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Artist to Artist: A Residency Exploring Jewish Music Traditions

December 6, 2020


10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Presented by: Susquehanna Folk Music Society

Location: Online/Virtual Space


EVENT NAME: Artist to Artist: A Residency Exploring Jewish Music Traditions

DATE & TIMES: Sunday, December 6, 2020. Four virtual workshops between 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

COST: Free

WHERE TO REGISTER: Information and registration at (or

SAMPLE VIDEO:  New to Klezmer? Clarinetist Ilene Stahl, one of the residency participants, is featured in this short clip.

EVENT DETAILS: FOUR FREE WORKSHOPS exploring Klezmer, the mesmerizing musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. Five groundbreaking female Klezmer musicians from around the country join in this virtual residency.




The Klezmer Awakening, with Cookie Segelstein, Ilene Stahl and Amy Skillman; 10-10:45 a.m.

A Conversation with Two Musicians. Join folklorist Amy Skillman for a conversation with violinist Cookie Segelstein and clarinetist Ilene Stahl exploring the revival of Klezmer music in the US, the aesthetics of the tradition, and the relationship of the sound to both secular and spiritual identity.

Sing Out! Bring Your Voices and Instruments, with Lauren Brody and Susan Leviton; 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

An opportunity to learn by singing, playing along, or just listening as we explore several songs under the umbrella of Jewish music, both traditional and newly composed.

Klezmer Suffrage: An Interview with Women in Jewish Music, with Lauren Brody, Susan Leviton, Cookie Segelstein and Ilene Stahl; moderated by Susan Hoffman Watts; 1:15-2:30 p.m.

The extraordinary and diverse family histories and personal journeys of five women who have crafted lives in Jewish music.

“Whose Song is This?” The Wonders of Song Migration; with Lauren Brody, Susan Leviton, Cookie Segelstein and Ilene Stahl; 3-4:30 p.m.

All the musicians contribute to a whirlwind exploration of how the tangled roots of songs lead to the widest variety of musical expression over time, geography, and even political boundaries! This session will culminate in finale performances to cap a great day of musical exploration.



Susan Hoffman Watts represents the youngest generation of an important Klezmer dynasty that reaches back to the Jewish Ukraine of the 19th Century, beginning with her maternal great-grandfather Joseph Hoffman, a musician, composer, poet and cornet player. For many years, Hoffman Watts performed with her mother, the great Klezmer drummer Elaine Hoffman Watts, in their Philadelphia-based group The Fabulous Shpielkehs. (Longtime Susquehanna Folks might remember their appearance in our Concert Series!) Hoffman Watts is the sole living purveyor of the family's electrifying Klezmer-style trumpet sounds.

Ilene Stahl (clarinet) is acclaimed for her passionate performance style and soulful interpretations of traditional Yiddish music. Ilene has also been the clarinetist one of Klezmer's most enduring groups The Klezmer Conservatory Band since 1987. Ilene always wanted to play in a rock and roll band but says "she didn't know she picked the wrong instrument," so she formed her own band, Klezperanto, to expand the possibilities of traditional Yiddish and Mediterranean melodies, rip up Romanian surf tunes, re-imagine Jewish wedding music as vintage TV detective show themes, and revive the golden age of clarinet in the big band dance hall traditions of klezmer and cumbia. Visit Ilene online at

Cookie Segelstein (violin), founder of the trio Veretski Pass, a member of Budowitz and founding member of the Youngers of Zion, has performed with many other high profile Klezmer band including Kapelye, The Klezmatics, and The Klezmer Conservatory Band. She has presented workshops on Klezmer fiddling all over the world and at many Klezmer camps.

Lauren Brody (accordion/vocals) is a pioneer of the Klezmer music revival in the United States and a founding member of the groundbreaking band “Kapelye” with whom she toured and recorded and appeared on TV and film. Lauren continues to perform, with a particular accent on composing new music for her own Balkan/Klezmer inspired solo project “Lauren Brody’s Accordion Bytes”, as “Tsoyber” with Susan Leviton, and with the Bulgarian-based accordion trio Brody-Stoikov.

Susan Leviton (vocals) Known as a masterful calligrapher, designer, and papercut artist, as well as a singer of Yiddish songs continually breaks new ground with uncovering historic and contemporary Yiddish songs and bringing them into the 21st Century. Singing vocals with the Old World Folk Band since 1985 has revealed countless treasures in Yiddish song and poetry, and has opened opportunities to share the stage with colleagues around the world. Visit Susan’s profile in the SFMS Folk Artists Gallery.