David Krakauer

David Krakauer ( born September 22, 1956 in Manhattan, New York City ) is an American clarinetist. He is one of the best known klezmer musician of the present and became internationally known mainly as a member of The Klezmatics. Since the 90s, he combines traditional elements of klezmer music with avant-garde currents, eg with dance floor.

Life and work

Krakauer's mother was a violin teacher, his father a doctor. At age nine, he began playing clarinet after unsuccessful piano lessons. Later he studied at the Julliard School in Leon Russianoff, Sarah Lawrence College, a year at the Conservatoire in Paris, at Vassar College and the Manhattan School of Music, where he teaches today. His training took place in the traditional way. I did not grow up with any Chanukah songs or any Israeli songs. I grew up listening to beak of basically playing the late Beethoven piano sonatas, and when to I was eleven Sidney Bechet. It was not until the mid-80s, he found his love for klezmer. Realized I did klezmer music what the Yiddish language in music, and I felt in a Certain way did I had found a kind of musical home.

In 1986 he was co-founder of The Klezmatics and played on their albums Shvaygn = Toyt (1989 ), Rhythm and Jews (1992) and last Jews With Horns with. He left the group in 1994 to start a new project, Klezmer Madness! , As its producer and musician, he receives albums with various musicians. This plays a danceable klezmer, which is influenced by jazz, rock, funk, soul, blues and hip hop.

The first album, Klezmer Madness! , He produced himself and took it together with the musicians Anthony Coleman (keyboards), Adam Rogers ( guitar ), Michael Alpert (violin, guitar, accordion ), David Light ( drums), Juan Ortega (drums, timbales ) and Oscar Ortega ( Congas ). On the second, 1998's album Klezmer, NY, he worked again with electric guitarist Rogers as well as with Ted Reichman (accordion), Kevin Norton (drums, percussion) and Oren Bloedow ( electric bass).

In 1999 Krakow to the French Label Bleu, where in the spring of 2000, the third album, A new hot one appeared. He took his songs with accordion player Reichman, Norton drummer and electric guitarist Mark Stewart, the electric bassist and singer Pablo Aslan Nicki Parrott. On the fourth album, The twelve tribes, also published by Bleu, he collaborated again with Norton and Parrott and Rogers. The other musicians were Kevin O'Neil ( guitar ), Will Holshouser (accordion ) and the Canadian DJ socalled who was experimenting with klezmer and hip hop and responsible for samples on the album. On his sixth album, Bubbemeises, Krakauer has collaborated with socalled, with whom he also gave concerts, around 2008 the Festival Spot on Yiddishkeit in the Vienna Konzerthaus.

Krakauer has collaborated among others with the Kronos Quartet.



  • W. M. Naumburg Chamber Music Award 1984 ( at the Aspen Wind Quintet )
  • Prize of the German Record Critics' Award 2002: Best Jazz Album of the Year for The twelve Tribes