Return to JMI  homepage
JMI HomepageAbout JMILatest News and UpdatesWhat is Jewish Music?LibraryJMI NewsletterContact JMISearch the JMI websiteSitemap
   

Who’s Who in KlezFest, Ot Azoy! and the Jewish Song School 2005
posted 25 March 2005

KlezFest

back to top

Michael Alpert (New York):
klezmer dance, fiddle, traditional Yiddish ballads
Michael Alpert
Michael is an important link between Old World Jewish musicians and the klezmer revival through his research work at New York's YIVO Institute. He is also internationally known for his instrumental and vocal performances and recordings with Brave Old World, Khevrisa, Kapelye, David Krakauer and others. Alpert was the Emmy Award-winning musical director of ‘Itzhak Perlman: In the Fiddler's House’ and its subsequent concert tours, and executive producer of the resulting CDs. He is a program director of Canada's ‘KlezKanada’ and a longtime staff instructor at ‘KlezKamp’ in America and KlezFest London. Alpert is translator and co-editor of ‘Jewish Instrumental Folk Music,’ the seminal 1938 work on klezmer music by Soviet Jewish ethnomusicologist Moyshe Beregovski.

back to top

Matt Darriau (New York)/Klezmatics: reeds, flutes, ethnic woodwinds
In addition to the Klezmatics, Matt leads his own Balkan rhythm quartet, Paradox Trio, which regularly performs at major European jazz and world music festivals. With his five-piece Recycled Waltz Orchestra he toured the USA playing the film music of Bernard Herrmann. Along with fellow Klezmatic Frank London he set up the septet Ballin’ the Jack, which plays early swing repertoire fused with contemporary improvisation. Darriau is also a member of Celtic band Whirligig. He has composed for film, theatre and dance. Jazziz magazine named him one of the 150 most influential jazz musicians of the last fifteen years.

back to top

Josh Dolgin (Montreal)
Josh Dolgin
Socalled: piano, accordion
Josh is a magician, cartoonist, pianist, photographer, animator, DJ, choirmaster and beat-writer. He gives workshops on hiphopkele (the melding of Jewish rhythms, modes and melodies with contemporary technological music forms) at KlezKanada and KlezFest London where he also teaches accordion. He collaborated with Sophie Solomon to create the HipHopKhasene and performs and records with his band Shtreimel.

back to top

Lisa Gutkin (New York)/Klezmatics: fiddle
Lisa’s varied musical palette has led to collaborations with a wide array of artists and the founding of the Celtic group, Whirligig. Lisa also composes for film, radio, television and theatre and appears on over 100 recordings. Her most recent compositions can be heard in Sex and the City’s final season. Lisa has performed and recorded with some of the best traditional Irish musicians on either side of the Atlantic. As part of the Fast Folk collective, she appeared with amongst others Suzanne Vega. Her most recent collaboration is with Dutch choreographer Maggie Boogaart for which she composed and performed the music.

back to top

David Licht (New York)/Klezmatics: drums
David plays many styles of music, including jazz, blues, folk, rock, Brazilian and African. In 1985, David quickly became part of the second wave of the klezmer revival, listening and learning from vintage 78rpm recordings, which continue to be his biggest influence. He has performed on over thirty recordings and toured with legendary bands. He composes and performes music for modern dance. He has performed and recorded with Andy Statman, David Krakauer, Michael Alpert, Pete Sokolow and Klezmer Plus, Giora Feidman and Zalmen Mlotek. He has been staff percussion instructor for KlezKamp since 1987.

back to top

Shura Lipovsky (Amsterdam): director of Yiddish song
Shura Lipovskyis one of the best-known singers of Yiddish song in Europe. She has performed and taught also in Russia, the USA and Canada. She studied singing at the Rotterdam conservatory and she had a folkdance education, after which she specialised in Judaic mysticism and dance. She is widely appreciated for her teaching of the Yiddish song repertoire combined with contextual study of the history and background of the composers and poets. She conducts masterclasses for singers and workshops in Chasidic dances, songs and stories.

back to top

Frank London (New York)
Klezmatics: trumpet brass
Frank London
Innovative and creative founder-member of Klezmatics and Klezmer Brass Allstars and many other world known ensembles, Frank is now exploring cantorial music for trumpet and Jewish mystical songs and performances with his Hasidic New Wave ensemble. He has written music for theatre and ballet and is one of the most charismatic and respected members of the current klezmer scene. He has performed and recorded with a showcase of great names including John Zorn, Mel Torme, Maurice El Medioni and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 CDs. Most recently he has performed Woody Guthrie’s Chanukah songs.

back to top

Paul Morrissett (New York)/Klezmatics: bass, tsimbl
Paul is a collector and accomplished player of traditional folk instruments of the Balkans and Scandinavia. He has travelled the world studying with ethnic masters such as Norway’s premier Hardanger fiddlers and Bulgaria’s most esteemed folk artists: gaida and gadulka players. With Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band and the George Tomov Dance Ensemble Orchestra, Paul has recorded and performed in venues from Lincoln Center to Zagreb, on instruments including kaval, bass, zurla, violin, trumpet, accordion and tamburitza. He conducts workshops at festivals and has been on the staff of Lark in the Morning, Buffalo on the Roof and the Balkan Music and Dance camps.

back to top

Merlin Shepherd (Brighton):
clarinet, Dance Band co-ordinator
Merlin Sheperd
Internationally acclaimed performer, composer and educator, Merlin has developed a special method of teaching klezmer instrumentalists by ear, which has influenced many teacher’s practises throughout the world. Merlin has taught at many international Yiddish Arts Programmes in North America and Eastern Europe. He has performed with The Burning Bush, and Budowitz and is a regular member of Sukke and the Klezmer Brass Allstars. He also leads the Sound & Light Cinematic Duo who play live accompaniment to rare black and white silent Jewish films.
www.merlinshepherd.co.uk

back to top

Lorin Sklamberg (New York)/Klezmatics: vocals, accordion
Lorin was a founder-member of the Klezmatics. As a Yiddish singer he is in great demand and can be heard on over three dozen recordings in collaborations with legendary performers, labels, venues and producers such as Don Byron, The Knitting Factory, Tzadik, Frank London, Adrienne Cooper and Itzhak Perlman. He co-founded the non-profit organization Living Traditions and for fourteen years Lorin coordinated its annual KlezKamp: the Yiddish Folk Arts Program (the world’s first major instructional institution for klezmorim). He co-produced and recorded its children’s CD. Lorin currently serves as the Sound Archivist of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

back to top

Sophie Solomon (London): fiddle
Sophie Solomon
A founder-member of Oi Va Voi, (whose debut album was in NY Times Top Ten Albums 2003), Sophie Solomon fuses traditional fidl technique with electronic wizardry in pyrotechnic live performances. Her debut solo album will be released by Decca Records later this year. Sophie’s many collaborations include Rufus Wainwright, Heather Nova, Theodor Bikel and Solomon & Socalled’s HipHopKhasene which won a prestigious German Record Critics’ Award for Album of the Year 2004. With Maxim Vengerov and Christian Garrick, Sophie is an Artistic Advisor to the Genius of the Violin Festival. She teaches regularly internationally, most recently at the Royal Academy of Music and Weimar Conservatory of Music.

back to top

Deborah Strauss (New York): fiddle
Deborah Strauss
Deborah is internationally acclaimed as one of the finest of the contemporary klezmer instrumentalists and as a true musical descendent of the most eloquent traditional Jewish violinists. She is a member of the Strauss/Warschauer Duo and was a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and the Chicago Klezmer Ensemble. As a violinist, singer and accordionist, Deborah has appeared on numerous recordings. She is a beloved teacher of Yiddish music and dance to students of all ages, and has taught for many years at countless workshops throughout Europe and North America, including KlezFest London, KlezKamp and KlezKanada.

back to top

Jeff Warschauer (New York):
plucked strings, cantorial improvisation
Jeff Warschauer
Internationally renowned mandolinist, guitarist, Yiddish singer and teacher, Jeff is a member of the Strauss/Warschauer Duo and was a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. He is on the faculty of Columbia University, a program director for KlezKanada, a long-time instructor at KlezKamp and a frequent instructor for the Jewish Music Institute/SOAS at the University of London. He is also a composer whose music has been heard in films and theater productions, on Public Radio International and on HBO. Jeff's solo CD, The Singing Waltz: Klezmer Guitar and Mandolin, has received widespread critical acclaim.


back to top

The KlezFest Assistant Faculty are:
Ilana Cravitz (London) Fiddle
Helene Domergue (France) Dance
Sara Manasseh (London) Iraqi-Jewish song
Guy Schalom (Manchester) Technical and percussion
Andreas Schmitges (Germany) Dance
Judith Silver (London) Yiddish and new song

Dr Sara Manasseh
Sara Manasseh
Dr Sara Manasseh is an ethnomusicologist, lecturer, performer and researcher in the musical traditions of the Jews of Iraq, and of the Bene Israel Jews of India . She was Head of Music at London Comprehensive schools for a number of years, and later, Senior Lecturer in Music at Kingston University , Surrey . More recently, she has lectured in Jewish Music at SOAS. Her publications include articles on music in religious and life-cycle events, in the Babylonian (or Iraqi) Jewish tradition, the role of Iraqi Jewish women in music performance (in Iraq and in Israel), and with her mother, Rachel Manasseh, a historical and social account of the Baghdadian Jews of India. She has also produced a number of CDs. Sara is the founding director of the group Rivers of Babylon, performing religious and secular music in the Iraqi-Jewish and Bene Israel traditions, and in February 2005 participated in a lecture and performance tour of 7 cities in India. Sara was born in Bombay of Iraqi-Jewish parents, and moved to London in 1966.
http://www.saramanasseh.com
http://www.riversofbabylon.com

back to top

Judith Silver (London):
Judith Silver
Yiddish and new song is a musician and music facilitator, working across the community. Much of her work concerns encouraging singing, either teaching songs new to a group (usually harmony songs from all over the world), or sharing classics. She is an established and respected singer/songwriter influenced by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and many others; her composition also includes an increasing repertoire of unaccompanied harmony songs for groups. Within a more specifically Jewish context, Judith has a wide and ever-increasing knowledge and love of Yiddish songs, which she performs and teaches regularly, constantly developing her own repertoire and working to improve at the language. Over recent years, she has begun to lead a group of singers at Finchley Reform Synagogue for the High Holy Days services. Her involvement with and interest in Jewish music is growing all the time.

 

Jewish Song Summer School

back to top

Shura Lipovsky (Amsterdam): Programme Director, Yiddish song
Shura is one of the best-known singers of Yiddish song in Europe. She has performed and taught also in Russia, the USA and Canada. She studied singing at the Rotterdam conservatory and after finishing her formal education she specialized in Judaic mysticism and dance. She is widely appreciated for her teaching of the Yiddish song repertoire combined with contextual study of the history and background of the composers and poets. She conducts masterclasses for singers and workshops in Chasidic dances, songs and stories.

back to top

Polina Achkinazi-Shepherd (Brighton):
song accompanist, vocal ensemble
Polina Achkinazi-Shepherd
Composer, singer, pianist and the leading choral conductor of Yiddish song in the Former USSR. She has performed and taught internationally. Her specially developed choral teaching methods are based on instrumental ornamentation and Jewish modes. Performs with her own a capella ensemble, ‘The Vocal Quartet Ahkenazim’ and works with the Sound & Light Cinematic Duo, who play live accompaniment to rare black and white silent Jewish films. Polina's music is performed by choirs and soloists all over the world.
www.ashkenazim.ru

back to top

Ruti Halvani (London):
Jewish Art song
Ruti Halvani
Israeli Mezzo-Soprano Ruti Halvani is Director of the year-round JMI Jewish Song School and is accomplished in classical, opera, oratorio and art song as well as contemporary music. Since completing a postgraduate degree with distinction at Trinity College of Music, she has worked with the world's finest orchestras and singers at prestigious venues. Amongst numerous awards, Ruti won first prize in the Leoncavallo Competition in Switzerland, and most recently, her JMI Millennium Award led to research into Jewish art songs and launched MezzoMorphosis, a programme dedicated to classical adaptations of Jewish folk songs from the 19th and 20th centuries. She has also recorded a CD of Yiddish art songs for the Milken Archive.

back to top

Jacinta (Paris): Yiddish and Ladino song
Jacinta was born in Buenos Aires and studied the guitar. She came to Paris in 1978 and sang the Judeo-Spanish romances in the show ‘chant profound Juif’ at the Festival d’Avignon. She is an author and a composer, and as a comedienne she has played in Dibouk and Mortadela by Alfredo Arias. She sings and teaches Yiddish, Sephardi and Argentine repertoire and also her own compositions in Spanish and French. Her voice can be heard in many films and on television as well as CDs. She has presented shows in Paris and toured France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, Finland, Canada and Argentina.

Michael Alpert and Lorin Sklamberg will also participate in the song programme

Ot Azoy!

back to top

Khayele Beer (Oxford):
Course Director Yiddish language
Helen Beer
Khayele Beer taught Yiddish at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and is a veteran of Yiddish Intensive Summer Courses in Oxford, Brussels, Paris and is the Course Director of Ot Azoy! London. She is the William Margulies Lecturer in Yiddish, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. She produces an annual Yiddish Purim Shpil with students at UCL and produced a full length Yiddish play in 2002. She is the Director of Yiddish Studies for the JMI International Forum for Yiddish Culture.

back to top

Barry Davis (London):
Film co-ordinator
Barry Davis
Yiddish actor and scholar, Barry teaches Yiddish for the Spiro Ark and the London Jewish Cultural Centre. Has coached Yiddish and acted in several films.

back to top

Sonia Dratwa-Pinkusowitz (Brussels): Yiddish language
Sonya is one of the most sought after and popular teachers of Yiddish in Europe. A mainstay of Ot Azoy! her teaching is enjoyed by young and old who find her methods extremely engaging and effective.

back to top

Pesakh Fiszman (New York):
Yiddish language
Pesakh Fiszman
Pesakh is one of the world’s favourite Yiddish teachers and story tellers. His knowledge of the language and its literature and his humour and care for students is legendary.


Programme and faculty may vary.

back to top

JMI Summer Schools
KlezFest
Jewish Song School
Ot Azoy!

Concert
Klezmer Klimax

 

 

JMI HomepageAbout JMILatest News and UpdatesWhat is Jewish Music?LibraryNewsletterContact JMISearch the JMI websiteSitemap
Performances. Jewish Music Live JMI Library Jewish Music Courses
The Jewish Music Institute is an independent Arts organisation based at SOAS, University of London. It is an international focus bringing the ancient yet contemporary musical culture of the Jews to the mainstream British cultural, academic and social life. Its programmes of education, performance and information highlight many aspects of Jewish music throughout the ages and across the globe for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.