Alexander is drummer based in NYC. He is leader of Midrash
Mish Mosh and a member of Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars,
Greg Wall's Later Prophets, Alex Kontorovich's Deep Minor, Hasidic
New Wave, Klezmerfest, and has had the privilege of working with
the Klezmatics, Adrienne Cooper, German Goldenshteyn, Marilyn
Lerner, Ray Musiker, Pete Sokolow, and Alicia Svigals.
Kurt Bjorling, although noted mainly as a clarinetist, plays several instruments and builds some of them. He attended the very first KlezKamp as a participant and was invited back the next year as an assistant teacher. Once introduced by Henry Sapoznik as "the first KlezKamp success story," he was a regular staff member every year from 1988 until the mid '90s, so he is delighted to be returning for this 30th KlezKamp.
Blacksberg is one of the few trombonists playing klezmer
music on the east coast. He has performed or recorded in the US
and abroad with Frank London, Michael Winograd, Aaron Alexander,
Susan Watts, Elaine Hoffman Watts, the Klez Dispensers, Hankus
Netsky, Alan Bern, Adrienne Cooper, Alex Kontorovitch and the
Shirim Klezmer Orchestra. These musical associations have brought
Blacksberg to such far-flung locales as Hungary, Poland, Austria,
Germany, Canada and some strange corners of Brooklyn.
Brody is an alumna of the pioneering klezmer revival band
Kapelye, with whom she toured and recorded for over a decade,
and is also a Yiddish singer well known for her unique old-world
sound. Lauren leads a parallel life as a performer of the traditional
music of Bulgaria and the Balkans, and has won a series of grants
to conduct groundbreaking research in Bulgaria on early commercial
folk music recordings.
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Davis will lead evening activities for children. She has
taught at KlezKamp for many years and works as a calligrapher
and graphic artist. She also plays flute in the Wholesale Klezmer
mixer, cratedigger, musical continent-spanner SoCalled (aka Josh
Dolgin) performs and records widely with a crew of mixed-up
freaks and geniuses from around the world, including C Rayz Walz,
Killah Priest, Matisyahu, Fred Wesley, Susan Hoffman-Watts, Frank
London, and Irving Fields. Armed with his Akai MPC, heritage and
love for genre-bending music, SoCalled is a Yiddish rapping, accordion
wielding, Klezmer hip hop maestro.
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Gellerman has danced, written about dance, and taught dance internationally—from Western Illinois University to Yiddish Summer Weimar. She is a veteran staff member of KlezKamp and a contributing author to the recent volume Seeing Israeli and Jewish Dance (2011) edited by Judith Brin Ingber.
Binyomin Ginzberg is a bandleader, keyboardist and vocalist on the NY Simkhe circuit, performing with his own groups under the JewishMusician.com name, as well as freelancing with many other bands. He also leads the Breslov Bar Band, a group exploring the music of the Breslov Chasidim. The band recently released their second album, "Happy Hour".
Gordon is a Yiddish singer and lyricist who has performed
with Frank London, The Klezmatics and Mikveh among others. Her
song lyrics have been recorded by Frank London's Klezmer Brass
Allstars, Mikveh, Khevre and The Klezmatics. At 5'2" she
is one of the tallest female poets in the history of Yiddish Literature.
Itzik Gottesman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches Yiddish language, cultulre and folklore. He was the associate editor of the Forverts newspaper for 14 years. He runs the blog Yiddish Song of the Week featuring rare field recordings for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance.
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flutist and multi-instrumentalist Adrianne
Greenbaum teaches through her fusion of historical sensibilities,
dance, theory, old recordings and texts. Focusing on the revival
of the flute in klezmer, she performs and teaches throughout the
US, presenting master classes at universities and flute conferences
and is also on the faculties of Klezkanada and Klezmerquerque.
over 30 years bassist Jim Guttmann
has performed in a wide range of venues from smokey dives to Carnegie
Hall. He joined the Klezmer Conservatory Band at its inception
in 1980 and as a member of the band has performed and recorded
with Itzhak Perlman and Joel Grey. In addition to working with
KCB he is currently performing klezmer music with Andy Statman,
Alicia Svigals' Klezmer Fiddle Express.
Isaacs specializes in Yiddish language and researches Jewish
sociolinguistics and Yiddish culture as a tool of identity and
empowerment. She has explored the uses of Yiddish language among
contemporary Hasidim and has recently written on the works of
dramatist Peretz Hirschbein. She has also written on Yiddish culture
in the Displaced Person's camps in postwar Germany. Dr. Isaacs
has been teaching Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland,
College Park, since 1995. Her teaching includes basic Yiddish
language and literature in the original and in translation, as
well as courses on Yiddish theater and film, fantasy and the supernatural
in Jewish literature and on the immigrant experience in Jewish
and other literatures.
Jacobs is in charge of live sound and recording inside
the Tanzhal. You can find out much more about him at his website:
He is always happy to be a part of the Klezkamp whirligig!
Jochnowitz is a culinary ethnographer, chef, baker, and
Yiddish instructor at the YIVO institute. She has lectured both
in the United States and abroad on food in Jewish tradition, religion,
and ritual as well as food in Yiddish performance and popular
culture. Ms Jochnowitz is the Chocolate Lady and writes regularly
on her blog, In
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Mark Kligman is the inaugural holder of the Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music and Professor of Ethnomusicology and Musicology at UCLA in the Herb Alpert School of Music. From 1994-2014 he was on the faculty of Hebrew Union College’s Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music. He specializes in the liturgical traditions of Middle Eastern Jewish communities and various areas of popular Jewish music. He was awarded a 2009 Jordan Schnitzer Book Award Notable Selection for Maqam and Liturgy: Ritual, Music and Aesthetics of Syrian Jews in Brooklyn (Wayne State University, 2009). Mark is the Academic chair of the Jewish Music Forum, co-editor of the journal Musica Judaica, and a board member of the Association for Jewish Studies.
Kornrich is a community cultural consultant, a descriptor
that he dreamed up. He works with a variety of non-profit cultural
organizations in the areas of organizational development, needs
assessment, community partnerships, and long-range planning. He
enjoys stage managing and getting people to work together. He
and his wife, Yvonne, live on a ridge overlooking the Clinch River
in east Tennessee.
pianist/improviser Marilyn Lerner performs to acclaim internationally, from her native Montreal to Havana, from Jerusalem to Amsterdam and the Ukraine. She has deeply explored traditional and free jazz, new music tinged improvisation, and Ashkenazic folk music. Lerner has appeared with Tito Puente, Gerry Hemingway, and Steve Lacy. In the New Jewish music scene, she performs with Frank London, Alicia Svigals and David Wall. Lerner also conducts workshops on improvisation and on Jewish music in North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union. Her prolific recordings include Lerner/Filiano/Grassi Live in Madrid, (Cadence records) with bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Lou Grassi, Ugly Beauties Trio with cellist Matt Brubeck (yes, Dave’s son) and drummer Nick Fraser. She records and tours with the Dutch based avant-garde Ig Henneman Sextet, with Axel Dörner, Wilbert de Joode, Lori Freedman and Ab Baars. Marilyn is also a practicing psychotherapist and an analyst in training at the Toronto Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.
familiar presence at KlezKamp since 1986,
Susan Leviton brings her depth of knowledge, engaging teaching
style, and infectious enthusiasm to all things Yiddish. She's
an accomplished singer and calligraphic artist who travels as
a performing artist-in-residence, sharing Yiddish culture and
contemporary Jewish arts. Susan works her magic on commissioned
artworks which range from greeting cards and ketubot to large
scale wall art for synagogues, JCC's, and independent living centers.
Whether in song or visual arts, her work is rooted in tradition
and reaches forward to stretch the imagination.
Frank London is a founding member of The Klezmatics, with whom he won a Grammy Award for Wonder Wheel (Lyrics by Woody Guthrie), and scored the Peter Forgacs video installation Postcards from Afar for the Museum of the History of Jews in Poland and the YIVO. He leads his own Klezmer Brass All Stars and the Shekhinah Big Band, composed the folk-opera, A Night in the Old Marketplace, and the symphonic oratorio, 1001 Voices, A Symphony for A New America; played with performers from Youssou N'Dour to Lester Bowie and David Byrne. Recent projects include Brass Khazones with trumpeter Steven Bernstein, and a bhangra-Yiddish mashup party band featuring Deep Singh, Manu Narayan, Jeremiah Lockwood, Sarah Gordon and others. He likes to make interesting, fun music with fun, interesting people.
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Ken Maltz a founding member of Kapelye, the pioneering Klezmer band, has performed in hundreds of appearances on stage, television, radio and film throughout North America, Central America and Europe and is known throughout the world as a leading figure in the Klezmer revival. In addition to his career as a performer, he has composed musical scores and sound effects for Bantam Doubleday Dell audio books, including the popular Star Wars series, which features his music alongside that of Oscar-winning composer John Williams.
Zach Mayer leads a seven-piece Jazz/Rock/Funk band, titled The Zach Mayer Band, for
which he composes, arranges, and sings his original songs. He tours the U.S. playing
baritone saxophone with EMEFE, an eleven-piece Afrobeat band led by the drummer of
the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Miles Arntzen.
Zach manages and performs with the Ayn Sof Arkestra, a sixteen-piece, neo-Klezmer
avant garde professional big band, featuring Frank London and tenor saxophonist Greg
Wall. He also plays baritone sax in Zion 80, a Jewish Afro-beat band blending the music
of Shlomo Carlebach and Fela Kuti. He has performed with John Zorn, and plays with
GRAMMY Award-winner Frank London in the Shekhina Big Band.
Zach founded the City College Klezmer Band and has been on the faculty of KlezKanada
for eight years, instructing and arranging an ensemble of twenty-six teenagers. He
attended the Rimon Conservatory of Music in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is a recent graduate of
the BFA program at CCNY for Jazz performance. Zach has performed at the Jewish
Culture Festival in Krakow, Poland (www.jewishfestival.pl), Ashkenaz Festival in
Toronto (www.ashkenazfestival.com/), and at the KlezKanada Music Festival in Lantier,
Quebec (www.klezkanada.org). He regularly performs at NYC venues including The
Highline Ballroom, The Bitter End, The Stone, and Sullivan Hall.
Mayrent came to her first KlezKamp in 1987, an accomplished
clarinetist in styles other than klezmer. Within a few years,
she transitioned from student to apprentice to Staff in 1995 and
in 2001, as the Associate Director of Living Traditions and KlezKamp.
Her KlezKamp experience led to her becoming the clarinetist and
musical director of the Wholesale Klezmer band, the Western Massachusetts
ensemble she joined in 1990. She recently left that group to concentrate
her energies on the Living Traditions Online Sound Archive, of
which she is co-director. She is also a record producer and a
prolific composer of traditional klezmer tunes, and has published
several books of klezmer charts, as well as creating a volume
of traditional klezmer styles for PG Music's auto-accompaniment
program, "Band in a Box." Her passion for traditional
Yiddish culture is equaled only by her passion for traditional
Peck has been Operations Director for KlezKamp for the last 24 years and is the creator of the Epes Center. He is an old-time musician who has worked for many years at traditional music festivals and is on the board of the Charlie Poole Music Festival in Eden, North Carolina as well as a member of the Buck Mountain Band from Grayson County, Virginia. He designs cataloguing databases for the work of artists including Andy Warhol, Willem DeKooning and Richard Serra. He is also a published photographer and author of books on database programming and digital photography. www.danpeck.com
Film composer, flutist and keyboardist Sarah
Plant scores features, documentaries and multi-media museum
installations. She worked on Ang Lee's Oscar-nominated feature
Eat Drink Man Woman and has composed
for PBS, ITVS, Bravo, Canal+ (France), CBC (Canada), Hallmark,
the Center for Asian American Media, and for Spanish, Swiss and
other European TV. Sarah composed a commission for Bill T. Jones
Dance Company and has scored American Museum of Natural History
biodiversity films. She has received awards/grants from ASCAP,
the NEA and the American Music Center. She is former Music Editor
of Sing Out! magazine, and specializes
in music from around the world. www.sarahplantmusic.com
Ethel Raim is the Artistic Director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance and is widely recognized for her expertise in both Yiddish and Balkan vocal traditions. She has had a distinguished career as a performer, workshop leader/singing teacher and recording artist (Elektra/Nonesuch). In the early 60s, Ms. Raim founded, directed, and sang with the Pennywhistlers—the influential a cappella women's vocal group whose recordings of traditional Yiddish, Russian and Balkan singing were instrumental in seeding numerous women's vocal ensembles across America. She pioneered the teaching of Balkan singing in the US in the late 60s, and has taught nationally and internationally ever since. Since 2010, Raim has specialized in teaching traditional unaccompanied Yiddish singing, conducting annual advanced singing workshops at Yiddish Summer Weimar through 2012, and, in 2013, was invited to teach traditional unaccompanied Yiddish singing at KlezKanada. She is internationally acclaimed as a master teacher and an expert on the vocal traditions in which she specializes.
Eleanor Reissa Yiddish and English director, singer, actor, playwright, poet, adventurer. Tony award nomination. Loves coaching, collaborating with the talented musicians and artists she has encountered. Most recent work: singing with Eleanor Reissa and Di Boyess, Frank London and the Klezmer Brass All Stars; writing/directing a musical for Yiddishpiel in Israel; acting in CBS show, "Unforgettable."
Romaine is a founding member of Obie/Bessie winning Great
Small Works theater collective, music director/ring performer
in Circus Amok, and a member of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater's
Kids and Yiddish Crew. Romaine collaborates with an intergenerational
army of artists committed to keeping new Yiddish theater at the
heart of social life.
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"Hank" Sapoznik is a four-time Grammy nominated
record producer, radio documentarian, author and performer of
traditional Yiddish and American music. He won a 2002 Peabody
award for his 10 week National Public Radio series "The Yiddish
Radio Project" and was nominated for an Emmy for his score
to the documentary film "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg."
He is a producer for Time-Life Music and is currently working
on establishing a National Banjo Museum.
Binyumen (Ben) Schaechter is an award-winning composer of musicals, revue and cabaret songs, represented off-Broadway by Double Identity, and four revues: Naked Boys Singing, the 4th longest-running show in off-Broadway history; Pets! (Dramatic Publishing); That's Life! (Outer Critics Circle nomination); and Too Jewish? (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations; also seen on PBS). He is Conductor of the acclaimed Yiddish-singing 50-voice Jewish People's Philharmonic Chorus (TheJPPC.org), and Musical Director/Arranger/Proud father of Di Shekhter-tekhter (YiddishSisters.com)—the world-travelling all-Yiddish sister duo, and the subject of a recent documentary film/concert video, When Our Bubbas and Zeydas Were Young: The Schaechter Sisters on Stage, now available on DVD (JewishVideo.com).
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Sokolow has had a career in Jewish music, commercial music,
and traditional jazz that has spanned over fifty years; he has
done more than 10,000 jobs in that time. He has performed with
many famous klezmer and jazz players, toured Europe and the U.S.
several times, orchestrated three Jewish shows and more than thirty
recordings, and appeared in or arranged for several TV "specials"and
documentary films. He is the author or co-author of books on klezmer
and articles about the klezmer scene, and has lectured extensively.
He has taught at KlezKamp since its inception.
Sokolow's connection to Jewish textile art began with membership
in the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework and flourished after
she crocheted her first yarmulke, designing a keyboard motif for
her husband, Peter. Using a multiplicity of hand and machine techniques
(e.g. quilting, applique and embroidery), she has since produced
challah covers, Purim napkins, more yarmulkes, kittels, shofar
bags, wall hangings and several chuppahs.
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internationally acclaimed klezmer violinist and teacher, Deborah
Strauss is a member of the Strauss/Warschauer Duo and was
a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band and the Chicago
Paula Teitelbaum is a singer and Yiddish teacher, and has been on Klezkamp staff for many years. Her singing has been featured on the recordings Vaserl, Zumerteg, Fli,Fli, Mayn Flishlang, and on the soundtrack of the documentary film Image Before My Eyes. Together with Lorin Sklamberg she co-produced the cd Di Grine Katshke/The Green Duck, which features her singing as well. Paula has taught at the YIVO Summer Intensive Yiddish Program, and has worked as an English as a Second Language and Spanish teacher at John Bowne High School in Queens, NY.
Warschauer is internationally renowned as a mandolinist, guitarist, singer and teacher. He is on the faculty at Columbia University, and is a Founding Artistic Director and Senior Artistic Advisor of KlezKanada. Jeff is one half of the Strauss/Warschauer Duo, and was a long-time member of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Jeff speaks Yiddish, and has researched and collected Yiddish and Hebrew songs and instrumental melodies since the mid-1980s. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, and has studied Jewish culture, languages, and religion at the Conservative Yeshiva, Oxford University, Columbia University, the University of Haifa and Tufts University. He is pursuing graduate study in Cantorial music and Modern Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. www.klezmerduo.com
Hoffman Watts is a third-generation klezmer musician, scion
of the great Philadelphia Hoffman family of klezmorim. The first
woman percussionist to be accepted at Curtis Institute, from which
she graduated in 1954, Watts has performed and taught for more
than forty years, working in symphonies, theaters, and schools.
Despite her skills and family heritage, when she was young Ms.
Watts was seldom given opportunities to perform by klezmer bands,
from the 1940s on: they didn't want to employ a girl, even Jacob
Hoffman's daughter. Ms. Watts began performing klezmer actively
again with her daughter Susan Watts. She is a 2007 recipient of
the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship Award.
Watts represents the youngest generation of a Klezmer dynasty
that reaches back to the Jewish Ukraine of the 19th century, beginning
with her great grandfather, bandleader Joseph Hoffman. She works
and records with a range of talented musicians including her mother
Elaine Hoffman Watts, Frank London and the Klezmer Brass All-Stars,
Mikveh, anad the KlezDispensers.
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Weintraub is a teacher, choreographer, and performer specializing
in Jewish dance. He received his training with Alvin Ailey and
Erick Hawkins, and danced for Felix Fibich. He teaches Yiddish
dance workshops internationally, leads dancing at Simchas, and
collaborated on Hopkele, a cd of music especially for dancing
Wernick is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan's
Joint Doctoral Program in Social Work and Political Science. She
is currently working on her dissertation on social justice philanthropy
and young donor organizing. More specifically, she is exploring
the role of young people with wealth in social justice movements.
Marilla Wex came to Klezkamp for the first time in 2000 and seemingly never
left. An award-winning actress and comedian she also moonlights as a child
wrangler and writes a short play every year for the Klezkids with the help
of her scary genius husband Michael who provides the Yiddish content.
Co-directing the children's program with Sarah Gordon every December is the
highlight of her year.
of Born to Kvetch and Just
Say Nu, an overnight sensation at 52, Michael
Wex has been teaching at KlezKamp longer than anyone cares
to remember. Novelist, playwright, lecturer, performer and authority
on language and literature, Wex has been called "a Yiddish
National Treasure" and "the finest translator around."
Michael Winograd is based in Brooklyn,
NY and has taught and performed internationally. He has played
with Frank London, Alicia Svigals, Socalled, Joe Morris, Kenny
Wollesen, and Jenny Romaine to name a few. Michael's favorite
color is purple and he enjoys kreplekh
and green tea on the weekends.
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