Fabulous Shpielkehs

Fabulous Shpielkehs


Fabulous Shpielkehs Yiddish Brass Band

The members of The Fabulous Shpielkehs pride themselves on performing the finest "classic" klezmer music around.

Members of The Fabulous Shpeilkehs include third and fourth generation klezmer musicians, a mother/daughter duo, from the illustrious Hoffman family. The klezmer family of Philadelphia during the first half of the 20th century, the Hoffmans are featured in "A Joyful Noise!" produced by the Jewish Archives of Philadelphia. Drummer Elaine Hoffman Watts, the first woman ever to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music in percussion, was not allowed to play in klezmer bands for decades because she was a woman. Her daughter, Susan Watts, an amazing trumpet player, has been playing for more than twenty years, having grown up listening and playing klezmer in her home.

The Fabulous Shpielkehs has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Exponent and the Main Line Times, and on television on the Smart Woman Series of Ivanhoe Broadcast News. Local radio stations, including the Barry Reisman Jewish Music Show, and KYW newsradio, have broadcast the band's music and story. The Fabulous Shpeilkehs has performed for small parties and for thousands of people at extravagant events at the Philadelphia Core States (First Union) Stadium. They regularly perform at colleges, universities, festivals (including being featured artists at KlezCamp and KlezKanada), and other events. Susan Watts participated in PFP's Women's Music Project in 2001-2003.

The media samples included on this website are from the recent CD, "I Remember Klezmer" featuring Elaine Watts (drums),Susan Abbe Watts (trumpet), Kat Flagg (accordion), Rachel Lemisch (trombone), Jay Krush (tuba), and other musicians. (Track 2 is "Freilach 21." Track 7 is "Lakeleh". Track 12 is "Avenu Malkenu.") For information about the CD, or the ensemble, contact Susan Watts at oyveyklez@aol.com.