Archive for the ‘Performances’ Category

Klezmer Pizza Party

August 16, 2011

10/2/11 Update: Follow link for photos taken onsite –> 11Oct02TziviPix

To Pre-Schoolers, K-12, Gen-X, Gen-Y, Boomers, Bubbes & Zaydes:

The Chicago YIVO Society invites you & your entire family to a Holiday Sing-along with a quintet from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band & noshes from EJ’s Pizzeria!

Date: Sunday, Oct 2 (between Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur)

Time: Doors open 11:30 AM/Music @ Noon/Refreshments 1-2 PM

Where: Evanston S.P.A.C.E.  @ 1245 Chicago Ave.

One block east of Dempster Purple Line station.

Free municipal garage across the street, plus on-street parking.

Cost: $7.00 per person (under 6 years old FREE)


email: / phone: Fran (630)620-0634

Click here for pdf download –> 11Oct02KlezmerParty

Sarah Lazarus Memorial Concert

July 12, 2011

Tzivi’s Report: The life of Sarah Rose Lazarus was celebrated with joy and laughter when the Chicago YIVO Society presented Mayses un Klangen (Stories and Sounds) in her honor at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie on July 10.

Cantor Stewart Figa of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest told a series of traditional Khelm Stories (including An Open Door and Teltse by Solomon Simon) while cellist Racheli Galay and pianist Ilya Levinson provided punctuation.

Most of the musical interludes came from Klezmer Tunes with a Classical Touch by Israeli composer Daniel Galay (Racheli’s father). Then, in his grand finale, Figa lead a sing-along of Yiddish favorites (such as Der Rebbe Elimelekh), and Galay and Levinson closed with a medley of their own called Wedding Potpourri.

Born in Warsaw in 1911, Sarah Lazarus lived most of her life in Chicago. After graduating from DePaul University with a degree in music, she became a beloved teacher at both Yiddish folkshuln and local Hebrew schools. She also sang in synagogue choirs and performed at hundreds of metro Chicago community events.

The SRO crowd included program sponsors Jerry and Debbie Lazarus (Sarah’s son and daughter-in-law) who came from Denver to reminisce with dozens of her former students.

Top photo from left: Levinson, Galay, and Figa.

Bottom photo from left: Levinson, Figa & Galay with  Debbie &  Jerry Lazarus, and Chicago YIVO Board President Jake Morowitz.

Photo Credits: Jan Lisa Huttner (7/10/11)

Mayses un Klangen

June 30, 2011

The Chicago YIVO Society is proud to announce Mayses un Klangen–a special concert in honor of Sarah Lazarus.

Date: July 10 (Sunday)

Time: 1:30–3:30 PM

Where: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Mayses un Klangen (Stories and Sounds) features texts based on Jewish folklore to be narrated by Cantor Stewart Figa accompanied by cellist Racheli Galay and pianist Ilya Levinson. The music was written by Israeli composer Daniel Galay (Racheli’s father).


For details, visit the ILHMEC website.

Sarah Rose Lazarus (1911-2000) taught thousands of children in Chicago’s folkshuln the joys of Yiddish music, and later taught at Hebrew day schools.  Her happy personality and nurturing attitude made her beloved to her students.

Our special guest for this performance will be Sarah Lazarus’ son Jeremy. Born and raised here in Chicago,  Jeremy  A. Lazarus, M.D. (President-elect of the American Medical Association) is now a clinical professsor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and resides in Denver.


June 1, 2011

Jewish Music spiced with Jazz

Date: August 15 (Mon)

Time: 12:15 PM

Where: Indian Trails Public Library, Wheeling

Phone reservations required:


Jazmer, founded in 1995 by lead vocalist Shirlee Todd, offers a fresh and creative approach to Jewish and American music. This ensemble plays and improvises on melodies from Eastern Europe (Klezmer, Yiddish, Chassidic), the Middle East (Israeli), and Sephardic music of Judeo Spain.

But it wouldn’t be “jazmer” without touches of jazz and other American influences bridging the Old World with the New.

Jazmer: the name says it all!

Click HERE to visit the Jazmer website.


Chicago Klezmer Ensemble (Evanston)

May 25, 2011

Date: July 7 (Thurs)

Time: 12:15 PM

Where: Evanston Public Library

Kurt Bjorling, leader and clarinet

Duo Controverso (Wheeling)

May 25, 2011

Date: June 30 (Thurs)

Time: 12:15

Where: Indian Trails Public Library, Wheeling

Anette Bjorling, harp

Kurt Bjorling, clarinet and basset-horn

Klezmer “listening music”

Phone reservations required 847-459-4100

Bibi Marcell Concert Wheeling

May 21, 2011

Date: June 20 (Mon)

Time: 12:15

Where: Indian Trails Public Library (Wheeling)

Vocalist with guitar

Nostalgic Yiddsh songs

Phone reservations required: 847-459-4100

Bibi Marcell is a member of the Maxwell Street Klemzmer Band. The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is a klezmerband based in Chicago. Founded in 1983, the band combines dance music, folk songs, theatre medleys, and jazzy Yiddish pop music from the 1930′s to the 1950′s, with traditional Jewish music, to bring what they describe as an old-fashioned spirit of fun to their performances.

They have performed across America, and in European cities including LondonMunichViennaAmsterdam,Enschede and The Hague. In 2004, the band’s 2002 CD Old Roots, New World was voted Best Jewish/Hebrew/Klezmer Album by the indie Just Plain Folks 2004 music awards.


Gypsy Rhythm Project Chicago

May 21, 2011

Date: June 16 (Thurs)

Time: 12:15

Where: Sulzer Regional Library, Chicago

Leader: Steve Gibons

Balkan Roma and Klezmer roots music
“Chicago’s go-to group for stripped-down, old-fashioned Roma music- They bring the improvisational sophistication of jazz to Romanian and Bulgarian Gypsy music without smoothing out its ragged edges.”
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Gypsy Rhythm Project Skokie

May 21, 2011

Date: June 15 (Wed)

Time: 12:15

Where: Skokie Public Library

Leader: Steve Gibons

Songs in Yiddish and English

“Chicago’s go-to group for stripped-down, old-fashioned Roma music- They bring the improvisational sophistication of jazz to Romanian and Bulgarian Gypsy music without smoothing out its ragged edges.”
Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

Figa/Levinson Concert Skokie

May 21, 2011

Date: June 6 (Mon)

Time: 12:15

Where: Skokie Public Library

Stewart Figa (baritone)

Ilya Levinson (piano)

Stewart Figa Bio: Figa has performed in Yiddish Theater Productions in New York, where he worked with great artists of the Yiddish stage. He sang the classic Yiddish song “Rumania, Rumania” on the award-winning CBS-TV series Brooklyn Bridge. The Northwestern University theater graduate serves as cantor atWest Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Ill.


Ilya Levinson Bio: Russian-born Ilya Levinson graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory as a composer, where he studied composition with Alexander Pirumov and orchestration with Edison Denisov. After immigrating to the United States in 1988, Levinson completed a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Chicago where his training included instruction from Ralph Shapey, Shulamit Ran, John Eaton, and Howard Sandroff. He teaches Composition, Orchestration, Sightsinging 2, Keyboard 1 at Columbia College Chicago and Musicianship skills at the University of Chicago.