541.488.7716 185 N. Mountain Ave Ashland, OR 97520

Isle of Klezbos


 On Tuesday, July 10 at 7:30 PM the Havurah Synagogue will host ISLE of KLEZBOS in concert. Tickets are $25 in advance, available at the Music Coop, 268 E. Main St. in Ashland or online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3385911

NYC-based ISLE of KLEZBOS approaches tradition with playful irreverence and deepest respect. Now celebrating two decades together, the soulful, fun-loving powerhouse all-gal klezmer sextet has toured from Vienna to Vancouver since 1998. Band repertoire ranges from rambunctious to entrancing: Neo-traditional folk dance, mystical melodies, Yiddish swing & retro tango, late Soviet-era Jewish drinking song, re-grooved standards, and genre-defying originals. Broadcast credits include CBSSunday Morning, The L Word, PBS, as well as over a dozen film soundtracks such as Grace Paley: Collected Shorts andEsther Broner: A Weave of Women. The band’s acclaimed debut album Greetings from the Isle of Klezbos was followed by latest CD, Live From Brooklyn (named among New York Music Daily’s “Top 50 Albums of the Year” in any genre). The group is noted for their tight yet adventurous sound, lush arrangements, luscious compositions, and solos that swing the Yiddish stratosphere.

ISLE of KLEZBOS (“Cutting Edge Klezmer” – New York Magazine) has graced both Porgy & Bess nightclub for Austria’s KlezMORE Festival, and Feinstein’s/54 Below — the first klezmer group ever invited to that Broadway cabaret stage. Winning a spot at Chamber Music America’s annual conference, the ensemble performed in both Jazz and World Music genres. Formed by drummer/leader Eve Sicular, a Harvard-educated film historian as well as music maven, the group’s outstanding lineup combines the creative talents of alumnae from Juilliard, Eastman, Manhattan and Berklee Schools of Music. Recent highlights: Denver debut at JAAMM Festival, headlining Oberlin Spring Folk Fest, and multi-media concert The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film at NYC’s Center for Jewish History (YIVO Institute/American Jewish Historical Society/American Jewish Music Society, Pride Season event co-sponsors). Headlining both San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens Festival and Portland OR’s Alberta Rose Theatre for West Coast  20th anniversary summer premieres, the band returns with sextet to California for Hanukah season tour from Sonoma to Palm Springs, then making a first-time Florida splash at The Arts Garage in February 2019. Repeat recipients of honors from Sparkplug Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and OUTmusic, their latest Creative Engagement award supports the year-long series Isle of Klezbos: Isle of Manhattan! 20th Anniversary Sextet Concerts.

Special ISLE of KLEZBOS projects have included J.EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, original musical documentary theater created by bandleader/composer & lyricist Sicular, praised by The New York Times for “lively score… smartly written;” the show sold out its Off-Off Broadway run at HERE Arts. Collaborating with the likes of Natalia Zukerman (The Women Who Rode Away), Jill Sobule (Music from Yentl at Joe’s Pub & Lincoln Center), Scissor Sisters (studio sessions), the sextet has also enjoyed guest artist MC’s Jackie Hoffman, Lisa Kron, Jennifer ‘Circus Amok’ Miller and many more for their annual KlezBiGay Pride festivities. Recent special appearances: A Letter to Harvey Milk opening night party house band; World Science Festival surprise guest artists in honor of Alan Alda at Jazz at Lincoln Center gala; and Cinema Arts Centre featured music artists with SNL legend Alan Zweibel. The band originated as spinoff of Metropolitan Klezmer, an octet also led by drummer Eve Sicular (now in its 24th year). ISLE of KLEZBOS’ first recordings were cameos on the joint release Mosaic Persuasion, second of five Metropolitan Klezmer albums to date. The “sister sextet” made their first public appearance at CB’s 313 Gallery, a more acoustically-oriented venue run by the same owner who had founded an iconic punk stage two doors down at 315 Bowery. Unbeknownst to the band at that time, the CBGB proprietor had grown up with Yiddish music royalty in his own family, and ISLE of KLEZBOS immediately became favorite performers for the legendaryHilly [Hillel] Kristal.

Drummer, bandleader and film scholar Eve Sicular formed and leads NYC-based bands Isle of Klezbos all-women’s sextet (since 1998) and Metropolitan Klezmer octet (since 1994). She has produced the two bands’ five acclaimed CDs (with two more now slated for 2014 release), as well as band tours throughout North America and Europe. Her musical and multi-media archival projectes have received accolades from Sparkplug Foundation, Outmusic Awards, Chamber Music America, New York State Council on the Arts, and NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Eve’s arrangements have been heard on Showtime’s The L Word, HBO’s Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, CBS Sunday Morning, and soundscapes from SITI Theatre Co to London’s Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, as well as in pieces at New York Theatre Workshop, The Museum of The City of New York, The Wexner Center, The Jewish Museum [NYC] and The Contemporary Jewish Museum [SF]. Her original musical documentary theater piece J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, for which Eve wrote lyrics, music and book, premiered in 2009 at Dixon Place NYC, with 2010 full staging at the JCC Manhattan. Her arrangement of the Yiddish Triangle Fire ballad Di Fire Korbunes premiered at the Cooper Union Great Hall centenary concert commemorating the 1911 tragedy. She has also played a wide variety of styles with artists such as The Voodoobillies, Charming Hostess, and Daughters of Cybele. A Harvard graduate, she has published and lectured internationally on topics such as The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film and Music in Yiddish Cinema, as well as Soviet filmmaking pioneer Esther Shub, and is a former curator of the Film & Photo Archives at YIVO Institute.

Trumpet / flugelhorn / kudu player Pam Fleming has toured internationally with Black Rock Coalition’s Nina Simone Tribute, reggae stars Burning Spear, Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown; and global blues group Hazmat Modine, as well as nationwide with Natalie Merchant for Lilith Fair (also guest soloing with Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, and Sarah McLachlan). Broadcasts: Bonnie Raitt (VH1), Rufus Wainwright (Letterman), “Li’l” Jimmy Scott (PBS Sessions at 54th St). Pam has also played with Government Mule, Easy Star All-Stars (RadioDread, Dub Side of the Moon, Lonely Hearts Dub Band), Cab Calloway, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Palmer, soca star Arrow, The Klezmatics, Buster Poindexter [David Johansen], Toots & the Maytals. She composes original world jazz for her own group, Fearless Dreamer, as heard on their two recordings, Fearless Dreamer and Climb. A graduate of Eastman School of Music, Pam appeared in a recent Festival of New Trumpet Music [FONT]. She performs on all recordings by Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, and has composed for them as well. Her flugelhorn solo is heard in HBO’s SCHMATTA, and she performed in J. Edgar Klezmer’s hit debut.

Debra Kreisberg performs, composes, arranges and records with the NYC-based Latin jazz groups Los Mas Valientes and Anaisa, as well as award-winning klezmer bands Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, with whom she has toured in the U.S., Canada and in Europe. She is the leader of the new jazz trio East Harlem Trio and co-founded, with vocalist Melissa Fogarty, the new jazz quintet The Highliners. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music with an MM in Jazz Studies from Manhattan School of Music, Debra has performed with Natalie Merchant, Rochester Philharmonic with Natalie Cole, jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey, Brooklyn-based singer songwriters and Matt Singer and Steve Waitt, and accordionist /composer / performer Rachelle Garniez, among many others. Her playing and compositions have been featured on WBGO, WKCR, Lincoln Center online (David Rubenstein Atrium), CBS Sunday Morning, CNN Worldbeat, and on Showtime’s The L Word. An equally accomplished educator, Debra has taught woodwinds to students of all ages for more than 10 years, and currently serves on the faculty of the 92Y School of Music. She also previously served as Managing Director of Educational Outreach at 92nd Street Y, developing and implementing arts programming for New York City public schools.

Born in Nagoya, Japan, accordionist / pianist Shoko Nagai has been evolving as a professional musician and composer for 16 years. In 1999, she moved to NYC, quickly establishing herself in the downtown jazz scene with such renowned artists as John Zorn, Rasheid Ali, Ikue Mori, Cuong Vu, Stomu Takeishi, Butch Morris, Guillermo E Brown, Matana Roberts, Miho Hatori (cibomatto), Roy Champbell, Satoshi Takeishi, Greg Tardy to name a few. Shoko Nagai Quintet, featuring some of NYC’s best musicians, has performed extensively at BlueNote, Knitting Factory, The Stone, The Kitchen, Location One, Vision Festival as well as other top clubs and concert venues. Nagai also has performed in Finland (Tampere Jazz Festival 2008), Canada (Montreal Jazz Fest ’08), Italy (Catania Jazz ’08) Brasil (Res ’07), Germany (Moers Jazz ’06), Norway (Natt Jazz 1998) touring Japan, Europe, US, and Israel. In 2005, she received a grant from Philadelphia Music Project for JazzJaunts, artists composing premieres with music traditions from their cultural roots. Nagai released her first CD Two Levels Crossing in 2000, VORTEX in 2002, Vsoon in 2003. Nagai is also in Vortex free improv duo with piano (Shoko) and electronics (Satoshi Takeishi). They scored Japanese feature Starfish Hotel directed by John Williams, as well as documentary ANPO premiered at Toronto Film Fest 2010. Nagai also scored French feature film L’ Amour Caché conducted by Butch Morris. She performed with Isle of Klezbos bandmates in J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, as well as with Sanda Weigl’s Gypsy in a Tree ensemble, and is also a frequent guest artist with Metropolitan Klezmer.

Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, versatile vocalist Melissa Fogarty began as a leading child performer at the Metropolitan Opera. She has also sung with Seattle Baroque, Ensemble for the Seicento, new music North/South Consonance, and Sequitur at Merkin Hall, among others. A graduate of Eastman School of Music, her debut solo CD Handel: Scorned & Betrayed won accolades including an Outmusic Award. Her second recording, Despite & Still, commemorating the centenary of Samuel Barber, has garnered rave reviews. She has also collaborated with pianist Marc Peloquin on the John Corigliano song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man with texts by Bob Dylan. Melissa received the Adams Fellowship at Carmel Bach Festival and Giorgio Cini Fellowship for study in Venice. Vocalist for both Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos since 2008, she also starred in J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files. Melissa’s latest project, with clarinet/sax player Debra Kreisberg, is jazz quintet The Highliners. She is the vocalist on albums by both Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos.


Uncle Moses Wedding Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL71340003089F6EDB&v=NEUppa1z8Fc

Isle of Klezbos performs for The Museum at Eldridge Street NYC, Sunday 10/10/10. “Szol a Kakas Mar” – originally a Hungarian drinking song, ‘farheylikt’ [adapted & ‘made holy’] by followers of the Kalever rebbe:



Isle of Klezbos plays Cartagena Chosidl


Isle of Klezbos: “Mellow Manna” klezmer-reggae




“Cutting Edge Klezmer” — New York Magazine

“One of New York’s most exciting groups in any style” — New York Music Daily

“These ladies are damned good musicians, period.” — Edge New York

“Six sexy women give a creative kick to classic klezmer music.” — New York Daily News

“These women will make you shake your tushies!” — Village Voice

“Isle of Klezbos tests the elasticity of the genre” — The New Yorker

“The absolute top of the klezmer genre” — RootsTown, Belgium

“One of the finest young klezmer bands ever to appear on the block” — Phat Planet, UK

“Paradigm-shifting, brilliantly tuneful klezmer group” — New York Music Daily

“Internationally acclaimed and much-loved… We’d make a joke, but they beat us to it.” — Time Out NY

“Talent as strong as its name is provocative. Isle of Klezbos is to Eastern European Jewish music what Cherish The Ladies is to Celtic” — Courier News NJ

“New York all-female klezmer sextet Isle of Klezbos really should win a prize for having one of the cheekiest band names of all time… Isle of Klezbos is no novelty-concept act. The veteran New York group is one of the most acclaimed and esteemed klezmer units around today, approaching “tradition with irreverence and respect” and headlining at clubs and festivals around the world.” — Chronogram