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Brian Choper (born February 22, 1965 in Greenbelt, Maryland) is a drummer, percussionist, band manager and author. With over 30 years experience playing both nationally and internationally, he has been featured on 9 professional CD's, authored a book on music management, and started his own entertainment management company. Choper manages and plays in five bands featuring a diverse combination of genres including klezmer, Israeli, jazz, rock & roll and funk, and is know for his ability to play a vast variety of styles and genre. His groups include The Choper Jazz Project, The Jazz Connection, The Nexus Rock Band, The Kol Haruach Orchestra, and New Klezmer Quintet.
During his earlier years, Choper was already creating innovations in the music world. In 1983, he won first prize at the Vienna International Music Festival for classical timpani. He studied with notable teachers such as George Huttlin, Marshall Maley and Buddy Rich. Choper was the first drummer to play with the Capital Klezmers; one of the top three folk bands in the country during the eighties. In 1992, Brian Choper was selected to participate in the International Music Festival in Safed, Israel as part of the Machaya Klezmer Band. He produced the group's second CD entitled What a Machaya, and is also featured on it. This CD became the number two selling folk album for 1997 (on the folk charts) and was rated as such in the prestigious Moment Magazine (August, 1997). As a result of Choper's public relations efforts and recognition with record distributors, the Machaya Klezmer Band soon became one of the top billing folk bands in the country. From the early 80's through the late 90's, Choper was primarily known as a klezmer and rock drummer. In the late 90's, he diversified to become a serious player in a variety of music including jazz, Latin, funk, rock and disco. This was when he gained the interest to form his own bands.
In 2007, Brian Choper decided to take the klezmer concept to concert halls, as these venues were inquiring with him. In order to create a band with a name and a sound that would be appreciated by people of all ethnic backgrounds, he created a sister band to his original Kol Haruach Klezmer Band and called it The New Klezmer Quintet. In this group, Choper collaborates with Chris Huntington from the Crawdaddies, renowned clarinetist, Fred Jacobowitz,well as Lou Durham; principal keyboard/arranger/composer with the United States Army Band. Today this group is successful as a concert specific traditional and Neo-Klezmer band. It played for the 2009 presidential Inaugural festivities, and has been simulcast on NPR. The band easily sells out major concert venues.
1993- Machaya Klezmer Band; Machaya Klezmer Band
1996-What a Machaya; Machaya Klezmer Band
2002-Tap Your Feet to a Jewish Beat; Sally Heckelman
2004-An Evening For You; The Jazz Connection
2004-In the Beginning...Bereshit; The New Klezmer Quintet
2005-Kol Haruach-Live in Concert; Klezmer and Jazz-Together at Last; The Kol Haruach Klezmer Band
2008-"Unexpected Joy"-The New Klezmer Quintet-Live in Concert w/ Ramon Tasat; The New Klezmer Quintet