Biography

Flexer is a violinist, composer and music educator. She is half of the duo Teslim (with multi-instrumentalist Gari Hegedus) who performs Sephardic, Greek, Turkish and original music. The duo released their (self-titled) debut CD in 2008. Teslim is collaborating with Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma on a project called Labyrinth-Teslim which will culminate in October 2012 with a series of concerts in California.

Flexer co-leads the Oakland Folkharmonic with violinist Shira Kammen featuring the two of them plus Kyla Danysh and sisters Rachel and Danielle Taylor on a variety of stringed instruments including violin, viola, vielle and tarhui. The repertoire of this ensemble ranges from traditional modal music of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East to medieval music to original compositions by Flexer, Kammen, Ross Daly and Kelly Thoma.

As Artistic Director of Worldview Cultural Performances, a non-profit arts organization, Flexer founded and produced Klezmer Mania!, a much-loved annual Bay Area Jewish music event for over 10 years (1989-2002) and more recently Pomegranates & Figs: A Feast of Jewish Music, an annual event which is held in Berkeley during Hanukah either at Zellerbach Hall or the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse.

Past projects include Third EarNext Village and Kaila Flexer’s Fieldharmonik–ensembles that featured Flexer’s original material. As a composer, Kaila’s work reflects her deep respect for folk music, while showcasing her ability to create new and expansive musical landscapes. She has performed both nationally internationally with her own ensembles as well as with groups including The Hollis Taylor-Kaila Flexer Duo, Club Foot Orchestra, The Composer’s Cafeteria, The Bay Area Jazz Composer’s Orchestra, Kitka Women’s Vocal Ensemble and with Persian singer Hamed Nikpay. She has recorded two CD’s of original music for Compass Records (Nashville) to critical acclaim. In addition to performing, Flexer teaches violin and composition in her Oakland studio and as well as teaching a variety of workshops and music camps around the country. Kaila lives in Oakland, California with her thirteen-year-old daughter who lives and breathes dance and jewelry making.

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