This is the second release on Essay Recordings by the Amsterdam Klezmer Band, an energetic and poetic stage act that has charmed international audiences with their refreshing approach to klezmer and Balkan music that transcends the traditional, resulting in a very lively mix of Eastern-European sound. The Amsterdam Klezmer bug is spreading, hence the title of Amsterdam Klezmer Band's latest release Zaraza. In Slavic languages, zaraza means "infectious" or "contagious," in Polish, it is the word for "epidemic." Zaraza is indeed an infectious album from an extremely virulent and passionate band. The album contains 15 brand new tracks -- all original compositions rooted in the klezmer tradition and infused with Romanian, Turkish, Serbian, Russian and Macedonian sounds -- showcased in their purest form, with virtuoso and provocative performances by Jasper de Beer (double bass, guitar banjo, backing vocals), Job Chajes (alto saxophone, vocals), Alec Kopyt (vocals, percussion), Gijs Levelt (trumpet), Joop van der Linden (trombone, percussion), Janfie van Strien (clarinet, backing vocals), and Theo van Tol (accordion). Since its foundation in 1996, the band has evolved rapidly, becoming world-famous on countless festival tours for bringing the Amsterdam streets and pubs to the world at large. Nowadays, only part of the Amsterdam Klezmer Band repertory consists of traditionals of Balkan or klezmer origin. Most of the AKB repertory has been created by the band members themselves, who all without exception contribute musically to an ever-growing melting-pot of infectious Balkan/Gypsy/klezmer cross-over grooves. Passionate performances, spectacular live shows and a good dose of street credibility form the ingredients of their crazy cocktail.