Local Wire

Phoenix's Jerusafunk Is the World's First Klezploitation Band

Wait a second, you might say -- Phoenix has a Jewish funk band? It's true. As the name implies, Jerusafunk skillfully blends traditional klezmer with the ass-bopping sensibilities of R&B rhythms, tossing in jazzy twirls here and there. Using instruments such as bass clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet, the band attacks its southeastern European roots with sarcastic, hip-gyrating Afrobeat sensibilities. Oddly enough, no one in the band is actually Jewish.

And with nine core members, plus three rotating drummers, Jerusafunk is far from being the smallest band in town. We met in the cluttered, instrument-filled living room of the north Central Phoenix house where four of the band members reside. The boogie bungalow also serves as a practice space for other bands, including Wolvves.