Media Kit

Media Kit

One Sheet PDF download
Tech Rider PDF download
Sample Set List PDF download
Hi Res Montage JPG download
Hi Res Full Band JPG download

Band Biography
In 1983, before klezmer music gained its recent popularity, Lori Lippitz founded the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Working within the Chicago Jewish community, the band reintroduced traditional dance music to weddings and other Jewish celebrations. Over the years, the band has performed on stages across the country (including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Symphony Center) and played nine tours in Europe. Recently, the Maxwell Street Klezmer band celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a reunion concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Their third CD, You Should Be So Lucky!, is one of the ten best-selling klezmer recordings in America.

Maxwell Street is proud to be:
  • The founder of the Klezmer Music Foundation and organizer of the Midwest Klezmer and Yiddish Music Institute (since 1995) at the Kaplan JCC, the Midwest’s only annual forum for klezmer and Yiddish music workshops. The Institute attracts over 800 participants a year and trains musicians of all ages.
  • The sponsor of the Chicago Junior Klezmer Orchestra, a training ground for young klezmer musicians, since 1993.
  • A founding partner of the Yiddish Arts Ensemble, scoring and staging original English-language musicals based upon Yiddish folklore.
  • On the roster of the Illinois Arts Council Artstour of recommended performers.

Our Style
With its big band instrumentation, Maxwell Street moves easily among various styles: Russian and gypsy music, folk songs, theater songs and Yiddish pop songs from the 1920's-50's. Their performance creates a multi-dimensional picture of the lost Jewish culture of Eastern Europe, spiced with vignettes of America seen through immigrant eyes.

Our Instrumentation
Clarinet, saxophone, violin, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and percussion make up the band, rounded out by a duet of female singers. Musical Director Alex Koffman spices the band’s potpourri of Yiddish songs, dance and theater music with his original arrangements, inspired by his classical and jazz background.

The Musicians
Alex Koffman: Violin, Vocals, Musical Director
Lori Lippitz: Vocals, Guitar, Artistic Director
Lisa Fishman: Vocals (touring band)
Cantor Pavel Roytman: Vocals
Etel Melamed: Vocals
Bibi Marcell: Vocals
Shelley Yoelin: Clarinet, Sax
Donald Jacobs: Clarinet, Sax (touring band)
Jeff Jeziorski: Clarinet
Matvey Kostukovsky: Clarinet
Ivo Braun: Trumpet
Bob Samborski: Trombone
Dana Legg: Trombone
Gail Mangurten: Keyboard
Jim Cox: Bass
Steve Hawk: Percussion
Justin Kramer: Percussion

The Critics
  • "It was wonderful to hear Chicago's Maxwell Street Klezmer Band cut loose so exuberantly…(they) brought the audience to its feet, cheering its approval."-John von Rhein, Music Critic, Chicago Tribune, Review of Klezmer Rhapsody, Chicago Symphony Center
  • The Property, Lyric Opera, Chicago: "The musicians dispatched the score with infectious verve under conductor Michael Lewanski." -ChicagoTribune; "Conducted with vigor by Michael Lewanski, the six-member klezmer ensemble --- provided lively and idiomatic advocacy for Marhulets’ score. Clarinetist Don Jacobs and violinist Alex Koffman, in particular, were in tune with the essential strain of Eastern European nostalgia." -Chicago Classical Review; "No surprise that there’s a killer part for clarinet — Don Jacobs is on the reed, lending Old World flavor from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, along with violinist Alex Koffman and double bassist Jim Cox. They know how to bend a note into a call from the heart."-Chicago on the Aisle
  • "Full of energy and humor...An eventful and entertaining evening, I can indeed recommend the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band to other venues all over the world."-Weiner Konzerthaus
  • "Delightful...gorgeous violin playing"-Chicago Tribune
  • "Internationally known...Evocative...Aims for the heartstrings and the feet."-Jewish Heartland "At the end, no one wanted to leave. The heartfelt music had touched everyone…"–The Star (Chicago)
  • "This group can easily take its place beside the Klezmer Conservatory Band and the Klezmatics. They are that good."-National Jewish Post Opinions
  • "I think that I’ve recovered from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band concert [at Carnegie Hall], now. These guys do a very perfect vintage ‘30s jazz and klezmer and theatre music show. Lots of great shtick. Lots of great mugging for the audience. One of the tightest bands I’ve seen in a long time...I expected good, but this was really, really good."-Ari Davidow, Klezmershack
  • "Outstanding performance…Maxwell Street brought...a ‘taste’ of Yiddishkyte that would be hard to duplicate...Excellent!"-Valley Jewish Festival, California
  • "An absolutely first class performance...The audience absolutely loved them."-World of Jewish Music, London
  • "An exhilarating, delightful high-voltage performance." -Gesellschaft zur Förderung jüdischer Kultur und Tradition E.V., Munich, Germany
  • "The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band throws a party"  -Rich Swenson, Chicago Sun Times
  • "These are fine musicians...they care about the music. And when they care—I care." -Theodore Bikel, actor and singer
  • “The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is a joyous celebration of music that was—and fortunately, still is.” -Writer and Historian Studs Terkel


"I produce Wednesdays on the Green for Downtown Skokie. We couldn't be happier with the choice to hire the band to play for us. They drew one of the largest crowds in the three years we have been holding the summer series and we had wonderful comments from the audience and the sponsors. We had over 600 people present and everyone had a memorable night." - Scott Holst, Skokie Chamber of Commerce, 2013


  • 2013 Maxwell St. Days (Reissue from LP to CD)
  • Maxwell Street Klezmer Band's recording ("Tumbalalaika") was in O Relógio do Meu Avô (My Grandfather´s Watch) a film that won the 2013 São Paulo Jewish Film Festival and an Honorable Mention in the 2013 International Festival Brazil de Cinema. 
  • 2008 Eight Nights of Joy (Sounds Write Music)
  • 2002 Old Roots, New World (Shanachie Entertainment)
  • 2000 Sweet Early Years (Klezmer Music Foundation, Inc.)
  • 1997 The MATZOrena (cassette single) (KlezDance Productions)
  • 1996 You Should Be So Lucky! (Shanachie Entertainment)
  • 1994 The European recording Jiddisches Lied & Klezmer 4th Internationales Festival
  • 1986 Maxwell St. Days (Global Village Music)

Copyright © 2019 Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. All rights reserved. Tel: 847.675.4800     Fax: 847.675.4880     4025 Harvard Terrace Skokie, IL 60076