THE KLEZMORIM > Bio > Band Members > Laurie Chastain 

Laurie Chastain

a/k/a:  Lori Oran, Laurie Chastain Rhodes

Founding member:  1975–77

Instruments:  Violin, mandolin, tambourine, vocals

Albums:  East Side Wedding, First Recordings

Subsequent gigs:  Westwind International Folk Ensemble, Grizzly Sisters, Silverthistle

Profile:  Laurie Chastain's dueling-fiddle riffs with David Skuse added a dynamic edge to our musical arrangements, and her ethereally lovely voice and magnetic persona captivated The Klezmorim's first wave of Berkeley fans. Sadly, contractual terms prevented the inclusion of her vocal stylings (patterned after Hungaroton recording star Appolonia Kovacs and Oranim Zabar singer Geula Gill) on East Side Wedding. Although later incarnations of the band featured musicians who were also talented singers — Suzy Rothfield, Miriam Dvorin, and Stephen Saxon in particular — our focus had by then shifted irrevocably toward all-instrumental ensemble music.