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Metropolitan Klezmer

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Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra

Active since: March 30, 1994    

Metropolitan Klezmer

Metropolitan Klezmer, founded in 1994, is the collaborative adventure of eight exceptional New York musicians creating inspired interpretations and original compositions around a panorama of traditionally eclectic Yiddish repertoire. The band was formed by drummer/Yiddish film scholar Eve Sicular with multi-talented world music artists Ismail Butera (accordion) and Michael Hess (violin, ney flutes, kanun zither) plus ubiquitous downtown bass and tuba treasure Dave Hofstra, and originally featured klezmer legend Howie Leess (b. 1920) on clarinet & tenor sax. Since their debut at John Zorn's New Jewish Music Fest, the group has expanded to include vocalist Melissa Fogarty and a dynamic horn section: Debra Kreisberg (clarinet/alto sax), Pam Fleming (trumpet/fluegelhorn), and Reut Regev (trombone). Karen Waltuch plays viola. Former members also include Steve Elson (reeds) and Rick Faulkner (trombone). Collectively, their experiences span genres from Albanian to Zydeco as well as jazz, Latin, classical, funk, ska and many other styles. Individually, Metropolitan Klezmer players have worked with such diverse artists as Bonnie Raitt, The Toasters, Bill Frisell, Toshi Reagon, Juan Carlos Formell, Indigo Girls, Burning Spear, Amy Sedaris, Max Roach, Rufus Wainwright, Nora York, and the Microscopic Septet, as well as Jewish music performers from the Klezmatics and Andy Statman to David Krakauer, Sephardic stars Alhambra and SF's Charming Hostess. To quote Seth Rogovoy (The Essential Klezmer), Metropolitan Klezmer is “distinguished by just plain great, versatile ensemble playing... exuberant spirit and wit.”...
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Awards

* Manhattan Community Arts Fund award: "J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother's FBI Files" at Dixon Place, NYC * Best CDs of 2007, "Traveling Show" -Jewish Week * Outmusic Award nom, "Surprising Finds" (2004) -Outstanding Instrumental Recording * Outmusic Award, "Mosaic Persuasion" (2002)

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Featured recording “Traveling Show”

Latest Release

Traveling Show

Rhythm Media Records (2007)

Events Calendar

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”One of the finest American klezmer bands” - SONGLINES MAGAZINE [U.K.]

“Led by drummer Eve Sicular, of Isle of Klezbos fame, Metropolitan Klezmer takes a scholarly approach to the genre's history, yet never skimps on the exuberance at its core.” - TIME OUT NY

“Excellent klezmer...impeccable yet electrifying arrangements” “delightfully rambunctious... klezmer octet inventively mixes Yiddish media...” - Richard Gehr, The Village Voice

”Metropolitan Klezmer is an accomplished eight-piece band based in New York City whose repertoire ranges from traditional folk songs to klezified jazz tunes with a healthy dose of material drawn from Yiddish theatre and cinema...

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Rank: 4,212 Views: 5,519 Fans: 1
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