Concert by Isle of Klezbos celebrates music of Yiddish cinema

BRATTLEBORO — Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St., presents a performance by Isle of Klezbos on Thursday, Aug. 10, from 8 to 10 p.m. The quartet will perform music inspired by Yiddish cinema soundtracks as well as exhibiting source Yiddish film clips.

According to a news release, the New York City-based klezmer group "approaches tradition with playful irreverence and deepest respect to create [...] soundtracks for Yiddish films both celebrated and obscure. Their repertoire ranges from rambunctious and exuberantly original fusion to entrancing neo-traditional folk dance, mystical melodies, Yiddish swing and retro tango, late Soviet-era Jewish drinking songs, re-grooved standards, and genre-defying originals."

This captivating tour is led by drummer/cinema scholar Eve Sicular, with live movie music adaptations as well as original sound footage from famous celluloid such as Der Dybbuk and Molly Picon hits Mamele and Yidl Mitn Fidl, plus lesser-known movie masterpieces from early sound feature Uncle Moses to operatic screen cantor Moishe Oysher's tour de force Overture to Glory [Der Vilner Shtot Khazn], as well as Edgar Ulmer's comedy American Matchmaker, early Soviet Yiddish theater newsreels, and more.

Sicular leads the band and is joined by Debra Kreisberg (clarinet and alto saxophone), Rebecca Steinberg (trumpet), and Shoko Nagai (accordion, piano, and playing the Epsilon Spires pipe organ). Sicular's archival research background is based on her curatorial roles at YIVO (Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institut, or Yiddish Scientific Institute) Film Archives and the MoMA retrospective "Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds" and her subsequent lectures and publications "Music in Yiddish Cinema" and "The Yiddish Celluloid Closet."

Since 1998, the group has performed their soulful brand of Klezmer fun-loving powerhouse arrangements and has toured from Vienna to Vancouver for the past 25 years. Broadcast credits include CBS Sunday Morning, The L Word, and PBS, as well as more than a dozen film soundtracks such as Grace Paley: Collected Shorts and Esther Broner: A Weave of Women.

For ticket information, visit

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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