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Concerts & Events

Sunday, June 4, 2023  ·  2:00 PM CDT & 5:30 PM CDT

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band

40th Anniversary Celebration

4544 N Lincoln Ave · Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall · 773.728.6000

The Beatles were together for almost eight years…Gilbert and Sullivan's partnership lasted twenty-five years…and in 2023, Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will celebrate 40 years of bringing the Joy of Klez to Chicago and the world. Bringing together almost two dozen musicians and singers from around the country for a lively musical reunion, this concert will be a retrospective of the band's career as well as a premiere of new music.

Lisa Fishman, who recently played Yenta in Joel Gray's Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish in an off-Broadway production, will be one of the featured vocalists, along with Cantor Pavel Roytman, Bibi Marcell, Natasha Bodansky, and band founder Lori Lippitz. Alex Koffman (violinist and musical director) will be performing a new piece "Dances of Hope" composed for this concert. Koffman will also be playing a violin from a collection of 70 string instruments played by Jewish musicians before and during the Holocaust, as part of the "Violins of Hope" touring exhibit.

If you haven't attended a Maxwell Street concert before, expect to hear a Big Band sound with repertoire ranging from traditional Eastern European shtetl dances through the golden age of American Yiddish theater to brassy jazz-infused originals, all delivered with energy, warmth, and humor. The band has performed at Carnegie Hall, with Lyric Opera of Chicago, and toured throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Europe. Locally they are known for their steadfast commitment to the Jewish community and performing at weddings and bar and bat-mitzvah parties. “A shared life of simchas (celebrations)–you've been part of our lives, just as we've been privileged to be part of yours,” writes a grandmother who has invited Maxwell Street Klezmer Band to play at generations of family celebrations.

"The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band conjures joy from thin air while at the same time freeing the deep waters of the soul.” - Rich Warren host/producer Emeritus WFMT Radio, Chicago

In the videos below, watch Maxwell Street Klezmer Band “then” (1998, Carnegie Hall) and “now” (2022, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts).