Grammy nominated clarinetist/world music star David Krakauer and acclaimed pianist-composer Kathleen Tagg come together in a passionate, eclectic and highly personal musical journey that they call “Breath and Hammer.” Enhanced by an immersive video feed, this unique collaboration is made up of Krakauer & Tagg’s arrangements of John Zorn, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and Cuban percussionist Roberto Rodriguez plus original compositions with influences ranging from interlocking African drumming patterns to romantic symphonic music to minimalism to klezmer. These diverse and seemingly disparate musical influences intermingle, transformed into something entirely new, a hybrid art form that bridges the cultures of the past and new work that looks towards the future.
Performers: David Krakauer, clarinet and Kathleen Tagg, piano
DAVID KRAKAUER, clarinet, redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles, he occupies the unique position of being one of the world’s leading exponents of Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and at the same time is a major voice in classical music. As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, David Krakauer tours the globe with his celebrated Klezmer Madness! ensemble. His newest project, The Big Picture, re-imagines familiar themes by such renowned film music composers. In addition, Mr. Krakauer is in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the finest ensembles including the Emerson, Orion and Kronos String Quartets, as well as orchestras. His discography contains some of the most important klezmer recordings of the past decade including six CDs under his own name: two on John Zorn’s Tzadik Label and four on Label Bleu; plus collaborations with the Klezmatics, Itzak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet/Osvaldo Golijov and Socalled. Abraham Inc’s “Tweet-Tweet” on his own label, Table Pounding Records (and Label Bleu in Europe) was released in early 2010. David Krakauer is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of Mannes College of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, NYU and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. His unique sound can be heard as soloist in Danny Elfman’s score for the film “Taking Woodstock” and throughout “The Tango Lesson”.
KATHLEEN TAGG is a multi-faceted musician forging a unique path by moving seamlessly between genres and roles. Based in New York since 2001, the South African pianist, composer and producer has performed on four continents in leading venues such as Carnegie Hall, had her original music performed in venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center, appeared on a host of recordings of classical, world music and multi-genre recordings and produced numerous recordings and inter-disciplinary programs from South Africa to Los Angeles. Her work has been released on record labels NAXOS, Table Pounding Records, Ossia Records and Gallo Africa. In 2014 she was appointed to the faculty of SongFest in Los Angeles in 2014, and she was a 2014-15 Fellow of the Dramatist Guild of America. She has performed with artists such as David Krakauer, Paquito D’Rivera, Matt Haimovitz, Kinan Azmeh, Kevork Mourad, SongFusion Jnai Brugger and Regina Zona. Commissions include the Suidooster Festival for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, David Krakauer and the Jewish Culture Fest Vienna. Her full-length musical, Erika’s Wall, created with Sophie Jaff, received its premiere run in Chicago in 2010 by The Music Theater Company under the direction of Jessica Redish.
Listen to the interview featuring David Krakauer, Kathleen Tagg and Festival Artistic Director Linda Chesis on WAMC’s The Roundtable.