The Flying Bulgars (formerly the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band) is a Toronto-based ensemble that plays original music rooted in the soul sound of the Jews. For twenty years the band has been recognized as being “at the forefront of progressive klezmer and Yiddish music, firmly rooted in tradition yet fully engaged with the immediate present” (Sing Out). Formed by trumpeter and composer David Buchbinder in 1987, and now co-lead with singer Dave Wall, the Flying Bulgars have consistently charted a course between the calm waters of tradition and the exciting, uncertain seas of innovation.
Now the band has taken a sharp turn away from that neo-Yiddish path and is about to release a CD all new, original songs written exclusively by Buchbinder & Wall in English and dressed in a contemporary folk/alternative sound. Tumbling Into Light -- the band’s sixth CD -- is full of darkness and hope, mixing poetry, anger and longing in a heady mix of Jewish-inspired melodies. The songs are dramatic, funny, contemplative, rousing and very topical, engaging with questions of power and peace, control and humanity, asking whether we will be able to rise above our anger born of fear and find the light. With a fully-orchestrated alt-pop sound recorded with the help of producer Dave Newfeld (the mastermind behind the recordings of the Broken Social Scene), the Bulgars are ready to meet a whole new audience.
After many years of touring in Canada, the United States and Europe, the Flying Bulgars have taken the last few years off to discover and develop this new musical approach. And now that they have it, they are ready to run with it, creating not only a concert performance, but developing a full scale, multi-media show including film (created by Canadian indie icon Bruce McDonald) and contemporary movement. This full-scale Tumbling Into Light will have its debut in early 2010 and has already been booked into several festivals in the United States.
After twenty years, five CDs (and three JUNO nominations), three music videos, and hundreds of shows -- from Folk on the Rocks to WOMAD (English version) to the Tollwood Festival in Munich, to the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in New York to Klezmermania in San Francisco, to festivals in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Frankfurt, Hamburg and more -- this band knows how to take an audience on an electric ride. And now they will be doing it in a language and telling a story that all audiences will understand.