PAM FLEMING - trumpet, flugelhorn
MICHAEL HESS - violin, ney flute
DAVE HOFSTRA - bass, tuba
DEBORAH KARPEL - vocals
DEBRA KREISBERG - clarinet, alto saxophone
REUT REGEV - trombone
URI SHARLIN - accordion
EVE SICULAR - drums
Metropolitan Klezmer, formed in 1994, matches levity and gravity with eclectic exuberance. Approaching tradition with irreverence and respect, Metropolitan Klezmer plays Yiddish music from all over the map, including lesser-known gems and genre-defying originals. Their repertoire ranges across dance frolics, trance chants, hard-swinging Second Avenue classics and retro tango, from delightfully rambunctious to ethereally exquisite. Based in NYC, the octet is known for its imaginative, tight arrangements and virtuosic versatility. Their sister sextet, Isle of Klezbos, shares several of MK's illustrious women bandmates and both groups are led by drummer Eve Sicular.
Broadcasts by Metropolitan Klezmer in performance have aired on CNN Worldbeat's Crazy for Klezmer, ARD German TV's Rhythms of New York, and live on-air for WFUV's CityFolk, WFMU's Trans-Pacific Sound Paradise, and WVBR's Bound For Glory. More band radio airplay has appeared around the globe, including a feature on PRI's Sound & Spirit. Metropolitan Klezmer discs Yiddish For Travelers (1998), Mosaic Persuasion [with cameo appearances by sister sextet Isle of Klezbos] (2001), and Surprising Finds (2003) have won Outmusic Awards and made Top Ten lists internationally. Tunes from these releases have also been heard in such shows as the Royal Ballet's First Drafts at London's Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and SITI Theatre Co.'s Score Off-Broadway and on national tour. All Rhythm Media Records releases by Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos are distributed worldwide by Stern's Music Ltd (offices in NYC and London). In addition, Metropolitan Klezmer tracks are featured on compilations including Tzadik label's "Music from the Winery," live from Tonic's klezmer series, curated by David Krakauer on the Radical Jewish Culture imprint.
Metropolitan Klezmer has performed at venues from the legendary Bottom Line cabaret to full houses at the concert halls of the 92nd Street Y, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the World Financial Center's Festival of Sound & Light, as well as multiple appearances onstage at Makor, Tonic, The Jewish Museum, The Knitting Factory, joe's pub at The Public Theater, and Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction. Bandmates have played in styles from Albanian to Zydeco, funk to classical to reggae to Latin jazz as well as klezmer!), as well as composing, acting, and lecturing. In other projects, they have individually performed with the likes of Rufus Wainwright, The Microscopic Septet, Toshi Reagon, Indigo Girls, Wayne Horvitz, Bonnie Raitt, Amy Sedaris, Natalie Cole, Natalie Merchant, Ray Vega, Andy Statman, David Krakauer, Burning Spear, Hazmat Modine, and the Easy All-Stars/RadioDread.
A new album in the works will include a variety of tunes from recent live shows, including gorgeous traditionals, hot arrangements of folk-based swing, Yiddish/Latin charmers, and beautiful new compositions. Rhythm Media Records is our label, distributed worldwide by Stern's Music Ltd. Drummer/bandleader Eve Sicular also lectures on "The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film" (vintage soundtrack music in unexpected adaptations is one of our specialties).
"With influences that range from old school Arabic music to Latin jazz to Motown, Metropolitan Klezmer interprets aged Yiddish favorites with a mixture of tradition and irreverence. Don't worry if you've never heard of the accordion-rich, Eastern European genre of klezmer. Led by percussionist Eve Sicular, the NYC-based eight-piece produces a sound that is not only exuberantly eclectic but also very danceable. Expect an eccentric cultural lesson from these modern-day purveyors of time-honored traditions."
- Jen Bachman, flavorpill.net
"Fantastic players... excellent vocals... strength and diversity"
- Scott Atkinson, RootsWorld Bulletin
"Metropolitan Klezmer is one of (I'd argue strongly for *the*, but I'm sure of universal agreement on "one of") the best klezmer bands in the world today"
-Shaun Dale, Cosmik Debris