About this Artist
Janice Mautner Markham is a Los Angeles based artist/activist/violinist and arts educator. She is a proud founding member of the Klezmer Gypsy-rock band, Mostly Kosher. The celebrated ensemble radically reconstructs Judaic and American cultural music through ravenous klezmer beats and arresting Yiddish refrains. In response to the poetry and folk music of Judaic roots, their reimagined voice resounds with messages of social justice, human dignity and mutual understanding. The band is a fixture at renowned Southern California stages such as the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, Skirball Cultural Center and The Torrance Center for the Arts. They have also graced the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a live television broadcast to over half a million viewers in 2015, 2017 and 2019. Mostly Kosher has had the honor of being the first Jewish music ensemble at the Disney parks and has performed a two month residency at Disney California Adventure Park, recently completing season 4.
Janice also plays in the fiddle/accordion duo Zingarella with multi-instrumentalist Melinda West, with performances at The Broad Stage, the Skirball Cultural Center and headlining the opening night of the Glendale International Film Festival in October 2019. She is on her 9th year with the house band for the acclaimed improvisational show The Black Version at Hollywood’s Groundlings Theatre. Guest artists have included Wayne Brady, Maya Rudolph, Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele. She has been very active with Cafe Europa, playing solo and ensemble performances for the local groups of Holocaust survivors. Janice is honored be Artist-in-Residence at the vibrant interfaith arts and community center Pico Union Project most recently sharing the bill with colleagues and mentors, The Klezmatics. Janice’s string ensemble, The JAC Trio, along with violist Amira Bennett and cellist Circe Diaz Gamero, have a busy year ahead, playing at Temple Sinai in West Los Angeles, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills, Molly Malone’s in Hollywood, as well as other venues throughout Southern California.
Janice’s compositions and violin stylings can be heard on various television and film soundtracks, most recently for the horror film “The Black Room”. Janice’s first klezmer composition will be heard in the upcoming feature film “Severed Silence”, starring Izabela Vidovic and Melora Walters. She is proud to have her violining featured on some of her favorite artists’ recordings, including Chuck E. Weiss’s “Red Beans and Weiss” produced by Tom Waits. As a musician and actor, Janice has numerous regional and off-Broadway credits, and was honored to serve as understudy for Lisa Gutkin during the Broadway touring production of Indecent at the Music Center’s Ahmanson Theatre.
Music Education and Social Justice are a guiding focus for Janice. She is founder and Music Director of the Jewish Youth Orchestra, a project of the Jewish Federation of San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. She also participates in collaboration and outreach with Urban Voices Project, led by Mostly Kosher band leader, Leeav Sofer. UVP is a non-profit in Los Angeles’ Skid Row that brings the healing power of music directly to individuals disenfranchised by homelessness, mental health issues, and unemployment. Additionally, Janice has been Artistic Directorof Vox Box Arts Collective since 1991, which has included High School Arts outreach, multi-disciplinary arts production and Caja de Arte, a Spanish Immersion Arts Camp.
Janice credits much of her early musical evolution to her father, pianist Raymond Mautner, and violin teachers Harold Ayres and Heiichiro Oyama.