as Richárd Bernard’s OY!Stars
But the journey from Flatbush, Brooklyn to The World’s Greatest HORA took many turns…we discovered that the audience doesn’t have to be Jewish to love this Gypsy influenced dance and music…
It was a Saturday night in the Deep South, years ago -and my band onstage. Did I mention DEEP South? Literally hundreds of miles from the closest Kosher Deli. I mean, a good 90 miles from even a McDonalds. This was not your Bubbe's simcha. You don’t need to be an Ethnomusicologist to know this was no Bat Mitzvah – it was a red-meat crowd at a backwoods wedding. We kept the mob diverted and dancing on the sawdust linoleum, playing vintage Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. By the time we sang up every song we could safely get away with, the shickered groom sloshed over, loaded for bear:
“Y’all PLAY that dance now!”
(panic oozing over bandstand, “Which dance?”)
“YOU KNOW which dance!!”
(Feeling for my car keys, looking for back exit: “What’s it called?”)
“I DUNNO WHAT’S IT CALLED! Harvey Tequila!”
“You know – that CIRCLE DANCE!”
“Hava Nagila???” And thus we played the HORAH and lived to Freylach another day. (I gave them 7 blessings and got the Gehenna out of Dodge.)
Richárd Bernard’s OY!Stars - the most exciting, experienced and user-friendly Klezmer band for your wedding, festival, Bat or Bar Mitzvah.
And in every far-flung part of the world we’ve travelled, folk know the Jewish Circle Dance – they might not know its Jewish origin (per my rural Alabama experience above) but everybody knows that YOU DANCE IN A CIRCLE, TO LIVE MUSICIANS: a tribal wedding instinct from earliest humankind.
The roots of the HORA dance have been growing for millennia and continue to lift the spirit (and the chairs) with the pure joy of the body moving to rhythm and melody. Through history from Mesopotamia to Central Europe, Spain, Africa and bouncing back to Eastern Europe again, Jewish dances like Sher, Freylekhs, Bulgar, Doina, Debka, Tish processional, modern Israeli folk dance - and don’t forget The Bottle Dance – raise and connect the community. Literally, when dancing in a circle!
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Contact Richárd Bernard’s OY!Stars
Do you have a special meaningful Jewish wedding song important for your Ceremony under the chuppah or First Dance? We know that song!
Let us help and inspire you…
We’re the EXPERTS with professional music for:
Richárd Bernard (Bachelor of Fine Arts, SAG-AFTRA, AFM Local 47 Hollywood, BMI) and The OY!Stars bring the joy of live music in concert to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Arizona, and worldwide. OY!
Richárd’s artistry has been featured with Jewish music legends Theodore Bikel, Marvin Hamlisch and Giora Feidman, plus the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Plácido Domingo and Blue Man Group; plus he is heard on many major film soundtracks. Mandolin, Banjo and Classical Guitar were the instruments he played in the Geffen Playhouse’s award-winning production of Shlemiel the First. In addition to producing and leading international bands for Disney, he has served as Music Supervisor and Consultant for scores of film and TVdirectors; and as Arranger of Russian Ethno Music for Steven Spielberg and Disneyland
Of all Klezmer band for hire, Richárd Bernard’s OY!Stars is among the most imitated.
Fusing his musical and theatre training Richárd Bernard stars as the Orchestra Conductor in United Airlines’ Rhapsody in Blue commercial and Oscar-winning film The Artist. On a very different note fromGeorge Gershwin, his acting experience includes the Sitar-playing comedy of Kozy Shack Tapioca’s commercial, as Elvis Presley alongside Quentin Tarantino on CBS, part of Jim Henson’s Flintstone Brontosaurus, anchoring fake news on Adult Swim and many other acting projects for TV and stage.
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(...and ALWAYS remember...to HORA!!!!!!!!!)
Don't forget to check out the videos at
To read a few of our Film and TV credits, check out
And quick - while you’re thinking about it…call (818) 888-0588 toot sweet, to book Klezmer koncerts in your city or shtetl - or to hire Klezmer for your event!
Copyright Richard Bernard. All rights reserved.