Biographies


Alex Coke (saxophones and flute)
Alex is the newest and a most welcome member of Klezmokum and Klez-Edge. He is originally from Dallas, Texas. He has had a long career history in klezmer, and folk bands as well as jazz groups. After his graduation from the University of Colorado, He became a charter member of the legendary Tina Marsh's Creative Opportunity Orchestra in Texas. He has played with Bill Averbach's Austin Klezmorim, David Krakauer, and in the Holland for many years with the Willem Breuker Kollektief. He brings a nice fresh energy, expertise, and fluency to our music!

Burton Greene (piano)
Burton Greene was born in Chicago, Illinois, and came out of the Russian and Roumanian Jewish lineage. He had seven years of classical music training with Isador Buchalter of the Fine Arts Building and studied jazz theory and harmony with Dick Marx. In 1962 he formed probably the first spontaneous composition group with bassist Alan Silva: The Free Form Improvisation Ensemble. His free style has made him well known and has led him to create many compositions. He joined the Jazz Composers Guild, and formed his first recorded quartet in 1965 which included Marion Brown and Henry Grimes. He performed in the 60’s with great avant garde jazz artists such as Alan Silva, Sam Rivers, Rashied Ali, Byard Lancaster, Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, etc. Burton was involved with the New Music Concert Series in Town Hall and YMHA organized by Max Pollikoff. Since Burton moved to Europe in 1969, he has toured and recorded extensively in both Western and Eastern Europe as well as the USA. In 1989 he formed the group Klezmokum dedicated to extending the tradition of East European and Middle Eastern Klezmer and Sephardic music. This is probably the first group dedicated to the fusion of Jewish music with contemporary jazz. (for more info see Burton Greene: biography)

Roberto Haliffi (drums)
Roberto Haliffi was born in Tripoli, Libya by Portuguese Jewish parents. At the age of sixteen he began his professional career playing drums in a dance band. In Libya he learned to play the Darbuka (Arabic drums) which he subsequently used in jazz, Middle Eastern and Jewish folk music. In 1970 he moved to Milano, Italy, where he met the inspiring pianist Sonny Taylor. Together they formed their Afro Latin Jazz band Mayafra.
Roberto has played with such formidable musicians as Tony Scott, Curtis Clarke, Fred Leeflang, Wilbur Little, Woody Shaw, Essiet Essiet, Soesja Citroen, Denise Jannah, Nedly Elstak and Gene Connors.

Perry Robinson (clarinet)
“Perry Robinson is widely regarded as the most gifted modern jazz clarinetist...” Robert Palmer, New York Times For almost four decades, Perry has been a leading force in revitalizing the jazz clarinet. With a distinctive sound and a unique vision, Perry has traveled the globe bringing his fresh and provocative clarinet music to many, many listeners. As the son of the legendary folk music composer, Earl Robinson, he has been gifted with the rich tradition of American folk.
Perry’s music is widely documented; he has appeared on over 40 recordings. He played and recorded with such people as Henry Grimes, Carla Bley’s Jazz Composers Orchestra Association, Charlie Haden, Archie Shepp, 2 Generations of Brubeck, Jeanne Lee, Gunter Hampel, Allen Ginsberg, among many others.
All of this musical activity was recognized with awards in Downbeat Magazine’s International Jazz Critics Poll in 1967, 1975-1980, and 1984, and with an Arts International Travel Grant in 1992.

Larry Fishkind (tuba)
After completing his study at the High School of the Performing Arts and the Julliard School of Music, both in New York , Larry has appeared in a large amount of orchestras and ensembles. For instance, The American Symphony Orchestra, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, The Netherlands Theatre Orchestra, The European Tuba Quartet and The Instant Composers Pool of Misha Mengelberg (ICP). He performed also with Kenny Wheeler, Steve Lacy and George Lewis. Larry participated in a number of films, (the Musicians Portrait by Vitor Pomar, Moord in de Cuyperspoort, by Frans Zwartjes) and in theatre and dance performances (14 rode Hutjes, Mug met de Gouden Tand, Tony Thatcher’s Duet and Een Pond Verloren Tijd by Misha Mengelberg’s ICP). Larry is a virtuoso soloist whose roots are from the rich Jewish cultural heritage of New York.

Patricia Beysens (vocals and flügelhorn)
Patricia was born in Rotterdam, Holland, where she started at a very young age singing self composed songs. In 1975 she performed with a solo-repertoire « Glas ». She participated workshops of Steve Lacy and Clifford Thornton and developed during the next years a personal vision on folk and jazz lyrics. Patricia has toured a great deal of Europe, performing in Wien (Austria), Lugano Jazz Festival (Suisse), Festivals in Holland, France and Germany. In addition to her work with Klezmokum, she has made several recordings including her jazz trio and quartet, and her work with German folk lied (including vocal works of Kurt Weil, Hans Eisler, etc.) She also plays tuba and flügelhorn, and is an accomplished painter with exhibitions of her work all over Europe.

Marek Balata (Bah-wah-tah)
Marek Balata is considerd by many the premier male vocalist in Eastern Europe in the realm of improvised music. His wide ranging creativity has also engaged him deeply in visual arts and theatre ( The Magician of Lublin by I.B.Singer and Bloody Wedding by F.G.Lorca ). He has performed and recorded with many great musicians: Billy Hart , Steve Davis , Peter Madsen , Jean Francois Prins  ,Patricia Beysens,  Klezmokum, Jack Van Poll,  Andy Manndorff , Songlines, many others. He is a founder of the group TRILOGY with American pianist Art Lande and Austrian flutist Gunter Wehinger. The group had successful tour in USA (California and Colorado)and with special guest Paul McCandless(of the group Oregon) at Yoshi 's - Oakland, California. He has performed with CANTABILE IN JAZZ featuring Urszula Dudziak, Michele Hendricks, Judy Niemack and Anthony Jackson. Balata has produced a CD of his own compositions entitled "Voice Paintings" (1994), in which he has taken the rich, folkloric roots of his native Krakow and merged them with his considerable understanding of American blues and bebop and the harmonic language of  F.Chopin. " He has a daring virtuosity and imagination, a startlingly wide range and flawless intonation. Singing or even rapping in both English and Polish.  Balata has a gift for both languages and tone colour."