Lee Musiker, Music Director
Grammy and Emmy Award winning Pianist, Conductor, Music Director, Arranger/Orchestrator/Composer Lee Musiker has established a distinguished and multifaceted career as both soloist and collaborator with the premier artists in the Classical, Operatic, Broadway, Jazz and Pop music genres.
A Steinway Artist, Lee Musiker has performed with the New York Philharmonic and Principal Brass Quintet, Mostly Mozart, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, American Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Pops, Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Philly Pops and Hollywood Bowl Orchestras.
Mr. Musiker has guest conducted The New York Philharmonic, the Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, National, St. Louis Symphony Orchestras and was Music Director/ Principal Conductor of the Palm Beach Pops for the 2014/15 season. Other conducting credits include the Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Henry Mancini Institute Orchestras, and Music Director/Conductor for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.
As arranger/orchestrator/composer, Mr. Musiker has written for symphonic, chamber and pops orchestras, big band, brass quintet, for classical, operatic, Broadway, jazz and cabaret artists, and for film, television, recordings and jingles.
Lee is a recipient of Grammy and Emmy awards, a Platinum Album, television appearances include PBS "Live from Lincoln Center" and "Great Performances", was a guest on NPR's Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz", Judy Carmichael's "Jazz Inspired" and was featured in Steinway and Keyboard magazines.
From 2001-2013 Lee toured as Music Director/Pianist for Tony Bennett- recordings include the multiple award- winning albums "Duets- An American Classic", "Duets 2", Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga collaboration "Cheek to Cheek". In 2021, Lee was Music Director/Pianist for their triumphant Radio City Music Hall concerts and CBS-TV special.
A native New Yorker and a fourth-generation musician, Lee received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music, with further studies at The Juilliard School and Bard College.
Mr. Musiker has served on the faculties of the Mannes School of Music, New School, New York University, has given Masterclasses at The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Program, Indiana University and was a visiting Guest Artist-in-residence at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Ravinia Steans Music Institute.
Lee Musiker has performed and/or recorded with this platinum roster of artists;
Classical Vocalists: Kathleen Battle, Harolyn Blackwell, Stephanie Blythe, Andrea Bocelli, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Josh Groban, Nathan Gunn, Marilyn Horne, Sylvia McNair, Julia Migenes, Dawn Upshaw, Deborah Voigt.
Jazz/Pop Vocalists: Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé, Ann Hampton Callaway, Natalie Cole, Judy Collins, Michael Feinstein, Aretha Franklin, Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Jewel, Billy Joel, Elton John, Norah Jones, Chaka Kahn, Diana Krall, kd Lang, Cyndi Lauper, Seth MacFarlane, Manhattan Transfer, John Mayer, Paul McCartney, Mark Murphy, Diane Reeves, Rod Stewart, Sting, Barbra Streisand, James Taylor, Mel Tormé.
Broadway Vocalists: Kristin Chenoweth, Barbara Cook, Sutton Foster, Joel Grey, Leslie Odom Jr., Kelli O'Hara, Audra McDonald, Maureen McGovern, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters.
Instrumentalists: Joshua Bell, George Benson, Chris Botti, Eddie Daniels, Peter Erskine, Wynton Marsalis, John Patitucci, John Pizzarelli, Buddy Rich, Doc Severinson, Byron Stripling, Jeff Tyzik, Dave Weckl, Phil Woods.
Composers: John Barry, Cy Coleman, Marvin Hamlisch, Mitch Leigh, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Mark Shaiman, John Williams, Maury Yeston.
Richie Barshay began drumming inside kitchen cabinets at an early age, and continues banging on things worldwide to this day. From his work with Herbie Hancock in the 2000s, to tours and recordings with Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, The Klezmatics, Fred Hersch, and Kenny Werner, he's been dubbed "a major rhythm voice on the rise" by Downbeat magazine, and The Guardian (UK) praises "a major innovator who also knows how to have fun." He’s also performed with Natalie Merchant, Bobby McFerrin, Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Donald Harrison, Lionel Loueke, Julian Lage, the Curtis Brothers, Gabriel Kahane, Pete Seeger, and the Tony Award winning musical The Band’s Visit on Broadway and national tour. Since 2004 he’s traveled across 5 continents as an American Musical Envoy with the U.S. State Department. Richie can be heard on over 90 recordings as a sideman, and on two self-produced albums as a leader: Sanctuary featuring Chick Corea (2014), and Homework featuring Herbie Hancock (2004). Based in Northampton, Massachusetts and New York City, he is an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher helping performing artists and others regain more body-mind coordination and ease of movement.
JEFFREY CARNEY (Bass) is touring bassist for Barbra Streisand and jazz great Bobby McFerrin. He has performed with Stan Getz, Sting, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Andrea Bocelli, Elton John and many more. Jeff is Principal bassist of the New York Pops Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. On Broadway, he has played first chair for Beauty and the Beast, Cyrano, The Secret Garden, Anything Goes, and Les Misérables. Studio/Film credits include Gemini Man, The Greatest Showman, HailCaesar!, Carol, Mr. Holmes, True Grit, Julie & Julia, The Good Shepherd, Secret Window, Shaft 2, The Producers, and many more. Jeff is a professor for The New School University’s Jazz and Contemporary Music school.
Steve Cohen (Music Preparation) received his training at the Manhattan, Eastman and Juilliard Schools of Music, and has composed a large catalog of symphonic, chamber, and choral pieces. As an arranger, Steve has supplied scores for the New York Pops, the New York Philharmonic, Maureen McGovern, the National Yiddish Theater: Folksbiene, and many shows, concerts and recordings. stevecohenmusic.net
Emmy Award-winning composer Gary Fry has achieved notable success in the fields of both commercial music and symphonic music. As composer/arranger for the popular Welcome, Yule! Christmas concerts of the renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 19 years, Fry has become the most-performed living composer by the CSO. He has written nearly a hundred works for them, as well as for the Dallas and Colorado symphony orchestras, the Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, and New York pops orchestras, the American Jazz Philharmonic, and other regional orchestras. Some of America’s most prominent churches have also commissioned sacred music for chorus and orchestra from Fry.
Long active in commercial music, Fry has composed for film, television, live theater, ballet, and more than 2500 radio and television commercials for McDonald’s, Sears, Kellogg’s, and hundreds of other major national advertisers. He received a 2006 Emmy Award for his work for Chicago’s CBS affiliate WBBM-TV. Air travelers hear Fry’s electronic version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue when passing through the United Airlines terminal at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
Music education and music for children are other areas in which Fry is active. He has arranged and produced albums of children’s music for Warner Brothers and Kid Rhino records. His teaching resumé includes positions on the faculties of the University of Miami, Northwestern University, and the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, and he has conducted workshops and seminars at many other educational institutions. Children’s choirs under Fry’s direction have performed at the White House, the United Nations, and Carnegie Hall. His extensive background in choral music has led to commissions from academic and professional vocal ensembles around the country, including the Chicago Symphony Singers, the Colorado Children’s Chorale, the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, and the University of Southern California.
Fry has also served as artistic director and composer-in-residence for the Rhythms of One World multinational choral festival at the United Nations in New York City and Geneva, Switzerland, and has produced two recordings featuring actual Ambassadors to the United Nations as instrumentalists and vocalists.
Ilya Shneyveys is an international performer, accordionist, multi-instrumentalist, conductor, teacher, composer, arranger and producer of contemporary Jewish music, from klezmer and Yiddish folk song to fusion and experimental projects.
With close to 20 years of experience in Yiddish music, Ilya is considered a master of the traditional klezmer accordion style, and a renowned interpreter of the music on many instruments (including guitar, bass, percussion, flutes and others). He creates original arrangements of traditional melodies, and composes contemporary pieces in the style, some of which have already become part of the modern-day klezmer repertoire. In his solo project, traditional instruments and sounds are combined with contemporary electronic music in a surprisingly compelling fusion. Among his many creative sides, Ilya is a sought-after improviser, conductor, accompanist and band leader.
A founding member of Berlin’s Neukölln Klezmer Sessions and the Shtetl Berlin festival, as well as a long-time faculty member at Yiddish Summer Weimar, Ilya regularly performs and teaches at major Jewish festivals around the world, including Yiddish Fest Moscow, Yiddish New York, Klezfest St.Petersburg, Klezfest London, KlezKanada, Montreal Jewish Festival, Toronto Ashkenaz Festival, Seattle Yiddish Fest, Krakow Jewish Festival and more.
Ilya is the artistic director and a founding member of the Yiddish psychedelic rock band Forshpil (Latvia), and a founding member of the Yiddish-Bavarian fusion project Alpen Klezmer (Germany), the winner of 2014 RUTH World Music Award at TFF Rudolstadt. In 2017-2021 he was the artistic director of the German-Israeli student exchange project The Caravan Orchestra, for which he was awarded the 2017 Shimon-Peres-Prize. As a touring member of the klezmer-balkan band Dobranotch (Russia) he received the Eiserne Eversteiner Preis in 2017. Among his other notable projects are the KaraYam Ensemble (exploration of the Yiddish-Greek-Turkish music connections) and the Black Rooster Band (resurrecting lost Jewish music from Latvian archives). He has performed and collaborated with The Klezmatics (USA), Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird (Germany) and many others.
Originally from Riga, Latvia, Ilya has traveled the world promoting Yiddish music and culture. He is currently a sought-after concert and simkha musician based in Brooklyn, NY, where he organizes community klezmer jam sessions and picnics,spreading the joy of klezmer.
Composer/violinist/vocalist Alicia Svigals is the world's leading klezmer fiddler and a founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics, who she co-directed for seventeen years. She has played and composed for violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Kronos Quartet, playwrights Tony Kushner and Eve Ensler, poet Allen Ginsburg, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and many others. She has appeared on David Letterman, MTV, PBS' Great Performances, on NPR's Prairie Home Companion and Weekend Edition. Svigals was awarded the Foundation for Jewish Culture's annual New Jewish Music Network Music Commission for her original live score to the 1918 film the Yellow Ticket and a Trust for Mutual Understanding grant to bring that work to Poland, and she has been a LABA Fellow and an NEA MacDowell Fellow. Her newest CD is Beregovski Suite, a collaboration with jazz pianist Uli Geissendoerfer exploring klezmer melodies collected in the early 20th century by Soviet Jewish ethnomusicologist Moshe Beregovski. She currently collaborates with pianist/composer Donald Sosin on original scores for newly-restored silent films: The Ancient Law, City Without Jews, and the soon to be released restoration of Elinor Antin’s faux-20’s Man Without a World. They've performed live to screenings of the films in dozens of shows around the world.
Clarinetist Michael Winograd is one of the leading performers of Jewish music today. He tours internationally with his Klezmer Band, the Honorable Mentshn, and his newest LP, Early Bird Special, was released in summer 2022. Michael has performed with many of the leading contemporary performers of Jewish music including Itzhak Perlman, Frank London, the Klezmer Conservatory Band, Lorin Sklamberg, Budowitz and many more. He was featured on Vulfpeck's 2016 album The Beautiful Game and appeared with them at a sold out concert at Madison Square Garden in 2019. He is a member of Yiddishe Pirat, Sandaraa and is the music director of Jac Weinstein's Helsinki Yiddish Cabaret, having recently premiered in Finland. His music has been featured in film and TV, most recently in HBO's And Just LIke That and on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He is available for Simchas of all occasions at competitive prices.