Isle of Klezbos portrait


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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 WorldBeat, 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 to Vegas, among others. The band has also been commissioned in concert by artist Kiki Smith and for studio recordings of by the Grammy-nominated Scissor Sisters. Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule is featuring Isle of Klezbos for her genre-spanning, gender-bending musical theater project Music from Yentl as seen at Joe’s Pub and Lincoln Center Atrium.

“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
“Paradigm-shifting, brilliantly tuneful klezmer group rich in history as it is in emotion, energy and tunefulness...whirling clarinet, resonant trumpet...  intoxicating mix of a hundred years worth of classic and original klezmer, Latin, jazz and film music... Brilliant, intense, eclectic... deliriously fun... one of New York’s most exciting groups in any style.” — New York Music Daily
“One of the finest young klezmer bands ever to appear on the block” — Phat Planet, UK
“Internationally acclaimed and much-loved... We’d make a joke, but they beat us to it.” — Time Out NY
“Six sexy women give a creative kick to classic klezmer music” — New York Daily News
“World jazz... our favorite all-female traditional Yiddish music ensemble” —Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal
“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. IoK is to Eastern European Jewish music what Cherish The Ladies is to Celtic” — Courier News NJ


Eve Sicular
bandleader and producer
Isle of Klezbos
151 First Ave #145
NYC 10003 USA

email booking ‘at’
phone 212 475 4544
mobile 347 804 4439
fax 212 677 6304

TRANSCENDENT & ROLLICKING CONCERTS, ethereal & hard-swinging dance programs, music workshops for all ages, and klezmer master classes. Also: award-winning festival favorite film-clips programs: The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film and Music from Yiddish Cinema (live band &/or solo lecture); original musical documentary theater and Time Out NY critics pick J. EDGAR KLEZMER: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, with 2015 run at Centenary Stage Company.


Live from Brooklyn Best Albums of 2014 - New York Music Daily; Advocate Hot Sheet Top 10
Greetings from the Isle of Klezbos OutMusic Outstanding Producer 2004

Formed in 1998 by drummer / leader Eve Sicular, ISLE of KLEZBOS features alumnae of Juilliard & Eastman Schools of Music 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!



Hailed by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, versatile vocalist 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 & Still, commemorating the centenary of Samuel Barber, has garnered rave reviews. She has also collaborated with pianist Marc Peloquin on the John Corigliano song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man with texts by Bob Dylan. Melissa 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 since 2008, she also starred in J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files. Melissa’s latest project, with clarinet/sax player Debra Kreisberg, is jazz quintet The Highliners. She will be heard on new albums by both Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, each to be released in 2014. For more info:

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

DEBRA KREISBERG performs, composes, arranges and records with the NYC-based Latin jazz groups Los Mas Valientes and Anaisa, as well as award-winning klezmer bands Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, with whom she has toured in the U.S., Canada and in Europe. She is the leader of the new jazz trio East Harlem Trio and co-founded, with vocalist Melissa Fogarty, the new jazz quintet The Highliners. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music with an MM in Jazz Studies from Manhattan School of Music, Debra has performed with Natalie Merchant, Rochester Philharmonic with Natalie Cole, jazz guitarist Sheryl Bailey, Brooklyn-based singer songwriters and Matt Singer and Steve Waitt, and accordionist/composer/performer Rachelle Garniez, among many others. Her playing and compositions have been featured on WBGO, WKCR, Lincoln Center online (David Rubenstein Atrium), CBS Sunday Morning, CNN Worldbeat, and on Showtime’s The L Word. An equally accomplished educator, Debra has taught woodwinds to students of all ages for more than 10 years, and currently serves on the faculty of the 92Y School of Music. She also previously served as Managing Director of Educational Outreach at 92nd Street Y, developing and implementing arts programming for New York City public schools.

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, 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 the two bands’ five acclaimed CDs (with two more now slated for 2014 release), as well as band tours throughout North America and Europe. Her musical and multi-media archival projectes have received accolades from Sparkplug Foundation, Outmusic Awards, Chamber Music America, New York State Council on the Arts, and NYC’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Eve’s arrangements have been heard on Showtime’s The L Word, HBO’s Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, CBS Sunday Morning, and soundscapes from SITI Theatre Co to London’s Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, as well as in pieces at New York Theatre Workshop, The Museum of The City of New York, The Wexner Center, The Jewish Museum [NYC] and The Contemporary Jewish Museum [SF]. Her original musical documentary theater piece J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, for which Eve wrote lyrics, music and book, premiered in 2009 at Dixon Place NYC, with 2010 full staging at the JCC Manhattan. Her arrangement of the Yiddish Triangle Fire ballad Di Fire Korbunes premiered at the Cooper Union Great Hall centenary concert commemorating the 1911 tragedy. She has also played a wide variety of styles with artists such as The Voodoobillies, Charming Hostess, and Daughters of Cybele. A Harvard graduate, she has published and lectured internationally on topics such as The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film and Music in Yiddish Cinema, as well as Soviet filmmaking pioneer Esther Shub, and is a former curator of the Film & Photo Archives at YIVO Institute.

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PHOTO CREDITs from top: Angela Jimenez, Hank Gans