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.

"Rapturous & rollicking" Los Angeles Blade
“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
"a concert that crosses so many genres you'll lose track – but who's counting?" — The Oregonian
“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


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phone 212 475 4544
mobile 347 804 4439

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

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!



Trumpet / flugelhorn / kudu player Pam Fleming, a founding Isle of Klezbos member, has toured internationally with reggae stars Burning Spear, Maxi Priest, Dennis Brown, as well as global blues group Hazmat Modine, Black Rock Coalition's Nina Simone Tribute, and nationwide with Natalie Merchant for Lilith Fair (also guest soloing with Indigo Girls, Sarah McLachlan and Queen Latifah). Broadcasts: Bonnie Raitt (VH1), Rufus Wainwright (Letterman), "Li'l" Jimmy Scott (PBS Sessions at 54th St). She has also performed 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, ("Hot-Hot-Hot"), Buster Poindexter [David Johansen], Toots & the Maytals. Pam composes original world jazz for her own group, Fearless Dreamer, as heard on their three recordings: Fearless Dreamer, Climb and Buds. She also leads her entertaining Halloween group, The Dead Zombie Band, heard on their original recording Rise And Dance. A graduate of Eastman School of Music, she performs on all seven recordings by Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, and has composed for both bands as well. Her flugelhorn solo is heard in HBO's Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, and she performed in the hit debut of J. Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother's FBI Files. More at

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, Pomerium, 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 has 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 can be heard on Metropolitan Klezmer's 2014 Mazel Means Good Luck and Isle of Klezbos' Live From Brooklyn. More at

Debra Kreisberg is a New York City-based professional saxophonist, clarinetist, and educator performing and teaching in a wide range of contemporary and world music genres. She performed on clarinet, bass clarinet and tin whistle in the Tony Award-winning play Indecent at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and in MacArthur "Genius" Grant winner Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Debra has performed with artists ranging from Natalie Merchant and Jill Sobule to Paquito D'Rivera, and has toured in the US and abroad with Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos, and Latin jazz ensembles Los Más Valientes and Bronx Conexión Latin Jazz Big Band. She is also co-artistic director and bandleader of the jazz quintet The Highliners. Debra's playing and compositions have been heard on CBS Sunday Morning, CNN Worldbeat, WBGO, SiriusXM Radio, and on Showtime's The L Word. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, with an MM from Manhattan School of Music, Debra has served as a woodwind teaching artist with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance and Bronx Arts Ensemble, and on the faculties of Trinity School and Brearley School. More at

Saskia Lane is a Julliard-trained bassist, composer, performer and educator, whose work spans many genres. Most recently, the Brooklyn-based artist has appeared in numerous productions at the Salzburg Festival, including the Threepenny Opera and its celebrated annual production of Jedermann. Since 2010, Saskia has been a member of the noted theater company, Checkov at Lake Lucille, as performer and composer, and is set to appear in the group’s soon-to-be-released feature film of The Seagull. She also worked for several years with the British-based Improbable Theatre Company on The Devil and Mister Punch, which toured internationally, and has toured BIRDHEART, an original live animation piece in collaboration with famed Designer/Director Julian Crouch. A classically-trained musician with a strong grounding in jazz, Saskia has toured with kids’ favorite Dan Zanes & Friends along with her own much-lauded jazz pop trio The Lascivious Biddies, and has appeared with artists as diverse as Jay-Z and Beyonce, Damon Albarn, Phillip Glass and the Kronos Quartet. She has also had the pleasure of recording with Harry Belafonte and John Legend. Saskia’s original compositions have been commissioned for several productions, including José Rivera’s Massacre, the Asolo Repertory Theater’s staging of Macbeth, and Lake Lucille’s renditions of Ivanov and The Seagull. This spring, she will take part in a two-week residency at BRICArtsMedia workshopping her original song cycle, The Sweetest Life, in collaboration with writer Stephanie Fleischmann. Saskia has leveraged her songwriting expertise since 2008 in her work with Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections Program, an outreach and education organization that brings music to New York’s homeless and incarcerated populations, as well as other underserved groups. Saskia and The Biddies also created the children’s music education program, The Itty Biddies, in collaboration with and commissioned by Carnegie Hall. Playing with Isle of Klezbos since 2006, she appears on the band’s latest CD, Live From Brooklyn. More at

Shoko Nagai is a versatile musical artist who improvises and performs with world-renowned musicians on piano and accordion and composes original scores for films and live performances. As a teenager in her native Japan, Nagai was trained on Yamaha's electronic organ, the Electone, to perform popular music. Since moving to the U.S. from Japan and studying classical and jazz music at Berklee, she has adapted her mastery of the keyboard to prepared piano, accordions, the melodica and other instruments, often inspired by the minimalist approach of composer Toru Takemitsu. Whether performing Klezmer, Balkan or experimental music, Nagai is a charismatic presence onstage, hypnotizing audiences with her intense focus and virtuoso sound. She has received grants from CMA (Chamber Music America) Performance Plus, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation 2021, NYFA City Artist Corps 2021, NYFA (New York Foundation for the Arts) 2010, JazzJaunts 2008 (Painted Bride Arts Center). Nagai’s soundtrack scores include HodoBuzz (2020) directed by Mari Kawade, a quartet of films directed by Linda Hoaglund, and L'Amour Cache (2007), directed by Alessandro Capone and conducted by Butch Morris. She joined Isle of Klezbos in 2009, playing the band’s Live From Brooklyn album as well as J. Edgar Klezmer Off-Off Broadway and beyond. She is also appearing in Klezbos' full run for Gregg Bordowitz's MoMA-PS1 Benyamin Zev's Succos Spectacular, and is a frequent guest artist for Metropolitan Klezmer.

Drummer, bandleader, composer/arranger and film scholar Eve Sicular leads both Isle of Klezbos sextet (formed 1998) and Metropolitan Klezmer octet (formed 1994). She has produced the two bands’ eight acclaimed albums, as well as dozens of band tours throughout North America and Europe. Her musical projects and multi-media archival pieces have received accolades from Sparkplug Foundation, OUTmusic Awards, New York State Council for the Arts, NYC's Department of Cultural Affairs, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Chamber Music America. In additional to releases on her bands’ own label Rhythm Media Records, her arrangements have been heard on Showtime’s The L Word, HBO’s Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, CBS Sunday Morning, soundscapes from SITI Theatre Co to London’s Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, as well as stage plays and exhibitions at New York Theatre Workshop, The Museum of The City of New York, Dixon Place, The Wexner Center, The Jewish Museum [NYC] and The Contemporary Jewish Museum [SF]. Her original musical documentary theater project J.Edgar Klezmer: Songs from My Grandmother’s FBI Files, for which Eve wrote lyrics, music and book, became an Off-Off Broadway hit praised by The New York Times as "smartly written" with "lively score" in its sold-out run at HERE Arts. 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 in shows such as Refuge [Blessed Unrest/Teatri Oda] and Jill Sobule's genre/gender-bending original Music from Yentl. [Joe's Pub/Lincoln Center], and with groups including Charming Hostess and The Voodoobillies. A Harvard graduate, she has published and lectured internationally on topics such as The Celluloid Closet of Yiddish Film and Music in Yiddish Cinema, and wrote her honors thesis on Soviet compilation documentary filmmaking pioneer Esther Shub (Ideology & Montage), about whom she also lectured for A Woman’s Place is in the Editing Room, funded by the Oregon Council on the Humanities. Her work as curatorial assistant at MoMA's landmark retrospective series Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds (co-sponsored by The National Center for Jewish Film) was a formative experience, followed by archiving film and video materials for the Warhol Foundation. She is also a former curator of Film & Photo Archives at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

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PHOTO CREDITs from top: Angela Jimenez, Hank Gans