Top Songs


About Joel Rubin & Epstein Brothers Orchestra

The instrumental music of 19th century Eastern European Jews has been preserved in its traditional and modern forms by clarinetist and ethnomusicologist Joel Rubin. A frequent lecturer on early Jewish and klezmer music, and the director of the Klezmer Music Research Project, Rubin has performed with Alicia Svigals, accordion and tsimbal player Joshua Horowitz, and avant-garde Jewish bands Brave Old World and Budowitz. Initially drawn to European classical and avant-garde music, Rubin spent years playing in the traditional Greek and French clarinet styles. He turned his attention towards Jewish and klezmer music after hearing a pre-World War II recording by klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras. Rubin has remained fascinated by Tarras's recordings. His book, Old-Time Jewish Music for Clarinet, features transcriptions of 16 songs from Tarras's repertoire. Rubin has been involved with a wide variety of musical projects. His playing was featured on Brave Old World's album, Klezmer Music and a musical adaptation of the Biblical tale, David and Goliath, featuring music by Branford Marsalis and narration by Mel Gibson. Rubin is the leader of the Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble, a group that also features accordionist Claudio Jacomucci, tsimbal player Kelman Balogh, trumpet player Ferenc Kovacs, and violinist Laszlo Major. Together with Italian avant-garde composer and klezmer clarinetist Roberto Paci Dalo, Rubin created Messianic Soundware, a multi-media presentation using two clarinets, a live interactive computer system and an eight-channel sound environment. The production was debuted on October 23, 1995 at Insituit Unzeit in Berlin. ~ Craig Harris