All-Female Klezmer Sextet Isle of Klezbos to Release Second Album with Concert at Joe's Pub, 4/6
ISLE of KLEZBOS, the soulful and swinging all-women's klezmer sextet, will release their second album with a special concert at JOE'S PUB at the Public on Sunday, April 6 at 7:30 PM.
The new disc, Live from Brooklyn - recorded in concert last year at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, with the addition of two bonus studio numbers - will be available from Rhythm Media Records. Formed in 1998, the group approaches their music with a canny mix of irreverence and respect. Live from Brooklyn features the group's signature diverse blend of rambunctious folk dances, exciting Yiddish swing, entrancing retro tango, klezmerengue, re-grooved standards, and genre-defying originals. The album will be available on iTunes, in stores and wherever music is sold.
Live from Brooklyn combines the joyous sound of the venerated klezmer tradition with the dark, sensual feel of a jazz club. Classics of the genre include "Uncle Moses Wedding Dance," the raucous opening track; "Weary Sun Tango," adapted from a well-known Soviet-era Russian melody; and "Revery in Hijaz," a mystical melody inflected with classical flair. Melissa Fogarty contributes a thrilling scat vocal to "Abi Gezunt," with lyrics by Yiddish theater legend Molly Picon. The record also includes inventive original compositions from the band members: the lilting klezmer-reggae hybrid "Mellow Manna" by Pam Fleming; "Noiresque," a brooding and evocative jazz soundscape by Debra Kreisberg; and the sweeping "East Hapsburg Waltz" by Eve Sicular. As an example of their whimsical humor, the charming chamber piece "When Gomer Met Molly" is adapted from the underscoring of the 1960s TV comedy "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."
In addition to touring from Vienna to Vancouver, the group has been seen internationally on "CBS Sunday Morning," CNN "WorldBeat," and PBS "In The Life," and the band's recordings have also been heard on Showtime's "The L Word," WFMU Radio, Northeast Public Radio, and film soundtracks such as Grace Paley: Collected Shorts, Esther Broner: A Weave of Women, and I Guess I'm Never Going to Get to Vegas. ISLE of KLEZBOS was commissioned to create a concert for artist Kiki Smith and special recordings for multi-platinum, Grammy Award-nominated Scissor Sisters. The band features alumnae of Julliard, Eastman and Manhattan School of Music, who have performed with headliners such as Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, and Natalie Merchant; roots-reggae superstars Maxi Priest and Burning Spear; experimental figures John Zorn and Butch Morris; as well as composers John Corigliano and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Del Tredici. Greetings from the Isle of Klezbos, the group's debut CD, is also available from Rhythm Media Records.
"It's a pleasure to work with such independent yet like-minded women who all contribute to our arrangements and compositions," says founder, drummer and bandleader Eve Sicular. "We feel connection to our music through vibrant celebratory energy and personal chemistry, as well as deeply-entranced solo work, delicious modal melodies and exciting rhythmic variety. We genuinely delight in each other's company."
"We've been overdue for a recording that finally features our 'new' members," she continued. "These great musicians have been with us several years: Shoko Nagai (accordion and piano), Melissa Fogarty (vocals), Saskia Lane (double bass) - plus three of us who have been the core of the band (Pam Fleming, trumpet and flugelhorn; Debra Kreisberg, clarinet and alto saxophone, and myself on drums). Everyone shines here, playing classic Klezbos hits, our latest archival discoveries, and the imaginative new tunes written by our own bandmates."
The ensemble - formed from the famed octet Metropolitan Klezmer, due to celebrate its own 20th anniversary later this year - has been honored by multiple awards from New York State Council on the Arts, OUTmusic, and Sparkplug Foundation. Performance highlights include Bumbershoot in Seattle, the Edison Theater in St. Louis, the jazz club Porgy & Bess in Vienna, Jewish Music Festival in Berkeley, Michigan Womyn's Music Fest and the National Yiddish Book Center, in addition to New York shows at City Winery, 92YTribeca and The Museum at Eldridge Street. The bandmates have also performed in Sicular's musical documentary theater piece J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother's FBI Files.