David Krakauer

BIOGRAPHY

Only a select few artists have the ability to convey their message to the back row, to galvanize an audience with a visceral power that connects on a universal level. David Krakauer is such an artist. Widely considered one of the greatest clarinetists on the planet, he has been praised internationally as a key innovator in modern klezmer as well as a major voice in classical music.

Known simply as "Krakauer" to his fervent following, he is nothing less than an American original who has embarked on a tremendous journey transforming the music of his Eastern European Jewish heritage into something uniquely contemporary. That journey has lead Krakauer to an astounding diversity of projects and collaborations ranging from solo appearances with orchestras to major festival concerts with his own improvisation based bands.

He has shared the stage with a wide array of artists such as the Klezmatics, Fred Wesley, Itzhak Perlman, Socalled, Eiko and Koma, Leonard Slatkin and Iva Bitova while being sought after by such composers as Danny Elfman, Osvaldo Golijov, David Del Tredici, John Zorn, George Tsontakis, Mohammed Fairouz and Wlad Marhulets to interpret their works. In addition, he has performed with renowned string quartets including the Kronos, Tokyo and the Emerson and as soloist with orchestras such as the Orchestre de Lyon, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Madrid, the Phoenix Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Dresdener Philharmonie and the Detroit Symphony, among many others.

Writer Mark Stryker hinted at the visceral nature of Krakauer's performance in his Detroit Free Press review: "Krakauer played with astounding virtuosity and charisma. A furiously improvised cadenza leapt between low and high registers in a way that suggested John Coltrane, building to an excited peak. After the concerto he also offered an encore, improvising by himself with an air of ritual, before playing a swift klezmer dance with the orchestra."

Having been showered with accolades for his groundbreaking work in classical, klezmer and jazz, Krakauer now finds himself at an artistic crossroads and is ready to make a daring leap into a new phase in his career. His next project, The Big Picture, may be his most adventurous to date. With an all-star crew of fellow musical renegades, Krakauer is re-imagining familiar themes by such renowned film music composers as John Williams, Marvin Hamlisch, Randy Newman, Wojciech Kilar and Vangelis, as well as interpreting melodic gems by the likes of Sidney Bechet, Sergei Prokofiev, Mel Brooks, Ralph Burns, John Kander & Fred Ebb and Jerry Bock that have appeared in popular films. Having already contributed to films by directors Ang Lee and Sally Potter, Krakauer now takes on the challenge of bringing a modernist vision to tunes that resonate on a deeply emotional level with generations of moviegoers.

"For me, it's like putting on a new suit of clothes," says Krakauer of The Big Picture. "And this project is also a way for me to connect the dots of all the music I've been playing throughout my career. So I'm very excited about this new step we're taking."

What people are saying about Krakauer:

"Krakauer's playing is transportive, it knocks on the door of mystical consciousness but then you want to clap your hands and stomp your feet and shout. Music doesn't happen in the heavens; it's mundane, phenomenal, earthy. No matter the transcendent intention, music is a deeply physical act. And Krakauer's clarinet playing–fingers, breath and lips, the spittle and the calluses, the clacking of the keys–is grossly human. And as making music is physical, so is the listening. To listen to David Krakauer is to hear humility in the face of a great and lasting tradition while witnessing the essential rebellion that keeps culture moving, adapting, insisting. It's about making clay tablets so to smash them, and then put the pieces in a box so the next generation can have them. Krakauer's music reminds us to never sit still. God did not finish creating on the seventh day. He merely rested, waiting for us to continue the work. Krakauer is one of God's greatest artificers."
— Peter Bebergal, author of Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood

"Discovering [klezmer] changed everything for me. It really did. Because I just fell madly in love with the music. My parents are both musicians— my father was a clarinetist, my mother was a really great bassoonist; she recorded with Stravinsky. Listening to David Krakauer had a tremendously powerful effect [on me]. It helped me discover Yiddish again, which was hugely important."
— Tony Kushner, playwright & screenwriter (Angels in America, Lincoln) quoted in Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk About Being Jewish by Abigail Pogrebin

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Photo credit GMD Three

ADDITIONAL PROGRAMS

Please CC David's management, Steven Saporta, on all inquiries

The Big Picture

The Big Picture explores the inseparable relationship between music and movies while reminding the audience of their incomparable contribution as co-stars. Clarinetist extraordinaire David Krakauer’s otherworldly interpretations of the music found in a myriad of moviegoer favorites including Sophie’s Choice, Life is Beautiful, The Pianist, Radio Days, and more, will transport the audience to the shores of their memory banks while expanding their appreciation of one of life’s great couples — music and movies.

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CONTACT

North America:

Marc Baylin
Baylin Artists Management
mbaylin@baylinartists.com
(267) 880-3750
View Resource Page

France:
Maïté
LMD Productions
maite@maitemusic.com
33 1 48 57 51 48

UK/Europe:
Manfred Seipt
Arts & Entertainment Productions
manfred.seipt@aeplive.co.uk

Europe:
Jakob Flarer
Saudades Tourneen
jakob@saudades.at

David Krakauer with Orchestra: Cultures In Conversation

Internationally acclaimed clarinetist David Krakauer 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. Many of the world’s leading composers are taking the opportunity to incorporate Krakauer’s klezmer stylings into new compositions, engaging in cross-cultural dialogue from the contemporary perspective of a post-globalized world, while using one of culture’s oldest languages: music. Krakauer now offers a bold new repertoire that speaks to today’s world while remaining utterly timeless.

David Krakauer has been guest soloist with the Dresdener Philharmonie, the Pacific Symphony, the Detroit Symphony,the Phoenix Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the New World Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Komische Oper Berlin and many others.

CONTACT

North & South America:
Christina Baker
Baker Artists
cb@bakerartistsllc.com
(646) 360-2677

Europe:
Manfred Seipt
Arts & Entertainment Productions
manfred.seipt@aeplive.co.uk

Krakauer-Tagg Duo: Breath and Hammer
David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg have been performing as a duo since 2012, in music ranging from classical composers such as Brahms, Debussy and Janacek, all the way to contemporary trailblazers. Their latest project, Breath and Hammer, is an innovative re-imagining of the traditional clarinet and piano recital that integrates folk and improvisation-based music with classical masterworks. Via their own lush and adventurous new arrangements, they are able to fully exploit Krakauer’s use of extended techniques, improvisation and circular breathing on the clarinet, and Tagg’s tremendous prowess inside the piano to use it as a harp, a zither, a drum and a cello. In addition to utilizing the full range of timbres that can be imagined from both instruments, they also work with a sound designer to even further expand the scope of sonic possibilities by incorporating electronic effects and layers. The repertoire of “Breath and Hammer” is made up of “simple songs” by composers as diverse as New York-based visionary John Zorn, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov, as well as original compositions by Krakauer and Tagg, traditional South African music, and 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.

CONTACT

World:
Steven Saporta
Invasion Group
steven@invasiongroup.com
212-414-0505 x102

Krakauer's Ancestral Groove

For over two decades, world-renowned clarinetist David Krakauer has been reinventing and remixing the Jewish music of his ancestry with the sensibility of a contemporary musician strongly informed by funk, jazz and hip-hop. Starting with his work with The Klezmatics and then his early recordings on John Zorn’s Radical Jewish Culture imprint, Krakauer has forged an incomparable musical path that’s included landmark collaborations with luminaries like funk legend Fred Wesley, the Kronos Quartet, beat-wizard Socalled, leading symphony orchestras, rappers, celebrated composers and musicians of all kinds.

Krakauer’s newest program, Ancestral Groove, represents the next step in this unique musical evolution. Following the European release of Best Of, a collection of tracks from his years on Label Bleu, Ancestral Groove sees Krakauer remixing Krakauer, hitting the road with new arrangements of his classic tunes with a new DJ and an electrifying 4-piece band. The program also includes cuts from Krakauer’s most recent recording, Pruflas, a collection of songs penned by Zorn and arranged by Krakauer for the Book of Angels series on Tzadik Records.

CONTACT

North & South America and Asia:
Steven Saporta
Invasion Group
steven@invasiongroup.com
212-414-0505 x102

France:
Maïté
LMD Productions
maite@maitemusic.com
33 1 48 57 51 48

Rest of Europe:
Jakob Flarer
Saudades Tourneen
jakob@saudades.at

Krakauer Acoustic Klezmer Quartet

David Krakauer, one of the most important and influential musicians in new Jewish music today and of the vital new wave of klezmer, is known mostly for his amplified sound pushing the boundaries of klezmer to include elements of jazz, rock, funk and hip-hop. For chamber music series and smaller venues, we offer this program in which he plays acoustic versions of his music with his quartet.

World:
Steven Saporta
Invasion Group
steven@invasiongroup.com
212-414-0505 x102

Abraham Inc. with David Krakauer, Fred Wesley & Socalled

An unprecedented collaboration between three cultural visionaries: DAVID KRAKAUER, champion of klezmer music and world-class clarinetist; legendary funk trombonist and arranger FRED WESLEY, celebrated for his work with James Brown and George Clinton; and hip-hop renegade and beat architect SOCALLED - Abraham Inc. heralds a time when boundaries are eroding, mutual respect is presumed, and musical traditions can hit with full force without concession or appropriation. Backed by a three-piece horn section led by Wesley plus musicians who collaborate frequently with Krakauer and Socalled - and the result is an all-out klezmer-funk dance party!

Abraham Inc.’s debut release Tweet Tweet peaked at #1 in Funk and #1 in Jewish and Yiddish Music (first album to top these two genres?), and #35 in music sales on Amazon. It reached #7 in Jazz on Billboard and was featured at #40 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart for fastest sellers.

CONTACT

North & South America and Asia:
Steven Saporta
Invasion Group
steven@invasiongroup.com
212-414-0505 x102

France:
Maïté
LMD Productions
maite@maitemusic.com
33 1 48 57 51 48

Rest of Europe:
Jakob Flarer
Saudades Tourneen
jakob@saudades.at

Akoka – The End of Time
David Krakauer, Matt Haimovitz* and friends

Cellist Matt Haimovitz and clarinetist David Krakauer have come together to create a new project centered around Olivier Messaien's Quartet for the End of Time. Given that this piece was composed in a prisoner of war camp in the midst of tremendous world upheaval, and that the subject matter of the quartet describes cataclysmic events (the end of time itself), Haimovitz and Krakauer have created a program of music surrounding and commenting on this aspect of the Messaien.

The point of departure is the fact that the clarinetist Henri Akoka who gave the premiere in the prison camp, was Jewish. Metaphorically, to focus on Akoka's story (not literally, but rather poetically through music) is to bring out the human aspect of this composition seen through the "eyes" of one individual caught up in terrifying events beyond his control. Indeed, as the forces of fundamentalism, intolerance and violence intensify in today’s world, this project seems all the more timely. The Messiaen work is bookmarked between two new compositions in a way that "lifts" it out of the polite confines of a normal chamber music performance. Krakauer and Haimovitz first developed this project at the Banff Centre for the Arts in May 2007 where it received an enthusiastic standing ovation.

CONTACT

World:
Steven Saporta
Invasion Group
steven@invasiongroup.com
212-414-0505 x102

PRESS

Selected Press Quotes

The New York Times - The Big Picture performance review

San Francisco Chronicle - Klezmer Gets a Hip Hop Vibe

The New York Times - David Krakauer classical performance review

Tablet - The Big Picture performance review

What's On in Cape Town - Beyond Crossover performance review

Land of Compassion - Krakauer feature

I Care If You Listen - Akoka performance review

FOR INQUIRIES OR QUESTIONS, CONTACT:

Management:

Steven Saporta
Invasion Group, Ltd
steven@invasiongroup.com
212.414.0505