Isle of Klezbos in Concert
July 10, 2018
At the Havurah Synagogue in Ashland
On Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 PM the Havurah Synagogue will host a concert featuring acclaimed East Coast Klezmer band called Isle of Klezbos. Tickets are $25 in advance, available at the Music Coop, 268 E. Main St. in Ashland or online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3385911, and $30 at the door. Rabbi David Zaslow says, “this promises to be an evening of joy and great music to awaken the heart and lift up the soul. Klezmer is the folk music of Eastern European Jews, often called “Jewish wedding music.” But what the Isle of Klezbos does is lift this music even higher.
New York City based ISLE of KLEZBOS approaches tradition with playful irreverence and deepest respect. Now celebrating two decades together, the soulful, fun-loving powerhouse all-gal klezmer quintet has toured from Vienna to Vancouver since 1998. Band repertoire ranges from rambunctious to entrancing: neo-traditional folk dance, mystical melodies, Yiddish swing & retro tango, late Soviet-era Jewish drinking song, re-grooved standards, and genre-defying originals. Broadcast credits include CBS Sunday Morning, The L Word, PBS, as well as over a dozen film soundtracks such as Grace Paley: Collected Shorts and Esther Broner: A Weave of Women. The band’s acclaimed debut album Greetings from the Isle of Klezbos was followed by latest CD, Live From Brooklyn (named among New York Music Daily’s “Top 50 Albums of the Year” in any genre). The group is noted for their tight yet adventurous sound, lush arrangements, luscious compositions, and solos that swing the Yiddish stratosphere.
Formed by drummer/leader Eve Sicular, a Harvard-educated film historian as well as music maven, the group’s outstanding lineup combines the creative talents of alumnae from Juilliard, Eastman, Manhattan and Berklee Schools of Music. The band is repeat recipient of honors from Sparkplug Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and OUT music, their latest Creative Engagement award supports the year-long series Isle of Klezbos: Isle of Manhattan!
Special ISLE of KLEZBOS projects have included J.EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, original musical documentary theater created by bandleader/composer & lyricist Sicular, praised by The New York Times for “lively score… smartly written;” the show sold out its Off-Off Broadway run at HERE Arts. The quintet has also enjoyed guest artist MC’s Jackie Hoffman, Lisa Kron, Jennifer ‘Circus Amok’ Miller and many more for their annual KlezBiGay Pride festivities. Recent special appearances: A Letter to Harvey Milk opening night party house band; World Science Festival surprise guest artists in honor of Alan Alda at Jazz at Lincoln Center gala; and Cinema Arts Centre featured music artists with SNL legend Alan Zweibel. The band originated as spinoff of Metropolitan Klezmer, an octet also led by drummer Eve Sicular (now in its 24th year).
ISLE of KLEZBOS’ first recordings were cameos on the joint release Mosaic Persuasion, second of five Metropolitan Klezmer albums to date. The “sister sextet” made their first public appearance at CB’s 313 Gallery, a more acoustically-oriented venue run by the same owner who had founded an iconic punk stage two doors down at 315 Bowery. Unbeknownst to the band at that time, the CBGB proprietor had grown up with Yiddish music royalty in his own family, and ISLE of KLEZBOS immediately became favorite performers for the legendaryHilly [Hillel] Kristal.
Drummer, bandleader and film scholar Eve Sicular formed and leads NYC-based bands Isle of Klezbos all-women’s quintet (since 1998) and Metropolitan Klezmer octet (since 1994). She has produced the two bands’ five acclaimed CDs with two more released in 2014, as well as band tours throughout North America and Europe.
Trumpet / flugelhorn / kudu player Pam Fleming has toured internationally with Black Rock Coalition’s Nina Simone Tribute, reggae stars Burning Spear, Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown; and global blues group Hazmat Modine, as well as nationwide with Natalie Merchant for Lilith Fair (also guest soloing with Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, and Sarah McLachlan). Broadcasts: Bonnie Raitt (VH1), Rufus Wainwright (Letterman), “Li’l” Jimmy Scott (PBS Sessions at 54th St).
Debra Kreisberg performs, composes, arranges and records with the NYC-based Latin jazz groups Los Mas Valientes and Anaisa, as well as award-winning klezmer bands Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, with whom she has toured in the U.S., Canada and in Europe. She is the leader of the new jazz trio East Harlem Trio and co-founded, with vocalist Melissa Fogarty, the new jazz quintet The Highliners.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, accordionist / pianist Shoko Nagai has been evolving as a professional musician and composer for 16 years. In 1999, she moved to NYC, quickly establishing herself in the downtown jazz.
Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, versatile vocalist Melissa Fogarty began as a leading child performer at the Metropolitan Opera.
“New York all-female klezmer sextet Isle of Klezbos really should win a prize for having one of the cheekiest band names of all time… Isle of Klezbos is no novelty-concept act. The veteran New York group is one of the most acclaimed and esteemed klezmer units around today, approaching “tradition with irreverence and respect” and headlining at clubs and festivals around the world.” — Chronogram
The Havurah Synagogue is located at 185 N. Mountain Ave., in Ashland. Call 541-488-7716 for more info.