CABARET BY THE BAY PERFORMERS
Bruce Bierman is an award winning theater and teaching artist. He is a co-founder of the New Yiddish Theater where he directed and choreographed the West Coast premiere of Dov Seltzer's musical 'The Megillah of Itzik Manger' for the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival. Last year, he and the NYT team introduced Klez California's first Yiddish Cabaret series inspired by the radical avant-garde 'kleynkunst' cabarets of prewar Warsaw. After performing and teaching with the internationally acclaimed Aman Folk Dance Ensemble of Los Angeles, Bruce began studying Yiddish dance with some of the top masters in the country and is now a leading presenter of Yiddish Dance on the West Coast. He is the founder and co-director of New Stages --a performing arts institute for LGBT seniors at the LGBT Center in L.A. and currently serves on the teaching faculty of the Stagebridge Theater Company in Oakland.
Stu Brotman (Veretski Pass)
Stu Brotman is an internationally-known multi-instrumentalist 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 recorded, toured, and taught New Jewish Music with world-class ensemble Brave Old World since 1989. Lately, Stu performs most often as a member of Veretski Pass (with Joshua Horowitz and Cookie Segelstein). See VeretskiPass.com
Jewlia Eisenberg (Singer, with Jeremiah Lockwood)
Jewlia Eisenberg works at the intersection of voice, text, and diaspora consciousness, often with her ensemble Charming Hostess. She has released four CDs on Tzadik’s Radical Jewish Culture series, including Sarajevo Blues, which sets Bosnian resistance poetry, and Trilectic, a look at the political-erotic world of Walter Benjamin. See CharmingHostess.com/Jewlia
Joshua Horowitz (Veretski Pass)
Joshua Horowitz, tsimbl, button accordion, piano, 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 Adrienne Cooper, Theodore Bikel, Itzhak Perlman, The Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Brave Old World and Joel Rubin. 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.” He has written numerous articles on the counterpoint of J.S. Bach, and he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the honorary prize for his orchestral composition, Tenebrae, awarded by the Austrian government. Josh recently composed the chamber opera, “Lilith The Night Demon In One Lewd Act,” along with his colleagues in Veretski Pass, and is currently touring it in North America and Europe. See VeretskiPass.com
Reb Irwin Keller (MC)
Reb Irwin Keller is a teacher, writer, music-maker, performer and spiritual leader. He has served as "reb" of Congregation Ner Shalom in Sonoma County since 2008, and is continuing studies through the Aleph rabbinic ordination program. He was once a lawyer and advocate, including being the primary author of Chicago's first LGBT non-discrimination law. And he had the distinct honor of being a moderately famous singing drag queen with America's Favorite Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet, the Kinsey Sicks — dubbed by NPR as "the Royal Shakespeare Company of drag performance."
Jeremiah Lockwood (Guitar, with Jewlia Eisenberg)
As a young man, guitarist and singer Jeremiah Lockwood apprenticed with blues legend Carolina Slim and simultaneously studied and performed with his grandfather, Cantor Jacob Konigsberg. His band, The Sway Machinery, has performed around the world, perhaps most notably at the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali. He performs with Jewlia Eisenberg, see above.
Jake Marmer (Spoken Word)
Jake Marmer is a poet, performer, & educator. His first record, HERMENEUTIC STOMP (Blue Thread Music, 2013), has featured jazz-klez luminaries Frank London, Greg Wall, Eyal Maoz, & Uri Sharlin, & brought together diverse poetic traditions, jazz, klezmer, & new & ancient improvisation techniques. It was hailed as a “soulful narrative line in counterpoint to … language-drunk abstractions” (The Jewish Week), “experience of mystic pleasures … freshly contemporary” (Shofar), & a “thought provoking debut” (All About Jazz). His poetry collection, JAZZ TALMUD, was published by Sheep Meadow Press in 2012. Currently a doctoral candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center, he teaches at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, and lives in Stanford, CA with his wife, writer Shoshana Olidort, & their two children. He frequently contributes to the Forward & Tablet magazine, & is a cofounder of North America’s first Jewish Poetry retreat at KlezKanada Festival.
Naomi Newman Actor)
Naomi Newman was the co-founder of the Traveling Jewish Theatre Company (TJT), as well as a TJT playwright, director, and performer for 35 years until its closing in 2011. Before that she sang on the concert stage, acted in television, and had a psychotherapy practice. In the late seventies and early eighties she was on the senior staff at The Center for the Healing Arts in Los Angeles, a pioneer in exploring the psychological and spiritual aspects of healing. For her contributions to the cultural life in the Bay Area, Ms. Newman has received a Tikkun Award, A Millie, and Theatre Bay Area’s Community Leadership Award. An oral history of her life and career is now part of the Legacy Collection of The San Francisco Performing Arts Museum.
Anthony Russell (Singer)
Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell has worked primarily in the field of opera for the past fifteen years, culminating in a professional debut with the San Francisco Opera Company. More recently Anthony has devoted himself to the recital repertoire of Sidor Belarsky (1898–1975), one of the twentieth century’s most prolific performers of cantorial music, Chassidic nigunim, and Yiddish art song. Anthony’s work in Yiddish has brought him to the JCC in Manhattan, Symphony Space, Ideacity Conference in Toronto, KlezKanada, the Montreal and Berkeley Jewish Music Festivals and the Ashkenaz Festival, a week-long celebration of Jewish arts in Toronto.
Cookie Segelstein (Veretski Pass)
Cookie Segelstein, violin and viola, received a Masters degree in Viola from The Yale School of Music in 1984. She was principal violist in Orchestra New England and assistant principal in The New Haven Symphony Orchestra. She is founder and director of Veretski Pass, and a member of Budowitz and of The Youngers of Zion with Henry Sapoznik. She has presented lecture/demonstrations and workshops on klezmer fiddling all over the world. She also has been 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, and Veretski Pass. See VeretskiPass.com
Gerry Tenney (Singer)
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. For ten years, he hosted the Gershn YanklShow on KPFA. 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 was director and music teacher of the East Bay Kindershul, the only kids’ school (grades K-8) in the Bay Area that emphasized Yiddish culture. Gerry taught sociology at the City College of New York, 1967–1972. A descendant of the Shpielman family of the Kolymea klezmorim, Gerry is an almost-fluent Yiddish speaker, and President of KlezCalifornia.
Veretski Pass (Band)
The power trio of Cookie Segelstein, Josh Horowitz, and Stu Brotman offers a unique combination of virtuosic musicianship and raw energy that has excited concertgoers across the world. The trio plays Old Country 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, Romanian, 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. Their CDs have repeatedly been on the ten-best recording lists of journalists. In 2014 the group presented their magical folk opera, “Lilith the Night Demon in One Lewd Act,” in collaboration with the San Francisco Choral Artists. Their latest project is the CD "Polyn" with clarinetist Joel Rubin. See VeretskiPass.com