Rocking out for New Year’s Eve

Like most full-time jazz musicians in Philadelphia, Adam Hershberger wears a great many hats: PhillyBloco, The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound, Spinning Leaves and the Hoppin’ John Orchestra are just three of the dozen or so bands he lends his trumpet to.

For Hershberger, New Year’s Eve usually means a somewhat sedate, well-paid corporate gig. Not this year.

At least while bandleader Greg Mervine is living in Brazil, Hershberger has emerged as one of the de facto leaders of the West Philadelphia Orchestra — the internationally acclaimed, klezmer/Balkan inspired ensemble.

Since about 2007, WPO’s local shows have become the stuff of Philly scene-lore. For their devoted fans, these are celebrations, not just performances — everyone must dance and drink at all times! Preferably at the same time. And their New Year’s Eve show at the Tritone promises even more raucousness per dollar.

“We pack them in there pretty much every time we play,” says Hershberger of gigs at the Tritone. “It’s like 120, 140 people in there — just a crazy dance party. It definitely doesn’t feel like work.”

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