Clara Byom is an Albuquerque-based multi-instrumentalist, musicologist, and educator. She performs many genres of music including contra, English country, Jewish klezmer, and Scottish dance and contemporary classical music on clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, organ, and accordion. Clara is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Salsola Consort, drip project, Edith Boulevard, Rusty Tap, and co-founder/co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. Additionally, she performs regularly with Dust City Opera and serves on the board of the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society.
A recent graduate of the University of New Mexico (Master of Music in Clarinet Performance and Musicology), Clara has researched mid-century American klezmer music for her master’s thesis entitled “Mixing in Too Much Jewish: American Klezmorim in New York City from 1950-1970.” She was the guest lecturer at KlezmerQuerque 2017 and has presented at conferences for the Society for Ethnomusicology (Spring 2017) and Yiddish Summer Weimar (Summer 2016). Since the Summer of 2014, she has done archival work for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York City, primarily digitizing and cataloging the field recordings of 2015 National Heritage Fellow Michael Alpert, a leading figure in the klezmer revitalization. In 2012, Clara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, IA.
All photo credit on this page: Randi Thompson