Sweet Early Years/ Zisse Kinder Yorn
Named to recall the carnival atmosphere of Chicago's historic Sunday morning Jewish marketplace, Maxwell Street Klezmer Band was founded in 1983 by vocalist Lori Lippitz. In 1990, one year after his immigration to the United States, Alex Koffman joined the band as violinist and musical director. Since then, Maxwell Street has entertained throughout the US, including their Carnegie Hall premier in 1998, and toured eight times in Europe. The band has recorded four CDs (Shanachie Entertainment, New York). In 2004, Maxwell Street's recording, 'Old Roots New World', which features an original klezmer-classical composition, was awarded Best Album in the category of Jewish/Hebrew/Klezmer by the national independent music organization, Just Plain Folks. In 2003, Maxwell Street was joined by Dancin' Steve Weintraub, one of the world's leading klezmer dance masters. Among Public Radio and Public Television appearances, Maxwell Street's performance on WTTW's one-hour special, 'Do it Yourself Hanukkah' in 2001, has been rebroadcast during subsequent holiday seasons. The band also provided music for the soundtrack of ABC Network Television's program, 'State of Grace' (2002). As part of it's mission to carry on traditional Jewish music, the band established it's own not-for-profit, the Klezmer Music Foundation, Inc., in 1992. The KMF helps to support concerts in schools, nursing homes, and the Junior Klezmer Orchestra, a training band for young musicians. The KMF was also the organizer and co-sponsor of the bi-annual Midwest Klezmer and Yiddish Music Institute in the 1990s, which drew up to 800 participants. The KMF co-sponsored performances with the Yiddish Arts Ensemble of family theater productions with original scores. Most recently, the KMF works with Genesis at the Crossroads, Inc. To work for peace through Jewish-Arabic musical collaborations and performances. Lori was recently recognized as a 'Jewish Chicagoan of the Year 2004' in The Guide to Jewish Chicago.