Klezmer Music: From Old World to New

Event Information
Event Date: 
February 16, 2017 - 7:00pm
Music Building Auditorium
1114 West Nevada Street, Urbana

Strauss/Warschauer Duo

Klezmer luminaries Jeff Warschauer and Deborah Strauss will be in C-U for a residency over President’s Day weekend, February 16-19, 2017. As part of their activities, the Program in Jewish Culture and Society and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center are sponsoring a lecture and musical demonstration titled “Klezmer Music: From Old World to New” on Thursday, February 16th, at 7:00pm in the Music Building Auditorium. In this presentation, Jeff and Deborah will explore the trajectory of klezmer music from its roots in late 19th and early 20th century Eastern European culture to its unique musical and cultural context in today’s world. It’s a rare opportunity to have this duo here – they are in the top tier of today’s klezmer/Yiddish music scene and have performed in many places around the world.

In addition to this event, Jeff and Deborah will be performing in a public concert/dance party at Sinai Temple at 7:00pm on Saturday, February 18th. They’ll also be giving a workshop for musicians and singers at the Phillips Recreation Center in Urbana on Sunday, February 19th, 2:00-4:00pm. Finally, they’ll be available for private lessons and ensemble coaching. To see their full itinerary, point your browser to http://tinyurl.com/klezmerduoitinerary.

Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer

For over 25 years, Deborah Strauss (violin, accordion, voice, dance) and Cantor Jeff Warschauer (voice, guitar, mandolin) have been at the forefront of the international klezmer and Yiddish music scene. They were both long-time members of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, one of the premiere groups of the klezmer revival, and have performed with legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman on film and in concert. They serve on the faculty of KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar, the Warsaw International Summer Seminar in Yiddish Language and Culture, and KlezFest at the University of London.

Jeff is a graduate of the H.L. Miller Cantorial School at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and is Cantor at synagogues in Massapequa, NY and Manchester, Vermont. He is on the faculty of Columbia University, and is a Founding Artistic Director and Senior Artistic Advisor of the KlezKanada Institute for Yiddish/Jewish Culture. Deborah is one of the leading klezmer fiddlers of her generation. She is also an award-winning children’s educator and a highly regarded Yiddish dancer and dance leader. Deborah studied violin at Rutgers University and ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago.

As the Strauss/Warschauer Duo, Deborah and Jeff have performed to overwhelming acclaim in such diverse venues as the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Great Britain’s Fiddles on Fire, the Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow, Poland, and the Art of Yiddish in Los Angeles with the late actor and singer Theodore Bikel. They are Yiddish speakers, and have researched and collected Yiddish and Hebrew songs and instrumental melodies since the 1980s. Together they lead some of the most popular klezmer music, Yiddish song, and traditional dance workshops throughout North America, and Eastern and Western Europe.


All events are free and open to the public.