All-Female Klezmer Sextet Isle of Klezbos to Release Second Album with Concert at Joe's Pub, 4/6

By: Feb. 18, 2014

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.

ISLE OF KLEZBOS will debut their new CD at JOE'S PUB at The Public on Sunday, April 6 at 7:30 PM. The venue is located at 425 Lafayette Street (between East 4th and Astor Place) NYC, adjacent to The Public Theater. Tickets are $14, in addition to a $12 food minimum or a two drink minimum. Please call (212) 967-7555 or visit, or visit in person at The Public Theater Box Office from 1pm to 6pm, Joe's Pub from 6pm to 10pm (both located at 425 Lafayette Street). For table reservations, call (212) 539-8778.

Band bios, full concert schedule, videos, songs and more at


1. Uncle Moses Wedding Dance (neo-traditional, arr. Eve Sicular / Metropolitan Klezmer)

2. Mellow Manna (klezmer-reggae, composer: Pam Fleming)

3. A Glezele Yash (lyrics: Yosl Kerler, music: Vladimir Shainsky, arr. Isle of Klezbos)

4. Weary Sun Tango (adapted from Russian "Utomlyennoye Sol'ntse")

5. Hert Zikh Aynet / Kostakowsky #7 (traditionals, arr. Eve Sicular / Isle of Klezbos)

6. Noiresque (klezmer-jazz, composer: Debra Kreisberg)

7. Revery in Hijaz (neo-traditional, arr. Eve Sicular)

8. East Hapsburg Waltz (composer: Eve Sicular)

9. Doyna (improvised intro: Shoko Nagai, piano)

An Alter Nigun (traditional, arr. Isle of Klezbos)

Abi Gezunt (lyrics: Molly Picon, music: Abraham Ellstein, arr. Isle of Klezbos & Metropolitan Klezmer)

10. When Gomer Met Molly (adapted from underscore, "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.," arr. Eve Sicular)

11. Hert Zikh Aynet (instrumental reprise, arr. Eve Sicular)

JOE'S PUB AT THE PUBLIC is one of New York City's most celebrated venues for emerging and established performance artists. Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe's Pub debuted in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public's mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe's Pub presents talent from all over the world as part of The Public's programming downtown at its Astor Place home, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually. The diverse roster of programming featured at Joe's Pub includes top performers from Broadway, cabaret, dance, world, singer-songwriter, jazz, country and indie genres as well as New York Voices, its commissioning initiative, today's rising stars and Grammy Award winners. Joe's Pub also collaborates with other Public Theater programs to present events such as the Under the Radar Incoming series and the Public Forum lecture and debate series. The New York Times has praised Joe's Pub as at the "nexus" of "a downtown axis of clubs whose performers gleefully fuzz the boundaries between old and new, and between pop, rock, jazz, rhythm-and-blues, swing, country, world music and performance art." Its elegant neoclassical design, intimate atmosphere, and superior acoustics have consistently landed the venue on annual Best of New York lists. A top-to-bottom renovation was completed in 2011, leading to improved sightlines, expanded seating capacity and a new menu from acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini. / @joespub


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