music? Looking for up-beat hora set with dance instruction? Male-only vocals?

This band has something for every program mood and theme as well as budget size. Band size can range from a powerful, budget-pleasing duet or trio up to a slamming six-piece band that will rock the largest crowd.

Whether your event is a wedding ceremony, a wake, a Bar / Bat Mitzvah, or a Private party, our super-wide choice of music styles provides something suitable for every setting and for everyone’s taste.

Upon request, Big Band songs and World Music styles related to Klezmer are also available as are acoustic versions of ’50s-style rock and early Beatles songs.

If you don’t see what you are looking for, contact us! Our presentations are very flexible and customizable.

We’re happy to play it your way! The Ensemble Mchaiya gives substance to the meaning of its name by paying close attention to you and your interests.

* In Yiddish, “m’chaiya” means “A life-giving pleasure”

Click to see our videos.
Click for videos of the band play­ing!

Traditional Roots and Gypsy Beats to move your heart and feet!

Put your soul in touch with your soles! The uplifting energy of Chicagolands first revival Klezmer band will get your heart and feet dancing to its eclectic repertoire of hot Klezmer tunes with Gypsy grooves, swinging Sephardic and Yiddish songs, and energetic Israeli dance tunes.

“… listeners will find it hard to keep from leaping up to dance” so, when asked, the band leads audience members thru fun yet easy trad circle / line dances. (All while playing an instrument at the same time!)

To make sure folks connect with the powerful roots music, the audience is encouraged to drum along on percussion as well as sing along. The entire family, from toddlers to seniors, gets to join in the very accessible fun!

Ensemble M’chaiya leading a circle of dancers at the Chicago Winery.
The band loves leading folks through fun yet simple traditional line and circle dances and encourages everyone to drum and sing along as well.

Unique instrument­ation

This may be the only Klezmer band in the world using a Kaval (end-blown Bulgarian Flute) as a main instrument! The core instrument­ation also includes Mandolin, Violin, Guitar, (both Balkan drums) and Percussion along with two vocalists. From there you may choose additional musicians including a saxophonist, a bassist, and other instrument options.

Most of our musicians are multi-instrumentalists, a fact which allows the band to create an ever changing color, but whatever the sound, every number grabs your attention, gets your feet tapping, urging you to dance.

From a duet up to five pieces, you’ll get the right size band to match your interests and budget!

Still life of instruments played by the Ensemble M’chaiya: Mandolin, Guitar, Darabuka, Tupan, Kaval.
Instruments played by the Ensemble Mchaiya: Mandolin, Guitar, Darabuka, Tupan, and Kaval.

Klezmer and Sephardic music for the world

Whether in America, Canada, or Europe, whether on a major festival stage or in a home for an intimate private party (as well as anything in between), the bands high quality music, distinctive sound, attention to details that are important to you, and reasonable prices will be a ”life giving pleasure” for you.

Mayor Daley’s 2003 Klezmer Day Proclamation document which honored Ensemble M’chaiya and Terran Doehrer for being the first revival Klezmer band in Chicago.
Mayor Daleys 2003 Klezmer Day Proclamation recognizing Ensemble Mchaiya as the first revival Klezmer band in Chicagoland.

Flexible and affordable

We are happy to customize our programs to fit your interests and to adjust the bands size to your budget and needs.

Contact us today to discuss your plans!