Deborah & Ismail
Magical Songs, Poignant Ballads
Deborah and Ismail perform music from many genres and traditions, with a focus on folk and popular songs from around the world. They entertain at parties and functions as a duo and also might include other musicians with whom they have collaborated with over the years. Bringing music to those who may be limited in their ability to travel or are home bound, such as the elderly or the infirm living in nursing homes and hospitals or attending senior centers and day programs, has been a priority to which they have been committed for nearly 20 years. Deborah and Ismail were regulars on the roster of performers with the organization HAI/Hospital Audiences which sent them to perform at facilities all over the New York area, as well as with the Manhattan based Trinity Church Concerts To Go series. They also work regularly with Selfhelp, JASA and at the NY Memory Center where they entertain people with the onset of dementia. The duo are sought after for their expertise in the performance of Yiddish song and perform regularly in synagogues and Jewish centers around the Tri State area.
Yiddish Theatre Medley
Oyfn Veg Shtet A Boym, Yiddish Ballad
Besame Mucho, Latin American Song
Deborah Karpel is a jazz, old time, country and pop singing classically trained opera singer who is known for her amazing range and extended repertoire. Her influences are, to name a few, Liltin’ Martha Tilton, Dinah Washington, Patsy Cline, Sandy Denny and Billie Holiday. Her cheerful personality and inviting stage presence are matched by her passionate performance skills and obvious dedication to her art. Deborah performs popular and folk songs in many languages including French, Spanish, Italian and Russian to name a few. Her Yiddish repertoire is extensive, being especially adept in the performance of the old, poignant ballads of the Jewish communities from the shtetls of Eastern Europe as well as in Yiddish theater song.
Blending her interest in Yiddish music and her passion for opera, theatre and popular music she created a solo show ‘Songs My Mother Never Taught Me’ having presented at the National Yiddish Book Center in Massachusetts, the Puffin Foundation in New Jersey, Dixon Place and in Recklinghausen, Germany. She also produced a one person show, 'The Midwood Miracle' which was well received. Deborah can be heard on many recordings such as on her own ‘La Promessa’, on Metropolitan Klezmer recordings and in the cast of Ben Yamolinsky’s ‘Blindwitness News’.
Deborah’s theatrical background traces her through years of performances with the comic improvisational group ‘Shock of the Funny’ as well as numerous stage productions such as Jeff Weiss’ Obie Award winning serial ‘Hot Keys’ in which she originated the role of ‘Sonny’. As a trained opera singer Deborah is affiliated with many opera companies, having performed the role of the countess in Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ with the Albany Symphony Orchestra at the Shaker Mountain Festival. She has appeared as an art song recitalist giving concerts at Weill and Merkin halls in New York and the Bruno Walter auditorium at Lincoln Center.
la Vie En Rose
Modern Greek Ballad
Photo, Albie Mitchell