WHO ARE THE NEW ORLEANS KLEZMER ALL-STARS?


 

Jonathan Freilich


Guitarist/Composer, Jonathan Freilich has been an active part of the New Orleans music scene since his arrival in 1989.  Almost immediately, he found himself playing backup to notable locals such as Kermit Ruffins, Michael Ward and The Reward, and Sun Ra trumpeter Michael Ray.  In 1992 he co-founded the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars(NOKAS), a pioneering klezmer ensemble that infused that music with the vibrancy and energy of the funk, jazz and brass music of New Orleans.  

     NOKAS was playing some of his compositions, but by 1993 he found himself seeking outlets for his compositions in other styles and forms.  After playing with a plethora of combos and experimenting with many great local musicians he formed Naked On The Floor and eventually The Naked Orchestra.

He has appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival over 24 times as well as headlining the berlin Jazz Festival with NOKAS (New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars), and has appeared at numerous other festivals inside and outside the country including Bonnaroo, the Ann Arbor Jazz Festival, collaborations with poet, Andrei Codrescu at the Holocaust museum in NYC. 

    Throughout this time he has continued to work as a sideman and frontman for a number of new orleans music bands and  projects.  He has been lucky to play alongside some of the greatest in New Orleans music.  He has a discography of over 21 recordings many of them either Big Easy or Offbeat entertainment award winners.  He has music featured in films and TV shows (Andy Richter conquers the Universe, The Dukes of Hazzard(Warner Home Video) as well as commercials for companies such as Southwest Airlines and Mercedes.   

     Recent work includes a comic-satirical opera about a couple of New Orleans lawyers and their movements through New Orleans class detritus after Hurricane Katrina debuted in November 2009, a two movement orchestral fantasy about Elias Cannetti at carnival, formation of a new quintet to play new original compositions, an octet reduction of Peter and the Wolf for a New Orleans Contemporary Art Center/Guggenheim foundation presentation and more explorations into folk material and possibilities the for further novel presentations. 

    He is the subject of the one hour radio documentary Jonathan Freilich’s Freedom Double-O Naked Klezmer Jazz Latin Boogaloo: The Radio Documentary by award winning documentarian, David Kunian and was the 2008 Governors’ Music Fellowship Award recipient.

Freilich was born Oct.13, 1968 in Philadelphia, Pa.  He spent most of his early years, up until a late teenager in London, England before moving to Los Angeles in 1985.  Thereafter, he moved to Santa Cruz, Ca in 1987 before the 1989 move to New Orleans.

 


Glenn Hartman

Accordionist, Glenn Hartman has been playing music professionally since he was 15 yrs old. He is one of the founding members of the New Orleans Klezmer Allstars.  He grew up in Long Beach, CA but at the age of 18 moved to New Orleans to study music at Tulane University . He received both a BFA and an MFA from Tulane. His masters thesis was entitled :The Historical Development of Klezmer”. During  Glenn’s years in New Orleans he played with many, many bands and musicians including: Robbie Robertson, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Leo Nocentelli, Big Chief Bo Dollis, Monk Boudreaux, John Popper, Alex McMurray, Washboard Chaz, and the legend, Jimbo Walsh. 

Hurricane Katrina forced Glenn to relocate to San Francisco with his family. He is currently playing and recording with The Ark, a Jewish music super group created by San Francisco’s Jewish Music Festival. He is also leading  his own band – The Klezmer Playboys.  Besides Klezmer, Glenn plays many types of folk music, rock, funk and jazz.