Playing with Fire Balkan Klezmer Band

Location: Based in Cape Town


Artist Info


The band sizzles with the infectious rhythms of the Balkan Peninsula, Turkey, Lithuania and middle Eastern Europe. A founder band of Cape Town's Balkanology parties (with thirteen musicians on stage) the band now operates as a trio, quintet or sextet with vocals. The band accompanied Cape Town's Jewish singers in the Yiddish Song Festival in the Baxter Theatre every year for eleven consecutive years. The band comprises saxophone, accordion, tuba, guitar, percussion and vocals.

Notable venues

  • Mount Nelson
  • Cape Sun
  • Cape Grace
  • Vineyard Hotel
  • Lord Charles Hotel
  • Table Bay Hotel
  • Groot Constantia
  • Zevenwacht
  • Klein Verwacht
  • Mont Destin
  • KWV
  • Nederburg
  • V & A Waterfront
  • BMW Pavilion
  • Lanzerac
  • Spier
  • Morgenhof
  • Suikerbossie
  • Bellingham
  • Steenberg Estate
  • Kirstenbosch
  • Devon Valley Hotel
  • Vrede en Lust
  • the J & B Met
  • Parliament


Playing With Fire operates with a line-up of excellent contributing players, each bringing his / her own particular skill to the group.  Exact line-up varies depending on availability, ensemble type booked and event-specific requirements.

Matthew Reid (Sax/Clarinet)

MatMatthew, winner of the SASOL Music Prize in 1986, has been playing the clarinet for thirty years. Apart from performing at functions, he is a recitalist of serious music, much of which is often heard on Fine Music Radio. He has recorded a concerto with orchestra by Peter Klatzow on CD, and appeared as a soloist with several of the orchestras in the country. He also runs a Klezmer and Balkan Band.

Keith Tabisher (Guitar)

With a B.Mus from UCT, Keith has been burning solos on his guitar for over thirty years. His versatility enables him to entertain audiences from across the board with his awesome improvisatory skills. He currently performs with musicians from different backgrounds, covering various genres. 

Andre van Vuuren (Accordion)

Andre, who plays the Musette accordion, is a uniquely talented player who makes the accordion skip and dance like a true French accordioniste. André was a pianist, accordionist and arranger in the South African Defence Force Entertainment Unit for many years. Many of South Africa’s top artists, including Mynie Grove, Lance James and Clive Bruce have invited André to perform with them on several occasions. During the Bloemfontein Volksblad Kunstefees 2006 he performed in the award winning production Altyd Jonker, a show based on the life of South African poet, Ingrid Jonker. In the same year he was also invited to perform at the launch of South Africa’s first ever Bollywood film production in South Africa. In Cape Town he has performed at almost all of its main venues, and he has performed at more than 1600 corporate events, festivals, private functions and concerts countrywide.

Client Feedback

A big thank you to both you and Matthew! They really were a wonderful addition to pre-drinks and their French style and all round “attitude” was amazing – you could have sworn they were French! The couple were thrilled, as were we.
Kate Rawbone, Wedding Concepts

Photo Gallery

Sound Clips


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Typical Budget for Playing with Fire Balkan Klezmer Band is
R7000 - R21250.


Submit a booking enquiry directly with Playing with Fire Balkan Klezmer Band, and the Artist or their manager / representative will be in touch with you soon!


Should you be unsure about which acts to enquire with, you can choose to SEND GIGSTER YOUR EVENT DETAILS and we will forward your enquiry to up to 5 suitable acts.

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