Alicia Jo Rabins is a composer, performer, violinist and singer based in Portland, OR and Brooklyn, NY. She began studying classical violin at age 3, thanks to a Phil Donahue special on the Suzuki method, then went on to playing with local high-school punk bands, to study avant-garde composition, and finally to immerse herself in traditional fiddle music, songwriting, and singing. In addition to her solo projects, Alicia has toured extensively as the violinist in NYC's acclaimed klezmer-punk band Golem and performed Appalachian fiddle music across Central America and Kuwait as a US State Department cultural ambassador.
Sugar Shack, Rabins' self-released 2003 debut, is a potpourri of traditional and original Cajun, old-time and klezmer fiddle tunes, which Klezmershack.com called "one of the most delicious, wonderful to listen to recordings of southern and old-timey American fiddle traditions I have heard in many years." After falling in love with songwriting, Alicia began Girls in Trouble, an original art-pop song cycle about women in Torah. Girls in Trouble released two albums with Jdub Records, Girls in Trouble and Half You Half Me, and have toured across the US, Canada, and Europe. Their records have garnered acclaim from critics ranging from influential indie blog largeheartedboy.com to the Chicago Reader and LA Weekly; a third album is scheduled for release in fall 2014.
In 2011 Alicia received a Six Points Fellowship to compose A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, a chamber-rock opera about the intersection of mysticism and finance. Inspired by Laurie Anderson, John Adams, and Tommy, A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff premiered at Joe's Pub in NYC and has since toured to Washington DC and, in a one-woman version with live animations, to Portland OR and Berkeley.