Friday December 11, 2015

Violinist Lara St. John: "I'm trying to give shiksas a good name"

Lara St. John talks Shiksa 8:57

Listen 31:40

She closes her eyes, enters a trance-like state, and adopts a "linebacker pose". When Canadian violinist Lara St. John performs, she says she's barely aware of her surroundings. 

The masterful musician has made a career of crushing traditional classical boundaries, and pushing the limits of her instrument.

Lara St. John - Czardashian Rhapsody (Live)6:12

Lara St. John - Čoček (Live)4:23

Today she and American jazz pianist Matt Herskowitz join Shad in studio q to perform three songs from her new album, Shiksa. The record is a love letter to the traditional music of the Balkans and Eastern Europe. It's also a reclamation of a traditionally disparaging term for a non-Jewish woman. 

WEB EXTRA | Watch St. John and Herskowitz perform Czardashian Rhapsody

 

Lara St. John

Violinist Lara St. John taps her experiences as a young woman in Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia for musical inspiration. (J. Farley Photography)