What/Who is a Kugelplex?
Kugelplex is California’s rockin’-est purveyor of klezmer and old-world party music. Formed in 2001, the group plays wild, soulful dance music at weddings, concerts and festivals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and beyond. We’ve performed with Joan Baez, the Oakland Symphony, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and Frank London (founder of the Klezmatics) and many other great artists.
For weddings, Kugelplex can act as expert ritual facilitators, helping plan your event every step of the way. From tish to toasts, the group plays in a variety of configurations and styles — chamber music, cocktail jazz, swing, latin, wild dancing, beautiful horas, dance instruction, DJing…
Jason Ditzian (clarinet/manager) is a wind instrumentalist who performs on single reeds, double reeds, flutes, and jews harps. He has composed and performed numerous works for dance, movie and theater. Jason plays with many Bay Area ensembles, including Charming Hostess and Lord Loves a Workingman.
Dan Cantrell (accordion/saw) has been focused on the study of folk and popular music from Eastern Europe, as well as composing for film dance, and theatre. He has composed music for over thirty films, several plays, a variety of dance pieces and other eclectic performance events, winning an Emmy. Dan’s extensive group of collaborators includes recording with Tom Waits, touring with Joanna Newsom and guesting with the San Francisco Symphony. For three years he composed and recorded the soundtrack for Cartoon Network’s Misadventures of Flapjack.
Lila Sklar (violin/vocals) became fascinated with the music of the Middle East and the Balkans in her early 20s and participated in a nationwide tour playing Turkish Sufi music with vocalist Latif Bolat. In addition to recording on many film and television productions, Lila has toured and performed extensively throughout the US, Japan, Europe, and the Middle East playing with such groups as Beats Antique, Bauhaus, Joanna Newsom, Rosin Coven, Bjork, The Quarta Dolce Quartet, Beulah, Gypsy Caravan, Sherefe, The Toids, and members of Cirque Du Soleil. Currently Lila lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and earns her living teaching, recording, touring, and performing.
Max Baloian (guitar/sound tech) was a founder and composer in the legendary chamber music ensemble, Nano Operetta. These days, he lends his multi-string stylings to bands such as Lord Loves a Workingman, Rube Waddell, and Polkacide.
Eric Perney (upright bass) is a virtuosic player of many styles of upright bassness. Eric studied classical and jazz bass at the University of Michigan with Stuart Sankey and Rodney Whitaker. Eric is a founding member of the bands Transmission and Gojogo. He plays with many Bay Area bands and can be heard on Tom Waits’ “Alice”, “Orphans” and the soundtracks to “Shrek 2” and “La Tigre e la Neve”.
Jewlia Eisenberg (lay cantor) is our occasional guest vocalist. Read more about her here.
David Rosenfeld (mandolin/violin/badchan) is a multi-instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, poet, dancer, visual artist, composer and creator of performance. Having completed a BA in studio art at UC Davis and an MA in music composition at Mills College, David is now following a carefully planned-out career as a spontaneous improviser. He has accompanied hundreds of dance classes on guitar, piano, and percussion, and is an experienced leader of klezmer dancing.
Marguerite Ostro (violin/vocals) is a free-lance recording artist, performer, and music teacher. Marguerite has recorded for Zion-I, MC Rai, Stewart Copland’s Groove Addicts Studios, Pete Sears, and the PickPocket Ensemble, toured in France, Holland, Egypt, and the States, and performs regularly for Alice Waters and the Chez Panisse Foundation. She also holds a bachelor’s in music and french from UC Berkeley.
Aaron Kierbel (percussion) currently tours mostly full time with Rupa and the April Fishes and plays with a lots of other bands too like theremin lounge group Project Pimento, Charming Hostess, and The Gonifs.
Aharon Wheels Bholsta (percussion) Whether playing Klezmer, Indian music, jazz, funk, West African poly-rhythm, Balkan meters, or various Middle Eastern rhythmic traditions, Aharon’s drumming contributes spice and melody to the role of time-keeper.
Isabel Douglass (accordion) performs in a variety of styles including tango, French musette, Balkan dance styles, klezmer, early jazz, and experimental music. She is currently touring the world with Rupa and Eric McFadden.
Rob Reich (accordion) Since receiving his composition degree from the Oberlin Conservatory, Rob’s main squeeze has been the accordion. He also plays accordion with Gaucho and a million other bands.