Our Vision

The Vision of The Klezmer Music Foundation

Funding from individuals and organizations allows The Klezmer Music Foundation, Inc. to support a variety of projects.

  • The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is a steward of the joyous dances and haunting melodies that embody the “Jewish soul music” called klezmer. Their energetic musical fusion of Eastern European, Yiddish and gypsy styles tells stories of human emotion, the sorrow and exultation common to people the world over.
  • The Junior Klezmer Orchestra has inspired young musicians to learn Yiddish and klezmer music since 1994. The orchestra, comprising several dozen Middle and High School students, has performed in festivals, libraries and for senior citizens. Many graduates have gone on to careers in music, and some have started their own klezmer bands.
  • The Yiddish Arts Ensemble, a troupe led by writer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro in collaboration with Maxwell Street, scores and performs as a family-friendly ensemble. Their production of “ Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins” and original productions like “ Ishkabibl!” introduce children to Yiddish stories in English with klezmer music and wit.
  • Concerts and Lectures are offered to non-profit groups such as inner-city schools and homes for the elderly. Musicians give workshops on klezmer and Yiddish music at libraries, synagogues and other venues. Master musicians teach about Jewish culture, seeding the community while nurturing cross-cultural education and good will.
  • The Salaam-Shalom Music Project reaches out to professional Arabic musicians to explore the music of our combined Jewish, Christian and Muslim roots. A musical message of good will and harmony comes through concerts in which traditional music from all backgrounds is shared and celebrated.
  • Congregational Klezmer Bands The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band musicians have assisted several Chicagoland congregations in creating and teaching members the music and the history of Klezmer. Due to KMFs support, these congregations now have their own Klezmer troupes. See them in action in this YouTube link.
  • New Musical Productions "The Jewish Songbirds of Tin Pan Alley," which focuses on the influence of Irving Berlin and George Gershwin , and "The History of Klezmer: From Anatevka to Maxwell Street" is a musical journey that transports audiences across continents from the shtetls of Russia to the marketplace of Maxwell Street, Chicago. These exciting programs have been developed by The Klezmer Music Foundation for new audiences around the country to "spread the word" about Jewish music and its relevance.


Copyright © 2014 Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. All rights reserved. Tel: 847.675.4800     Fax: 847.675.4880     4025 Harvard Terrace Skokie, IL 60076