OCCASIONAL AND FORMER MEMBERS & ASSOCIATES
Michael Arrow (Drums)
... a founding member of the Chachkas in 1998, Michael now plays with jazz group Scirocco (with Barb and Breck), and Marin-based rock group The Fibrillators. Michael has also performed and recorded with Sam Andrew (of Big Brother and the Holding Company), Christopher Smith, Mitch Woods and his Rocket 88’s with Buddy Miles, Rick Roth’s Eklekshun, and The Marin Symphony. During daylight hours, he teaches fourth grade at a California Distinguished public school in Southern Marin County. Michael held down the steady beat until 2012, and played on all three CDs.
Aaron "Duckmandu" Seeman (Accordion)... founder of the Fishtank Ensemble, he's an exciting klezmer player -- and a real showman, whose onslaught of solo accordion and vocals has astounded audiences of all shapes and sizes. Maximum Rock 'n Roll, the incorrigible Punk Rock magazine, pronounced him "over the top!" for his note-for-note renditions of the Dead Kennedys' entire first album, "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables." His repetoire also includes, but is not limited to, '70s rock, Broadway, Klezmer, Classical, and even a polka or two.
Glenn Hartman (Accordion)
degrees from Tulane University, writing an MFA thesis on “The
Historical Development of Klezmer.” He lived in New Orleans for twenty years and performed regularly at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
Festivals. He has toured and recorded internationally since 1991,
playing Hammond B-3, piano, and accordion. His band, the New
Orleans Klezmer All-Stars,
is known for crossing over into the rock 'n' roll world, and has played
on Central Park Summer Stages, The Mall in D.C. on the Fourth of July, The
Hollywood Bowl, The H.O.R.D.E. Tour, Barbican Center in London, and the
Berlin Jazz Festival. After Hurricane Katrina sent him and his family
to San Francisco in 2005, Glenn performed with
his own band, The Klezmer Playboys, and The Ark Project with Frank London. He played on the "Beats Without Borders" CD.
Rob Reich (Accordion)
... composes and performs on many instruments, in many styles. He has played klezmer with Kugelplex, gypsy jazz with Gaucho, acoustic chamber music with Tin Hat, old blues and jazz with Kally Price, southern soul with Lord Loves A Working Man, and composed for the theater troupe Rococo Risque and Circus Bella. As best we can determine, he can play any tune in tune in any key on any instrument in any style on the spot. He played on the "Spice It Up!" CD.
Mwanza Furaha (Vocals)
is a gifted vocalist with material
ranging from jazz standards to blues to Yiddish favorites. Mwanza's
earlier years of development were nurtured through talent shows at
school and the youth choir at the Baptist Church. Soon after, she began
frequenting clubs in the East Bay and the South Bay, where she worked
with many jazz legends. She has performed extensively in SF & LA,
Arizona, Texas, Missouri, Washington, DC and state, Oregon, Canada,
Mexico, China, Japan, and the Philippines. She teaches voice and acting.
Bruce Bierman (Dance Leader)
the artistic director of the Jewish Dance Theatre, and creates
theatrical performances, dance workshopsm and arts education programs
for all ages. Bruce danced with the acclaimed Aman International Folk Ensemble, and has performed and taught world dance to youth and adults throughout the United States.
Stuart Brotman (Bass, Tsimbl)
... is the son of a Jewish carpenter. He has been recording, touring, and teaching New Jewish Music with world class ensemble, Brave Old World since 1989, and now with klezmer power-trio Veretski Pass. He has been a moving force in the Klezmer revival since its beginning, and has performed with many groups, including The Klezmorim, Kapelye, Andy Statman, The Klezmer Conservatory Band, The San Francisco Klezmer Experience, Khevrisa, and Itzhak Perlman. He played on our "Family Album" CD.
Laurie Lippin (Accordion)
... was our original accordionist in 1998, and played on our "Family Album" CD. She performs regularly in the Santa Rosa-Cotati area of Sonoma County.
Paul Alexander (Clarinet)
... was our original clarinetist in 1999, and played on our "Family Album" CD. Since 2002, Paul has been the leader of the Jubilee Klezmer Band in Sonoma County.
Daniel Sundy (Bass)... was our original bassist in 1999, while a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and graduated to pursue a classical music career as a composer and bass player based in Germany.
Matthew Sperry (Bass)
best known for his bass work with free improvised music, but he also
worked in the realms of subterranean pop, experimental chamber works, and Jewish wedding music. Matthew recorded with Tom Waits and Anthony Braxton, and on numerous collaborations on Limited Sedition. He was a featured performer in the 2003 San Francisco production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (see makeup in photo). He joined the Chachkas soon after we played at his wedding, and was a
member of the group until a hit-and-run bicycle accident on June 5, 2003.