KlezNorth 2021 Faculty
KlezNorth 2021 Musical Director Ilana Cravitz is a London-based klezmer fiddler who performs and teaches internationally, delves into the eastern European Jewish music archive to bring new old material to light, and composes new traditional klezmer tunes. In 2020 Ilana launched the London International Klezmer Experience (LIKE) with an online festival, followed by a popular bi-monthly klezmer music & discussion forum, and publication of ‘12 Jewish Wedding Melodies’ in new arrangements she has made for string quartet. Ilana has toured the world with the London Klezmer Quartet, her book, ‘Klezmer Fiddle – A How-To Guide’ is published by Oxford University Press, and she leads bands and Yiddish dancing for klezmer keilidhs. Ilana is also in demand as a baroque violinist and viola da gamba player and enjoys playing English, Celtic and Scandinavian folk music. ilanacravitz.com
Over the last 20 years, Adrian Dobson has been playing klezmer music on the accordion for dances, concerts, weddings and other celebrations with a variety of klezmorim from all over the UK. He helped set up the annual Kleznorth Festival in Derbyshire and currently plays for Yiddish dance events with The Klatsh, as well as accompanying Yiddish song with the Derbyshire-based band Yoyvl.
Adrianne Greenbaum is the foremost purveyor and revivalist of the klezmer flute tradition today, returning the instrument to its rightful historical position in the history of klezmer. Quoted as being a “A National Treasure”, she is a highly regarded and acclaimed flutist performing on modern and historical instruments of the 18th and 19th centuries. She is Professor of Flute at Mount Holyoke College where she also directs the 5-College klezmer band. She is in demand as a clinician at colleges and universities where studios are interested in branching out beyond their classical walls. Greenbaum has been on festival faculties of Klezkamp, Klezkanada, Boxwood, as well as New England Adult Music Camp where she directs the large klezmer band. klezmerflute.com
Whether you are a new dancer or have been dancing for years, examining the building blocks of our dances will improve your dancing! This workshop will break down steps and style of klezmer dance (also called Yiddish dance). With plenty of opportunity to move as well as time to talk about context, Avia will look at freylekhs, bulgars, and zhoks – and maybe more! For all levels.
Avia Moore has joyfully taught and led Yiddish dance at festivals and events transcontinentally. She is a PhD Candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at York University (Canada); her research examines the ways in which heritage and traditional cultural practices are performed on modern stages and in contemporary life. aviamoore.com
Christian Dawid is an internationally renowned clarinetist, multi-instrumentalist and composer. He has performed, toured and recorded with such artists as Brave Old World, Budowitz, Ben Caplan, Daniel Kahn, Michael Winograd, Socalled, Alan Bern, Frank London, Arkady Gendler, Theodore Bikel, Shura Lipovsky, Paul Brody, The Klezmer Society, Dobranotsh and The Other Europeans. His own projects include Trio Yas and Konsonans Retro.
A dedicated teacher of Yiddish music, Christian Dawid has conducted and conceptualised numerous workshops at international festivals and workshop academies, in Weimar, London, Paris, Montreal, Fürth, New York, Safed, Cracow, St Petersburg, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and many other places. He regularly works as an advisor to international Jewish culture festivals. He lives in Berlin.
Craig Judelman grew up in Seattle where he began studying classical violin at a young age soon branching out to Jazz and then Klezmer and various folk music by age 12. His klezmer teachers included the early Klezmer revival fiddler Wendy Marcus and later David Krakauer. He went on to study composition with Joan Tower, as well as classical and jazz violin at Bard College in New York.
Craig first made a name for himself in New York as an American folk musician, where he was a founding member of The Dust Busters, who released an album with their mentor John Cohen on the prestigious Smithsonian Folkways Label. He later joined the band Litvakus, one of the only contemporary bands devoted to the regional style of the Northern European, or Litvish Jews. In recent years he has devoted himself to intensive study of the few old Jewish fiddlers in the early part of the 20th century, as well as deepening his understanding of the Litvish style. He has learned on the bandstand from some of the best contemporary Klezmer string players, including Michael Alpert, Mark Rubin, Pete Rushefsky, Bob Cohen and Jake Schulman-Ment.
Craig is a founder, arranger and fiddler in Goyfriend, a new collaboration between members of Litvakus and Sasha Lurje that explores the relationship between the Jews and their Baltic and Slavic neighbors. Together with Ms. Lurje he also founded Lebedik, a band devoted to Yiddish song in its various forms. He performs with Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird and a variety of European and American Swing and Old Time American folk music bands.
Craig has been a music educator for over a decade, including at various festivals and workshops, most recently at the Shtetl Neukölln festival in Berlin. He has performed there and at other Yiddish music festivals, including Lviv Klezfest, Singer Festival in Warsaw, Yiddish New York and Klezmore.
Philadelphia-native Dan Blacksberg has created a singular musical voice as a trombonist, composer, and educator. One of the foremost practitioners of klezmer trombone and a respected voice in jazz and experimental music, Dan is known for a formidable virtuosity and versatility. This has led to performances with artists such klezmer masters as Elaine Hoffman Watts and Adrienne Cooper, and experimentalists like Anthony Braxton and extreme doom metal band The Body. Dan currently teaches jazz and klezmer at Temple University, and coordinates the Instrumental and Dance programs at Yiddish New York with Deb Strauss. He also makes the Radiant Others Klezmer Podcast. danblacksberg.com.
Eve Jochnowitz PhD, brings fluency in written and spoken Yiddish to this project and deep knowledge of Jewish food, its history, laws, and customs, based on sources out of reach of most authors of Jewish cookbooks. Dr. Jochnowitz was a fellow at the Frankel Institute of Advanced Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan and currently teaches Yiddish at the YIVO institute and the Workers Circle. She worked for several years as a cook and baker in New York and received her Ph.D. on Jewish culinary ethnography in the department of Performance Studies from New York University. 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. The Vilna Vegetarian Cookbook, (Fania Lewando’s Vegetarish-Dietisher Kokhbukh) translated, annotated, and adapted for the modern kitchen, was published in 2015. Dr. Jochnowitz is the chocolate lady.
Fiona Frank started her musical life as a morris dancer/melodeon player and English ceilidh caller. However Klezmer feeds her Jewish soul so she swapped the limitations of the diatonic melodeon for a fully chromatic English concertina, and converted her ceilidh calling to Klezmer dance through attendance at Kleznorth, Klezfest and Yiddish Summer Weimar. Since lockdown she’s become a Zoom maven in many different settings.
Francesca Ter-Berg is a multi-disciplinary artist. Known for her unique cello playing style, she is a specialist in klezmer music, a songwriter, composer, teacher, ethnographer and improviser. She is one half of the critically acclaimed group Fran & Flora (‘an album of beguiling beauty’ – Clive Bell, The Wire) and has worked with Imogen Heap, Talvin Singh OBE, Sam Lee, Portico Quartet, Frank London (Klezmatics), Alan Bern, London Klezmer Quartet and Cosmo Sheldrake and has performed at Glastonbury Festival, Café Oto, Kings Place, The Royal Festival Hall, WOMAD, KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar & KlezFest London. francescaterberg.com, franandflora.com
Gica Loening is a first generation-born Scot of a secular Jewish family from Berlin. Originally taught classical violin as a child, she immersed herself in Scottish traditional dance music, forming the all women Belle Star Band in 1995. From the late 1990’s her passion grew for klezmer fidl. Celter Schmelter klezmer ensemble was born in Edinburgh, and in recent years she has collaborated and performed with Michael Alpert, exploring both Jewish and Scottish repertoire. A seasoned fiddle teacher, Gica leads and directs Edinburgh’s Fun Fiddle project, and has taught klezmer there and at the Centre for Open Learning, The Scots Fiddle Festival, and KlezNorth. She founded and leads Makin a Brew, a music and story project for pre-school children and their families, and she Is Youth Music Initiative Education Officer for East Lothian Council. www.funfiddle.co.uk
Ian Stern has played in and managed klezmer bands for over 30 years, and joined the group of KlezNorth organisers in 2012. Since then, he has put on the film programme each year and also given talks on Jewish humour and Yiddish. The film programmes have included a mixture of Yiddish language films (mainly from the 1930s) and films about Yiddish culture and Klezmer music. As well as being in charge of recycling at KlezNorth (obviously not this year!), Ian has just taken over responsibility for chairing the organising group
Ilya Shneyveys is an international performer, accordionist and multi-instrumentalist, teacher, composer, arranger and producer of contemporary Jewish music of all kinds. He is a founding member of Berlin’s famous Neukölln Klezmer Sessions and Shtetl Neukölln festival, and long-time faculty member at Yiddish Summer Weimar, as well as having taught at most of the world’s major Yiddish & klezmer festivals. His Yiddish psychedelic rock band Forshpil (LV-RU-DE) has just released a new album, and he is also a founding member of the Yiddish-Bavarian fusion project Alpen Klezmer (DE), winner of 2014 RUTH World Music Award at TFF Rudolstadt. Originally from Riga, Latvia, Ilya is currently based in Brooklyn, NY. ilya.shneyveys.com
A Kleznorth veteran, Keith Lander joined the organising group in 2014, bringing his experience as an instrumentalist and music festival organiser. He has been involved in organising the national Raise Your Banners Festival of Political Song and the National Street Choir Festival.
Keith grew up playing punk, graduating to samba and campaigning street bands before connecting to klezmer and his Jewish roots. He has been the drummer/percussionist for the northern UK Klezmer band, The Klatsh, and played regularly for the KlezmeerKats (a session and occasional performance group in West Yorkshire, UK) as well as participating in KlezFest London.
Keith is a regular Kabaret/schmooze host for KlezNorth, an din 2021 will host the online Kabaret/schmooze on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as doing a cookery demo at 5pm on Friday – Lander’s Latke’s live!
Singer/multi-instrumentalist Lorin Sklamberg is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Yiddish-American roots band the Klezmatics. He has composed and performed for film, stage and circus, produced a number of recordings and teaches Yiddish song from São Paulo to St. Petersburg. Critically-acclaimed projects include the Nigunim Trio, Saints and Tzadiks, the Semer Ensemble, Sklamberg and the Shepherds and Drawing Life (music/theater work commissioned by JMI). Last year saw the release of 150 Voices, a recorded collaboration between Lorin, Polina Shepherd and five choirs in the UK and the United States. Since 2000, Lorin has served as the Sound Archivist of New York’s YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, for whom he co-curates the Ruth Rubin Legacy website featuring field recordings of the renowned folklorist’s collection of some 3,000 Yiddish folk songs “One of the premier American singers in any genre.” – Robert Christgau, NPR.
Michael Alpert has been a pioneering figure in the renaissance of Klezmer music for over 30 years providing a bridge between Old World Jewish culture and the contemporary Yiddish/Klezmer Renaissance. He is internationally renowned for his award-winning performances and recordings with Brave Old World, Kapelye, Khevrisa, Krakauer, Itzhak Perlman, Theodore Bikel – amongst others. He is a mentor, friend and colleague to many of the brightest new lights of contemporary Yiddish and Jewish arts and scholarship world-wide.
Michael Alpert tells the story of the Jewish people and the human race in song, music and the spoken word. Drawn from his family heritage and his own travels through the cultures and terrain of Europe and the Americas, his performances are sojourns through inner and outer landscapes, sagas of immigrant journeys, and epics of the universal search for home.
Michael Alpert has conducted extensive documentation of music and dance in Jewish Communities across USA and Europe, and is a leading contemporary teacher and researcher of Eastern European Jewish traditional dance. He has been Co-Director of KlezKanada, and Director of Jewish Heritage and Arts Programming at the Jewish Cultural Festival in Krakow.
In 2019, clarinetist Michael Winograd released his long awaited LP “Kosher Style,” re-affirming his central role in today’s international Klezmer landscape. He tours the world performing with his band The Honorable Mentshn, collaborates with Pakistani superstar Zeb Bangash in the group Sandaraa, records and plays with a veritable who’s who of today’s top Klezmorim (Frank London, Itzhak Perlman, Geoff Berner, Alicia Svigals, The Klezmer Conservatory Band, Daniel Kahn, to name a few), appears in stadiums with Vulfpeck, and has produced records for Adrienne Cooper, Jeff Warschauer and Deborah Strauss and others.
As an educator, Michael has taught seminars and workshops at many of the hubs for klezmer development including KlezKamp, KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar, Furth Klezmer Festival, Paris Klezmer workshop, Bonn Klezmer Week and others. Michael is the Artistic Director of KlezKanada and a founder of the Yiddish New York festival.
Pam Singer grew up in a Yiddish speaking family in Canada. She has been using that background regularly to shake up KlezNorthians by having fun with Yiddish in sessions, and occasionally forcing them on to the stage. So have fun!
Patrick Farrell is a United States-born, Berlin-based accordionist, composer and bandleader. He is an active part of the international klezmer community as a performer and teacher, plays with new-music and improvisational groups, and enthusiastically toots on an alto horn in various brass bands. Farrell has appeared onstage with some of the world’s best-known klezmer bands and performers, as well as on dozens of recordings, including with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Never Enough Hope, and Adrienne Cooper, and also enjoys working with dance and theater ensembles as a composer, music director and accompanist. In 2019 he appeared onstage in the remount of the original Tony-award-winning Broadway production of Indecent (LADCC Award-winner for Production and Ensemble Performance). Current projects include duets with his partner, singer Sveta Kundish, and the New York-based chamber-folk ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband.
Pete Rushefsky is a leading performer, composer and researcher of the Jewish tsimbl (cimbalom/hammered dulcimer). Rushefsky tours and records internationally with violinist Itzhak Perlman as part of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and collaborates with a number of leading figures in the contemporary klezmer scene including Andy Statman, Adrianne Greenbaum, Steven Greenman, Joel Rubin, Eleonore Biezunski, Michael Alpert, Madeline Solomon, Zhenya Lopatnik, Ilya Shneyveys, Zoe Aqua, Jake Shulman-Ment, Keryn Kleiman, Josh Waletzky & Michael Winograd. He serves as Executive Director of the Center for Traditional Music and Dance, the US’s leading organization dedicated to the preservation and presentation of diverse immigrant music traditions from around the world. A co-founder/organizer of Yiddish New York (the US’s largest festival of Yiddish culture), he curated the Yiddish program at the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival and has authored a number of articles including a new book on klezmer for the hammered dulcimer with Deborah Justice.
Phil Tomlinson is an experienced singer and performer, specialising in singing and teaching Yiddish songs. Phil’s background is not Jewish, but through 40 years marriage to his wife who is from a Jewish family of Holocaust refugees, he has become ever more involved with Yiddish culture, especially music and song. Performing since the age of 7 in choirs, singing competitions, orchestras , bands, and folk clubs, over the last decade or more he has played and sung with the klezmer band The Klatsh. More recently with his group Yoyvl he has taken performances of “Mir Zaynen Do” and “Yiddish Revolutionaries” to a number of cities and towns in the Midlands. (The former consists of ghetto and Holocaust songs, the latter follows the history of the Jewish left). Phil still finds time to sing in several choirs, and play in a local rock band. Involved with Kleznorth from the beginning, Phil now chairs the Kleznorth organising group.
Sasha Lurje was born in Riga, Latvia, and has been singing since she was three years old. She has gained experience with many groups and in various styles including classical and folk singing, jazz, rock, and pop. Parallel to her singing career she has also been involved in several theatre groups where she focused on musical and improvised theatre.
Since 2003 she has been researching traditional Yiddish singing style and repertoire, investigating secular and religious vocal materials. With her band Forshpil, she is developing a new style of Yiddish music by integrating the traditional sound into modern context.
Sasha is involved in a number of international projects varying in repertoire and styles. She has collaborated with Daniel Kahn to develop an “interlingual” love song duo program STRANGELOVESONGS. She is also a member of an all-star band Semer Ensemble led by Alan Bern. The group reinterprets Jewish music recorded in Berlin in the 30s and is esteemed for the variety of styles and genres tied together in an artistic and musical way. Sasha also performs and leads Yiddish dance with the Berlin klezmer band You Shouldn’t Know From It. One of her most recent projects is Goyfriend: a collaboration with Brooklyn-based Band Litvakus discovering the musical interactions between Jews and their non-Jewish neighbors.
Sasha conducts her research in traditional voice techniques and voice production. And has presented her work at various conferences.
Sasha is a co-founder of Berlin Yiddish music festival Shtetl Neukölln.
Sasha has performed and taught Yiddish singing in Russia, Europe and North and South America and has been a longstanding artist and faculty member at Yiddish Summer Weimar, where she coordinates the Song workshop.
Sian Philips and Paul Sherwood, a duo from Lancaster in North West England, play folk music from across Europe and have been stalwarts of KlezNorth for many years.
Sian is a musician, teacher, and experienced workshop leader who has worked in schools and with communities. She teaches piano accordion, piano and singing and performs as a piano accordion player both for listening and dance events. She has a passion for Eastern European music, and has taken up the kaval (end-blown flute). See http://www.sianphillipsmusic.co.uk/
Paul is an enthusiastic player of folk music on a variety of instruments including the clarinet, hurdy-gurdy, and a variety of bagpipes. http://www.paulsherwood.net/
Simon Carlyle was converted to Klezmer music from a background of active involvement in early music and traditional jazz. He is particularly interested in the original East European forms of the music, and the communities in which it flourished; he has given talks at KlezNorth, Glasgow Limmud and the Edinburgh Jewish Literary Society on various historical topics. He spends much of his spare time transcribing early klezmer relics, and currently organizes the Edinburgh Klezmer drop-in sessions, so that he can inflict the results on them, as relief from a vain pursuit of the lyric tuba.
Simon Roth is a multi-instrumentalist and composer whose work straddles the Contemporary and Traditional. He is known first and foremost as a drummer and grew up within a family of musicians in a house between an old forest, the M25 and the Metropolitan line, immersed in Big Band Jazz, Free Improv, Classical music, Klezmer, 1960s Pop and a well worn tape of the Metropolitan Police Big Band performing The A Team Theme Tune. Since then he has toured Europe, North and South America and Asia. UK Performance highlights include Ronnie Scott’s, Songlines Festival, Klezmer in the Park, South Bank Centre, Kleztival, Kings Place Festival, London Jazz Festival, Latitude and Green Man Festival.
Simon has written for multiple groups and collaborated with Mercury-nominated folk singer Sam Lee, experimental punk band Magnus Loom and multi-award winning vocalist Alice Zawadzki. He has worked with London Klezmer Quartet, Merlin Shepherd, Don Kipper and taught at London Klezfest. Simon was a longstanding member of Elliot Galvin’s trio and Vula Viel. In 2017 he toured the UK with legendary US saxophonist Chris Potter, premiering Chris’ original music for ten-piece chamber ensemble Inner City Ensemble.
Susi Evans and Szilvia Csaranko are two exceptional musicians who are passionate about the tradition of klezmer music. They perform internationally as a clarinet and accordion duo and are dedicated to teaching klezmer workshops for students of all levels. In March 2020 they released their album Klezmer from the New World, and have just published their first tune book, the Klezmer Playbook.
Susi Evans lives in London and Hannover and studied classical clarinet at the Royal Academy of Music. She has been playing klezmer and Balkan music since 2001 and performs worldwide with her bands She’Koyokh and the London Klezmer Quartet. She is regarded as one of Europe’s top klezmer clarinettists and was a prize winner in the International Corona Clarinet Competiton. She also dedicates her time to studying Bulgarian and Serbian clarinet styles and plays Frula (Serbian flute) and Gaida (Bulgarian bagpipes).
Szilvia Csaranko lives in Hannover and is a qualified cultural educator, accordionist and pianist. After completing her classical piano training she shifted her artistic focus to researching and teaching traditional music styles. She founded the klezmer-Balkan-Alpen-folk band A Glezele Vayn in 2004 and plays in numerous folk and world music projects at home and abroad. She is the musical director of the 80-piece Klezmerorchester Erfurt.
Vivi Lachs has been called a London Yiddish cultural activist. She is a historian of the Jewish East End, a Yiddish pop singer of the London Yiddish music-hall repertoire, set up the Great Yiddish Parade and co-runs the Yiddish Open Mic Café. Her book Whitechapel Noise: Jewish Immigrant Life in Yiddish Song and Verse, London 1884-1914 was published by Wayne State University Press in 2018. She was a 2019 Yiddish Book Centre Translation Fellow. A book of translations of stories about London in the 30s and 40s including a history of the East End Yiddish writers will be published later this year. She sings and records with the bands Klezmer Klub (Whitechapel, mayn Vaytshepl) and Katsha’nes (Don’t Ask Silly Questions), and (pre-Covid) led musical tours of the Yiddish East End.
An in-demand violinist on the klezmer scene, Zoë Aqua is the Brooklyn-based co-founder of bands Tsibele and Farnakht. She performs regularly with Litvakus, Ternovka, the Honorable Mentschn, and more. Her ensembles’ albums feature atmospheric original arrangements of Yiddish songs, new compositions, and klezmer, Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian folk music. Zoë composes for dance and theater productions: “A Life of Many Seasons” (2018) with dancer-choreographer Joya Powell, and “Between the Threads” (2019), a new devised theater piece with director Coral Cohen and five women actors. Her 2018-19 Annenberg Helix Fellowship allowed her to study and visit sites of Yiddish culture in Belarus and Lithuania. In 2017, she was full-time understudy for the Klezmatics’ Lisa Gutkin in the Broadway production of “Indecent”, ultimately going onstage over 18 times. She reprised the role in another production of “Indecent” in Weston, VT in fall 2019. http://www.zoeaqua.com