The six-person band Yiddish Princess takes the sounds of ’80s rock—from the ethereal vocalizations of Kate Bush to the pounding drums and guitar riffs of Bon Jovi—and marries them with Yiddish songs. Some of the songs are Yiddish poems; some are original works by Sarah Gordon, the band’s lead singer. Gordon comes to the Yiddish repertoire honestly; her mother is Adrienne Cooper, who’s been described as “the premier female Yiddish vocalist and interpreter of Yiddish song.” Other band members are similarly fluent in Yiddish musical traditions. Michael Winograd, the band’s keyboard player, is well known as a clarinetist who has played with Frank London, the Klezmatics, and Socalled. Yoshie Fruchter, the band’s guitarist, also plays with Pitom, which has recorded an album on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records.
Vox Tablet’s Sara Ivry joins Gordon, Winograd, and Fruchter in Winograd’s bedroom-turned-studio to talk about their debut eponymous EP, out this week, and to play a little music on the fly.