Skip to page content
  • WDCH
  • Dec. 6, 2004
  • Renowned Singer/Songwriter Guthrie Joined by His Son Abe and Eclectic Klezmer Band for Program of Woody Guthrie Songs on Jewish and Spiritual Themes


    Concert is generously sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation.

    Arlo and Abe Guthrie, son and grandson of Woody Guthrie, join the Klezmatics for a program of recently discovered Jewish and spiritual songs by the late folk legend at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Monday, December 6, at 8 p.m. as part of the 2004/2005 Deck the Hall series of holiday performances.

    The Klezmatics, the pre-eminent klezmer band, worked with the Woody Guthrie Archives to compose new music for a large collection of "lost" lyrics that Guthrie wrote addressing a wide variety of Jewish themes. This program premiered to sold-out audiences in New York last year, attracted enormous media attention, and received rave reviews.

    Woody Guthrie lived with his second wife, Marjorie Mazia (whose mother was a renowned Yiddish poet) near Coney Island in the late 1940s, where he wrote about subjects ranging from Hanukkah and blintzes to the Holocaust. His daughter, Nora Guthrie, who is the director of the archives, chose the Klezmatics, who have spearheaded the revival of klezmer music, to write melodies for the lyrics.

    Arlo Guthrie, a renowned singer/songwriter in his own right, performs on piano, guitar, and vocals, with Abe Guthrie, who has shared the stage with his father for over 15 years, on keyboards and vocals and Gordon Titcomb on guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, and banjo. The Klezmatics are Lorin Sklamberg (vocals, accordion, keyboards, guitar), Frank London (trumpet, vocals, keyboards), Lisa Gutkin (violin, vocals), Matt Darriau (winds), Paul Morrisset (bass, vocals, violin, brass) and David Licht (drums, percussion, vocals).

    ARLO GUTHRIE, the son of legendary folksinger Woody Guthrie and Marjorie Mazia Guthrie, a professional dancer with the Martha Graham Company, grew up surrounded by musicians: Pete Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays (The Weavers), Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, all of whom were significant influences on Arlo's musical career. Guthrie gave his first public performance at age 13 and quickly became involved in the music that was shaping the world during the 1960s. Playing Greenwich Village in New York City in such places as Gerdes Folk City, The Gaslight, and The Bitter End, Arlo developed his own style, becoming a distinctive, expressive voice in a crowd community of singer-songwriters-musicians. Arlo Guthrie's career exploded in 1967 with the release of "Alice's Restaurant," whose title song premiered at the Newport Folk Festival and helped foster a new commitment among the '60s generation to social consciousness and activism. Arlo went on to star in the 1969 Hollywood film Alice's Restaurant directed by Arthur Penn. With songs like "Alice's Restaurant" too long for radio airplay; "Coming Into Los Angeles," banned from many radio stations but a favorite at the 1969 Woodstock Festival; and the definitive rendition of Steve Goodman's "City of New Orleans," Guthrie was no one-hit wonder. An artist of international stature, he never had a hit in the usual sense. Over the last four decades Guthrie has toured throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia winning a wide, popular following. In addition to his accomplishments as a musician - playing the piano, six- and twelve-string guitars, harmonica, and a dozen other instruments - Arlo is a natural-born storyteller whose tales and anecdotes figure prominently in his performances. Today Arlo spends nearly 10 months of the year on the road, and is frequently accompanied by his daughter Sarah Lee and his son Abe.

    Since they emerged from New York's East Village in 1986, the KLEZMATICS have spearheaded the revival of Klezmer music. On their own and in collaboration with musicians as diverse as Itzhak Perlman, Allen Ginsberg, the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Arlo Guthrie, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, John Zorn, Pilobolus Dance Theater, and Neil Sedaka, the Klezmatics' wide-ranging musicality raises the bar for musicians everywhere. The world of Jewish spirit is one of eternal tradition and ever-shifting reinvention. Appropriately, the Klezmatics have made their name by blurring the lines of tradition with a modern sonic aesthetic that blends sounds from aching shtetl melodies to raucous Latin stomps, soulful boogie-woogie, and Yiddish labor songs. The Klezmatics have reached millions with their records, live performances, and television appearances on shows as various as PBS' Great Performances, Late Night with David Letterman, BBC's Rhythms of the World, and MTV News. The group made its Carnegie Hall debut in the spring of 2004.


    MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2004 at 8 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

    : The Jewish and Spiritual Songs of Woody Guthrie

    ARLO GUTHRIE, piano, guitar, vocals

    ABE GUTHRIE, keyboards, vocals

    GORDON TITCOMB, guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, banjo


    Lorin Sklamberg, vocals, accordion, keyboards, guitar

    Frank London, trumpet, vocals, keyboards

    Lisa Gutkin, violin, vocals

    Matt Darriau, winds

    Paul Morrisset, bass, vocals, violin, brass

    David Licht, drums, percussion, vocals

    The HOLY GROUND concert is sponsored by the Jewish Community Foundation.

    Tickets ($25 - $75) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($15), will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Recital, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.

    # # #

  • Contact:

    Laura Stegman, 310.645.1755; Rachelle Roe, 213.972.7310; photos: 213.972.3034