Cravitz, Ilana

Based in London, Ilana regularly performs on stage and at weddings, bar mitzvahs and parties. She also teaches klezmer music and dance based on traditional Jewish music. Ilana studied traditional klezmer fiddle technique and Yiddish dance with leading artists in the klezmer revival including Deborah Strauss, Alicia Svigals, Michael Alpert, Zev Feldman and Andreas Schmitges.

Ilana is the founder of the National Klezmer Youth Orkester, which links young musicians and their teachers with klezmer professionals around the world. Ilana re-established the UK’s international Klezfest in 2015 at the invitation of the Jewish Music Institute, directing the festival for two years. She has also been the artistic lead for KlezNorth, and in 2020 set up and ran a huge online festival – the London International Klezmer Experience (LIKE).

Ilana co-founded the London Klezmer Quartet (LKQ), a traditional 4-piece ensemble, in 2009. During her time playing with and managing the group, they toured the world to great acclaim and recorded four albums, including the 2016 CD To the Tavern.

Ilana has also been a guest artist with many bands including Klezmer Klub, Oysland, She’koyokh, and the US ensemble Isle of Klezbos. She specialises in leading and playing for klezmer ceilidhs (barn dances). Under the banner Hopkele, she produces klezmer music and dance events with drummer/dance leader Guy Schalom

Ilana has toured extensively throughout the world. She is regularly broadcasting live and recording, including for BBC radio and television, ABC Radio National and regional stations, New Zealand national radio, and Brazilian television.

As a musician and teacher, Ilana Cravitz has introduced hundreds of people of all ages to klezmer. She has also edited or coedited some practical guide or collections of klezmer music: Klezmer Fiddle: a how to guide (2008); 12 Jewish Wedding Melodies (2020); The Hoffman Book (2022).

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