Dor L'Dor

Dor L'Dor

About the Band

Four trombones? Brandwein and the Beatles? “Bai Mir Bistu Sheyn” accompanied by “Puttin’ on the Ritz”? Welcome to the sometimes frenzied, sometimes tender, sometimes playful—but always fresh and exciting—sound of Dor L’Dor.

“Dor L’Dor” is Hebrew for “generation to generation.” It describes the make-up of the band and looks back to the practice of families of klezmer musicians passing down this rich musical tradition to their children. Dor L’Dor was born in 1999, jointly delivered by Ken and Susan Brown not long after discovering that they were “with band.”

The band originally consisted of Ken (clarinet, saxophones, shofar) and Susan (piano, arrangements) their sons Michael (bass trombone, euphonium) and Daniel (bass), their daughter Rachel (tambourine, vocals), and Ken’s brother Steve (drums). They were joined by another talented young man, Brandon Armstrong (bass, acoustic guitar, and trombone), who helped make possible the band’s characteristic two (and sometimes three, or even four)-trombone sound.

We’ve been extremely fortunate as our second, third, and subsequent “Dors” have come of age. The problem with having a multi-generational band, where children and students eventually leave home to seek their fame and fortune, was at first solved by a steady flow of trombone players from the University of Tennessee’s extraordinarily talented trombone studio. We started to think of UT as our own private feeder-school. But as attached as we got to these kids, the laws of nature and higher education prevailed. Exit one Dor, enter a new Dor.

Jon Walton now leads our trombone section, joined by Jamie Warren and Joe Christian. In addition to generational diversity, these guys have helped bring cultural and musical diversity to our continuing efforts to unite old world and new. Each generation draws from the tradition; each generation adds to the tradition.

Dor L’Dor thus describes the make-up of the band and the timeless appeal of our repertoire, from “Bulgar a la Naftule” to “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and from “Goodnight Irene” to “Yossel, Yossel.” But regardless of the genre, our arrangements discover fresh possibilities in this traditional music, so that even the pieces that audiences find delightfully familiar will seem brand new.