The soulful and inimitable Eleanor Reissa and the “mystical high priest of New Wave Avant-Klez jazz” Frank London have been inspiring each other for over a decade. Together with the great Klezmer Brass Allstars, whose recording Carnival Conspiracy was in Rolling Stone’s top ten world music recordings of 2006, they explore the world of Yiddish song, from the obscure to the chestnuts. Their music together combines the blasphemous with the blessed, pulling the past into the future and up to the heavens. Eleanor Reissa & Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars celebrated the release of their first album together – Vilde Mekhaye (Wild Ecstasy) – in June of 2016.
Eleanor Reissa is a Tony nominated director, an Israel Prize nominated musical-theatre adapter, an award-winning playwright, a choreographer, actor, and singer. On Broadway she directed, choreographed and starred in Those Were the Days which received two Tony nominations including for her direction. She directed Robert Klein at Town Hall in a new review From Moses to Mostel with music by Frank London, and Sally Field in the workshop of The Scutley Papers by Jamie Wax. For six years, she was Artistic Director of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene in NYC. Later she was commissioned by them to adapt, direct and choreograph Hershele Ostropolyer with Mike Burstyn. It transferred to Tel Aviv where it was nominated for the Israel Prize in Musical Theatre.
In New York, she mentors new works as well as interpreting classics; from Cowgirls (an Off-Broadway country/classical musical) to John Galsworthy’s The Skin Game and three other plays for the Mint Theater. She received an honorary chair at Colgate University, where she directed and choreographed The Threepenny Opera. She has sung in Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Skirball Center as well as Drom and The Stone and in festivals in Amsterdam, Warsaw, Berlin, and Butte, Montana. Her recordings include Gems of Yiddish Song, Songs in the Key of Yiddish, Just Add Water (with Di Boyess) and most recently Vilde Mekhaye with Frank London’s Klezmer Brass Allstars.
She is an accomplished writer and an anthology of her work The Last Survivor and Other Modern Jewish Plays has just been published. Current projects: the libretto of a new opera based on Isaac Bashevis Singers’ Taibele and Her Demon, with music by Judd Greenstein.
Sir Frank London is a Grammy-award winning trumpeter and composer, founder of the Klezmatics, Glass House Orchestra, Sharabi, Shekhinah Big Band, Hasidic New Wave, and his Klezmer Brass Allstars. He’s been called the “mystical high priest of New Wave Avant-Klez jazz”. He has performed and recorded with John Zorn, Karen O, Itzhak Perlman, Pink Floyd, LL Cool J, Mel Tormé, Lester Bowie, LaMonte Young, LaMonte Young, They Might Be Giants, David Byrne, Jane Siberry, Ben Folds 5, Mark Ribot, and is featured on over 400 CDs. His works include the folk-opera A Night In The Old Marketplace, the multi-media dance/poetry/video Salomé, Woman of Valor (with Adeena Karasick), Davenen for Pilobolus Dance Theater, 1001 Voices: A Symphony for Queens (text – Judith Sloan, video – Warren Lehrer) and the Yiddish opera in a Cuban nightclub, Hatuey – Memory of Fire. London is Artistic Director of KlezKanada, was music director for David Byrne and Robert Wilson’s The Knee Plays and has been featured on HBO’s Sex And The City. He received the Hungarian Order of Merit knighthood for his work in Jewish music.