GREETINGS FROM THE ISLE OF KLEZBOS, the much-anticipated debut full-length album by New York's notorious and much-loved all-star, all-female klezmer sextet, shares their wide-ranging tastes and astonishing chops in an array of rollicking dances, modal trances, soaring Yiddish swing solos, and haunting lullaby. Traditionals, danceables, and originals, all enwrapped by fabulous graphics, full lyrics & translation, and lovingly lucid liner notes. The album was nominated for a 2004 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Producer, and features a guest drawing [back cover] by Alison Bechdel of "Fun Home" fame, with her DTWOF character Mo attempting a clarinet wail.
Isle of Klezbos (whose members have also performed with such artists as The Indigo Girls, Natalie Cole, Amy Sedaris, Bruce Springsteen and Bonnie Raitt) deftly explores a wide stylistic assortment of traditional and original music, including both studio arrangements and live-performance bonus tracks, including lesser-known klezmer gems. The group is proud to acknowledge their entertainment value while creating work that is also beautiful, plaintive and vibrant. Groove-oriented meditations, a catchy post-modern waltz, revamped high-energy 2nd Avenue classics, and even a klezmerengue keep the listening landscape eclectic and everchanging.
Since forming in 1998, Isle of Klezbos has played for Showtime's The L Word, CNN Worldbeat, PBS' In The Life, Vienna's Porgy & Bess, KlezMORE Festival (Europe), Seattle's Bumbershoot, NYC's Knitting Factory, Makor, Tonic, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, The Brooklyn Museum of Art's First Saturday series, BAMcafe at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, National Yiddish Book Center, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, and colleges from Harvard to Vassar to St. Louis' Edison Theatre at Washington University. The sextet includes four Metropolitan Klezmer members plus two more klezbian comrades: "these women will make you shake your tushies." - Village Voice
“Isle of Klezbos tests the elasticity of the genre” - The New Yorker
"One of the finest young klezmer bands ever to appear on the block" - Phat Planet (UK)
“Talent as strong as its name is provocative... The all-female group is to Eastern European Jewish music what Cherish The Ladies is to Celtic” - Courier News
“Great ears and great hearts” - Der Pakn Treger, National Yiddish Book Center
"A supergroup... with an offbeat sense of humor and a relaxed sense of swing" - George Robinson, Jewish Week
"Internationally acclaimed and much-loved... We'd make a joke, but they beat us to it." - Time Out New York
"The absolute top of the klezmer genre" - RootsTown, Belgium
"Excellent, haunting all-female klezmer band... featuring the human crescendo Pam Fleming on trumpet, a slinky frontwoman, and the astonishingly inventive Eve Sicular on drums" - Lucid Culture
KLEZBOS MUSICIAN BIOS:
Trumpet/flugelhorn artist PAM FLEMING toured with Natalie Merchant in Lilith Fair, also appearing nationally as guest soloist with the Indigo Girls. She has performed with Bonnie Raitt, reggae star Burning Spear, and the all-women's big band Diva. A dynamic composer and leader of jazz project Fearless Dreamer, playing styles from salsa to swing to funk, she is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. She has been a guest artist with "Little" Jimmy Scott (Sessions at 54th St. on PBS), Cab Calloway, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Palmer, Arrow, Queen Latifah, Sarah McLachlan, Rachel Garniez' Fortunate Few and the Klezmatics. Heard on both Metropolitan Klezmer's Yiddish For Travelers and MetroKlezmer/ Isle of Klezbos' Mosaic Persuasion, she has also been writing klezmer originals.
RACHELLE GARNIEZ, from New York City, picked up the accordion strictly for laughs in 1986 and has been playing professionally ever since. She is particularly enamored of the instrument's versatility and has explored a wide variety of styles including Cajun, Northern Brazilian, merengue, Continental, rock, and old style jazz as well as klezmer. Among her many musical projects, she has led Twilight Time and performed with Tigresa, Xodo, Rajah Rock, Paprika, and Noite Brasiliera. As singer/songwriter/leader, she performs her own cabaret-tinged compositions with her band, the Fortunate Few , and has composed for musical theater and dance performance including her own show, "The Little Frog Catcher," which premiered at NYC's Dixon Place. Her debut CD, Serenade City (1998), acclaimed by Billboard Magazine, and her latest, Crazy Blood (2001), are on Real Cool Records. She is also swing-shift accordionist and harmony vocalist on Mosaic Persuasion.
Vocalist DEBORAH KARPEL's eclectic background brings together musical theater, jazz standards, cabaret, opera, and Yiddish repertoire from her grandfather. Also a member of Metropolitan Klezmer, she is featured on CDs Yiddish For Travelers and Mosaic Persuasion. She has also been seen in PS 122's Obie award-winning Hot Keys, improv group Shock of the Funny, Comedy Central's Strangers With Candy, the 92nd St Y Opera Lab, Amato Opera, art song recitals at NYC's Donnell Library, Intercambio Musicale, Chameleon, and Dixon Place's Opera Vindaloo (as aired on Good Morning America and WNET's City Arts), Ms Karpel was chosen for programs conducted by Portland Opera/Oregon and AIMS (participating in vocal workshops in Graz, Austria).
Clarinet/alto saxophonist DEBRA KREISBERG, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, received her master's degree in jazz studies from Manhattan School of Music. She performs, composes and records with Latin jazz group Los Mas Valientes on their eponymous debut CD and Gira Caribena (Caribbean Journey). She has also played with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic with Natalie Cole, Joe Gallant's avant-jazz project Illuminati, Impressions jazz trio, funk band D'Tripp, and musical theater. A member of Metropolitan Klezmer as well, she plays on Mosaic Persuasion and co-produced its award-winning recording mix. Her first original klezmer composition has recently been recorded by Isle of Klezbos to appear on their new CD.
Bassist CATHERINE POPPER was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. After high school at the North Carolina School of the Arts studying classical string bass, she received her bachelor's degree at the Manhattan School of Music in jazz bass, and has performed and recorded extensively in highly varied traditional and free jazz, rock, bluegrass, and classical music, as well as a variety of experimental works and movie soundtracks. She tours and records with alt-country phenom Hem, and also plays with Rachelle Garniez' Fortunate Few and elusive alt-rock band, Shimmerhead.
Drummer EVE SICULAR has performed klezmer, rock, R&B, Cajun/zydeco, samba, swing and Mid-Eastern music with such artists as David Krakauer, the Voodoobillies, and the Mazeltones. She founded Metropolitan Klezmer in 1994, producing their debut CD Yiddish for Travelers (1997) as well as Mosaic Persuasion, which won her a 2002 OutMusic Award as Outstanding Producer, and recently wrote her first klezmer original. She formed and leads Isle of Klezbos, and has also led Ana & the Tevkas as well as performing with Charming Hostess, Tigresa, Laura Wetzler, Terry Dame's Sax Appeal, Mediterraneo, Susan Arrow & the Quivers, film soundtracks and live theater. As a film historian, she has worked at the MoMA/National Center for Jewish Film's Yiddish series, and as Curator of Film & Photo Archives at YIVO Institute. She has lectured widely on The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film, as published in Queer Jews (Routledge, 2002), and on Soviet film pioneer Esther Shub. An original member of the Lesbian Avenger Marching Band, she has also taught percussion and Yiddish film history at KlezCamp, Buffalo on the Roof, and Mame-Loshn. She received her BA in Russian History & Literature from Harvard.