NYC-based ISLE of KLEZBOS approaches tradition with irreverence and respect. The soulful, fun-loving powerhouse all-women’s klezmer sextet has toured from Vienna to Vancouver since 1998. Band repertoire ranges from rambunctious to entrancing: neo-traditional folk dance, mystical melodies,Yiddish swing & retro tango, late Soviet-era Jewish drinking song, re-grooved standards, and genre-defying originals. ISLE of KLEZBOS concert footage has been broadcast internationally on CBS Sunday Morning, CNN World- Beat, and PBS In The Life, and the band’s live and studio recordings have also been heard on The L Word (Showtime), WFMU, Northeast Public Radio (Live at the Linda), and film soundtracks for Grace Paley: Collected Shorts, Esther Broner: A Weave of Women, and I Guess I’m Not Going to Get toVegas, among others. The band has also been commissioned to create a concert for artist Kiki Smith and studio recordings of Klezbos arrangements for multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Scissor Sisters.
Formed in 1998 by drummer / leader Eve Sicular, ISLE of KLEZBOS features alumnae of Juilliard & Eastman Schools of Music [VIEW band member bios] and has been honored by multiple awards from New York State Council on the Arts, Outmusic, and Sparkplug Foundation. Klezbos bandmates performed in Sicular’s musical documentary theater piece J. EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, and several also play together in Metropolitan Klezmer (octet formed in 1994). From Seattle’s Bumbershoot to St. Louis’ Edison Theater, Vienna’s Porgy & Bess to Joe’s Pub /Public Theater NYC, BAM Cafe to Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturday to Berkeley’s Jewish Music Festival, Merkin Hall to Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest, National Yiddish Book Center to The Museum at Eldridge Street, City Winery & 92YTribeca. Latest tour highlights have included Bay Area, Tennessee and Chicago tour debuts; college concerts/lectures/residencies at Skidmore (NY), Stanford (CA), and Sewanee (TN); and Klezbos premiere at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts — recorded live for the band’s upcoming new release, a full-length concert CD!
“These women will make you shake your tushies!”
— Village Voice
“Isle of Klezbos tests the elasticity of the genre” — The New Yorker
“The absolute top of the klezmer genre” — RootsTown, Belgium
“One of the finest young klezmer bands ever to appear on the block” — Phat Planet, UK
“Paradigm-shifting, brilliantly tuneful klezmer group” — New York Music Daily
“Internationally acclaimed and much-loved... We’d make a joke, but they beat us to it.” — Time Out NY
“A supergroup... with an offbeat sense of humor and a relaxed sense of swing” — George Robinson, Jewish Week
“Love your music!” — Douglas W Smith, Producer: CBS News Sunday Morning
“Great ears and great hearts” — Der Pakn Treger, National Yiddish Book Center
“Talent as strong as its name is provocative. Isle of Klezbos is to Eastern European Jewish music what Cherish The Ladies is to Celtic” — Courier News NJ
PHOTO CREDIT Angela Jimenez