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Jason Ditzian
& Klezmer.com

Unlike how these bios usually start, Jason Ditzian had no musicians or artists in his family. Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, he was fed a steady diet of 80’s soft rock radio and reform jewish piano balads. He took up sax in 4th grade and joined his first rock band in High School. There were as of yet no indications that Jason was destined for a life in music. 

 

It wasn’t until college that he started exploring the wider musical traditions of the world and was exposed to the vibrant universe of Jewish musics via Don Byron, David Krakauer, John Zorn and other “downtown” scene luminaries. 

 

Jason studied biology at George Washington University and after graduation headed out on a summer road trip to California. As he was packing his car, his friend Jeff tossed a clarinet in the car. From that point on, a series of circumstantial, unexplainable, and arguably mystical events transpired that led to Jason becoming a clarinetist and a new-world klezmer. 

In 2002, Jason joined the recently-formed San Francisco-based, Kugelplex. The group recorded their first album in 2003 and Jason began leading and managing the group in 2004. Two decades later, Kugelplex is still going and is recognized as one of the West Coast’s leading practitioners of klezmer and old-world music.

Starting in 2006, Jason recorded and toured the world with legendary radical jewish vocalist/composer, Jewlia Eisenberg and her ensemble Charming Hostess, forming a close-knit partnership that lasted until and beyond her passing in 2021. 

In 2021, it was time to bring shtetl-rocking old-world soul to the East Coast – by forming the Western-Massachusetts based ensemble, Myrtle Street Klezmer. 

 

In 2022, Jason founded Klezmer.com as a community platform dedicated to sustaining and evolving the old-world klezmer tradition into the 21st century and beyond. 

 

When Jason’s not klezzing it up, he keeps busy raising his two sons and running his company Narluga Arts – providing grants management and consulting services for socially-engaged artists and organizations.

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