Winners! 2008 VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR, Canadian Folk Music Awards
“… Masterful musicianship, tricky solos and fancy vocal work are all the signs of a good klezmer disc, and The Sisters of Sheynville deliver on all counts."
NOW Magazine, Aug. 2008
... “the most fun and unexpected addition to NXNE,” CHART ATTACK, June 2008
"...they've constantly electrified audiences wherever they've gone...a band dedicated to making joyful music!" ..."beautiful singing and harmonies...they can light up a studio with their musical joie de vivre..." (Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf, The Canadian Jewish News, Nov. 2007
"...unique music!..." (Mary Dickie, Toronto Sun)
"...wildly successful" (Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, The Wholenote Magazine, Nov. 2006)
Having just won the "Vocal Group of the Year" award, as well as a nomination for "World Album of the Year" by the Canadian Folk Music Awards, Canada's only all-female swing-klez sextet is enjoying an exciting momentum. Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut CD Sheynville Express, produced by Beyond the Pale's Eric Stein, the Sisters of Sheynville have emerged as one of the most exciting new ensembles on North American world music scene. In 2008, the band was invited to perform at major festivals in Washington, Winnipeg, NXNE and Toronto's Ashkenaz Festival; Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco and San Diego are slated for 2009. As well, several new musical collaborations and double bills will be presented in 2009.
Sisters of Sheynville debuted in April, 2005, with a repertoire inspired by the Barry Sisters' vintage Yiddish swing, as well as klezmer and roots music of the 1930s-40s old time radio era. Since then, the band's sound evolved to include more jazz, improvisation, and original material. Their intricate 3-part vocal arrangements are supported by hot jazz and klezmer stylings from a crack ensemble featuring some of Toronto’s leading young jazz and klezmer instrumentalists.
The Sisters are: Lenka Lichtenberg (vocals), Isabel Fryszberg (vocals); Fern Lindzon (piano, vocals); Kinneret Sagee (clarinet); Rachel Melas (double bass); Lorie Wolf (drums).
Festival and club performance resume:
North By North East Music festival; Washington Jewish Arts Festival; Winnipeg Mamelosh Festival; Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, Distillery Jazz Festival, Celebrate Toronto Festival, Toronto City Roots Festival, Winterfolk and Downsview Park festivals, the Ashkenaz Festival, the Rex Jazz Bar Hotel, Toronto Performing Arts Centre, Leah Posluns and Al Green Theatres, Lula Lounge, the Free Times Cafe, the Gladstone Hotel, the Tranzac; Buffalo, New York.
radio interviews: Jazz FM, CIUT and CJTW;
other interviews: podcast at http://blog.myspace.com/klezmerpodcast
airplay: Here and Now, Metro Morning, Roots & Wings, other CBC programs; Jazz FM; CIUT; CKLN; Radio Madrid, and about a 100 other radio stations from sea to sea!
our sound: infectious! centered around 3-part harmonies with solid back-up; repertoire ranges from vintage Yiddish swing and klezmer to jazz, improvisation, and original material.
The band story: Isabel Fryszberg and Lenka Lichtenberg, the two founders of the band, began their Sheynville musical journey in 2004. The original idea was to bring to life Yiddish swing, klezmer and roots music inspired by the Barry Sisters of the 1930s-40s old time radio era. Over time, the band's repertoire grew to include new original songs and arrangements of both traditional and jazz material. The songs, in Yiddish and English, offer at times humour, and at times complexity and intricate musical thought.
LENKA LICHTENBERG - vocals: Lenka is a Prague-born singer, composer, arranger, producer, etnomusicologist, cantorial soloist and the Sisters' bandleader. In 2006, Czech TV has made a documentary about her unlikely journey, and in November, 2007, the prestigious music magazine « Harmony » devoted four pages to an interview with her. She performs internationally (since 2004: festivals and concerts in Holland, Germany, Vienna, New York, Prague, Australia, England and Switzerland). Her critically acclaimed third CD, Pashtes, (in Yiddish), a collaboration with Brian Katz, was released at the Ashkenaz festival in Sept. 06. It is now receiving airplay in 23 countries. Apart from the Sisters, Lenka performs as a duo with Brian, solo, and with other world music artists. For audio samples and reviews, visit http://www.lenkalichtenberg.com.
ISABEL FRYSZBERG - vocals: the band's creative director and the originator of the band's concept, is Canadian born to Polish Yiddish immigrants. She is a roots-based fiddler, singer/songwriter, musician and artist, who has made two documentary films. Isabel is also an occupational therapist who uses art for healing and social change in a program she developed with St. Michael's Hospital called the Creative Works Studio www.creativeworks-studio.ca.
FERN LINDZON - piano, vocals: Currently preparing for the launch of her debut CD (early 2008), Fern is well known as a jazz pianist, singer, and arranger. Fern's most recent Toronto performances include engagements at the Opal Jazz Lounge,(solo, and duo with George Koller), and with her trio at The Rex and the Trane Studio Jazz Lounge. Her jazz trio has also performed at both the Distillery and Beaches Jazz Festivals as well as Downsview Park Fall Festival. Fern's klezmer-related activities include performing with the Lithuanian Empire, Nigunim and the Sisters of Sheynville. For more information about Fern, musical excerpts, photos, and a slide show, visit http://www.fernlindzon.com/
RACHEL MELAS - string bass: Born in New York City, Rachel Melas started playing Bass in 1976 at the age of 16. Since then, she has played music continually in many different settings. She has been a bump on the log of Canadian music for the last 25 years performing every thing from the post punk groove music of the Animal Slaves to the World beat of Mother Tongue and the atmospheric Folk of the Courage of Lassie, amongst others. Playing string bass in a Klezmer-Swing band is the logical culmination of a long and varied career. She currently performs with Cajun dance band Swamperella, Rebel Klezmer band Pomegranate and singer songwriter Max Woolaver.
KINNERET SAGEE - clarinet: A recent newcomer to Toronto, Kinneret is an active part of the music scene in the GTA and can be seen regularily with her bands - the 'Sisters of Sheynville', Nigunim and the Lithuanian Empire, as well as with other orchestras around town. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Music degree in clarinet performance from Miami University of Ohio. Kinneret has performed internationally at Carnegie Hall in New York City, in Southern France and the Netherlands. Her musical styles include Classical and Klezmer, where she has had extensive study in both.
LORIE WOLF - drums: Award-winning Toronto drummer Lorie Wolf has performed in clubs and festivals all over Toronto and the GTA, playing klezmer, Latin, jazz and world music. She is a member of a number of bands, including the Lithuanian Empire. She completed her bachelor's degree in fine arts at York University in Toronto, Canada, and a music degree at Humber College. In December, 2007, she has received a grant for the recording of her original composition "Taybele's Dream". Lorie is also a certified teacher in Ontario and works with Learning Through the Arts, an organization that promotes arts-based education in the classroom. Learn more about Lorie, see photos and read about upcoming gigs at www.loriewolf.com
From a review in " Live Music Report"
"… The audience came prepared to love (and they showed it) the authentic (and it was) Yiddish repetoire…spirit, shmaltz, in-humour, vocal harmonies scat….you don't need to be Jewish to hear that their chirirbiri bom riffs really rocked!"
Lenka Lichtenberg, vocals, tambourine; Isabel Fryszberg, vocals; Fern Lindzon, piano, vocals; Rachel Melas, string bass; Kinneret Sagee, clarinet; Lorie Wolf, drums
debut CD Sheynville Express. Released November, 2007
produced by Eric Stein.