ELAINE HOFFMAN WATTS
2007 Leeway Transformation Award
Klezmer drummer Elaine Hoffman Watts has dedicated her life and career to preserving the memories and cultural roots of her community. Born in the former Soviet Union, Elaine comes from a long line of male klezmer musicians and is outspoken about her unique and important role as a woman participant in this historically male folk tradition.
Elaine, who was the first female percussionist to graduate from Curtis Institute of Music, has passed this tradition onto her daughter, klezmer trumpeter Susan Watts, as well as other female klezmer musicians, thus re-envisioning and re-appropriating this male dominated art form.
With a specific repertoire of 19th century Eastern European Jewish folk, Elaine has performed and taught in different venues and universities around the country, and received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award in 2007. (Grace Sullivan Rosenthal)
Video produced by Tina Morton (LTA '06, ACG '05)