Zoe Christiansen – clarinet, piano;
Eléonore Biezunski – violin, vocals;
Christina Crowder – accordion
Zoe is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and visual artist, specializing in performing traditional music and improvisation. Zoe has studied traditional music in Moldova, Germany, Macedonia, Turkey, Kosovo, and Bulgaria, among other places, and finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Eléonore Biezunski is a vocalist and classically trained klezmer violinist who grew up in a Yiddish speaking family in France. She has performed in Europe and the United States with her bands, including the Klezmographers with Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl) and the Shtetl Stompers with Ilan Moss (accordion) and Joanna Sternberg (double bass) in New York. She released an album in 2016 with her band Yerushe under the label of the Institut Européen des Musiques Juives, consisting of Yiddish songs and klezmer music from various folklore collections, including the Ruth Rubin archives held at YIVO. Her band Shpilkes based in Paris, released the album Zol zayn in 2014. She also appears in the New York Fidl Kapelye.
She has also worked as a musician on several theater productions. She has performed as a trio with Patrick Farrell (accordion) and Jordan Morton (double-bass), with the project Lib’Ele with Eleonore Weill (recorders) and Pete Rushefsky (tsimbl), and as the Shtetl Stompers with accordionist Ilan Moss, since 2005. She has also performed with The Blue Dahlia in New York. As a guest she has appeared with the band Horse Raddish in Paris, with the violin klezmer Trio Figelin (Deborah Strauss, Vanessa Vromans and Vivien Zeller), violonists Jake Schulman-Ment Lisa Gutkin, with the Strauss & Warshauer Duo, and with clarinettist Zisl Slepovich.
She studied violin with Shifra Lipsky-Sluchin, Naaman Sluchin, Gad Lewertoff, and was trained in klezmer violin by Alicia Svigals, Cookie Seigelstein, Steven Greenman, Michael Alpert, Deborah Strauss and Bob Cohen. She received vocal training from Haim Isaacs and Shura Lipovsky in France and with Lorin Sklamberg, Ethel Raim in New York, and Josh Waletzky in Weimar and learned throughout the klezmer world with musicians such as Zev Feldman, Alan Bern, Patrick Farrell, Frank London, David Krakauer, Michael Winograd, Kurt Björling and Merlin Shepherd.
Ms. Biezunski additionally serves as a Sound Archivist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York. She is a 2017 recipient of the New York State Council on the Arts’ Folk Art Apprenticeships(for the study of Yiddish Folksongs with Josh Waletzky) through the Center for Traditional Music and Dance.
Christina Crowder, Accordion
Christina started playing Jewish music in Budapest, Hungary, where she lived from 1993 to 2002. She is a founding member of Di Naye Kapelye—an ensemble dedicated to researching and performing traditional eastern European Jewish music. The group did original research in Hungary and Romania and in the 8 years Christina performed with the ensemble, Di Naye Kapelye toured extensively in Europe and performed at numerous festivals including the Jewish Music Festival in Krakow, Poland, the Festival d’Ete in Nantes, France and many others.
From 1999 to 2001 Christina and her husband John DeMetrick pursued Fulbright grants in Romania, working with elderly violinists who had played music for Jewish communities before the Second World War. The pair made field recordings of those musicians and also pursued archival and library sources for Jewish material and an understanding of the local influences on Jewish musical styles. Christina continues this research with a project to document connections between Jewish, Bessarabian, and Greek music through NYU Abu Dhabi.
Christina currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut, where she works with local klezmer musicians and students. She also performs with the Alexander Fiterstein Trio, the Nu Haven Kapelye, the Wholesale Klezmer Band, The Seltzer Sisters (and the New Agony Trio), and the Dave Levitt Klezmer Trio. She has been a guest instructor in klezmer accordion and ensemble performance in Paris, Albuquerque, Duluth, and Asheville, and was accompanist and assistant instructor for the advanced dance workshop at Yiddish Summer Weimar in summer 2015.