Join me at Downtown Skokie's Wednesdays on the Green TONIGHT with the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band

The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band will play at 7PM on August 7th.

Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
All the Wednesdays on the Green events begin at 7PM and are held on the Village Green.
The Village Green is located in between the Skokie Public Library and Skokie Village Hall on Oakton Street.
Plenty of free parking all around the event.


What is Maxwell Street?
Maxwell Street was to Chicago what the Lower East Side was to New York. At the turn of the century, when the first wave of immigrants came to America, Maxwell Street became famous for its open-air Sunday marketplace crowded with Jewish pushcart peddlers, creating a carnival atmosphere enjoyed by Chicagoans and visitors alike. Like the Yiddish theater of yesteryear, a performance of the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band brings the optimism, pathos, irony, zest for life, and unique humor of the American Jewish immigrant to the modern stage.

Band Biography
In 1983, before klezmer music gained its recent popularity, Lori Lippitz founded the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band. Working within the Chicago Jewish community, the band reintroduced traditional dance music to weddings and other Jewish celebrations. Over the years, the band has performed on stages across the country (including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center) and played nine tours in Europe. Their third CD, You Should Be So Lucky!, is one of the ten best-selling klezmer recordings in America.

Maxwell Street is:

  • The founder of the Klezmer Music Foundation and organizer of the Midwest Klezmer and Yiddish Music Institute (since 1995) at the Kaplan JCC, the Midwest’s only annual forum for klezmer and Yiddish music workshops. The Institute attracts over 800 participants a year and trains musicians of all ages.
  • The sponsor of the Chicago Junior Klezmer Orchestra, a training ground for young klezmer musicians, since 1993
  • A founding partner of the Yiddish Arts Ensemble, scoring and staging original English-language musicals based upon Yiddish folklore.
  • On the roster of the Illinois Arts Council Artstour of recommended performers.

The Style
Clarinet, saxophone, violin, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass and percussion make up the band, rounded out by a duet of female singers. Musical Director Alex Koffman spices the band’s potpourri of Yiddish songs, dance and theater music with his original arrangements, inspired by his classical and jazz background. With its big band instrumentation, Maxwell Street moves easily among various styles: Russian and gypsy music, folk songs, theater songs and Yiddish pop songs from the 1920′s-50′s. Their performance creates a multi-dimensional picture of the lost Jewish culture of Eastern Europe, spiced with vignettes of America seen through immigrant eyes.