Violinists Rebekah Wolkstein and Drew Jurecka are artists of enormous breath, versatility and accomplishments. Both musicians compose and perform, indiviually and in the Payadora Tango Ensemble and the Venuti String Quartet. They have been performing as a Duo since 2001. They perform jazz, classical and world music and their own compositions on violin, viola, guitar, mandolin, harp, clarinet, saxophone , bandoneon and vocals.

Drew is in demand as a jazz violinist and a composer and arranger. He was nominated for a Grammy for his string arranging, performing and engineering work for the Grammy Record of the Year, “Don’t Stop Now” by pop artist, Dua Lipa. Classically trained but comfortable in all genres, Drew has performed on hundreds of albums for artists such as Alessia Cara, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Jill Barber, Bahamas, Laila Biali and many others. He has composed for film and television and his orchestral arrangements for the Toronto Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. As a child, Drew acted in three films including a starring role as Josy, a gypsy violinist in the film “Liszt’s Rhapsody” filmed on locaton in Eastern Europe.

Celebrated for her stunning virtuosity, nuance and broad musical versatility, violinist Rebekah Wolkstein has established a strong presence on the Toronto music scene. She has performed and toured extensively with the Toronto Symphony, The National Ballet of Canada, The Canadian Opera Company, and in recitals with Metropolitan Opera star, Russell Braun.

Rebekah and Drew have received multiple grants from the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council to compose music. They are currently collaborating with Grammy award nominated Yiddish Glory in concerts and a live TV broadcast of Polish tango.

Recently, Wolkstein was commissioned to compose four new works for the upcoming album “Silent Tears- the last yiddish tango” which was recorded by Payadora Tango Ensemble and produced/ recorded and mixed by Drew Jurecka. These compositions have been shown on CBC, CTV and premiered by KlezKanada.

They received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to produce a full length film of 11 pieces in collaboration with PointeTango, award winning tango/ballet dancers. Their compositions are featured in the film “Tango in the Dark” and the “Buried Tango” upcoming album.

When COVID-19 suddenly cancelled all of their live performances, Rebekah and Drew set about to create a family music video. The first was their take on the Shirley Temple tune, “An Old Straw Hat.” Drew produced, recorded and arranged the song while Rebekah filmed the video. Both created simple choreographed moves for the daughters. The response was overwhelming; the video has already eclipsed 15,000 views. Wolkstein was on to something. Not to mention, she was also having fun. So, they made another video, “Like My Sister.” The mother of three wrote this original song in between nursing Maya. The composition speaks to the joys – and the pains – of sibling bonds. “Sylvie and Annie were fighting, and it got me thinking about their relationship,” says Wolkstein. “So, one night, rocking my baby to sleep with my iPhone in my hand, I typed out the lyrics. I had to edit it down and make sure it had the best rhyme scheme, but all the material came easily and straight from watching how my kids do, and do not, get along throughout the day.” In this newest video Sylvie and Annie play violin, piano, harp, and sing, while baby Maya also dances and sings along. Next for the The Wolkstein Jurecka Family Orchestra, Wolkstein wrote a new song: “Years from Today,” a humorous take ond how children yearn for adulthood and adults yearn for childhood. These videos can be seen on YouTube via a link from Rebekah’s website: rebekahwolkstein.com

Rebekah & Jurecka are currently composing and producing music for a new Canadian TV show for children.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact us.

pelicanculturalconcerts@gmail.com

Concert Producers
Elizabeth Borsodi, Rhonda Liss, Joel Leonard, David Feltus,
Cynthia Wolloch, Gary Wolkstein, JoAnne Moran, Brooke Jaron,
Wylie Crawford, Adrienne Silverstein, Lee Berkowitz, David Saffer,
Joyce Rosenthal, Helene Crawford, Nanette Stenholm, Felice Yager


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