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Teachers and Performers
Zachary Baker is the Reinhard
Family Curator of Judaica and Hebraica Collections in the Stanford University
Libraries, and previously (1987 - 1999) Head Librarian of the
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, in New York City. His presentation
on Shabbes afternoon is a spinoff from talks he gave in
2001 at KlezKamp about Yiddish publishing since 1945.
(Berkeley) Sharon Jan Bernstein (voice, piano) lived in New York, Jerusalem and Italy before returning home to the Bay Area, where she serves as the Cantor of Congregation Sha'ar Zahav. She has presented her rare Yiddish repertoire in Europe, Israel and the U.S. in venues including the Ancona Jewish Music Festival, RAI National Italian Radio, Yung Yidish, Habimah Theatre Jerusalem, Berkeley Jewish Music Festival, World Congress of Jewish Studies, Makor, Center for Jewish History and the 92nd Street Y. She has taught Yiddish song in Jerusalem, Vilnius Summer Yiddish Program and at previous KlezCalifornia events. Her repertoire mixes less known or never performed songs (most notably from the Noy Collection) with new compositions such as those by Beyle Schaechter Gottesman, organized according to subtle and captivating themes. Her "delightfully clear voice" (J. Pinnolis, jmwc.org) can be heard in Beyle Schaechter Gottesman's Af Di Gasn Fun Der Shtot (2003).
(Berkeley) Educator, writer, and Yiddish translator, Ken Blady was born
in Paris and grew up in Hasidic Brooklyn, where he attended yeshiva and
rabbinical seminary. A Bay Area resident since 1972, Ken has a B.A. in
History from the U.C. Berkeley, and an M.A. in Educational Psychology
from Cal State University East Bay. He is author of The Jewish Boxers’ Hall of Fame and Jewish Communities in Exotic Places, and translator of The
Journeys of David Toback and Remembrance.
A popular lecturer on a variety of Jewish themes at colleges,
synagogues, elderhostels, and adult educational institutions, Ken has
been featured on radio and television talk shows, including the Voice
of Israel and The History Channel documentary, Operation Magic
Carpet. He is a lecturer in Jewish history on the faculty of American
Jewish University’s Whizen Center, Bel Air; Cal State University East Bay, Concord, OLLI
program; and Diablo Valley College’s Emeritus College, Walnut Creek.
(Berkeley) Stu Brotman is an internationally-known musician who plays the string bass, basy (cello), tilinca (shepherd's flute) and baraban (Jewish bass drum). He has been a
moving force in the klezmer revival, produced the Klezmorim's Grammy-nominated
album, Metropolis, and has performed with the Klezmorim,
Kapelye, Andy Statman, Klezmer Conservatory Band, Veretski Pass,
and Itzhak Perlman. He has been recording, touring, and teaching New
Jewish Music with world-class ensemble Brave Old World since 1989. With
a grant from the Creative Work Fund, Stu and the two other members of
Veretski Pass (Joshua Horowitz and Cookie Segelstein) have composed a
wordless religious service for string trio, whose South Bay premiere
will be at the Festival.
CARREY, HENRY HIRSCH
(San Francisco) Henry Hirsch Carrey is a Boston
native and graduate of the Workmen’s Circle mitlshul. He is
the son of Yiddish radio star Leyke Post and the brother of Yiddish
actor/singer David Carrey. Henry was a member of the San Francisco Lamplighters
Gilbert & Sullivan troupe for thirteen years, performing in a variety
of roles. In New York, he sang with the Congregation Beth Simhat Torah
Community Chorus, Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus and the New
Yiddish Chorale. He has acted in several purimshpils produced
by the Folksbiene Yiddish Theater, and performed as Der Groyser General
in the Yiddish Pirates of Penzance and as the villain Papus in Goldfaden’s
Bar Kochba. At KlezKamp in 2005, he sang Ahasuerus in Itzik Manger’s
Megillah. He now sings with the San Francisco Jewish Folk Chorus and the Congregation Sha'ar Zahav Choir.
(Berkeley) Yael Chaver teaches Yiddish
language and literature at U.C. Berkeley. Her interests lie at the intersection
of modern Hebrew and Yiddish cultures. She is the author of What
Must be Forgotten: The Survival of Yiddish in Zionist Palestine,
and has written and presented extensively on modern Yiddish and Hebrew
literature and the culture of the Zionist Yishuv (settlement) in Palestine.
She is currently engaged in a study of
20th-century Hebrew and Yiddish adaptations of Shakespeare's The Merchant
(Berlin) Christian Dawid is considered
one of today's leading klezmer clarinetists. He performed on countless
stages from North America to Europe to Japan, with artists like Boban
Markovic, Brave Old World, Theodore Bikel, Frank London, Lorin Sklamberg,
Paul Brody and many others. He is also a committed teacher and has been
invited to Yiddish festivals in Weimar, Kraków, Paris, London, St Petersburg,
Buenos Aires, by KlezKamp, KlezKanada and others. Christian is currently
leading the Ukrainian brass band Konsonans Retro, performs for Budowitz
and Trio Yas, and is part of the acclaimed Other Europeans band.
County) Julie Egger, violinist, dance
leader and band manager, has played the violin since the age of seven.
As a teenager, she performed with the Long Island Youth Orchestra, which
performed all over the world. She received a Bachelor of Music in Education
from Crane School of Music, where she studied with the Carnegie String
Quartet and Ruth Iogha. Julie lived for nine years in Boston, where
she performed classical, jazz, and liturgical music. She has performed
with Stuart Brotman (Brave Old World) in Finif and
Joshua Horowitz (Veretski Pass). She currently performs with the Red
Hot Chachkas and freelance as well. She teaches
klezmer music, classical and jazz to students of all ages. She also currently teaches
at Marin School of the Arts. Julie co-founded KlezCalifornia and
received a 2003 individual Artist Grant and a 2007 Community Grant from
Marin Arts Council to create a Yiddish Folk Festival in West Marin. More at www.JulieEgger.com and julieegger[at]comcast.net.
Francisco) Howard Freedman is Director of the
Bureau of Jewish Education Jewish Community Library in San Francisco,
which includes the largest collection of Yiddish literature circulating
to the public in California, as well as Yiddish movies, CDs, and
audiobooks. He coordinated the now-defunct Yiddish Song Circle for more than
a decade and has taught classes on Jewish film for many years.
(Madison, Connecticut) Joshua Horowitz, tsimbl and 19th Century accordion, received his Masters degree
in Composition and Music Theory from the Academy of Music in Graz,
Austria, where he taught Music Theory and served for eight years as
Research Fellow and Director of the Klezmer Music Research Project. He
is founder and director of the ensemble Budowitz and
has performed and recorded with Rubin & Horowitz, Brave Old World, Adrienne Cooper and Ruth Yaakov. Joshua taught Advanced Jazz Theory at Stanford University with the late saxophonist Stan Getz and is a regular
teacher at KlezKamp, The Albuquerque Academy
and KlezKanada. His musicological work is featured in four books,
including The Sephardic Songbook with Aron Saltiel and The Ultimate Klezmer, and
he has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach. His
recordings with Budowitz, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Rubin & Horowitz, Alicia Svigals, Adrianne Greenbaum and Fialke have achieved international recognition and he is the recipient of
more than forty awards, including the Prize of Honor from the Austrian
for his orchestral composition, Tenebrae. Besides his work as a musician, he led the first post-World War II music therapy group at the pioneering Beratungszentrum in Graz, Austria. His music was recently featured in the British film, "Some of my best friends are .. Jewish/Muslim," which was awarded the Sandford St. Martin Trust Religious Broadcasting Awards, and in "The Holocaust Tourist," and has provided the soundtrack to the popular German TV series, "Berlin, Berlin."
(San Francisco) Donny Inbar received his Ph.D.
from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. His academic research
focuses on Abraham Goldfaden, founder of Yiddish theatre, and the birth
of Jewish show business. He has lectured, taught and published several
articles on those topics. He currently teaches Jewish culture at San
Jose State University. Donny, a graduate of the Drama Centre in
London, had a career in professional theater in his homeland, Israel.
Among the plays he directed and translated was his own adaptation of
Goldfaden’s Days of the Messiah, Ibsen’s Doll’s House
and musicals such as Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady.
He has also translated into Hebrew books by Kurt Vonnegut and Philip
Roth. Donny had a long career in Israeli media, as journalist and
editor-in chief. Since his arrival in the Bay Area in 1997, he has served
as the Cultural Attaché at the Israeli Consulate, and is currently
Associate Director for Arts and Culture at the Israel Center of the San
Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation. He is also a certified
chef, having graduated from the California Culinary Academy.
(Oakland) Peter Jaques (www.huzzam.com)
been a fixture of the Bay Area Near Eastern music scene since 1995. He
combines traditional Balkan, Rom, Greek, Turkish, and klezmer styles
with his own, deeply soulful approach. He performs principally on the
clarinet and trumpet, as well as alto saxophone, Egyptian nay (reed
flute), and Turkish G clarinet. Peter directs the Brass
Menažeri Balkan Brass Band, and performs regularly with Black Olive Babes, mixing Balkan, Romani, Turkish, Sephardic, and American
roots; Stellamara, a Middle-eastern/Balkan/world
fusion ensemble; and Gamelan X,
a hybrid gamelan orchestra.
Peter was a founding member of the legendary Gonifs klezmer band. In addition, Peter has performed and/or recorded with many
notable groups, including the Toids, San Francisco Klezmer Experience, and pickPocket Ensemble, as well as Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass
Band, Zagnut Cirkus Orkestar,
and Uzaylilar (Turkish art music) in New York.
(Oakland) Rosie Kaplan teaches English as a second language to adults from twenty-four countries. She was born in Germany to Polish-born parents and spoke Yiddish at home with her parents and their older friends. Although she speaks, reads and writes Hebrew, and is still fluent in Yiddish, she does not read or write Yiddish.
(Sunnyvale) Marti Krow-Local attended an
International Workers Order (IWO/Ordn) shule and mitlshul in Los
Angeles. She later attended the University of California and Harvard, earning
a Ph..D in Romance Languages and Literatures. She has taught classes on
nineteenth-century history and Yiddish literature at Elder Hostel, Yiddishkayt L.A.
and the Palo Alto JCC. She helped form the Secular Yiddish Schools of
North America Special Collection at Stanford University Libraries and
organized the first several years of contributed materials.
(Los Gatos) Jon Levitow has been the Yiddish instructor at Stanford for
four years. He studied Yiddish at the Los Angeles Arbeter Ring (Workmens'
Circle) and theCalifornia Institute for Yiddish Culture and Language intensive
language program, where he has also been an instructor, and at the NYU/YIVO
summer program in New York. He has a Ph.D. in English literature from Princeton
University. His translations into English of works by the poets Yisroel Shtern,
Yosl Bershteyn, and Aaron Zeitlin can be found at www.yisroelshtern.org and www.yosselbirstein.org.
(Felton, Santa Cruz
County) Mark Levy has performed and
taught in the San Francisco Bay Area for 25 years at temples, synagogues, JCC's,
Lehrhaus Judaica, Workmen's Circle, and other Jewish groups. He has
appeared throughout the country and abroad and is a singer and lecturer
who specializes in older Judaic folk music in Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino,
klezmer history and theory, and Jewish music history in general. He
has performed for Yeshiva University's Sephardic Department's Semana Sepharad
in New York, and is a cantorial soloist in California. He recently released
a fourth album of Jewish music, Bin Ikh Mir A Shnayderl: Yiddish
Work Songs, in commemoration of the 100th birthday of Workmen's Circle,
a fraternal order of Jewish workers and their families. See www.marklevymusic.com, mitzvahmus[at]aol.com, 888.505.8953.
(New York) Trumpeter/composer Frank London is a member of the Klezmatics, Hasidic New Wave, has
performed with John Zorn, LL Cool J, Mel Torme, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy,
LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5,
Mark Ribot, Maurice El Medioni and Gal Costa, and is featured on over 100 CDs.
His own recordings include Invocations (cantorial music); Frank London's
Klezmer Brass Allstars' Di Shikere Kapelye and Brotherhood of Brass; Nigunim and The Zmiros Project (Jewish mystical songs, with Klezmatics vocalist Lorin Sklamberg); The Debt
(film and theater music); The Shekhina Big Band; soundtrack to The Shvitz; soundtrack to Perl Gluck's The Divahn and four releases with the Hasidic
New Wave. His projects include the folk-opera A Night in the Old Marketplace (based on Y.L. Peretz's Bay nakht oyfn altn mark),
Davenen for Pilobolus and
the Klezmatics, Great Small Works' The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln and
Tanaka's Romance. He composed music for John Sayles' The Brother From Another Planet and Men With Guns, Yvonne Rainer's Murder and Murder, the
Marionette Theater's Golem and Tamar Rogoff's Ivye Project. Frank was music director for David Byrne and Robert Wilson’s The Knee Plays, collaborated with Palestinian violinist Simon Shaheen, taught Jewish
Canada, Crimea and the Catskills, and produced CD's for Gypsy Legend
Redzepova and Algerian Pianist Maurice el Medioni. He has been
featured on HBO’s Sex and the City, at the North Sea Jazz Festival and
the Lincoln Center Summer
Festival, and co-founded the Les Miserables Brass Band and the Klezmer
(El Cerrito) Accordionist Jim Rebhan has
been a mainstay of the San Francisco Bay Area klezmer scene. Since 1980,
he has performed with the Ellis Island Old World Folk Band and has been
a longtime member of California Klezmer, recording with both groups. He is the son of Jewish immigrants who left Europe in the
late 1930’s (and who met in English language school) and grew up listening
to Yiddish songs at home. His first accordion teachers were Italian immigrants
in Chicago. He has studied klezmer accordion with Alan Bern (Brave Old
World) and Lauren Brody (Mikveh). Jim majored in music at the University
of Chicago and has a Masters in Composition from California Institute
of the Arts. He has taught at Living Traditions’ KlezKamp West and
at other KlezCalifornia festivals. In addition to the piano accordion,
Jim performs on drums and xylophone. See www.musikers.com
(Brooklyn, NY) Eleanor Reissa is a Tony Award-nominated director, Broadway
choreographer, award-winning playwright, and an internationally renowned singer and
actor in English and Yiddish. She
was artistic director of the Folksbiene Yiddish Theatre together with Zalmen
Mlotek. She has worked in the American theatre for decades, directing musicals
(Cowgirls; Avenue X; Those Were the Days, etc.) as well as plays (Echoes of the War, The Skin Game, Syncopation, etc.). She has created solo cabaret pieces for
herself and others and has performed in concert with Frank
London, Zalmen Mlotek, Klezmer Conservatory Band at venues including Town Hall,
Carnegie Hall, and Merkin Hall. She
has two solo CD’s: Gems of Yiddish Song and Songs in the Key of Yiddish. www.eleanorreissa.com,
Hear Eleanor in "Love and Longing in Yiddish" at San Jose's Congregation Sinai, Sunday, February 21, 3:00pm. More information at http://sinai-sj.org/calendar.html.
Gabriella Safran teaches Russian and some Yiddish literature at
Stanford, where she belongs to the Department of Slavic Languages and
Literatures and directs the Center for Russian, East European, and
Eurasian Studies. Her first book, Rewriting the Jew; Assimilation Narratives in the Russian Empire (Stanford, 2000), won three book prizes. She co-edited the volume, The Worlds of S. An-sky: A Russian-Jewish Intellectual at the Turn of the Century (Stanford, 2006). Her biography of the Russian and Yiddish writer, ethnographer, and revolutionary An-sky, tentatively titled, Restless Soul, is due out with Harvard University Press in 2010.
Stephen Saxon has been an active member of the Jewish music scene since the 1980’s.
He toured internationally and recorded with The Klezmorim and KlezX
(a.k.a. San Francisco Klezmer Experience) and has performed or recorded
with Klezmer Conservatory Band, Shlomo Carlebach, Bobby McFerrin,
Finif, California Klezmer, Vinnitsa Band Project,
Klezmer Suicide Pact, Clockwork, Where’s Gesualdo, and leads The New
Klezmorim. He produced the theme music for a radio series on National
Public Radio and a collection of Hanukah stories by Joel Ben Izzy, and
has won multiple awards for his composing and arranging. Stephen is a
cantor, embracing both traditional and modern styles of Jewish sacred
and secular music. He appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in
December, 2009, performing a medley he arranged for the orchestra that
featured his solo vocals and the orchestra playing Naftule Brandwine’s Heyser Bulgar. He is writing and producing a
Gospel Shabbat service, which will premiere at Temple Sinai in Oakland, Friday, April 30th. (www.stephensaxon.com,
Joel Schechter is Professor
of Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University and Vice-Chair of the Workmen's Circle of Northern California. His book, Messiahs of 1933; How American Yiddish Theatre Survived Adversity Through Satire,
was published in 2008 by Temple University Press. He regularly writes a
column titled "Radical Yiddish" for the journal Jewish Currents. He
has also published a series of comic strips about Yiddish culture
illustrated by Spain Rodriguez and shown in a retrospective last year
at San Francisco's Jewish Community Library. Joel has directed
a number of Yiddish plays in English at San Francisco State, among them
Sholem Aleichem's A Doctor, Moishe Nadir's Messiah in America (with
musical direction by Gerry Tenney) and a staged reading of I.B.
Singer's The Fools of Chelm (with klezmer music by Robbie Reich).
Martin Schwartz is Professor of Near Eastern Studies (Ancient Iranian
Studies) at U.C. Berkeley. In the early 1970s, he, together with a few
musicians, started the wave of interest in reviving the old klezmer
repertory. Martin's role was to supply old recordings and provide
information on Yiddish and performance of Yiddish tunes (including
klezmer). In time, he became known as an expert on aspects of klezmer
music and its broader connections, with formal invitations (i.e., paid
trips) to speak at events including Ethnic Folks Arts (New York City), International
Conference of Rebetica (Nikaia - Athens), Netherlands/Belgium
Sferra Institute lecture series -- touring with Brave Old World and a
Greek group, Jewish Music Institute (London), and Institute of
Rebetology (London). Martin has produced archival annotated reissues of
Klezmer Music: Early Yiddish Instrumental Music, The First Recordings
(Arhoolie - Folklyric label, LP and revised edition as CD). His disks
also formed the basis of the archival CD Yikhes (Trikont label)
and he produced an annotated LP (revised as CD) of rebetica (Arhoolie -
Folklyric) as well as contributing music and notes to other similar CDs.
(Madison, Connecticut) Cookie Segelstein, violin and viola, received her Masters degree in Viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. She is principal violist in Orchestra New England and
assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony
Orchestra. She is the founder and director of Veretski Pass, a member
of Budowitz and of The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik. She teaches violin at
Southern Connecticut State University and has
presented lecture/demonstrations and workshops on klezmer fiddling all
over the world. She is also on staff at Living Traditions'
KlezKamp, KlezKanada and KlezCalifornia Festivals. She has performed with numerous notables including Kapelye, The Klezmatics, Frank
London, and The Klezmer
Conservatory Band, to name a few. She was featured on the ABC Documentary, A Sacred
Noise, heard on HBO's Sex and the City, appears in the
Miramax film, Everybody's Fine, starring Robert De Niro, and heard on
several recordings including the Veretski Pass self-titled release and
new new CD, Trafik. She is also publisher of The Music
of... series of klezmer transcriptions. Active as a Holocaust educator
and curriculum advisor, Cookie has been a frequent lecturer at the
Women's Correctional Facility in Niantic, Connecticut. She is also an Apple Certified Support Professional, and owns and operates The Macmama, LLC.
(Berkeley) Naomi Seidman is the Koret Professor of
Jewish Culture and Director of the Center
Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Her first book, A Marriage Made in Heaven: The Sexual Politics of Hebrew and
Yiddish, appeared in 1997. Her second book, Faithful Renderings; Jewish-Christian
Difference and the Politics of Translation, was published in 2006.
Shandling serves on the Board of Directors of KlezCalifornia. He learned
Yiddish from his grandparents and in an Orthodox kheder (religious school) in Brooklyn.
Claire is an artist who creates ceramic sculptures and Jewish ritual
objects. Following graduation from the Rhode Island School of Design
with a BFA in ceramics, she spent a year in Israel. While there, Claire
studied Hebrew and absorbed the archaeology and age-old landscape. The
walls, archways, and roofs of Israel’s ancient architecture have had a
lasting impact on her work. Claire conducts art workshops in paper
cutting and Jewish ritual objects for adults and children throughout
California. She is a founding member of Congregation Netivot Shalom in
Berkeley, where she enjoys chanting Torah and davening (leading services). Claire also loves to sing rounds. Although she knows hundreds of them, she doesn't yet know any in Yiddish.
(Oakland) Francesco Spagnolo, Ph.D.,
is a multidisciplinary scholar with a focus on Jewish studies, music
and digital media. Intersecting textual, visual and musical cultures,
Spagnolo has contributed extensively to academia, cultural heritage
and archival institutions, and to live and electronic media in Europe,
Israel and the United States. He holds a doctorate in musicology from
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is the editor of the audio anthology, Italian Jewish Musical Traditions (Rome-Jerusalem 2001).
His essay, “When the Fiddler Falls Off the Roof: Italy and the Klezmer
Music Revival,” was published in the Rivista Italiana di Musicologia
in 2002 (http://sidm.it/sidm/ridm/xxxviab.html#spagnolo). Francesco is Director of Research
and Collections at the Magnes Museum in Berkeley. http://www.google.com/profiles/spagnoloacht
(Oakland) Gerry Tenney is a children’s entertainer, musician and teacher, singer of Yiddish songs and leader of the band California Klezmer.
In 2002, 2004, and 2006 he was Musical Director for two Yiddish - oriented
plays put on by San Francisco State University's Drama and Jewish Studies Departments. He directed the Jewish Music Festival in its early years and was a main
organizer of the first klezmer camp in California (KlezKamp West) in
1989. He has led and performed children's music at many klezmer music
camps in New York, West Virginia and California, as well as at other
Jewish children's camps. Gerry has worked with children for more than
forty years. He is director and music teacher of the East Bay Kindershul,
the only kids’ school (grades K-8) in the Bay Area that emphasizes
Yiddish culture. Gerry taught sociology at the City College of New York 1967 - 1972. He is an almost-fluent Yiddish speaker and is President of KlezCalifornia.
(Oakland) Harvey Varga, furniture designer
and cabinetmaker, was born in New York City to Holocaust survivors.
Yiddish is his first language. Harvey has been a teacher of Yiddish
and other Jewish subjects since 1975 at Lehrhaus Judaica, Stanford University,
JCC San Francisco, and KlezKamp. Harvey was on the Board of Directors of the JCC San Francisco,
1986 - 1990, and served on the S.F. Jewish Community Relations Council.
See Stu Brotman, Joshua Horowitz, and Cookie Segelstein. Taking its name from the mountain pass through which Magyar tribes crossed into the Carpathian basin to settle what later became the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Veretski Pass offers a unique and exciting combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. With colorful instrumentation, unique arrangements and compositions, Veretski Pass plays "Old Country Music," music with origins in the Ottoman Empire, once fabled as the borderlands of the East and the West. In a true collage of Carpathian, Jewish, Rumanian and Ottoman styles, typical suites contain dances from Moldavia and Bessarabia, Jewish melodies from Poland and Romania, Hutzul wedding music from Carpathian-Ruthenia, and haunting Rebetic aires from Smyrna, seamlessly integrated with original compositions.
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 simkhes, and
collaborated on Hopkele, a CD of music especially for dancing.