Adrienne Cooper, a fourth-generation Yiddish singer and music teacher who was instrumental in the contemporary revival of klezmer music, died December 25.
Cooper performed the world over, sharing the stage with and recording alongside The Klezmatics, Alicia Svigals, So-Called, and Michael Winograd, among many other prominent musicians. She was also co-creator of various Yiddish-English musicals, including “The Memoir of Gluckl of Hameln” and “Songs From the Kitchen.”
In addition, Cooper was the Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring’s external affairs officer for cultural programming, and had worked previously at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, where she was the assistant director.
Read a tribute to Cooper by Prof. Jeffrey Shandler of Rutgers University
Among the honors she received for her music and activism were KlezKanada’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice’s Risk Taker Award. Cooper’s daughter, Sarah Mina Gordon, is the vocalist for the band Yiddish Princess.
Read a Forward review Cooper’s most recent album, “Enchanted” here.
Read a series of pieces that Cooper and Gordon penned on Yiddish songs of family violence here.