KlezmerQuerque 2017, February 17th-19th



Christina started playing Jewish music in Budapest, Hungary, where she lived from 1993 to 2002. She is a founding member of Di Naye Kapelye—an ensemble dedicated to researching and performing traditional eastern European Jewish music. The group did original research in Hungary and Romania and in the 8 years Christina performed with the ensemble, Di Naye Kapelye toured extensively in Europe and performed at numerous festivals including the Jewish Music Festival in Krakow, Poland, the Festival d'Ete in Nantes, France and many others.

From 1999 to 2001 Christina and her husband John DeMetrick pursued Fulbright grants in Romania, working with elderly violinists who had played music for Jewish communities before the Second World War. The pair made field recordings of those musicians and also pursued archival and library sources for Jewish material and an understanding of the local influences on Jewish musical styles. Christina continues this research with a project to document connections between Jewish, Bessarabian, and Greek music through NYU Abu Dhabi. Christina currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where she performs with the local klezmer ensemble the Nu Haven Kapelye, teaches students, and leads the chamber klezmer trio Bivolița (bee-vo-lee-tsa). She also performs with the Alexander Fiterstein Trio, the Wholesale Klezmer Band, and the Dave Levitt Klezmer Trio. She has been a guest instructor in klezmer accordion and ensemble performance in Paris, Albuquerque, Duluth, and Asheville, and performs regularly with klezmorim including Margot Leverett, Alicia Svigals, and Walter Zev Feldman. 


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Jack (Yankl) Falk is perhaps best-known for his work with Hungary's Yiddish roots ensemble, Di Naye Kapelye, with whom he recorded three CDs of Carpathian Jewish music. 

Yankl was introduced to Yiddish song and cantorial music by his zeyde (grandfather) Benny Schnable (z’l). A traditional singer of Jewish liturgy, he has served as a traveling High Holidays cantorthroughout North America.  With his wife Reva, he founded Portland’s long-running Yiddish Hour.  

Yankl is the featured vocalist with Don Byron’s acclaimed Music of Mickey Katz ensemble. He has recorded with Polka Madre (Mexico City), Di Fidl-Kapelye (Amsterdam), Klezmocracy (Portland), Yale Strom (San Diego), and the Black Cat Orchestra (Seattle). His current projects include collaborations with violinist Andrew Ehrlich, cellist Lori Goldston, and vocalist Jessika Kenney.

Ari Davidow- reviewer and editor of ‘The Klezmershack’ posts, “Yankl’s singing,”…”returns us to a time when the power of the voice could tell a story and move an audience.”  Lev Liberman of The Klezmorim says, “Jack's clarinet stylings astonish the ear with a hurricane of shrieking, bleating proclamations and counter-assertions. His melodic interpretations threaten to careen off the tracks, but somehow he gets you to the end of the tune intact, if breathless.”  Hear Yankl play: https://youtu.be/Xws3K2PiLtM


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Clara Byom is a performer, scholar, and educator in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree with a double concentration in Musicology and Clarinet Performance. Her master’s thesis, Mixing in Too Much Jewish: American Klezmer Musicians of the 1950s to 1970s (working title), discusses four important clarinetists during the decades prior to the klezmer revitalization, their continued development of the bulgar genre, and expressions of Jewish-American identity during the twentieth century. For the past several years she has also devoted time to the archiving, cataloging, and digitizing the field recordings of Michael Alpert.

Clara maintains a busy performance schedule throughout New Mexico and frequently returns to the Midwest for special concerts and tours. She performs klezmer, English Country, contra dance, Scottish dance, and contemporary classical music on clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and accordion. Clara is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Rusty Tap, and Duo Mozzafiato, and co-founder/ co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. She also performs regularly with The Rebbe's Orkestra, The Thrifters, and New Music New Mexico.


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Formed in the fall of 2014, Di Kavene Kapelye (Yiddish for The Watermelon Band), is a klezmer trio based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Clara Byom (clarinet, bass clarinet) is a graduate student at the University of New Mexico in Clarinet Performance and Musicology; she brings lyrical virtuosity to the melodies. Jeff Brody (fiddle, banjo, vocals) is a software developer, aikidoka, and life-long violinist, who performs with a Yiddishe neshama. Randi Thompson (accordion, vocals) is an optometrist and connoisseur of "strange, foreign sounds", who accompanies with exuberant and emotive playing.

They came together as a trio in 2014 having played as part of The Nahalat Shalom Community Klezmer Band. All of them love the excitement of playing for dancing. Together, they are committed to a sound that is both deeply rooted in authentic klezmer tradition and alive in the present, a music that exists in that beautifully chaotic tension between the sacred and the profane. The ensemble’s repertoire draws from a wide variety of sources, including material learned at KlezmerQuerque and KlezKanada workshops. The ensemble is strongly influenced by their mentors, Beth Cohen and Margot Leverett.


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Incorporating the sounds and rhythms of Jewish music from many parts of the world, The Rebbe's Orkestra brings a unique style to Klezmer–the Jewish instrumental dance music of Eastern Europe. The band's repertoire also includes instrumental pieces from the Middle-East, folk songs in Yiddish, Ladino (Judeo-Spanish), Hebrew, Arabic and Romanes (the language of the Roma/ Gypsies), Israeli folk dance tunes, traditional fiddle tunes and songs from New Mexico, as well as traditional music from the Mediterranean and the Balkans. Recording and performing throughout the southwest since 1996, The Rebbe's Orkestra has been exploring the ways in which Jewish people have interacted with surrounding musical traditions over the centuries to produce music which is uplifting and uniquely Jewish. From Spain to Iraq, Poland to the Mediterranean: The Rebbe's Orkestra plays tunes and songs as widely divergent as the geography and yet with surprisingly similar themes that would make any Rebbe kvell and dance with joy.

Band members of The Rebbe's Orkestra are:

  • Beth Cohen-violin/mandolin/banjo/vocals;

  • Barbara Friedman-bass/tambura/vocals;

  • Randy Edmunds-guitar/tambura/vocals; and

  • Debo Orlofsky-accordion/vocals.

  • Mary Masuk-percussion (doumbek, tapan, riqq, daide, snare drum, cymbal, Turkish wooden spoons, & tar drum).

Often appearing with the ensemble is guest clarinetist Clara Byom, dance leader Jamie Cohen-Edmunds &/or dance leaders from Nahalat Shalom's 'Rikud' Yiddish dance troupe.

Find The Rebbe's Orkestra on:
Listen to the band now!


















THE REBBE'S ORKESTRA celebrated the release of its first CD at KlezmerQuerque 2010: "Klezmer y Mas"!! 
Available at KlezmerQuerque. 


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