Grant Award for 2020: Klezmer Music Foundation and the MCC Academy
Skokie Community Foundation (2019)
Students in Skokie will be treated to a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about music from other cultures while discovering their own musical roots and meeting each other, thanks to a grant awarded by the Skokie Community Foundation. The funds will allow the Klezmer Music Foundation and the MCC Academy to work in tandem on a lecture and workshop at MCC Academy and a public concert featuring students from both faith communities with the Salaam-Shalom Music Project at Temple Beth Israel in Skokie. The grant, awarded in November by the Skokie Community Foundation, is for a program to bring together the children of two Skokie faith communities who do not have many opportunities to interact in a meaningful way.
Award for Artistic Excellence
Skokie Fine Arts Commission (2016)
Maxwell Street Klezmer Band has been entertaining in Skokie and around the world since 1983. Founded by Skokie resident Lori Lippitz, the band has played in Carnegie Hall and dozens of European festivals and produced five CDs. In 2013, Maxwell Street marked its 30th “Bandiversary” at The Old Town School of Folk Music. In 2014, Alex Koffman was the featured soloist with Chicago Sinfonietta at Symphony Center in Chicago in Levinson’s “Klezmer Rhapsody.”
The same year, the band was featured in the world’s first klezmer opera with The Lyric Opera of Chicago. Not only is the band office located in Skokie, but many members of the band live here, including the Band Director (Lori Lippitz), Bandleader and Violin (Alex Koffman), Trumpet (Ivo Braun), Bass (Jim Cox) and Administrative Assistant and Vocalist (Natasha Bodansky). The band is represented in the Skokie 4th of July Parade, the Sunday Sundown Concert Series in Devonshire Park and the Skokie Festival of Cultures with their Junior Klezmer Orchestra. Numerous Skokie residents have enjoyed the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band performances at Skokie's Wednesdays on the Green Concert Series.
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