Touring Highlights

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band has performed and toured across the United States, United Kingdom and Europe. Notable performances have also included those at Carnegie Hall and alongside the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Like performances around the globe, almost all of Maxwell Street's performances were postponed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2020-2021. Below are highlights, listed by year:

 

2021

 

  • North Shore Center for the Performing Arts "Out Back Summer Sessions," Skokie, IL

  • Third Annual Jewish Food Festival, Mequon, WI 

  • Shir Tikvah in ​Homewood, IL

 

 

2020 

  • “Irving Berlin: The Ultimate Jewish Immigrant” with Charles Troy, Scottsdale, AZ

  • Alex was selected as a soloist in a virtual worldwide event, “Beregovski's Musical Treasures: 35 Klezmer Fiddlers: 12 Countries, 158 Nigunim.”  

  • Outdoor Socially Distanced Concert: Sheridan Music Studios, Highland Park

  • Livestream Concert via Zoom for Chicago YIVO 

 

2019

  • “The Creation of Fiddler on the Roof” with Charles Troy, Scottsdale, AZ

  • Hanukkah with Rabbi Joe Black, North Shore Congregation Israel, Glencoe, IL

  • “Sukkot on Maxwell Street Market, Chicago, IL

  • YIVO Summer Series, Northbrook Library, IL

  • LGBTQ Fundraiser with Pete Buttigieg, Chicago, IL

  • JUF Cultural Council 50th Anniversary Gala, Grand Rapids, MI

 

2018

  • Greater Chicago Jewish Festival

  • Benefit Concert for Ralph Wilder, Oakton Community College, Skokie, IL

2017

  • February 20: NPR Station WBEZ, “Worldview”

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project

  • Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

  • The Whole Megillah: The History of Yiddish Theater with Charles Troy, Temple Chai, Long Grove, IL 

  • “Music at Moser” Performing Arts Series, University of St. Francis, Joliet, IL

  • International Convention of the Federation of Cantors, Westmont, IL

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project, SPACE Evanston, IL

  • "History, Klezmer and Horas! The Journey of Jewish Music from Europe to America," Kol Hadash Congregation, Highland Park, IL

  • Concerts in Northbrook, Peoria, Evanston, Skokie, Long Grove, 

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project, Congregation Etz Chaim, Lombard, IL

  • “Wintertanz,” Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah, Wilmette, IL

  • Congregations Agudas Achim and Anshe Emeth, Peoria, IL 

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL

  • “Winter Wonderland Express,” Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

2016

  • Awards: 2016 Skokie Artist of the Year Award

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project: SPACE Evanston and “Quarterly Inter-Religious Celebration,” DePaul University, Chicago, IL

  • City Winery, Chicago

  • Concerts in Skokie, Highland Park, 

  • “Music in the Square,”Woodstock Opera House, Woodstock, IL

  • North Shore Center for the Performing Arts 20th Anniversary Celebration, Skokie, IL

  • The Whole Megillah: The Story of the Yiddish Theater,” Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI

  • Hanukkah with Rabbi Joe Black and the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band 

  • Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL

  • “Harmony in the Holy Land” All-Day Seminar and Concert on Middle Eastern Music, Salaam-Shalom Music Project, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, WI

  • “Wintertanz,” Beth Hillel Bnai Emunah, Wilmette, IL

  • Live Broadcast, WFMT/FM, “Folkstage,” The Midnight Special Annual Hanukkah Program, Chicago, IL

  • “Winter Wonderland Express” Concerts, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

 

2015

  • ​ Chicago Lyric Opera "The Property: An Original Klezmer Opera”

  • “The Whole Megillah: The History of Yiddish Theater” with Charles Troy: Jacksonville and Palk Harbor, Florida, and Skokie Theatre, Skokie, IL

  • Live in Concert: WTTW Public Television 

  • “Klezmer Cabaret,” Metropolis Performing Art Center Arlington Heights, IL

  • Hanukkah Concerts, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

  • “Winter Wonderland Express” Concerts, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

 

2014

  • Tulsa Children's Museum Family Concert Series, Tulsa Performing Arts Center, OK

  • “Klezmer Rhapsody,” Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Symphony Center, Chicago, IL

  • Yiddish Festival, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

  • ​"The Whole Megillah: The Story of Yiddish Theater,” South Bend, IN

  • Celtic Arts Celebration Siamsa Na Ngael “If it Wasn’t for the Irish and the Jews,” Old St. Pat’s, Chicago

  • Hanukkah Concerts, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA

  • Evanston In-School Music Association (ESIMA), Evanston, IL

  • Yiddish Festival of Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI 

  • And concerts in Mundelein, Skokie, Highland Park, Addison, Chicago, Park Ridge, IL and Three Oak, MI

  • “Winter Wonderland Express” Concerts, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

2013

  • KlezmerFest, Louisville, KY

  • Maxwell Street Klezmer Band 30th Anniversary Concert, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago

  • Presidential Inaugural Ball, Democratic Party of Evanston, IL

  • "Chicago Reflections," Northwestern University, Pick-Staiger Hall

  • "American Klezmer,"  musical by Ilya Levinson, Evanston, IL

  • City Winery Klezmer Brunch, Chicago

  • Loyola Academy High School "Diversity Week"

  • "Yiddishfest" Milwaukee, WI

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project,  Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement, Chicago

  • Maxwell Street 30th Anniversary, Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL 

  • Concerts in Homewood, Highland Park, Arlington Heights, Wilmette and Skokie, IL and in Milwaukee, WI

  • “Winter Wonderland Express” Concerts, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

2012

  • Jacksonville Jewish Center, Jacksonville, Florida

  • LGBTQ Fundraiser with Michelle Obama

  • Klezmer Dance Master Dancin' Steve Weintraub Leads Old-Country Dances, International Arts Festival Madden Arts Center, Decatur, IL 

  • Monthly "Klezmer Brunch,” City Winery, Chicago, IL 

  • Two Rivers Ethnic Festival, Two Rivers, WI 

  • Concerts in Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Skokie, Des Plaines, Orland Park, and Oak Park, IL 

  • Art Institute Wreathing of the Lions, Chicago

  • “Winter Wonderland Express” Concerts, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

 

2011

  • “Eight Nights of Joy with Rabbi Joe Black,” Denver, CO

  • Salaam-Shalom Music Project, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago

  • 10th Anniversary of Atrium Theater, at Christian Heritage Academy, Northfield, IL

  • Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL;

  • Maurice Sendak Exhibit at Highland Park and Oak Park Libraries, IL

  • Hanukkah Concert, Art Institute, Chicago, IL

  • “Winter Wonderland Express” Concerts, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

 

2010

  • Opening of Chagall Windows Special Exhibit, Art Institute, Chicago

  • July 4th Parades in Skokie and Highland Park (and every year till 2021 except Pandemic)

  • Klezmer Festival, Kansas City, MO 

  • Purdue University, Notre Dame, IN

  • Art Institute of Chicago Holiday Concert

  • WFMT's "Introductions" Broadcast with the Junior Klezmer Orchestra

2009

  • ​“Eight Nights of Joy” with Rabbi Joe Black, Albuquerque, NM.

  • Munich Klezmer Festival, Germany

  • Tolerance Center, Vilnius, Lithuania

  • “Atataria lamzdžiai” Folk Music Festival, Kaunas Military Hall, Kaunas, Lithuania

  • Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts, Reno, Nevada

  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Champaign-Urbana, IL

  • Bradley University, Peoria, IL

  • Hanukkah Concert, Art Institute, Chicago, IL

  • WFMT/FM's "Folk Stage" Hanukkah Broadcast

 

2008

  • Band’s 25th Anniversary Concert: “Folk Stage” (WFMT/FM, Midnight Special) 

  • North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie, IL

  • “Eight Nights of Joy” with Rabbi Joe Black, Albuquerque, NM

  • “Chicago Tonight,” WTTW Chicago Public Television and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

  • LGBTQ Fundraiser with Sen. Barack Obama for President

  • Record Release Party: "Eight Nights of Joy" with Rabbi Joe Black, Barnes and Noble, Skokie

  • Timothy Christian High School, Elmhurst, IL

  • Opera House, Sandwich, IL

  • Concerts: Normal, Highland Park, Hoffman Estates, Long Grove, Schaumburg, Evanston, Oak Brook, Skokie, IL, 

  • Two Rivers Folk Festival, Two Rivers, WI

  • Chicago Summerdance, Chicago, IL

 

2007

  • Furth Klezmer Festival, Furth, Germany

  • North Miami Beach, FL

  • “River Music Experience,” Davenport, IA

  • Concerts in Daley Plaza, Chicago; Romeoville, Schaumburg, Rockford, Evanston, Skokie, Arlington Heights, Lincolnshire IL and Beloit, WI

  • Winter Wonderland (Hanukkah) Concert, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

  • Spertus Museum Gala Opening, Chicago

  • Art Institute of Chicago, “Wreathing of the Lions”

  • ​Live album taping of “Eight Nights of Joy” with Rabbi Joe Black, Temple Sholom, Chicago

2006

  • Workmen's Circle of New York, Damrosch Park, NY, NY

  • Genesis at the Crossroads Interfaith Concert, Chicago, IL

  • World Folk Music Festival, Chicago, IL

  • Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

  • “Chagall’s Fiddler and Friends, ”Art Institute, Chicago, IL

  • Concerts in Evanston, Niles, Skokie, Highland Park, Schaumburg, IL and Kalamazoo and Mequon, WI

  • Chicago: “Great Performers of Illinois,” Millennium Park; Daley Plaza; Chicago Public Library

  • “Wonderland Express” Holiday Concert: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

 

2005

  • KlezVienna Festival, Austria

  • Congregation Oheb Shalom, South Orange, New Jersey, klezmer workshops and concert

  • Schauer Arts Center, Hartford, Wisconsin

  •  Jewish Music Festival, JCC, West Bloomfield, Michigan

2004

  • The Boca Raton Jewish Music Festival, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL

  • Temple Israel, Omaha, Nebraska

  • ​Concerts for Villages of River Grove, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Highland Park, Skokie, Lincolnwood, Arlington Heights, Evanston, IL and Milwaukee, WI

  • Annual Dinner for Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies

 

2003

  • Shryock Auditorium, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

  • Genesis at the Crossroads Arab-Jewish Arts Concert

  • Concerts: Skokie, Evanston, Highland Park, River Grove, Palos Heights

  • "Celebrations" Holiday Concert, Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe, IL (2003-2018)

 

2002

  • Forde Folk Music Festival, Norway

  • Kultursommer Nordhessen and Mittelhessen, Germany 

  • Chicago Summerdance Series, Grant Park, Chicago, IL

  • Concerts in 24 Schools (EISMA, Evanston, IL)

  • Released fourth album, “Old Roots, New World” (Shanachie Entertainment Corp.)

  • 2002 Music for soundtrack: ABC Network Television, “State of Grace”

 

2001

  • Festival of Jewish Culture, Munich, Germany

  • Klezmer Festival, Kansas City, MI

  • “A Night in Jerusalem,” Dallas, TX;

  • Tecumseh Civic Auditorium, Tecumseh, MI and Wariner Auditorium, Mount Pleasant, MI and West Bloomfield, MI

  • Genesis at the Crossroads Arab-Jewish Unity Concert (Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL)

 

2000

  • Kultursommer Festival, Kassel, Germany

  • 7th International Festival of Yiddish Music (Furth, Germany)

  • 2000 Live concert filming: Wild Chicago, WTTW Public Television

  •  “Do It Yourself Hanukkah” with David Broza and Rabbi Joe Black, broadcast on WTTW Public Television, Chicago

  • Jewish Arts Foundation, Palm Beach, Florida, 

  • Midwest Tour: Omaha, NB; Des Moines, IA; Grinnell, IA; Kirksville, MO; Milwaukee, WI; Grand Rapids, MI.

  • Genesis at the Crossroads Arab-Jewish Unity Concert (Chicago Cultural Center)

  • Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins (North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie, IL)

  • Monthly concerts at Zhivago Restaurant (until 2009)

  • Published Klezmer Band Book, Joy of Klez (Tara Publications)

 

​1999

  • Performance Art Series, U. of Judaism, Los Angeles, CA

  • Chicago Summerdance Festival 

  • Jewish Arts Festival, Dallas, TX

  • Premiere of “Klezmer Rhapsody” at Symphony Center Day of Music (Chicago)

  • Do-It Yourself Hanukkah, (Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago)

  • Staged original family musical, “Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins” (North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skokie, IL)

  • Featured on “Wild Chicago” at Zhivago Restaurant (WTTW Public Television)

  • 1999 1/2 hour special: Artbeat Chicago, WTTW Public Television

 

1998

  • Carnegie Hall, New York

  • Sponsored and Performed in Midwest Klezmer and Yiddish Music Institute featuring Theodore Bikel (Skokie, Illinois)

  • Charleston Heights Art Center (Las Vegas, NV)

  • European Tour: London’s Barbican Theatre, Vienna’s Mozart-Saal, Munich, Amsterdam, The Hague, Enschede

​1997

  • “Do It Yourself Hanukkah” with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, and Debbie Friedman, for the Old Town School of Folk Music

  • Opened for Comedian Alan King (Skokie, IL)

  • Gindi Theater, University of Judaism (Los Angeles, California)

1996

  • The Knitting Factory (NY, NY)

  • Gindi Theater of the University of Judaism (LA, CA);

  • Sponsored and performed at the  Midwest Klezmer & Yiddish Music Institute (Skokie, IL)

  • “Do-It-Yourself-Hanukkah” with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, sponsored by the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago

  • 1996 Two interviews w/live music on Aaron Freeman's Metropolis, WBEZ (NPR)

  • Released third album, “You Should Be So Lucky!” (Shanachie Entertainment Corp)

 

1995

  • Sponsored and performed at the Midwest Klezmer and Yiddish Music Institute (Skokie, IL)

  • Appeared on “World Stage Chicago,” WTTW Public Television

 

1994

  • Featured artist, 4th Festival of Jewish Music in Furth, Germany

 

  • 1993

  • Appeared on WGN/Channel 9 TV, “Chicago's Very Own”

1992

  • Graz Music Festival, Austria

  • Zurich JCC

  • Bern Municipal Museum (Switzerland)

  • Released second album, “Sweet Early Years” (formerly “Maxwell Street Wedding”)

1989

  • Alex Koffman immigrates from Minsk, Belarus (USSR), becomes band’s keyboardist, then violinist (1990), then musical director (1991)

 

1987

  • Café Continental bi-weekly concerts (until 1997)

  • Greater Chicago Jewish Arts Festival (and every other year until Pandemic)

 

1986

  • Released first album (as LP): “Maxwell Street Days”

 

1984-1985

  • Two Interviews, The Studs Terkel Show, WFMT/FM

  • University of Chicago Folk Festival

 

1983

Lori Lippitz founds the band