Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Killer Klezbian: Drummer Eve Sicular and Her Klezmer Band Isle of Klezbos Bring New Heat to Traditional Yiddish Music. (Music)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Killer Klezbian: Drummer Eve Sicular and Her Klezmer Band Isle of Klezbos Bring New Heat to Traditional Yiddish Music. (Music)

Article excerpt

Eve Sicular recalls when she first came up with Isle of Klezbos as a name for her new all-woman, mostly lesbian klezmer sextet. "The band loved it," says Sicular. "But some of my friends said, 'Don't you think it might be a stigma? Will you get bookings outside of women's festivals?'"

Judging from the band's busy schedule, drummer and bandleader Sicular knew exactly what she was doing. True, Klezbos played the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival as one of its early gigs. But it has since appeared at Jewish festivals, synagogues, and commitment ceremonies. On June 24, Isle of Klezbos will join New York City's gay pride celebration by hosting a KlezBiGay event at the downtown punk club CBGB.

To understand the group's broad appeal, check out the diverse musical influences on its debut CD, Greetings From the Isle of Klezbos. The bouncy "East Hapsburg Waltz," written by Sicular, has accordionist Rachelle Garniez throwing in a riff from The Godfather. "Klezmerengue" includes Latin dancehall sounds--the lower east side meets Loisaida. Then there's the sultry style of vocalist Deborah Karpel, a cult figure on New York's downtown theater scene. Who knew Yiddish could be so sexy?

Although Sicular grew up Jewish in New York, only a subway ride from Second Avenue, she never heard klezmer until much later and didn't start playing it until she moved to the West Coast after college. Sicular was raised on the upper east side of Manhattan and the suburbs of Westchester. "The home of presliced challah," she quips. Her dad was a classically trained piano player, and she taught herself the drums at age 8. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.