Trumpet / flugelhorn / kudu player Pam Fleming has toured internationally with Black Rock Coalition’s Nina Simone Tribute, reggae stars Burning Spear, Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown; and global blues group Hazmat Modine, as well as nationwide with Natalie Merchant for Lilith Fair (also guest soloing with Indigo Girls, Queen Latifah, and Sarah McLachlan). Broadcasts: Bonnie Raitt (VH1), Rufus Wainwright (Letterman), “Li’l” Jimmy Scott (PBS Sessions at 54th St). Pam has also played with Government Mule, Easy Star All-Stars (RadioDread, Dub Side of the Moon, Lonely Hearts Dub Band), Cab Calloway, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Palmer, soca star Arrow, The Klezmatics, Buster Poindexter [David Johansen], Toots & the Maytals. She composes original world jazz for her own group, Fearless Dreamer, as heard on their two recordings, Fearless Dreamer and Climb. A graduate of Eastman School of Music, Pam appeared in a recent Festival of New Trumpet Music [FONT]. She performs on all recordings by Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, and has composed for them as well. Her flugelhorn solo is heard in HBO’s SCHMATTA, and she performed in J. Edgar Klezmer’s hit debut. More at fearlessdreamer.com
Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, versatile soprano Melissa Fogarty began as a leading child performer at the Metropolitan Opera, making her adult debut with New York City Opera in Mark Morris’ production of Purcell’s King Arthur, then singing The Magic Flute at Battery Park. Other acclaimed recent roles: Ottavia (Opera Omnia’s Coronation of Poppea at Le Poisson Rouge) and New York City Opera’s Vox Fest for new opera (2007-2009). A favorite of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, she has performed many of his works, including world premieres (written with Melissa in mind) at Symphony Space. She has also sung with Seattle Baroque, Ensemble for the Seicento, new music North/South Consonance, and Sequitur at Merkin Hall, among others. A graduate of Eastman School of Music, her debut solo CD Handel: Scorned & Betrayed won accolades including an Outmusic Award. Her second recording, Despite and Still, commemorating the centenary of Samuel Barber, has garnered rave reviews. She received the Adams Fellowship at Carmel Bach Festival and Giorgio Cini Fellowship for study in Venice. Vocalist for both Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, she also starred in J. Edgar Klezmer. For more info: melissafogarty.com
Clarinetist/saxophonist Debra Kreisberg performs, composes, arranges and records with the NYC-based Latin jazz octet Los Mas Valientes, Brooklyn singer-songwriters Matt Singer and Steve Waitt, as well as award-winning klezmer bands Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos with whom she has toured in the U.S. and in Europe. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music with an MM in Jazz Studies from Manhattan School of Music, she has also performed with Natalie Merchant, avant-jazz ensemble Joe Gallant and Illuminati, accordionist / composer / performer Rachelle Garniez, Canadian cabaret Yiddish star Theresa Tova, Rochester Philharmonic featuring Natalie Cole, the NYC funk band D’Tripp, and appeared in J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files (Dixon Place, Puffin Cultural Forum, JCC in Manhattan). Her compositions have been heard in the documentary Making Their Mark: From German Immigrants to New York City Icons, for the German Consulate, Lincoln Center online (David Rubenstein Atrium), and in the Off-Broadway production of Yisrael Campbell’s show, You Can Never Be Too Jewish at NYC’s Theater at St Luke’s. She has been heard on CBS Sunday Morning, CNN Worldbeat, and on Showtime's The L Word. In addition to her performing work, Debra is Managing Director of Educational Outreach at the 92nd Street Y School of the Arts, where she develops and implements arts programming for NYC public schools and also serves on the faculty of the 92Y School of Music.
Bassist Saskia Lane, a San Francisco native, began her classical training on violin at the ripe old age of 4, and took up bass the day she turned 11. Her musical path eventually put her on a train bound for New York City, where she received her Masters Degree from The Juilliard School. The Brooklyn-based musician performs throughout the tri-state area with a variety of jazz, world, pop, and classical artists. Currently, Saskia tours worldwide with Dan Zanes and Friends and nationally with her critically-acclaimed cocktail pop trio The Lascivious Biddies (and now their acclaimed kid-friendly Itty Biddies project), also playing in Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series. She can also be seen sharing the stage with the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Natalie Merchant and Enya.
Born in Nagoya, Japan, accordionist / pianist Shoko Nagai has been evolving as a professional musician and composer for 16 years. In 1999, she moved to NYC, quickly establishing herself in the downtown jazz scene with such renowned artists as John Zorn, Rasheid Ali, Ikue Mori, Cuong Vu, Stomu Takeishi, Butch Morris, Guillermo E Brown, Matana Roberts, Miho Hatori (cibomatto), Roy Champbell, Satoshi Takeishi, Greg Tardy to name a few. Shoko Nagai Quintet, featuring some of NYC’s best musicians, has performed extensively at BlueNote, Knitting Factory, The Stone, The Kitchen, Location One, Vision Festival as well as other top clubs and concert venues. Nagai also has performed in Finland (Tampere Jazz Festival 2008), Canada (Montreal Jazz Fest ’08), Italy (Catania Jazz ’08) Brasil (Res ’07), Germany (Moers Jazz ’06), Norway (Natt Jazz 1998) touring Japan, Europe, US, and Israel. In 2005, she received a grant from Philadelphia Music Project for JazzJaunts, artists composing premieres with music traditions from their cultural roots. Nagai released her first CD Two Levels Crossing in 2000, VORTEX in 2002, Vsoon in 2003. Nagai is also in Vortex free improv duo with piano (Shoko) and electronics (Satoshi Takeishi). They scored Japanese feature Starfish Hotel directed by John Williams, as well as documentary ANPO premiered at Toronto Film Fest 2010. Nagai also scored French feature film L’ Amour Caché conducted by Butch Morris. She performed with Isle of Klezbos bandmates in J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, as well as with Sanda Weigl’s Gypsy in a Tree ensemble, and is also a frequent guest artist with Metropolitan Klezmer.
Drummer, bandleader and film scholar Eve Sicular formed and leads NYC-based bands Isle of Klezbos all-women’s sextet (since 1998) and Metropolitan Klezmer octet (since 1994). She has produced their five CDs to date, receiving numerous awards from New York State Council on the Arts, Sparkplug Foundation, OUTMusic, and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Her musical arrangements have been heard in soundtracks and soundscapes from the HBO documentary feature SCHMATTA: Rags to Riches to Rags, to CBS’ Sunday Morning to Showtime’s The L Word, as well as The Royal Ballet’s First Drafts (Covent Garden), and SITI CO’s Score (NY Theatre Workshop, Wexner Center and national tour), The Great Hall at Cooper Union (Triangle Fire centenary), and The Museum of the City of New York. Her musical documentary theater piece, J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, was followed by her collaboration with Yiddish diva Adrienne Cooper z"l: Krankayt! Jews, Hypochondria & Song, which debuted at The JCC in Manhattan. A Harvard honors graduate in Russian History and Literature, she has published and lectured on The Yiddish Celluloid Closet and Music from Yiddish Cinema throughout North America and Europe, as well as working for YIVO Institute, The Warhol Foundation Archives, and The Museum of Modern Art’s landmark Yiddish film series Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds (co-produced by the National Center for Jewish Film). Drumming since age eight, in addition to klezmer she has also played samba, R&B, Balkan, swing, Cajun/zydeco, Middle Eastern and more with The Voodoobillies, The Mazeltones, and Charming Hostess among others on both East and West Coasts.
PHOTO CREDITS top to bottom: Pam Fleming: Enid Farber; Melissa Fogarty, Debra Kreisberg: Angela Jimenez; Saskia Lane: Gala Narezo; Shoko Nagai, Eve Sicular: Angela Jimenez