Internationally acclaimed clarinetist DAVID KRAKAUER redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles including classical chamber music, Eastern European Jewish klezmer music, and avant-garde improvisation, Krakauer lies way beyond “cross-over”. His best-selling classical and klezmer recordings further define his brilliant tone, virtuosity and imagination.
As one of the foremost musicians of the vital new wave of klezmer, David Krakauer tours the globe with his celebrated Klezmer Madness! ensemble. While firmly rooted in traditional klezmer folk tunes, the band “hurls the tradition of klezmer music into the rock era” (Jon Pareles, The New York Times). With Klezmer Madness!, Krakauer has forged alliances among his genre of world music and jazz, rock, funk and hip-hop. It simultaneously shouts out to those who remember “yesterday’s” klezmer and to the hard dance clubbers and world music enthusiasts of today.
In addition to annual European tours to major international festivals and jazz clubs, Krakauer and his band have performed at the Library of Congress, Stanford Lively Arts, San Francisco Performances, Hancher Auditorium, and Symphony Space in New York. European venues have included the Venice Biennale, Krakow Jewish Culture Festival, BBC Proms, Saalfelden Jazz Festival, La Cigale, WOMEX, New Morning in Paris, and many others.
Krakauer is also in demand worldwide as a guest soloist with the finest ensembles. Recent collaborations have included the Tokyo String Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Lark Quartet, Eiko and Koma, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Barcelona and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. He had an 8 year tenure with the Naumburg Award-winning Aspen Wind Quintet, and has also has enjoyed enduring relationships with Summer festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Aspen Music Festival.
In the Spring of 2003 Krakauer performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as soloist with the Kronos Quartet in a performance of their renowned collaboration on Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. Mr. Krakauer was invited to perform with his band in the Spring of 2004 for the inaugural season of Carnegie’s new theater, Zankel Hall, in collaboration with renowned jazz pianist Uri Caine. Krakauer performed music written for him by Osvaldo Golijov for the BBC documentary Holocaust, A Music Memorial from Auschwitz, which won the International Emmy in the performance category (2005). He was guest artist on tour in 2006 with the Emerson String Quartet and in 2007/08 with the Orion String Quartet, both projects that will continue to tour.
Krakauer’s discography contains some of the most important klezmer recordings of the past decade. His first release on the prestigious French jazz label Label Bleu (harmonia mundi usa), “A New Hot One!” was hailed a masterwork. His CD “The Twelve Tribes”, released in Fall ’02, was designated album of the year in the jazz category for the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the most important and established music award in Germany. "Klezmer, NY" (1988) on John Zorn’s Tzadik label ‑ features his visionary suite, "A Klezmer Tribute to Sidney Bechet," written in honor of the 100th birthday of the legendary jazz clarinetist. Also on Tzadik is "Klezmer Madness" ‑ one of the label’s best‑selling discs. Other CDs include the groundbreaking "Rhythm and Jews" (Piranha/Flying Fish) and "Jews with Horns" (Piranha/Green Linnet) with the Klezmatics; “In the Fiddler’s House" with violinist Itzhak Perlman and the Klezmatics; and chamber music recordings on the Musical Heritage and New York Philomusica labels. His CD, “David Krakauer Live in Krakow”, was released in 2004 (Label Bleu/harmonia mundi usa), and his new CD, “Bubbemeises: Lies My Gramma Told Me”, featuring his collaboration with Jewish hip hop beat architect Socalled, was released in Europe in May 2005 and is due for its U.S. release by Spring of 2006.
Krakauer has had major profiles in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The International Herald Tribune, and Downbeat, Jazz Times, Jazziz and Chamber Music magazines. The performance of Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness! at Joe’s Pub on April 30th 2005 was picked one of the best performances of the year in AllAboutJazz-New York’s Best of 2005. David is on the clarinet and chamber music faculties of the Mannes College of Music of the New School University, the Manhattan School of Music and the Bard Conservatory of Music.