Pete Sokolow

A jazz and klezmer pianist

Pete Sokolow, a Brooklyn native, is a jazz and klezmer pianist and reed player whose klezmer roots in the Catskills span older and newer generations of Jewish musicians. Sokolow has played with many major figures in klezmer history, including Dave Tarras, the Epstein Brothers, and Ray Musiker, and been an important figure in the revival of klezmer music. Sokolow has orchestrated numerous albums, musicals and films. His albums include Klezmer Plus, by the group Klezmer Plus, which he co-founded with Henry Sapoznik in 1982. He wrote the transcriptions and technical introductions to Henry Sapoznik's book, The Compleat Klezmer (1987). He is founding faculty member of KlezKamp and his latest recording is as a member of the Michael Winograd band dedicated to the music of Dave Tarras.

Biography from The American Folklife Center.


Interviews with Pete Sokolow:

Peter Sokolow's Oral History, a filmed interview by Christa Whitney (Brooklyn, New York: 2013). This interview was conducted in English, Yiddish, Multiple languages. By Yiddish Book Center: Regenerating Jewish Culture.

Pete Sokolow discussed and demonstrated the music that shaped his life and career. At the honored evening by the Yiddish Artists & Friends Actors Club for his artistry and contributions to the world of yiddish music and culture (June, 2017)

Interview with Pete Sokolow, Northeastern University.

Kalish Jon. In Modern Klezmer, 'The Oldest Old Guy' Is The King Of The Scene, an Oral and written interview with Sokolow. (Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday, January 2015)


Selected recordings: 

Peysakh Duvid The Swingin' Klezmer (CD#1), by Peter Sokolow & The Original Klezmer Jazz Band.

Pete Sokolow play the piano. Doyna: Hot Jazz meets Klezmer.

Early Morning Blues by James P. Johnson, Pete Sokolow on the piano.

Chicken, by Henry Sapoznik, Pete Sokolow (1986).


More about Pete Sokolow:

Sapoznik, Henry and Sokolow, Pete.The Compleat klezmer. Cedarhust, N.Y.: Tara Publications,1987.

Sokolow, Pete. Guide to Klezmer arranging and orchestration: Peter Sokolow. Cedarhurst, N.Y: Tara Publications 1991.

"Pete Sokolow" at the National Library of Israel. It includes recordings and music scores.

Sapoznik, Henry. Peter Sokolow & Kapelye: Klezmer educators (Published at Long Island Traditions website: January 3, 2001)

Judah M. Cohen. Book Review: Joel E. Rubin, New York Klezmer in the Early Twentieth Century in Yuval Vol. XII.