Deborah Strauss & Jeff Warschauer are powerful, beautiful, long-time duo partners and pillars of the Klezmer music and Yiddish culture communities. They invited Aaron Alexander to be a guest on their latest recording and have done a few gigs since then together. This evening represents another step in an ongoing development of a musical relationship.
Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer are sweet and soulful performers who draw from klezmer, Yiddish, Hasidic and liturgical music and culture, adding their own original compositions and song settings. Their music is grounded in tradition, yet thoroughly contemporary.
They were both longtime 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.
Now in their 18th year as the Strauss/Warschauer Duo, they 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 actor and singer Theodore Bikel.
Deborah and Jeff are Yiddish speakers, and have researched and collected Yiddish and Hebrew songs and instrumental melodies since the 1980s. They lead some of the most popular klezmer music, Yiddish song and traditional dance workshops throughout North America, and Eastern and Western Europe. Both teach regularly at KlezKamp: The Yiddish Folk Arts Program, KlezKanada, Yiddish Summer Weimar, and the Warsaw International Summer Seminar in Yiddish Language and Culture.
Jeff is Founding Artistic Director and Senior Artistic Advisor of the KlezKanada Institute for Yiddish/Jewish Culture and the Arts, is on the faculty of Columbia University in New York, and is a graduate student in Cantorial Music and Modern Jewish Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
Deborah is an award-winning children’s educator and a highly regarded Yiddish dancer and dance leader. Her recent music collaborations include “Fidlroyz” and “Voices of Ashkenaz” with the German klezmer group, Tickle in the Heart, “The Kadya Project: Voices of the Yiddish Fiddle,” with violinists Abigale Reisman and Keryn Kleiman, and “Zeller/Vromens/Strauss,” 3 fiddles in a boundary-breaking collaboration of North German and Yiddish music. Deborah studied violin at Rutgers University and ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago.
Drummer Aaron Alexander has been playing klezmer music for over 25 years. He is one of the most in demand drummers in the genre and leads his own groups in concerts, clubs, as well as at weddings, parties and bnai mitzvot. Alexander played violin as a child and a few years ago began using it as a teaching tool. He now occasionally performs on klezmer fiddle, in addition to his drumming. Also a well-regarded Jazz drummer, Alexander has recorded and performed with his own group, Midrash Mish Mosh, Klezmerfest, The Klezmatics, Frank London’s Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Alicia Svigals, Greg Wall’s Later Prophets, Hasidic New Wave, Adrienne Cooper, Pete Sokolow, German Goldenshteyn, Strauss/Warschauer Duo, Theo Bikel and many others. He has toured with his jazz collective trio Babkas widely in Europe, and performed with Mose Allison, Jay Clayton, Charlie Byrd, Julian Priester, Carla Bley, Satoko Fujii, and many other jazz notables. Alexander teaches drums and ensembles at Klez Kamp and Klez Kanada and has also taught at Yiddish Summer Weimar, Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, Fuerth Klezmer Festival, London Klezmer Festival and others. Alexander is the founder and Artistic Director of the New York Klezmer Series.