By Suzanne Vanderhoef
St. Louis Brothers Jeff and David Lazaroff have been playing music together their whole lives and playing together in a band since David was in high school and Jeff was in college.
“We started with a lot of the classical artists from the 60s and 70s: the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers and just started tracing back all the people that they loved,” said Jeff Lazaroff. “[We] said, ooh, Bob Dylan loved Jimmy Rodgers and Hank Williams, who’s that? The Grateful Dead loved Jimmy Reed, who’s that? And the Grateful Dead opened up for Miles Davis, who’s that? So, I think that kind of opened the door to a lot of people we loved.”
Today, the type of music The Brothers Lazaroff play is best characterized as Roots Music. But they also dip into jazz, folk, Americana and classic rock. But the sound they’ve gained the most notoriety for isn’t an actual genre at all – it’s their Hanukkah Hullabaloo. This year marks the 11th for the annual Hanukkah show that started when singer-songwriter Kinky Friedman came to town with his Hanukkah Tour and they opened for him.
“It’s fun. It just keeps growing,” said David Lazaroff. We play this piece called Eight Nights that’s by Rabbi Goodman’s poetry set to Eastern-European music set to electronic beats and it’s just a very big hodgepodge of electro, klezmer, a really cool combination.”
Last year, however, things took a turn thanks to COVID, and they had to go virtual. But this year they’re back live, this time at the Big Top December 4th. And they’re expecting an even bigger –if socially distanced—crowd.
“What we’ve found, is like we enjoy participating in being in some of the fun rock-n-roll Christmas shows out there, we’ve found that people in the community, whether they’re Jewish or not, love participating in the Hanukkah Hullabaloo,” explains Jeff Lazaroff. “And there really was nothing like that. There was no rock-n-roll Hanukkah show and so it kind of has its own little niche in that area. And everyone likes to eat potato latkes.”