Raves & Reviews
Raves for Maxwell Street Klezmer Band
"People wept. One woman told me she felt like a child again. Another said she could remember what it felt to be a Jew. So much gratitude, it was embarrassing. If you could have seen the moist eyes of these people... distant in memory, glazed with emotion. They said no one had ever done anything like that for them in all the years they lived here."
- Volunteer concert organizer at residence for Russian Jewish seniors (2023)
"Your versatility and commitment as musicians is dazzling. Your embodiment and celebration of deeply held community values is spectacular. Thank you."
- Facebook Fan
"Everyone loved the band. I heard from longtime members of the Jewish community that it was the best klezmer band they had ever heard. In email and phone calls, everyone mentions how fun it was." - Scott G., Father of the Bride (2019)
"Thanks to you all for an awesome night of music at our wedding. Literally everyone has been saying how much they loved the music and how great Maxwell Street was. We knew you guys were good and that we'd love it, but you managed to far exceed our expectations. So so so great!" - Rena and John, Bride and Groom (2019)
"I produce Wednesdays on the Green for Downtown Skokie. We couldn't be happier with the choice to hire the band to play for us. They drew one of the largest crowds in the three years we have been holding the summer series and we had wonderful comments from the audience and the sponsors. We had over 600 people present and everyone had a memorable night."
-Scott Holst, Skokie Chamber of Commerce, 2013
"It was wonderful to hear Chicago's Maxwell Street Klezmer Band cut loose so exuberantly…(they) brought the audience to its feet, cheering its approval." - John von Rhein, Music Critic, Chicago Tribune, Review of Klezmer Rhapsody, Chicago Symphony Center
"These are fine musicians...they care about the music. And when they care—I care." - Theodore Bikel, actor and singer
“The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band is a joyous celebration of music that was—and fortunately, still is.” - Writer and Historian Studs Terkel
"Full of energy and humor...An eventful and entertaining evening, I can indeed recommend the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band to other venues all over the world." - Weiner Konzerthaus
"Delightful...gorgeous violin playing" - Chicago Tribune
"Internationally known...Evocative...Aims for the heartstrings and the feet." - Jewish Heartland
"At the end, no one wanted to leave. The heartfelt music had touched everyone…" - The Star (Chicago)
"This group can easily take its place beside the Klezmer Conservatory Band and the Klezmatics. They are that good." - National Jewish Post Opinions
"I think that I’ve recovered from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band concert [at Carnegie Hall], now. These guys do a very perfect vintage ‘30s jazz and klezmer and theatre music show. Lots of great shtick. Lots of great mugging for the audience. One of the tightest bands I’ve seen in a long time...I expected good, but this was really, really good." - Ari Davidow, Klezmershack
"Outstanding performance… Maxwell Street brought...a ‘taste’ of Yiddishkyte that would be hard to duplicate...Excellent!" - Valley Jewish Festival, California
"An absolutely first class performance...The audience absolutely loved them." - World of Jewish Music, London
"An exhilarating, delightful high-voltage performance." - örderung Jüdischer Kultur und Tradition E.V., Munich, Germany
"The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band throws a party." - Rich Swenson, Chicago Sun Times
"You folks were astoundingly good. The band was AAA +. The quality of the best Klezmer bands, but with more heart, and tighter! Wow! You blew everyone away. Great opening to our convention!" - Cantor Alberto Mizrahi Anshe Emet Congregation, Chicago
Raves for The Whole Megillah
"The program flowed beautifully from history to performance. The music was a celebration; the cantors were charming and their voices were wonderful. The history, which ended in a tribute to Jewish artists, left everyone with a great appreciation for the contribution of Jews to American culture."
"Incredible evening of everything Yiddishkeit. The entire program was well-planned and all of the talent was beyond amazing! Thank you for keeping all the joys of Yiddish alive."
"Don't forget the standing ovation! 800 people rose together, some with difficulty, children helping frail parents to their feet to pay tribute to an evening that came from the heart and touched every heart! Words cannot describe the joy, enthusiasm and energy you and the musicians created last night!"
"The Whole Megillah with Charles Troy and the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band was one of the best events that has ever taken place in our Temple. It was loving, warm, exciting, inspiring and educational. It was also filled with Jewish feeling. The Whole Megillah far exceeded my expectations.”
-Gary Klein, Rabbi, Temple Ahavat Shalom, Palm Harbor, FL
In a performance of The Whole Megillah, Alex Koffman plays the violin while Cantor Pavel Roytman addresses the audience
A scene from The Property
Lyric Opera of Chicago, March 2015
Praise for The Property
"...the six-member klezmer ensemble...provided lively and idiomatic advocacy for Marhulets’ score. Clarinetist Don Jacobs and violinist Alex Koffman, in particular, were in tune with the essential strain of Eastern European nostalgia."
"On Wednesday, the musicians [of Maxwell Street Klezmer Band] dispatched the score with infectious verve under conductor Michael Lewanski."
"No surprise that there’s a killer part for clarinet—Don Jacobs is on the reed, lending Old World flavor from the Maxwell Street Klezmer Band along with violinist Alex Koffman and double bassist Jim Cox. They know how to bend a note into a call from the heart."
-Nancy Malitz, Reviewer, Chicago on the Aisle
Raves for Junior Klezmer Orchestra
"It was such a pleasure having The Klezmer Junior Orchestra at Park Plaza. The residents loved seeing the young musicians and really enjoyed the music that was being played. When the concert was over, they shared that they would love to have them back for another performance. We all love and appreciate seeing the young Jewish population playing the old songs of our Jewish culture."
- Carrie Kaye, Activity Director, Park Plaza Retirement Community
Junior Klezmer Orchestra was featured in The Chicago Tribune: "Klezmer band, students make joyful music"." Read the article here.