On her latest album, Claroscuro, the jazz clarinetist explores influences that range from Louis Armstrong to Brazilian music to that of her native Israel. It's the desire to adapt the instrument to so many musical traditions that has earned Cohen such acclaim.
Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista has played with everyone from Paul Simon to Hervie Hancock to Yo-Yo Ma. On his album Caym, Baptista and his band interpret the music of John Zorn. Music critic Milo Miles says the album "avoid the typical downfalls of eclectic world-music albums."
With his latest CD, Ivey Divey, bandleader Don Byron pays homage to saxophonist Lester Young. Byron is a prolific musician who gets inspiration from all kinds of music. One of Byron's most-played recordings is Bug Music, heard, among other places, on NPR.
Internationally-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. He celebrates his 50th birthday this year. He has several new releases, and a PBS special: "The Beethoven Triple Concert" two live concert recordings with pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, and cellist Yo Yo Ma. And "In the Fiddler's House," featuring Perlman playing Klezmer music with four Klezmer bands. There's also a PBS Great Performance special on Klezmer music featuring Perlman. (It aired nationally November 27 at 10PM. Check local listings). Both CD's are on the EMI Classics label.
Clarinetist, jazz musician, and klezmer virtuoso Don Byron. He's an unlikely candidate to play klezmer, a product of Eastern European Yiddish culture: Byron is African American and dreadlocked. Byron has become best known for klezmer, but musically he's all over the map: He plays jazz with his Don Byron Quintet, modern classical music with the Semaphore quintet, and he toured Europe last fall with Music for Six Musicians, an Afro-Cuban ensemble. He's also currently writing a classical piece for the avant-garde Kronos Quartet.
Clarinetist Don Byron. Byron's black, but he plays klezmer, the music created from the mixture of American jazz and European jewish culture. Byron's an alumnus of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, and he performs on a new anthology album called "Live At The Knitting Factory." It's on A&M records.
Actor Joel Grey talks about the legacy of his father, comedic actor and clarinetist Mickey Katz. Grey's Jewish heritage helped him add complexity to his performance in the Broadway and film versions of Cabaret, in which he played the Master of Ceremonies.
Hankus Netsky is the founder and leader of the Klezmer Conservatory Band. Klezmer mixes traditional Yiddish and Israeli music with American influences. Netsky joins the show to discuss the history of the genre and to share 78-records of klezmer music from the 1920s.