The Casco Bay Tummlers, based in Portland, Maine, have been performing klezmer music since 1988. They have released three recordings and were featured performers on the LL Bean Holiday CD. They also have a dramatic side, creating and performing the music for the world premiere of "Manifest" at the Portland Stage Company and for a whimsical Belgian documentary, "Mon noM".
Steve Gruverman brings an extensive background in ethnic dance music to his soulful clarinet playing. Carl Dimow has developed a unique klezmer flute style, making the instrument an equal solo voice in the music. John Clark is an incredibly versatile bass player–everything from symphony to surf–perfect for the Tummlers eclectic approach to klezmer. Nancy 3. Hoffman brings a playfulness which audiences love to both her accordion playing and her singing. Peter McLaughlin keeps the traditional role as drummer happening with elements of jazz and improvisation.
The band's repertoire is versatile, ranging from original music to traditional dances and songs of the Yiddish theater and Jewish ghetto - all with original arrangements. In addition to playing for concerts, the Tummlers also love to play for weddings, bar- and bat-mitzvahs, and other celebrations. Nancy is a wonderful dance teacher who is great at getting everyone up and having a good time. They also do school residencies; performing music, teaching dances and songs, and talking about the music, the Yiddish language, immigration and the Holocaust.
The Tummlers have toured in Germany where they performed to sold-out houses at the Hackesches Hof Theater in Berlin and at the ninth annual Festival of Jewish Culture in Chemnitz. They have also traveled to Lithuania and performed in Pakroijis, Linkuva, Kaunas and Druskininkai and were the first klezmer band to perform at the Skamba, Skamba Kankliai folk festival in Vilnius. Their most recent tour took them to Slovenia and Italy, where they busked in Venice before performing as one of the featured ensembles at the Festival "Ande, Bali e Cante" in Rovigo.