It's no insult to apply that description to the members of Meshuggina Klezmorim .
After all, that's what their Yiddish name means.
It's also what their music sounds like: a joyful, wild-and-crazy noise, sometimes known as "Jewish jazz," that's impossible to hear without jumping up to dance - or, at the very least, sitting and tapping your toes to the beat.
Both reactions undoubtedly will be in evidence Sunday afternoon when Meshuggina Klezmorim's five musicians take the stage at Winchester Cultural Center.
With Hanukkah continuing through Sunday, it's a perfect time to break out some holiday tunes, according to violinist Lee Schreiber, a founding member of Meshuggina Klezmorim, which began in 1991.
As for Hanukkah melodies, there are "certain ones everyone knows," Schreiber says. ("I Have a Little Dreidel," anyone?) But Meshuggina Klezmorim's also planning to play "a really fun piece of music" that's a tango-style account of a latke's life, from the potato patch to the frying pan.
Having a song about a beloved Hanukkah treat "makes it fun for all ages," observes D.J. Sinai , the ensemble's vocalist and keyboard player.
But the ensemble's Winchester Center performance isn't just a Hanukkah concert, Schreiber notes.
There'll be dance numbers (including the ever-popular hora , often danced to "Hava Nagila") that capture klezmer's signature sound: a "happy, lively celebration," as Schreiber puts it.
"It's a concert meant to be fun," adds Sinai, who's also music director at Las Vegas' Temple Beth Sholom . As he advises, "come out and forget your troubles."
That high-spirited attitude fits perfectly with klezmer's origins, in 19th-century Eastern Europe, where klezmorim played at weddings and other celebrations.
Yiddish-speaking Jews brought klezmer with them when they came to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, incorporating elements of American jazz in the process. (Two examples of how well the musical traditions mixed: the swing-era hits "And the Angels Sing" and "Bei Mir Bist du Schoen," which both started out as klezmer tunes.)
Meshuggina Klezmorim started as a trio, Schreiber recalls, but "quickly moved into a five-piece band."
Joining Schreiber and Sinai for Sunday's concert: clarinetist D. Gause , drummer Brett Barnes and tuba player Ginger Bruner, an original ensemble member who's substituting for regular guitarist Irv Weinberger .
Although Schreiber plays in the Las Vegas Philharmonic and the Nevada Chamber Orchestra, playing Meshuggina Klezmorim's repertoire is "when I have the most fun," she says.
The same holds true for audiences as well as musicians.
As Schreiber describes klezmer: "It's a very happy, very lively celebration."
Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.