Born: September 22, 1980 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
Twenty six year-old clarinetist and saxophonist Alex Kontorovich was born in Russia and currently resides in New York City. He has worked alongside musicians such as Frank London, Brad Shepik, Steven Bernstein, Mike Sarin, Theodore Bikel, Paul Shapiro, Paul Brody, Peter Apfelbaum, Reuben Radding, Chris Washburne, Curtis Hasselbring, Dan Weiss, Aaron Alexander, Brandon Seabrook, Matt Darriau, David Krakauer, Margot Leverett, Alan Bern, Christian Dawid, Sanne Moricke, Michael Alpert, Henry Sapoznik, Peter Sokolow, Fima Efron, J Granelli, Alicia Svigals, and many others.
He has performed all over the world at venues such as the Lincoln Center and Birdland in New York; the Royal National Theatre in London; the National Arts Centre in Ottawa; Planet Music in Vienna; the Hackesches Hoftheatre in Berlin; the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow; and the Beer Festival in Tel Aviv.
Numerous ensembles have requested his talents onstage and in the recording studio, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra; Jamie Begian's Big Band; ska superstar King Django; Serbian brass legend Boban Markovic; DJ SoCalled; and a slew of klezmer and world music groups such as the Klezmatics, Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars, the Klez Dispensers, Aaron Alexander's Midrash Mish Mosh, and Beyond the Pale.
Alex's newest project, Deep Minor, features all of his original compositions and experiments with an improvisatory harmonic and structural interplay between jazz and klezmer genres.
Alex is on the faculty of the KlezKamp, KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar, the Westchester Klezmer Program, the Klezmer Heritage Cruise and International Klezmer Festival Furth, and produced a recording of the late legendary Moldavian clarinetist German Goldenshteyn. In his spare time he is a math professor at Brown University.
In clarinetist Alex Kontorovich, the stately playing of Dave Tarras lives on. Like Tarras, Kontorovich holds much in reserve, carefully parceling out the trademark achy, bent notes--the krekhts and kneytshn that klezmer inherited from cantorial music--using them as delicately placed punctuation. Review of Klez Dispensers New Jersey Freylekhs, Seth Rogovoy, The Forward.
...reed player Alex Kontorovich played a hypnotic solo. Review of KlezSka live concert, Seth Rogovoy, Berkshire Eagle.
Tracks: Transit Strike Blues; Kandels Burning; New Orleans Funeral March; Waltz for Piazzolla; Sirba; Nossim Hora; AfroJewban Suite; Tzitzit.
Personnel: Brandon Seabrook (guitar, banjo); Reuben Radding (bass); Aaron Alexander (drums); Alex Kontorovich (clarinet, alto sax, compositions).
German Goldenshteyn: A Living Tradition
Tracks: Concert Freylakhs; Hora; Garofitsa; Betuta din Yaloveny; Jewish Hora; Zhokul Rezeshilor; Bulgar Medley; Khosidl; Moldavian Freylakhs; Gypsy Hora; Sirba; Polka; Wedding Hora; Freylakhs Medley; Russian Medley; Tserenkutsa.
Personnel: German Goldenshteyn: clarinet; Aaron Alexander: poyk; Josh Horowitz: accordion; Alex Kontorovich: clarinet, producer; Mark "Rubinchik" Rubin: tuba; Henry "Hank" Sapoznik: tenor banjo; Cookie Segelstein: fiddle; Susan Watts: trumpet.
The Klez Dispensers: New Jersey Freylekhs
Tracks: Russische Tzigane; Dave's Freylekh; Doina; Karnofsky Tanz; Yismekhu Khosid'l; Tanz Istanbul; Freylekh Nushiele; Hora; Abi Gezunt; New Jersey Freylekhs; Freymilekh; Zefki; Goldenshteyn Freylekh; Der Heyser Bulgar.
Personnel: Alex Kontorovich (clarinet, alto and baritone sax); Ben Holmes (trumpet); Adrian Banner (piano); Amy Zakar (violin, mandolin); Audrey Betsy Wright (alto and tenor sax, clarinet); Julian Rosse (bass); Gregg Mervine (drums); Inna Barmash (vocals).
As A Side Musician
Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars
Tracks: In Your Garden Twenty Fecund Fruit Trees; Oh Agony, You are so Sweet Like Sugar I Must to Eat You Up; Another Glass of Wine to Give Succor to My Ailing Existence; Midnight Banda Judea; In the Marketplace All Is Subterfuge; Who Knows One?; Pantagruel, Shiker Hindert Prozent; A Time of Desire--Curha Mix; Our Ancestors Forty Thousand Years Wide; Out of What?; Mi Yamalay; Borracho # 1 The Cobbles in the Street Moan for You.
Personnel: Frank London: trumpet, peck horn; Susan Hoffman Watts: trumpet; Merlin Shepherd: clarinets; Matt Darriau: clarinet, alto saxophone; Alex Kontorovich: clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; Curtis Hasselbring: trombone, skronk guitar; Jacob Garchik: baritone horn, trombone; Ron Caswell: tuba; Mark Rubin: tuba, baritone horn, tex-mex guitar; Aaron Alexander: drums.
Disclaimer: All About Jazz is not responsible for the accuracy of the discographical data at the website(s) provided. If a link is no longer valid, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.